Using vegan and cruelty-free remedies to care for the skin and hair is a fantastic way to show love to the planet and reduce greenhouse gases. Most hair care products sold in the stores contain harmful chemicals such as parabens, sulfates, and mineral oil, which cause hair fall and breakage.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association (AAD), it is common to shed around 50–100 hairs daily. Anything beyond that is a cause for concern. Fortunately, the problem can be fixed with a healthy diet (1) and shunning the use of chemical hair products unless the hair fall is due to genetics and aging.
According to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), a vegan diet is a strictly vegetarian diet where people do not consume meat, dairy, eggs, honey, and all products sourced from animals.
Vegan Home Remedies for Hair Growth
Here are some homemade remedies for your hair that are 100% vegan and help stimulate hair growth and reduce hair fall.
1. Onion juice – prevents hair fall
Onions (Allium cepa) are rich in vitamins, minerals, and essential nutrients including vitamins C and B6, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and germanium, which are required to keep the scalp clean and stimulate hair growth.
Onions are abundant in sulfur, which can promote blood circulation to the hair follicles and decrease the inflammation on the scalp. This effect helps in the regeneration of follicles. It stimulates them to produce longer and thicker hair. (2)
In addition, sulfur antioxidants help lower oxidative stress on the scalp, thereby preventing premature graying of hair.
How to use:
- Extract clear onion juice and apply it to your scalp and hair.
- Leave it on for 10–15 minutes.
- Washing your hair with a 100% vegan shampoo and conditioner. Since onion juice has a strong, pungent smell, you can add a few drops of essential oils such as rosemary oil and lavender oil to your shampoo to eliminate the odor.
2. Coconut oil – makes hair soft and manageable
Coconut oil is often hailed as the holy grail of hair oils, and rightly so as it contains vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids including lauric acid, which penetrates the hair shaft and nourishes and moisturizes it as well.
Research studies indicate that coconut oil helps to reduce protein loss that occurs when washing the hair, which can lead to rough hair and hair thinning of hair.
Using coconut oil regularly to massage the scalp and hair eliminates microorganisms from the skin while providing the hair with essential proteins needed for follicle regeneration and restoration of damaged hair. (3)
How to use:
- Take 4 tablespoons of coconut oil in a small pan and heat it for a few seconds.
- Allow it to cool a bit.
- Part your hair into sections, and then use a cotton ball to apply the slightly warm coconut oil to your scalp and massage it for 5–10 minutes so that the scalp and hair are well coated with coconut oil.
- Repeat this process twice a week to get soft and more manageable hair.
3. Fenugreek seeds – promotes hair regrowth
Fenugreek or methi seeds are a favorite in slowing down hair fall and stimulating hair regrowth.
This wonder ingredient is abundant in vitamins and minerals essential for the regrowth of the hair, including vitamins A, K, and C, folic acid, potassium, calcium, iron, and protein. (4) It also contains active ingredients that interact with DHT to stop hair loss such as saponins. (5)
How to use:
- Create a paste of fenugreek powder and water and apply it to the scalp and hair.
- Leave the hair mask for 20 minutes before washing it off with shampoo and conditioner.
- Repeat the process twice a week to stimulate hair regrowth.
4. Rice water – gives shine to hair
Rice water is beneficial for the hair because it contains oryzanol and linoleic acid, which help in hair growth and make the hair shiny and soft.
When you wash your hair with rice water, your hair gets coated with a protein that protects it from damage and helps it grow fast. (6)
How to use:
- Add 1 cup of fermented rice water, 1 cup of tap water, and five drops of lavender or rosemary essential oil to a bowl.
- After shampooing and conditioning, pour this mixture over your head, massage your scalp and hair, and leave it on for 5 minutes before washing it off.
- Do this twice a week for effective results.
5. Aloe vera – reduces hair loss
Aloe vera is replete with vitamins A, B12, C, and E, fatty acids, and amino acids, all of which play a vital role in keeping the hair follicles healthy. (7)
Moreover, aloe vera is used as an effective home remedy for hair loss and to improve hair growth. Regularly applying aloe vera to the hair and scalp also helps reduce itching and flaking. (4)
How to use:
- Blend 3–4 onions to a puree, and extract the juice using a piece of cheesecloth.
