How To Use Basil For Hair Growth
Ever felt like your hair’s stopped growing? Or that it isn’t growing as quickly as you’d like? Our hair grows about ½ an inch on average each month (around 6 inches a year) which might not sound like much, especially if you’re growing your hair out or you have some serious long hair goals.
If this is you, there’s an ingredient that you should check out: holy basil. Also known as basil extract or sanctum leaf extract, it’s a herb that’s used in Ayurvedic medicine to support hair and health. So how does basil help hair growth? It’s said to help stimulate the hair follicles and help to increase hair growth while reducing hair shedding (more on that later).
Let’s take a closer look at the benefits of basil for hair and how you should add it into your routine.
What Is Basil Leaf Extract?
Holy basil (also called basil leaf extract) is different to the sweet basil you might use in cooking. It’s a leafy plant that comes from Southeast Asia and has been used in Thai, Hindu and Indian medicine to treat a whole range of health issues including diabetes, skin conditions, eye disorders, heart disease and blood pressure. It has antioxidant, antibacterial, stress-relief and antifungal properties too.
Although it’s known as basil leaf extract, it isn’t just the leaves that are used. Different parts of the plant are used to treat different conditions, either topically on the skin and scalp or as a supplement. It contains vitamin A and C, calcium, zinc, iron and chlorophyll which all have health benefits for your whole body, including your skin and hair.
If you’re looking at picking up some basil leaf extract then look out for some of its other names on the ingredients list. It’s also known as rama tulsi, Ocimum sanctum L., tulasi and Ocimum tenuiflorum and you’ll find it used throughout traditional Ayurvedic medicine. Basil leaf extract is even known as the “incomparable one” or the “Queen of Herbs” in some cultures, which says everything you need to know about what it can do for your health as well as your hair.
What Are The Health Benefits Of Basil Extract?
The health benefits of basil extract is a big deal for the brain, body, skin and hair. It’s used in everything from bronchitis to malaria, eczema and stomach ulcers, as well as long term chronic conditions like diabetes and heart disease. It’s even said to be good for the immune system.
Basil extract is great for all types of stress too, especially when you pair it with other de-stressing practices like yoga or meditation. This is one of the health benefits that it’s often used for in Ayurvedic medicine. Another reason that this is super important for your hair is that stress can actually cause hair loss, so by keeping your stress levels low with basil, you’re already helping your hair out.
A balanced, healthy diet is also super important for hair growth and minimizing hair loss. One of the benefits of basil leaves for hair growth is that it supports healthy nutrition when taken as a supplement. Zinc,vitamin C, calcium, vitamin A and iron are all essential for healthy hair and basil extract contains them all!
When it comes to basil essential oil and hair growth, the benefits just keep on coming. Basil oil is thought to stimulate blood flow to your scalp (especially when used in a head massage), acts as an antibacterial to balance the scalp and works as an antifungal to protect it from environmental damage. This helps to support healthy hair growth and keep your hair healthy, especially if you have scalp conditions like psoriasis, seborrheic dermatitis or eczema.
How To Use Basil Extract On Your Hair
Ready to add basil extract into your routine to help with hair growth? It couldn’t be easier. All you need to do is to add our Scalp Detox into your routine 1-2 times per week for at least 20 minutes. It contains basil leaf, baobab, moringa extract and botanical oils to help nourish and detox your hair and scalp.
To use our award-winning Scalp Detox, all you need to do is thoroughly massage the oil into your scalp with your fingertips to stimulate additional blood flow and let the basil extract get to work to detox and nourish your hair. Then follow with a thorough cleanse, or leave overnight if you want a more intensive treatment. Tip: use with the Scalp Gua Sha for the ultimate scalp massage to stimulate hair growth.
You can even try mixing basil extract with other essential oils to get an extra hydrating, cleansing boost for your hair. Pumpkin seed oil has been found to boost hair count by as much as 40 percent and peppermint oil is known for its hair growth results as it can stimulate the scalp. Pairing these essential oils with basil extract could be your secret weapon for hair growth and healthy hair.
Are There Any Side Effects?
Basil extract is approved by the FDA for topical use and use as a dietary supplement, so it’s safe to use. You should always test any new ingredients for sensitivity, just to make sure that your skin doesn’t react - allergies to any type of ingredient can happen and can appear without warning, so if you have sensitive or reactive skin it’s better to be safe.
Not sure if basil extract is the right move for you? Speak to your health care professional and get some medical advice if you have a health condition or you’re taking medication that basil extract might affect. Even if you just want to sense check it with them before you start out.
Alternative Hair Growth Tips
Basil extract isn’t the only way to help your hair to thrive. There are some other simple tips you can try to help your hair to grow too, whether you use them alongside basil extract or try them out all by themselves.
Eat More Protein
Your body needs protein to give it the energy it needs to grow your hair. Hair cells are some of the fastest growing cells in the human body so can be pretty energy-intense. If you follow a low-protein diet, or you struggle to eat as much protein as you should then this might be affecting your hair growth.
Think you might need to add a little more protein into your diet? Eggs, almonds, chicken, turkey, cheese, yogurt, quinoa and tuna are all good sources of protein that can help keep your energy and hair growth levels up and running, even if you follow a plant-based or veggie diet.
To help your hair grow, you ideally want to eat a minimum of 100 grams of protein per day (and not all in one sitting - spread this out through the day). Around 30 grams per meal should do the trick as your body can only absorb around 6-10 grams of protein per hour, so eating way more protein than your body needs won’t necessarily help.
If you find it tough to get the right balance of vitamins, minerals and nutrients in your diet then supplements can be a good option to help you with your hair growth goals. Zinc, iron, vitamin B12 and biotin are all great for hair growth, and while they can all be found in the food you eat, getting the balance right isn’t always easy. If you follow a plant-based diet, it can be tough to get the amount of B12 you need, as it’s only found naturally in animal products, so this is especially important.
If you’re worried about whether you’re getting the right balance, then speak to your health team and get some tests carried out to get a clear idea of where you need a little extra. Remember, basil extract contains a balance of vitamins and nutrients to support overall health and hair growth too, so if you’re looking to add a new supplement into your routine then this could be it.
Gentle massage is key to stimulating blood flow to the hair and scalp, which can promote hair growth. Breathing exercises whilst you massage your scalp can help oxygen and blood circulate to support healthy hair. Go gently and go slowly with a firm pressure and a light oil to encourage your hair to thrive. Scalp massage can also help you to relax and unwind, which is essential for your physical and emotional wellbeing.
Keeping your hair and scalp clean and free from excess sebum and dead skin is important to help grow your hair too. Just like the rest of your skin, your scalp can struggle with blocked pores and build up, which is bad news if you want longer tresses. Gentle massage with a cleansing oil like Scalp Detox can help to maintain and rebalance your scalp as well as increase blood flow, making it the perfect pick me up for hair that feels as though it isn’t growing.
If you’re trying to grow your hair then basil extract could be exactly what your hair needs. Start out with our Scalp Detox and see what the Queen of Herbs does for your hair.