Using Fresh Ginger for Hair Loss

Emma with ginger roots

How Can Ginger Help Your Hair?

I’ve tried lots of treatments for hair loss over 23 patch-filled years. Some of them worked; but plenty didn’t. And the more chemical-heavy ones only led to bad side effects, like headaches and dizziness. So I started looking for natural remedies – which led me to ginger for hair growth!

Fresh ginger is one of my favourite hair care ingredients. Because it’s got plenty of other health benefits, too! Plus, it smells great, it isn’t messy AND it’s super cheap. Whether you chop up the raw stuff or
take it as a supplement, ginger is good news for your body.

Coming up: 

  • How ginger can help hair growth and prevent shedding
  • Why it works – and how it helped me
  • How to use ginger for hair growth
  • A couple of ginger-enriched products
  • Other health benefits

Emma's 'not a doctor' disclaimer

Hi there, I’m an alopecian, I’m not a doctor! Any advice I give is based on my own research and personal experiences. This site is however reader-supported. When you buy through external links, I may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more here.

My #1 Ginger Supplement

VitaLife Turmeric & Ginger Supplements

The Roots of Ginger

Ginger, or to call it by its epically cool plant name Zingiber officinale, hails from China. Alongside tasty spices like turmeric, cardamom and galangal, ginger is part of the Zingiberaceae family – and one more natural remedy that’s been used for centuries.

The ginger “root”, which we all know and many of us love, is the underpart of the stem (called the “rhizome”). This root can be enjoyed fresh, dried, powdered, as an oil, or even as a juice for a long list of ailments.

Suffer from digestive issues? Feeling nauseous? Got a cold or flu? Ginger is one of the best ways to overcome them. These medicinal properties come from its natural oils – the most important of which is called “gingerol”. More on its many health benefits soon but let’s start with one we ALL wanna know… can ginger help your hair grow back?

How Ginger Helps Hair Growth

Although different elements can cause alopecia – genetics, hormone imbalance, diet and stress – there’s usually one common trigger: inflammation. An autoimmune condition, after all, involves the body being in a state of chronic inflammation – which is why its cells attack each other by mistake.

In the case of chronic hair loss, the gingerol compound of ginger reduces this inflammation, bigtime. Like many natural remedies, it also has antioxidant and circulation-boosting properties that benefit your noggin in many ways.

1. Clears Scalp Irritation & Itchiness

Those antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties soothe scalp conditions like seborrheic dermatitis or dandruff. And since a healthy scalp is the foundation for healthy hair, the more you can do to clear it up, the better. 

So if you’ve noticed any scalp irritation or itchiness, reach for ginger before hitting the Head & Shoulders! Whether you give your scalp a massage with the fresh root, switch up your shampoo, or add a few drops of pure ginger oil to your favorite styling product, it’s one of the best ways to calm an inflamed or aggravated scalp. (Hint: Fresh aloe vera is another!) 

Finally, ginger has powerful circulatory agents to boost blood flow (and therefore, essential nutrients) to the scalp. You may notice that your scalp gets a little red when you rub ginger on it – that’s ok, it shows it’s working!

A piece of fresh ginger

2. Strengthens Hair to Prevent Thinning/Shedding

A study published in January 2020 revealed the composition of a sample of ginger. It contained a pretty high number of essential fatty acids. Here they are, in order of abundance, and how they help hair loss:

  • Linoleic acid: Stimulates hair growth and maintains a healthy scalp
  • Palmitic acid: Removes dirt, sweat and excess sebum to avoid clogged follicles
  • Oleic acid: Controls water loss to retain moisture and soften hair
  • Lauric acid: A medium-chain fatty acid that protects the roots and prevents breakage.

     

Even though ginger has high quantities of all these things, when you apply something and rinse it off soon after, there’s only so much good you can get out of it. That’s why a daily ginger supplement could be the best way forward.

3. Boosts Immune System

I know this one isn’t specifically concerned with hair loss but as someone who’s compromised her own immune system with too many corticosteroid injections and antibiotics over the years – which has impacted my alopecia in a big way – I love things that promote better immunity! 

If you’ve ever used hot lemon and ginger to ward off a cold, you’ll know how effective it is. But even more than that, ginger can help with far more serious conditions, as reported in this NCBI article
: “its functional ingredients like gingerols, shogaol, and paradols are the valuable ingredients which can prevent various cancers.”

So how does ginger help the immune system…and, as a result, hair growth? Well, it combats the damage caused by free radicals (known as “oxidative stress”) in the body, known as a major factor in hair loss. As a natural antioxidant, ginger balances this stress to reduce the risk of chronic disease – including alopecia.

Does Ginger Really Work For Hair Loss?

As we’ve just seen, ginger’s benefits don’t just revolve around the belief: “a healthy immune system = healthy skin, hair and nails”. That’s a factor too but the REALLY exciting thing about taking a daily dose of ginger is it primes your immune system to prevent conditions like chronic hair loss in the first place

Tip: When
combined with turmeric and taken regularly, you can double up on anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting functions, reducing stress in the body on a long-term basis.

