The Hair Benefits Of Turmeric Go Beyond Mitigating Dandruff

If you have ever dabbled in the world of beauty care, you are no stranger to the phrase "nature is the best beauty artist of all." If you are not convinced, simply walk into any random cosmetic shop, read the active ingredients of random products, and you'll see why. There are so many fruits, vegetables, flowers, spices, and leaves that you can turn into masks, shampoos, oils, balms, and creams that it can be very overwhelming very quickly. Although, there's one spice that just might outshine them all. Let's put it this way: If you're stuck on a desert island (and you're not allowed to bring any beauty products), then you better hope the island has a good supply of — you guessed it — turmeric!

Besides adding flavor and color to different kinds of food, it has many properties that not only keep illnesses at bay, but also make it an amazing natural ingredient for maintaining healthy hair. This is thanks to a key compound in the spice called "curcumin." Once you find out everything turmeric can do, it'll be hard to believe the solution to a lot of your hair problems is sitting on your kitchen shelf.

Why is turmeric healthy for hair?

Turmeric has a long history of being used as medicine, going as far back as 4,000 years ago. They knew what we know about turmeric today; tumeric is good for you! It's loaded with anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. This is what makes the spice a potent tool in the fight against dandruff. It's a natural exfoliator that helps to eliminate flakiness and itchiness commonly associated with dandruff.

Chances are, using turmeric for dandruff is a popular enough natural remedy, that you were probably familiar with it already. What you'll be surprised to learn, however, is that turmeric can be a game-changer for those struggling with thinning hair. Curcumin, the natural compound found in turmeric, is a godsend for those experiencing hair loss, according to Scandinavian Biolabs. It works by counteracting the overproduction of DHT, which is known to cause hair loss and prevent new hair growth from the follicles. They also mention that turmeric contains certain elements that can alleviate an inflamed scalp, which is another common cause of hair loss. If you are afraid of going bald, turmeric just might be what you need.

According to Mount Sinai, turmeric is excellent for stimulating blood circulation by preventing platelets from sticking together — this is great news for your scalp, too. Preventing hair loss is enough reason to incorporate it into your haircare routine, but turmeric is much more impressive than that.

Using turmeric for (almost) all things hair

If there's one thing that unifies all ages, genders, and races it's the universally shared nightmare of having incy-wincy creepy-crawlies having a party on our scalps — "Not on my watch," turmeric says. Not only does the spice root improve overall scalp health, but it also inhibits the growth of harmful microorganisms that can wreak havoc on it. A soothing and calming sensation on the scalp is just a bonus (via Scandinavian Biolabs).

Certain properties of turmeric can even protect hair follicles from environmental stressors, leading to healthy hair growth. In fact, regular use of turmeric can help you achieve long, lustrous locks that you'll absolutely love.

All right, turmeric can do a lot. But can it dye hair? Yes. Yes, it can. Its yellow tint makes it an excellent choice for those looking to enhance their hair color without harsh chemicals. To add some of this color to your life, Hairstyle Camp recommends combining one tablespoon of turmeric with one cup of water in a pot and bringing it to a boil before letting it cool and applying it to your hair. Hair dyeing with turmeric has the added benefit of being temporary, so you can try yellow for a few weeks and then go dye your hair another color using walnut shells – makes you wonder why we've been throwing money at hair coloring when it seems like we can dye hair with literally anything, doesn't it? 

Use turmeric for great skin while you're at it

By now, it's obvious that turmeric is a versatile spice and it's great for hair. Be Beautiful says it's just as great for your skin, especially when combined with other natural ingredients:

Since turmeric is loaded with anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties, it works wonders for your skin. When mixed with apple cider vinegar, turmeric makes an effective spot treatment for acne, while a combination of turmeric powder, curd, and lemon juice can reduce dark circles and puffiness under the eyes.