- Add 2 tablespoons of aloe vera gel to the clear onion juice and mix them well.
- Massage this mixture well into your scalp and hair for 5–6 minutes.
- Leave it on for an hour, and then rinse your hair with a natural shampoo and conditioner.
6. Indian gooseberry (amla) – stimulates hair growth
Amla is a well-known and very versatile fruit that acts as a diuretic, antipyretic, and anti-inflammatory agent, and it is also used as a hair tonic to revive tresses. The oil obtained from amla is used to strengthen and promote hair growth.
The dried amla fruit helps to improve hair hygiene and is a part of many herbal shampoos and hair oils. Using amla as a hair tonic will help to improve hair growth. (8)
How to use:
- Boil some dried pieces of amla in coconut oil or almond oil till the liquid turns brown.
- Apply this tonic to your hair if you want to experience hair growth.
7. Green tea – reduces hair loss
Green tea is suitable for your body, skin, and hair. This wonder tea is packed with antioxidants such as polyphenols and flavonoids. One of these compounds is epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), which slows down 5-alpha-reductase activity, thus enhancing hair growth. (9)
Furthermore, green tea has anti-inflammatory effects. It reduces oxidative stress on the scalp, which is the cause of premature graying and hair loss.
How to use:
- Brew 1 cup of strong green tea by adding two tea bags to 2 cups of boiling water and letting it steep in the cup till it cools down.
- Transfer the lukewarm green tea to a spray bottle, spritz it all over your damp hair, and massage it on your scalp and hair for a few minutes.
- Wear a shower cap and leave it on for 30 minutes before rinsing your hair and scalp with tap water.
Vegan Diet for Hair Growth
Along with using vegan hair growth remedies, here are some food items you can eat to eliminate the deficiency of nutrients and stimulate hair growth.
One of the main reasons for hair loss is a deficiency of iron in the body. Spinach is an excellent source of iron, protein, and vitamins A and C. Spinach is also rich in natural oils and omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium, potassium, and calcium.
Consume spinach as a vegetable with meals for a healthy scalp and lustrous hair. (4)
Carrots are known to be beneficial for the skin and eyes, but the vitamin A in them benefits the hair as well.
A deficiency of vitamin A can cause a dry and itchy scalp, so you should include carrots in your diet to maintain the thickness of hair and improve blood circulation to the scalp to achieve strong hair.
Include carrots in your meals to stimulate hair growth, protect the hair from pollution, and prevent hair fall. (4)
Legumes, especially soybeans and peanuts, are rich sources of biotin (vitamin B6), which helps in protein synthesis and keratin production, which are essential for healthy nails and hair growth.
Biotin is also produced by the normal gut flora, and it is estimated that among the Western populations, the daily adequate intake of biotin is between 35 and 70 μg/day. (10)
Does a Vegan Diet Help in Hair Growth?
Nutrients that are essential for hair growth and curbing hair fall are iron, zinc, and vitamins. The B vitamin biotin is also linked to healthy hair. (1)
Consuming a plant-based diet helps in the intake of whole foods, which are good for gut health and the entire body. A small study showed that consuming a vegan or plant-based diet can help to reduce the risk of androgenetic alopecia, which is one of the causes of hair fall. (11)
Following a plant-based diet can contribute to the health of the hair follicles. It also helps to counter the negative effects of stress, which hampers psychological health, causes chronic diseases, leads to systemic inflammation, and triggers hair loss.
A plant-based diet helps to lessen all these factors and stimulates hair that is in the resting phase due to stress. (12) Nutritionists are of the opinion that you should add more plant-based foods, especially whole foods, to your diet to reduce inflammation and to obtain hair-friendly vitamins and minerals such as magnesium, antioxidants, and vitamins B, C, and E.
Will a Vegan Diet Be Adequate for Hair Growth?
