The stinging nettle (urtica dioica) is a plant that grows wildly across Europe and North America.

It has been used for centuries for medicinal purposes and to help with general health, including skin conditions and hair growth. Following the booming interest in natural cosmetics in recent years, nettle has emerged as one of the most sought-after ingredients for hair.

Why is Nettle Hair Tonic So Popular?

Nettle is rich in silica, a mineral that helps strengthen your hair follicles. The many other nutrients in nettle such as beta carotene, vitamins A, C and K, iron and linolenic acid also contribute to scalp health. This in turn helps make your hair shiny and look healthy.

The stinging nettle can help a dry scalp and prevent dandruff while also improving the overall health of your scalp. By promoting scalp health, there are two further benefits of nettle for hair. Firstly, it can prevent premature hair loss. Secondly it provides some protection against sun damage that might otherwise cause your hair to be brittle and break.

It’s easy to incorporate nettle in various DIY recipes as nettles can literally be found everywhere.

Harvesting Nettles to Prepare a Hair Tonic

Nettles are so resilient, you’re bound to find them somewhere in your back garden or even the scrappiest bit of ground. It’s this natural resilience – from the incredible richness in vitamins and minerals - that gives nettles their therapeutic properties and medicinal value.

Armed of course with a potent self-defence mechanism, stinging nettles need to be harvested carefully! The sting is in the leaves, so if you pick the stems, you should go unscathed. Harvest the top 2 to 3 layers of leaves which are the youngest and freshest.

If you can’t get fresh nettle, or you’d like a year-round supply, we offer dry nettle leaves that also work very well in hair care.

How to Make Your Own Nettle Hair Tonics at Home

Put your nettle leaves in a jug and add freshly boiled water. Steep for at least 5-10 minutes. Then allow to cool to a temperature you’d feel comfortable pouring on your head.  You can just use the pure nettle tea as a hair tonic, or you can add more hair-loving ingredients. Here is a nettle hair tonic recipe that draws on the virtues of apple cider vinegar:

  • 5 parts nettle tea
  • 1 part apple cider vinegar
  • A few drops of lavender essential oil or lemon essential oil

You can use any leftover tea for drinking. Nettle tea tastes similar to green tea and offers similar benefits to mind and body.

How to Store Your Nettle Hair Tonic Properly

Keep your nettle hair tonic in the fridge and it should be OK for 5-7 days. Any longer and airborne bacteria and moulds might turn your tonic into a microbe soup.

How Else to Use Nettle for Hair

Your hair can benefit from nettle in a shampoo or conditioner too. If you’d like a ready-made zero waste nettle shampoo, try this one.

Have you got a favourite way of incorporating nettle in your hair care? Let us know at hello@acalaonline.com and join our community of DIY beauty enthusiasts!

 

 

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