I’ll be honest – I started using ginger on my bald patches without researching it whatsoever. I was at an ayurvedic hospital in Sri Lanka, and the doctor advised me to rub fresh ginger on my bald spots, every night, for a minimum of 2 weeks. (Actually, she also recommended red onion – so I tried both!)

Here’s what happened:

  • Right after I applied fresh ginger, I felt a tingling sensation in my scalp. Not exactly burning – it felt like it was…alive, in patches where no hair had grown and I’d basically felt nothing for years.
  • 10 minutes later, once the juice had dried in, I noticed redness in the patches. I was a bit worried at first – but again, the slightly angry colour felt like a good thing, as if my scalp was FINALLY waking up!
  • I continued doing this every few nights – and kept getting that tingling sensation and a redness over my patches.
  • After 2 weeks, I had very fine white vellus hairs – like a soft downy fuzz – on the outer edges of my bald spots.

LA Says: Still, I didn’t do it every night like the doctor advised. It was too much hassle while travelling, taking my oddly shaped ginger root into shared bathrooms! And because I saw quicker results with red onion juice, I used that when I got home again instead.

Why I Started Using Ginger Again

I continued using fresh ginger for its other health benefits – usually when I felt a cold coming on. But it was only when I went to see a Functional Medicine doctor in 2019, who diagnosed me with gut dysbiosis and chronic inflammation, I used it to “heal my gut”, too.

In addition to going on
an elimination diet I upped my intake of ginger and turmeric and now drink both in hot water and lime every morning (with a little black pepper to better absorb its nutritional compounds). 

I quite like the ritual. Still, it can be a pain chopping the roots every morning, not to mention the stained fingers – so
these ginger pills, which contain ginger, turmeric AND BioPerine (black pepper extract, for absorption) might be a more convenient choice for many.

fresh-ginger-root

How to Use Ginger to Stimulate Hair Growth

There are lots of ways to enjoy ginger: it comes in many forms. But I’ll include my personal favorites here

1. Rub the fresh root on your patches

The simplest approach, which is super cheap and really easy – if you’ve got easy access to a supply of ginger root, that is! It’s a method you can try every night.

What to do:

  • Peel a piece of fresh ginger (the length of your thumb) and cut it in half.
  • Rub the freshly cut part all over your patches, or your entire scalp
  • Massage the “juice” in for 5-10 minutes and enjoy the tingling sensation!

2. Try a DIY ginger juice hair mask

This one takes more effort (and is a bit messier) but it’s an AMAZING way to nourish your scalp and revitalize those follicles! Make your own ginger juice for hair growth in 5 minutes – try it once or twice a week.

What to do:

  • Peel a big chunk of ginger and pop the root into your blender
  • Add 2 tbs of your favorite carrier oil – this castor oil from Anita Grant is brilliant! 🙂
  • Add 1-2 drops of peppermint essential oil (optional) or even added ginger oil for extra potency
  • Blend together to form a smooth paste
  • Apply the paste onto your head and all over your hair (if you have any, if not just rub it into your scalp)
  • Pop on a shower cap and leave it in for 30 minutes before rinsing with cool water.

3. Include more ginger in your diet

I try to have fresh ginger (and turmeric) in hot water every morning. But there are also delicious ginger tea blends out there – just make sure you get one that’s sugar-free. 😉

Cook with spices like ginger, turmeric and cumin whenever you can. I like to change up the usual avocado smoothie bowl I make with this turmeric and ginger alternative!

What to do:

  • Pour 1 x cup of your favorite non-dairy milk into a blender
  • Add 1 x cup each of frozen mango and frozen banana 
  • Add 1 tbs each of diced turmeric and ginger (or powdered, or a combination of fresh and powdered – that’s what I do!)
  • Blend it together, adding water if you need. Serve in your favorite bowl topped with granola, dates and unsweetened coconut shavings…yum!

Wanna give your head a hug?

My Favorite Ginger Products

If you don’t have access to fresh ginger, or don’t like the taste of it, you can still benefit from this immune-boosting powerhouse. The first product I’ll recommend does it all in terms of supporting your gut, warding off infections and promoting hair growth – it focuses on the root cause – while the next two are topical hair products.

#1 Recommended: VitaPost Turmeric & Ginger Supplements

These have turmeric AND ginger in them so you get even more health benefits! Use these supplements for joint pain, digestive issues, to boost your mood – and, on a long-term basis, for immune support.

As with most supplements, it takes time for their effects to kick in – my FM doctor reviews my progress after 1-3 months of starting a new supplement. (Which is why it’s recommended to get a 3-month supply).

Still, it’s a good idea to record how you’re feeling after each week…and maybe how your hair improves, too!