Vegans and vegetarians are at risk of iron deficiency, as their need for iron is 1.8 times higher than that of meat consumers. The non-heme iron found in plants has a lower bioavailability than the heme iron present in meat and fish.
Many research studies have been conducted on the link between a deficiency of storage iron and hair loss, but the results are conflicting, and more studies need to be done in this field.
Dietary risk factors for vegetarians, such as the low amount of zinc in vegetables compared to meat, can also be a reason for hair loss among them. But studies conducted on five patients with hair fall due to zinc deficiency have shown that it is reversible with oral supplementation.
More studies are needed in this area, and patient treatment has to be approached case by case. (1)
Are There Any Side Effects Caused by Taking Multivitamin Hair Supplements?
If you’re taking a multivitamin where the zinc and Iron levels are the same, your iron uptake is significantly decreased. It has been observed that taking vitamin E supplementation (for example, 600 IU per day for one month) can adversely affect hair growth. (1)
Does a vegan diet help to stimulate faster hair growth?
Yes. A vegan diet is rich in various vitamins and minerals needed for hair growth can help to stimulate hair growth and also prevent hair loss. (1)
What is the best homemade hair mask for hair growth?
An onion juice hair mask is abundant in sulfur, which can stimulate hair growth. (2) Give it a try if you are not allergic to onions.
Can I use curry leaves for hair growth?
Curry leaves are found in every kitchen and are abundant in antioxidants that moisturize the scalp and get rid of dead hair follicles. Curry leaves have a high content of beta-carotene and protein, which are instrumental in preventing hair loss and thinning. (7)
Turning to vegan home remedies for your hair and consuming a vegan or plant-based diet can be beneficial for you as it is packed with several vitamins and minerals.
Along with a balanced diet, you need to have a healthy lifestyle that includes exercise and an adequate amount of sleep to get healthy and strong hair.
- Guo EL, Katta R. Diet and hair loss: Effects of nutrient deficiency and supplement use. Dermatology practical & conceptual. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5315033/. Published January 31, 2017.
- Onion juice: An effective home remedy for combating alopecia. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/273758703/.
- (PDF) medicinal benefit of coconut oil – researchgate. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/268805677/.
- Review on hair problem and its solution – researchgate.net. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/342174156/.
- Fenugreek+micronutrients: Efficacy of a food supplement against hair loss. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/251923543/.
- Kesare KP, Tawri UR, Barai MR, Parmal GR, Kaustubh Shyam Joshi MMB. Use of rice water (Oryza sativa) & hibiscus (hibiscus rosa- sinensis). JETIR. https://www.jetir.org/view?paper=JETIR2106426.
- A review on hair conditioner containing curry leaves, amla … – IJCRT. https://ijcrt.org/papers/IJCRT2201298.pdf.
- Yu JY, Gupta B, Park HG, et al. Preclinical and clinical studies demonstrate that the proprietary herbal extract DA-5512 effectively stimulates hair growth and promotes hair health. Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine: eCAM. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5429933/. Published 2017.
- Journal-of-dermatology-research-and-therapy-ijdrt-6-077.pdf – ISSN: 2469-5750 alyoussef. J Dermatol Res ther 2020, 6:077 doi:: Course hero. journal-of-dermatology-research-and-therapy-ijdrt-6-077.pdf – ISSN: 2469-5750 Alyoussef. J Dermatol Res Ther 2020, 6:077 DOI: | Course Hero. https://www.coursehero.com/file/141696162/journal-of-dermatology-research-and-therapy-ijdrt-6-077pdf/.
- Patel DP, Swink SM, Castelo-Soccio L. A review of the use of biotin for hair loss. Skin appendage disorders. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5582478/. Published August 2017.
- Bassino E, Gasparri F, Munaron L. Protective role of nutritional plants containing flavonoids in hair follicle disruption: A Review. International journal of molecular sciences. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7013965/. Published January 14, 2020.
- Medawar E, Huhn S, Villringer A, Veronica Witte A. The effects of plant-based diets on the body and the brain: A systematic review. Translational psychiatry. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6742661/. Published September 12, 2019.