Nettle Tonic Against Hair Loss

Hair loss is a complicated health issue. There are many causes and many treatments, which can differ greatly from person to person. If the hair loss is caused by an unhealthy scalp, stinging nettles can improve the condition of the scalp and the hair roots. Nettles also help to prevent hair from becoming greasy again too fast after washing, and many industrial shampoos contain nettle extract for this reason.

Stinging nettles (Urtica dioica) are a wonderful home remedy ingredient for your hair. We have two tried-and-tested recipes for hair tonics for you: one alcohol-based, and one vinegar-based. Both recipes use young shoots and the roots of the common stinging nettle. The plant is rich in silicic acid, vitamins, minerals and flavonoids. These active ingredients can nourish the scalp and improve blood circulation, which helps hair roots to get better supplied with nutrients. Nettle roots also contain phytosterol, which helps against dry skin on the scalp.

How to harvest nettles

Stinging nettles are covered in thin, hollow hairs that contain chemicals like histamine, serotonine and acetylcholine. Upon contact the tips of the hairs break, and the chemicals are injected directly into the skin, causing pustules and itching.

To prevent being stung, use a pair of clean gardening gloves when handling stinging nettles. The shoots don’t need to be treated in a special way for use in the tonics, but should be free of pesticides and bugs or aphids.

Nettle Hair Tonic No. 1 (alcohol-based)

This recipe uses alcohol to solubilise the active ingredients of the plant parts.

  • 8-10 fresh growing tips of young plants
  • 75 g fresh nettle roots
  • 150 ml vodka
  • 75 ml rose water

Thoroughly wash the roots and remove any dirt. Cut the shoots and roots into small pieces and put them into a food processor. Add the voska and mix them thoroughly. Let the mixture steep for 24 hours to allow the alcohol to solubilise the active components of the plant. Then filter through a coffee filter or clean mousseline towel. Add the rose water and fill into a spray bottle.

The tonic will keep for 3-4 months without any trouble.

Nettle Hair Tonic No. 2 (vinegar-based)

If you want to avoid using alcohol in your tonic, try this recipe instead.

  • 10-15 fresh growing tips of young plants
  • 150 g fresh nettle roots
  • 500 ml water
  • 250 ml white wine vinegar

Thoroughly wash the roots and remove any dirt. Chop the roots and shoots and put them in a pot. Pour the water and vinegar over them and let steep overnight. Bring to the boil the next day, and let the hot mixture steep a further 30 minutes. Once cooled, filter through a coffee filter or mousseline towel and fill into a clean spray bottle.

Due to the vinegar, this tonic has a stronger smell than the alcohol-based version. It will keep in the fridge for about 4 weeks.

How to you use the tonic

Apply to the scalp directly after washing your hair, while the hair is still wet, and gently massage into the scalp with your fingers.

Both tonics work best for dark hair – light blonde hair might get darkened slightly by the nettle tonic.

How long does the tonic keep?

The alcohol-based tonic will keep for 3-4 months without any trouble. We’ve always used up our supply by this time, so we’re not sure how long it will keep after that.

The vinegar-based tonic will keep fresh for about 4 weeks in the fridge.


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