VitaPost supplements are vegan and made in a US, FDA-registered facility, which follows GMP (Good Manufacturing Processes) guidelines. But what I REALLY like about
this double superfood offering is how one reviewer says ordinary turmeric pills gave him stomach cramps – but the ginger in this brand stopped that happening. Go, team!

The Lady Recommends...

VitaPost Turmeric & Ginger Supplements

Psst: Like a bargain? Then get 5% off your online order when you use the code FIVE$39532113 at checkout. Whoop!

Best Ginger Hair Care Products

Segminismart Anti-Hair Loss Shampoo

This nourishing ginger shampoo for men and women helps to reduce shedding, slow down the rate of thinning and volumize the hair you’ve got. It also locks in moisture to reduce damage or breakage and boosts circulation to the scalp in the way that only zingy ginger can achieve!

Customer reviews mention how their hair became fuller, softer and shinier, many report reduced hair loss and pretty much all of them compliment the smell – a winning combo of ginger and ginseng! 

So if supplements and essential oils aren’t your thing, a ginger shampoo for hair growth could be a nice alternative.

The Lady recommends...

Segminismart Anti-Hair Loss Shampoo

Aura Cacia Pure Ginger Essential Oil

This 100% pure essential oil is free from parabens, petroleum, and any other nasty additives – just the benefits of pure ginger. It means a higher price tag, perhaps, than other ginger oils for hair growth – but Aura Cacia are a well-respected brand so you can rest assured, this is the real deal!

You can use it on your face and body as well as your hair, even diffuse it for concentration and an energy boost.

LA Says: Make sure to dilute it in a carrier oil using this dilution guide:

Drops per 1 oz (2 Tbsp) carrier

  • Face: 6
  • Body:12
  • Home Care: 18
  • Diffusion: Follow device instructions

The Lady Recommends...

Aura Cacia Pure Ginger Essential Oil

Side Effects and Contraindications

In general, ginger is regarded as completely safe to use. It’s been used in medicine for centuries, after all!

Still, use your best judgement. If you’re using the supplements, read the label carefully to see your recommended dose or any allergens that might apply. If trying the oil, make sure to dilute it properly and stay clear of your eyes/nostrils. Plus if you’re pregnant, breastfeeding or taking medication for another condition, it’s a good idea to check with your doctor first. 

10 More Ginger Health Benefits

As Lady Alopecia is dedicated to…well, alopecia, I won’t go into too much detail about the other health benefits of ginger. But trust me, there are plenty. That’s why, even more so than turmeric, I always have a large amount of ginger in my kitchen – the root itself, ginger teabags, powdered ginger and, of course, ginger supplements

As a long-term alopecian, I don’t have the strongest immune system in the world. But having ginger every day keeps me strong and fighting fit, most of the time anyway! 🙂

10 quick benefits of using ginger:

  1. Relieves nausea (even as a result of chemo), vertigo and morning sickness – plus period pains, too. 
  2. Brings down inflammation (good news if you’ve got a chronic condition).
  3. Stimulates the digestive system – handy if you suffer from constipation or IBS.
  4. Boosts cognitive function for increased energy, improved memory and better concentration. Bye bye, brain fog!
  5. Its main bioactive compound (gingerol) has antioxidant properties that help heal your gut, clear up skin conditions and ward off illness. 
  6. Suppresses appetite, if you’re trying to shed a few pounds (but not your hair!) 
  7. Recent studies are showing ginger may have anti-diabetic properties to lower blood sugar levels.
  8. Reduces pain and stiffness in conditions like arthritis or osteoporosis .
  9. Contains magnesium (which helps us relax), so can be used to lower anxiety.
  10. Studies show it can reduce the risks of cardiovascular disease.

Common Questions

You can buy fresh ginger root, powder or dried ginger from your local grocery store. Or try it as a daily supplement.

No – it should only be used topically and make sure you dilute it with a good carrier oil!

You betcha! Just blend up some ginger root and get massaging it into your scalp!

Natural remedies may take a little longer – but they’re a lot better for you than chemical-heavy formulas! And actually, when I rubbed fresh ginger on my head I got white fuzz in my patches after 2 weeks.

Emma rooting for ginger

Final Thoughts:

A Superfood That Deserves Its Name!

Sometimes superfoods are all hype, no substance. But ginger really does live up to its glowing reputation. We’ve seen just how many benefits ginger has for your gut, your brain, your heart and your health in general. A lot of which you’ve probably heard already. 😉

But we’ve also seen how it can actually help hair growth too. And I can vouch for it: ginger really does help hair grow back! So whether you want to lather and rinse, massage in the oil or pop a daily pill, make sure to bring ginger into your daily life. 

Your health – and your hair – will thank you!

Lady Alopecia Signature

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Sources

I’m NOT a doctor, not even close. I’m just a normal bald girl. That said, I do as much research as possible. If you want to check up on any of the claims I make above, here are my sources.

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