In addition to its beauty benefits, turmeric can also help to alleviate dry skin and treat conditions such as psoriasis, rosacea, and eczema. To combat dryness, mix turmeric with milk to deeply hydrate and exfoliate the skin. And for a DIY stretch mark-healing paste, mix turmeric with olive oil and lemon juice.

The spice also has powerful anti-aging benefits. Certain properties of the curcumin compound protect the skin from UV damage, prevent free radical production, and help to control the signs of premature aging. To create an anti-aging face mask, mix turmeric powder with milk and honey, and apply it to the skin for 15 minutes before rinsing.

By now, it's obvious that "benefits of turmeric go beyond mitigating dandruff" is quite an understatement.

How do you get the hair benefits of turmeric?

There's no one way turmeric brings benefits to hair, but Byrdie notes some common ones that can be used — starting with a turmeric hair mask, which can help eliminate dandruff and promote a healthy scalp. Another option is to take turmeric supplements, which can help reduce inflammation, promote new hair growth and improve the overall health of your hair.

If you prefer a more convenient and simple approach, you can also try using turmeric shampoo. A shampoo with turmeric as the active ingredient can effectively cleanse your scalp from dirt and impurities, thanks to its antioxidant and antiseptic properties.

Regardless of the type, incorporating turmeric, the golden child of the spice world, into your haircare routine can do wonders for your hair's health and appearance. Sure, turmeric-based cosmetics are nice and convenient, but there's something super satisfying about mashing turmeric, mixing it with milk, and making your own turmeric masks, shampoos, sprays, and... drinks?

Our picks for DIY turmeric haircare products

Let's start with the odd one — turmeric drinks. It might be new to us but turmeric milk, or "haldi doodh" in Hindi, has been around in South Asian countries like India for a long time. This golden milk recipe by Femina is a quick and easy one! Grind a one-inch stick of turmeric or measure a teaspoon of turmeric powder. Crush a few peppercorns if you like, then add the turmeric and pepper to a glass of milk. Bring the milk to a boil, then let it simmer for a couple of minutes. Strain if desired, and enjoy your haldi doodh for those hair benefits and some skin benefits we talked about.

When it comes to hair masks, you can mix turmeric powder with raw milk and honey to create a conditioning solution. Apply the pack to your scalp and massage gently before washing it off with shampoo. Alternatively, try the egg turmeric hair mask, which combines the nourishing properties of eggs and honey with the hair-strengthening benefits of turmeric (via Crave).

If you're feeling creative, make a turmeric hair spray by mixing turmeric powder with water and Aloe Vera gel. Spray the solution onto your hair and leave it in for an hour before washing it out. Or, try using turmeric as a shampoo by mixing it with honey and milk to create a cleansing paste that helps remove dandruff and leave your scalp feeling fresh.

Precautions and pointers when using turmeric

Turmeric does come with some disclaimers, especially if you are eating or drinking it. Besides those, most of the drawbacks are practical ones. For one, its yellow-orange color can stain skin and fabric — be careful with turmeric if you are wearing your go-to outfit. If it does stain something, you can create a paste of water and baking soda to remove it so you shouldn't worry too much. Turmeric has a strong odor as well. If you haven't used it before, it might not be your cup of haldi doodh tea. So, before using it for your haircare (or anything you do with turmeric, really, from cooking to skincare), make sure you can tolerate the smell.

Turmeric is generally safe to consume. But according to Scandinavian Biolabs, it's best if pregnant people and people suffering from diabetes or gallbladder issues avoid ingesting turmeric. They also warn not to eat or drink turmeric if you are on blood-thinning medication since turmeric itself can thin your blood. So, if you are going the turmeric milk route to get hair benefits, proceed with caution.

Asking a healthcare professional for advice is always the right choice. To minimize the risk of side effects, use turmeric products as recommended by a reliable source and definitely seek medical advice if you experience severe or persistent side effects. Once you're sure it's safe for you, it's time to visit that kitchen shelf.