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Ginger Extract and Hair: What are the Benefits?

Renowned for its revitalizing and aphrodisiac properties, ginger also has numerous benefits for hair. Indeed, its richness in active ingredients makes it a choice ingredient in the production of certain hair care products. Let's explore together all the virtues of ginger extract for hair.

Summary
Published January 26, 2024, updated on March 18, 2024, by Pauline, Head of Scientific Communication — 4 min read

What is ginger?

Ginger, or Zingiber officinale, is a perennial herbaceous plant native to India and China. Its roots, commonly referred to as rhizomes, are traditionally used as a condiment or spice. In herbal medicine, they are also used to alleviate nausea and digestive disorders.

The ginger also has its place in cosmetics. Indeed, its rhizomes are renowned for their antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties. Valued both in topical application and hair care, we invite you here to discover all the benefits of this ingredient for the hair.

Ginger has a sanitizing effect.

The ginger, more specifically ginger essential oil, is first and foremost an ingredient that stands out for its antibacterial power. Indeed, its oil is rich in limonene and α-pinene, terpenes that have bacteriostatic effects useful for keeping the bacterial populations of the scalp under control. Therefore, it may be beneficial to regularly apply ginger oil to the scalp through massage to take advantage of its sanitizing effect.

Note : Ginger essential oil should never be applied undiluted to the scalp. It is strongly recommended to dilute it to 1 or 2% in a carrier oil.

Ginger soothes scalp itchiness.

Ginger can also be used to combat the tingling or tightness sometimes felt on the scalp. Indeed, this plant is an effective natural anti-inflammatory for easing mild irritations. This property comes from its biochemical composition, particularly from the geranial it contains. Studies have shown that this isomer of citral reduces the activity of NLRP3, an inflammasome complex that triggers a pathway of inflammatory signaling and the synthesis of pro-inflammatory cytokines (interleukin-1β and interleukin-4).

Ginger can also be utilized through a warm water compress or as a massage oil on an irritated scalp. After a few minutes, redness and itching subside, as well as sensitivity to pain.

Ginger protects the ends and prevents split ends.

The gingerol and shogaol found in the ginger are two active ingredients with antioxidant properties, allowing them to combat oxidative stress. Studies have indeed shown that these molecules stimulate the activity of superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione peroxidase (GPx), antioxidant enzymes.

In doing so, ginger protects the hair from free radicals, which are generated following exposure to UV radiation or pollution. It's important to remember that these reactive species can weaken the hair follicle and promote hair loss and the appearance of split ends.

Ginger to accelerate hair growth?

We often hear that ginger is an interesting ingredient for stimulating hair growth. However, this is a misconception. Furthermore, scientific studies conducted in vivo and in vitro on this subject show, on the contrary, that ginger has a suppressive effect on hair growth. Gingerol, one of the active principles of ginger, has pro-apoptotic effects on human dermal papilla cells and tends to reduce the rate of hair regrowth, the number of hair follicles, and their length via various mechanisms.

Advice : If you desire longer and stronger hair, ingredients other than ginger can assist you. We recommend, for instance, caffeine, nettle extract, or even red ginseng.

Sources

  • KORLAKUNTA J. N. & al. Comparative antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects of [6]-gingerol, [8]-gingerol, [10]-gingerol and [6]-shogaol. Journal of ethnopharmarcology (2010).

  • KOR N. M. & al. Physiological and pharmaceutical effects of Ginger (Zingiber officinale Roscoe) as a valuable medicinal plant. European Journal of Experimental Biology (2014).

  • HONG W. & al. 6-Gingerol inhibits hair cycle via induction of MMP2 and MMP9 expression. Anais da Academia Brasileira de Ciencias (2017).

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