Ginger is the punchy plant-based spice that can add a zing to meals, or soothe upset stomachs when used in beverage or supplement form. But, can it also help with your hair growth efforts?
Ginger has been used historically for many purposes in eastern medicine, and we do know through modern evidence-based medicine that ginger has some pretty potent anti-inflammatory and GI tract benefits. It is even commonly recommended for pregnant women as a safe and effective way to reduce nausea and vomiting from morning sickness.
However, the evidence that you should slather ginger on your scalp to make your hair grow faster, stronger, and longer is not as robust.
Below, we will cover some of the claims made about ginger for hair, review any studies that have been done regarding ginger and hair growth, cover what ginger might help out with, and then wrap up with our final thoughts.
As you should probably know by now, not everything that you read on the internet is true. It seems that this also applies to websites claiming that the ginger in their hair product can make your strands sprout thicker, and grow longer and faster.
Other claims about ginger used topically on the scalp may include control of scalp problems, increased hair strength, and reduced split end and breakage.
While these promises do sound enticing, they just aren’t all backed up by evidence as of right now, so these are mostly anecdotal.
There have been a few studies about ginger and hair.
One study done in people with an inflammatory and oxidative-stress mediated hair loss disorder called alopecia areata found that the oxidant/antioxidant balance was improved by having participants take ginger supplements by mouth daily for 60 days. This suggests that the well-known anti-inflammatory effects of ginger may translate well for people who are dealing with oxidative-stress-related hair loss issues like alopecia areata.
Another study looked into the effects of topically applied ginger extract on hair growth and hair follicle cell proliferation both in vitro and in vivo models. The researchers used both punch biopsies from the scalps of men with male pattern hair loss, as well as mice with shaved patches, and applied the ginger extract to both to measure hair growth. The results showed that not only did the ginger extract not promote hair growth, but it suppressed hair growth, increased the programmed cell death of the dermal papilla cells, and lengthened the Telogen resting phase of the hair growth cycle. They wrap up by suggesting that topical ginger extract might actually be better suited to hair removal products.
It is important to note that the studies done on this topic have been relatively small, and there are not that many. So, there is still room for looking deeper into just what ginger can do (or can’t do) for hair. As you can see, so far the results are a mixed bag, and the type of hair loss may need to be taken into account.
Topical ginger scalp masks or hair products that contain ginger may be able to play off of ginger’s well-known anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant effects. So, if you are dealing with an inflammatory scalp condition like seborrheic dermatitis, folliculitis, or alopecia areata, it may be ok to give some topical ginger a whirl to help with scalp health.
But, so far, we do not have evidence that these anti-inflammatory effects may contribute to increased hair growth.
It is also worth noting that while alopecia areata is a hair loss that has to do with inflammation and oxidative stress, the most common cause of hair loss, androgenetic alopecia (male and female pattern hair loss), is driven by your genetics and a hormone called DHT. So, what may have benefits in one type of hair loss, may not benefit others.
Using ginger topically on your scalp may lend its anti-inflammatory effects to help with inflammation and oxidative-stress-based scalp and hair issues.
However, we do not have evidence that topical ginger can thicken hair or make it grow faster. In fact, one study showed decreased hair growth when topical ginger was applied.
That being said, ginger is safe to use or consume in normal amounts for most people, has good nutritional value, and may contribute to your overall health.
If you did want to try ginger out, you could likely safely add some to your meals, try out a supplement, or even use scalp products that include ginger. As always, be sure to check with your doctor before adding supplements to your regimen as they may not always work well with your current medications or conditions. For instance, ginger may have blood-thinning effects.
Here at Strut we encourage trying out a well-rounded approach to a hair loss regimen that includes a nutritious diet, regular exercise, a healthy lifestyle, as well as evidence-based hair loss medications when needed.
We offer a wide range of hair loss medications for men and women who are dealing with androgenetic alopecia (also known as male pattern and female pattern hair loss). We carry topical and oral medications utilizing ingredients like Finasteride, Dutasteride, Minoxidil, Tretinoin, and Spironolactone which can be customized to fit your individual needs and hair loss presentation.
If you are interested in seeing if any of our medications is a good fit for you, you can have a free online questionnaire and image-based consultation with our U.S. licensed doctors today.
If you are a good candidate for using a hair loss treatment, your medication will be shipped to your front door with our free shipping. If you have any questions or need adjustments, our team and doctor are available for free unlimited follow-ups to support your treatment.