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The cozy, spicy-sweet cinnamon scent revokes happy, warm memories for many. However, other people on the spectrum can't stand the smell or taste of cinnamon. If you belong to team cinnamon, then you'll love making and using DIY cinnamon hair care mixtures and enjoy all of its beauty benefits.
Cinnamon has been around for centuries for its medicinal properties and is, undoubtedly, a popular ingredient in natural hair care products, stimulating hair growth and improving its health and appearance.
In this article, we'll explore the science behind how cinnamon can promote hair growth and how to use it to achieve healthy, strong, and beautiful hair.
The Science Behind Cinnamon for Hair Growth
Studies show that cinnamon, in fact, influences many factors that are in direct correlation with the hair growth cycle, making it an effective natural remedy for your hair woes. One way it acts is by reducing the major androgens, like dihydrotestosterone and testosterone, the two hormones responsible for alopecia or excessive hair loss.
Plus, cinnamon exhibits anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antimicrobial properties, improving overall hair health. So, let's take a closer look at all the benefits of cinnamon for hair:
Cinnamon Is High in Antioxidants
This mighty spice is filled with antioxidants, protecting the hair from free radical damage and supporting healthy hair growth [source]. Namely, free radicals are unstable molecules that interfere with cells in our body, causing damage to the hair by breaking down the protein in the hair and leading to dry, brittle and weak strands.
In essence, the antioxidant flavonoid compounds in cinnamon can neutralize these free radicals and, therefore, prevent damage. Some of the specific antioxidants found in cinnamon include:
- Cinnamaldehyde: This flavonoid gives cinnamon its distinct flavor and smell and is a potent, naturally occurring antioxidant.
- Eugenol: A colorless or pale yellow oily extract that can be obtained from cinnamon as well as other herbs like nutmeg, clove, and basil.
- Linalool: A naturally occurring aromatic alcohol with anti-inflammatory properties.
- Vitamins and minerals: Cinnamon is rich in vitamins A, B, and K, as well as minerals such as iron, magnesium, calcium, and zinc.
Cinnamon Has Antimicrobial Properties
Thanks to its antimicrobial properties, this super-spice can eliminate bacteria and fungi that can cause hair loss [source], as well as reduce dandruff and itching.
Cinnamon owes its antimicrobial properties to two compounds, cinnamaldehyde and cinnamic acid. These are quite effective at eliminating a wide range of microorganisms that can cause scalp infections, like folliculitis (or inflammation of the hair follicles), and, ultimately, hair loss. They are also great at fighting dandruff-causing fungus called Malassezia.
However, it's important to note that while cinnamon can have antimicrobial properties, it's best to consult with a doctor or a trichologist if you have a scalp infection; they will be able to recommend the best treatment options.
Cinnamon Increases Blood Flow to the Scalp
When applied topically, cinnamon dilates the blood vessels in the scalp, which leads to better blood flow. In turn, increased blood flow to the scalp supports the delivery of more oxygen and nutrients and clears out any buildup or debris in the hair follicles, promoting healthy hair growth.
In addition, you may notice the sensation of warmth and tingling on your scalp when you apply cinnamon. This is due to a compound called cinnamaldehyde, stimulating the scalp and, again, increasing blood flow.
How to Use Cinnamon for Hair Growth
One of the most popular and practical ways to use cinnamon for hair growth is by adding it to a hair mask. Making the cinnamon hair mask is pretty quick and easy, and you'll only need a few ingredients you probably already own.
Cinnamon Hair Mask Recipe
To make this hair mask, you just need to mix a few ingredients, one of which being cinnamon powder. The combination of other ingredients is limitless, so for the oil base, you can use coconut oil, peppermint oil, amla oil, pumpkin seed oil, castor oil, or any other oil you choose.
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon powder
- 2 tablespoons pumpkin seed oil
- 1 tablespoon honey
Preparation and application:
- In a small bowl, mix the cinnamon powder and the oil of your choice until well combined.
- If desired, you can add one tablespoon of honey to the mixture, as honey is known for its moisturizing and healing properties.
- Apply the mixture to your scalp and hair, focusing on the roots.
- Massage it into your scalp for several minutes to additionally stimulate blood flow.
- Leave the mask on for 30 minutes.
- Rinse off with a mild shampoo and lukewarm water.
It's best to use this hair mask once a week for the best results. You can store it in the fridge for up to a month.
Another great way to include cinnamon into your hair care routine is by using cinnamon water. Making cinnamon water isn't that complicated, although, compared to the cinnamon hair mask, you'll need a few minutes more to prepare it. So, here's a handy step-by-step guide on how to make (and use) cinnamon water to promote hair growth:
Cinnamon Water for Hair Growth Recipe
In our recipe for cinnamon hair rinse, we combine the two powerhouses when it comes to natural hair growth remedies – cinnamon and rosemary. However, you can play with the recipe by adding other ingredients, such as rice water, nettle tea, and others.
