An ancient Tibetan legend tells of a ghost that terrified wayfarers. The ghost had green skin, as well as green hair. But it was not a ghost, but a hermit named Milarepa, a poet and a great Buddhist sage, who had isolated himself from the whole world and had decided to live in a cave dedicating his life to meditation. It happened that Milarepa, leaving for his hermitage, had brought various supplies with him but these were soon all gone. The only way to survive without breaking his hermitage was to feed on the only plant that grew luxuriantly and abundantly around his cave, a plant that had the power to irritate the skin if one was not careful when picking it. That plant was the stinging nettle. Milarepa ate stinging nettles for years and years and eventually the plant dyed his skin and hair green. Milarepa, therefore, far from being a ghost, actually thanks to that portentous plant that had kept him alive, was in very good health. It is clearly a legend but with a kernel of truth. In fact, stinging nettle is a plant with incredible properties, rustic and resistant, rich in vitamins, such as A, C, D, E and K, mineral salts, such as calcium, magnesium, selenium and zinc, and antioxidants, it stimulates the purification processes of the body and counteracts inflammation. But stinging nettle is also helpful when it comes to taking care of the health and beauty of our hair. Today we talk about this topic!
Stinging nettle, properties for hair health
Stinging nettle is a plant that counteracts inflammation that can affect the scalp, it is antibacterial, antifungal, cleansing and astringent and is able to regulate sebum production (Hajhashemi et al, Avicenna J Phytomed, 2013). Thanks to these properties, stinging nettle, used as an ingredient in lotions to be applied to the scalp, helps to counteract dandruff and oily hair (Hajhashemi et al, Avicenna J Phytomed, 2013). It is noteworthy that stinging nettle contains zinc, which has a soothing and calming action in case of skin irritations, itching and seborrheic dermatitis (Bhusal et al, Heliyon, 2022). Not only that, zinc also helps to counteract hair loss thanks to both its antiandrogenic action and being capable of modulating the activity of the 5alpha-reductase enzyme. This enzyme is responsible for the conversion of testosterone into dihydrotestosterone, the main culprit of baldness (Gupta et al, Dermatol Res Pract, 2014). Nettle also stimulates microcirculation and counteracts free radical damage, thus promoting hair growth (Mani Adhikari et al, Food Sci Nutr, 2016).
Anti-fall hair lotion
So let's see how to prepare at home a stimulating hair and scalp lotion, able also to counteract hair loss. Bring a liter of water to a boil together with 2 tablespoons of stinging nettle leaves, you can find them in herbalist's and chemist's shops. Bring to the boil and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, cover and leave to infuse for half a day. Filter and add 500ml of apple cider vinegar. Apple cider vinegar is antifungal, fights dandruff, makes hair softer and brighter and helps remove all traces of limescale or products used on the hair, such as styling gels or foams (Rizg et al, Pharmaceutics, 2021). Rub the scalp with this lotion after shampooing, then proceed with drying without rinsing. The lotion can be kept in the refrigerator for about a week.