- 1 cinnamon stick
- ½ cup rosemary water
- 1 cup water
Preparation and application:
- Bring 1 cup of water to boil in a small pot.
- Add the cinnamon stick to the boiling water and let it simmer for 5-10 minutes.
- Remove the pot from heat and let the cinnamon water cool to room temperature.
- Once cooled, strain the cinnamon water and discard the cinnamon stick.
- Add other ingredients if using, like rosemary water or nettle tea.
- After shampooing and conditioning your hair, use the cinnamon water as a final rinse. To make it easier to apply, you can pour it into a spray bottle and spritz your hair with it from the roots to the ends.
Using this rinse once or twice a week would be optimal to reap all of its hair care benefits. Also, make a fresh batch before each use because it could go bad if stored for a more extended period of time.
Other Ways to Use Cinnamon for Hair
So besides cinnamon hair mask and cinnamon hair rinse, there are other ways you can use cinnamon for hair growth that are just as quick and effective. So, if you feel especially creative, here are some ideas to try:
- Scalp massage: First, make a cinnamon paste by mixing cinnamon powder and honey (you can also add other natural ingredients, such as coconut oil or avocado oil). Then, massage the mixture into your scalp and leave it on for 30 minutes before washing your hair. This will give the blood flow to the scalp an incredible boost.
- Hot oil treatment: Mix cinnamon powder or cinnamon oil with other oils, such as castor oil, to make a hot oil treatment for your hair. Heat the mixture just slightly and apply it to your hair and scalp, covering it with a shower cap or plastic wrap. Again, leave it on for half an hour to an hour before washing your hair thoroughly.
- Add it to your hair care products: This is perhaps the most time-effective way to include cinnamon into your routine. Simply add cinnamon water to your shampoo or conditioner (but make sure not to add too much to avoid diluting the product) and use it as you usually would.
Adverse Reactions of Using Cinnamon on Hair
It's important to note that cinnamon can be very strong and may cause adverse skin reactions in some individuals. Here are some potential side effects of applying cinnamon to your scalp and hair:
- Scalp irritation: As we mentioned above, cinnamon can cause a tingling or warming sensation on the scalp. This is a normal reaction that is pleasant for some people, but for others, it can cause irritation and itching.
- Allergic reactions: Some people may have an allergic reaction to cinnamon, which can cause redness, itching, and even hives on the skin. It can also cause contact dermatitis, a type of skin rash that develops when the skin comes into contact with an allergen.
- Scalp dryness: When using cinnamon topically, it can cause dryness and flakiness of the scalp if left on for too long or if used too frequently.
Therefore, it's best to do a patch test before using it in larger amounts or if you have sensitive skin. Additionally, if you have any scalp conditions, such as eczema or psoriasis, it would be best to avoid using cinnamon on your scalp. Nevertheless, you still might experience some of these side effects, in which case, you should stop using and rinse cinnamon from your hair immediately.
As you can see, science says that cinnamon is indeed an incredible natural remedy for hair growth due to its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antimicrobial properties. Plus, it can increase blood flow to the scalp, combating hair loss.
And there's a plethora of ways to include cinnamon into your hair care routine – you can make a DIY cinnamon hair mask, hair rinse, or hot oil treatment; it's all up to your personal preference. In any case, we'd encourage you to try it but be aware of potential irritations and don't use it if you have sensitive skin or any inflammatory skin conditions.
How to use cinnamon to grow hair?
You can make a cinnamon hair mask by mixing cinnamon powder, honey, and castor oil and applying it to your roots for half an hour before washing your hair. Or you can make a cinnamon water hair rinse or hot oil treatment with cinnamon powder or cinnamon oil.
How do you use cinnamon on your scalp?
Mix cinnamon powder with some honey and your favorite oil and apply it to your scalp with your fingers or using a brush. Massage the scalp for a few minutes, and let the mask on for another 30 minutes, then wash your hair thoroughly.
Which spices are good for hair growth?
The best spices for hair growth are cinnamon and rosemary. They both inhibit the androgen hormones that are the main cause of hair loss in both men and women. Plus, they are easy to use; simply add them to boiling water, cool the water down, and use it as a hair spray or hair rinse.
What effect does cinnamon have on hair?
Cinnamon is filled with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, such as cinnamaldehyde and cinnamic acid, necessary for healthy hair growth. These compounds protect the hair from damage, heal the scalp, boost blood flow to the scalp, and promote hair growth.
Does cinnamon reduce hair fall?
Cinnamon can reduce hair fall thanks to its antibacterial and anti-fungal properties. This means that cinnamon eliminates bacteria and fungi that can cause scalp inflammation, the root cause of excessive hair fall.