All of us are well aware about the umpteen benefits of witch hazel for skin. From controlling excessive oiliness, reducing the chances of breakouts to calming inflammation, witch hazel has gained a trustworthy spot on a lot of beauty shelves. But did you know that this ingredient has just as many, if not more, benefits for your hair as well?

Yes, you read that right. Especially beneficial for those of you with an oily, inflamed and sensitive scalp, witch hazel is a calming agent that you need to add to your hair care routine. Aren’t sure how this skincare superhero would benefit your skin or how to use it in your hair care routine? Well, lucky for you, we’re here to help!

Scroll down for a complete guide on everything you need to know about witch hazel for hair. From the benefits, usage and even side effects and precautions, this article has it all. Let’s get started…


What exactly is witch hazel?

What exactly is witch hazel?

For those of you who are hearing about this ingredient for the first time, witch hazel is a flowering plant which is native to North America and Japan. It is a centuries-old natural remedy to heal small cuts and wounds and is a preliminary home remedy to deal with minor skin inflammation.


Benefits of witch hazel for hair

Benefits of witch hazel for hair

Witch hazel is an excellent ingredient that helps solve a number of hair care issues. Let’s take a look at what these benefits are in a little more detail –

1. Reduces oiliness

Reduces oiliness

Just like how a witch hazel toner is a boon for people with oily, acne-prone skin, the same applies to your scalp as well. Thanks to the astringent properties of witch hazel, it helps in soaking away any excess oils from your scalp. Additionally, it also helps in balancing your skin’s sebum production, to prevent your hair from getting oily and greasy in between

2. Calms inflammation

Calms inflammation

Scalp inflammation can be really annoying. Not only does it manifest itself in the form of itchiness, flaking, redness and scaling, but if left unattended, it can even lead to hair fall. But using witch hazel-based hair care products really helps in dealing with this problem. The antioxidant and astringent benefits of this ingredient helps in calming irritation and reducing the signs of inflammation with regular use.

3. Eliminates dandruff

Eliminates dandruff

Witch hazel is one of the best natural remedies to reduce flakiness from the scalp and prevent dandruff caused by scalp inflammation. The anti-inflammatory properties of witch hazel helps in eliminating dandruff by reducing flakiness and product build-up that can sometimes clog the follicles. Simply massaging a bit of witch-hazel toner onto your scalp about 15 minutes before shampooing your hair is enough to notice a reduction in dandruff in just a few weeks.

4. Deep cleanses scalp

Deep cleanses scalp

Oily scalp is a lot more prone to problems such as oil and product build-up. And if left unattended, it can lead to problems such as inflammation, itchiness, redness and even dandruff. But giving your hair a witch hazel rinse or simply massaging your scalp with witch hazel before shampooing helps in breaking down the oil and product build-up to deliver a squeaky clean and problem-free scalp in a matter of days. How cool is that?

5. Boosts hair growth

Boosts hair growth

Even though there’s not much research on the benefits of witch hazel for hair growth, a lot of people have claimed that regularly using witch hazel-based products in their hair care routine has led to a marked improvement in hair growth. This is because witch hazel is an excellent ingredient that helps in reducing, preventing and treating a number of scalp problems such as build-up, excessive oiliness, inflammation, etc. These calming and soothing properties help in keeping your scalp healthy and since a healthy scalp always equals healthier, longer and stronger hair, it is quite possible that witch hazel will be an excellent ingredient to promote hair growth over a period of time.


How to use witch hazel for hair?

How to use witch hazel for hair?

The first important thing that everyone should keep in mind before using witch hazel for hair is to use products that are completely alcohol-free. This is because witch hazel coupled with alcohol can be really drying on your scalp and exacerbate all the issues you are trying to eliminate in the first place.

There are a number of ways you can use witch hazel to benefit your hair and scalp. Firstly, you can simply add a few drops of any alcohol-free witch hazel to your normal shampoo and wash your hair with it. This is a great way to eliminate excess oiliness and claim all the benefits mentioned above.

Secondly, it can even be used as a hair spray to not just control the oiliness, but also keep your hair moisturised and fresh for a longer period of time. To make this hair spray, simply take about three tablespoons of alcohol-free witch hazel, add about a tablespoon of rosemary or hemp seed oil and add a cup full of water. Next, add a few drops of a calming essential oil like lavender to this mixture and your witch hazel hair spray for soft and nourished hair is ready!


Who should avoid using witch hazel?

Who should avoid using witch hazel?

Just like how a witch hazel toner is not recommended for every skin type, the same applies to your hair as well. Those of you with a dry and sensitive scalp should definitely avoid using witch hazel for your hair. This is because witch hazel’s main benefit is controlling excessive oiliness and rebalancing sebum production. And since a dry scalp doesn’t really have this problem, using witch hazel will only increase dryness and cause sensitivity. It can even cause inflammation and is therefore best avoided on dry hair and scalp.


FAQs about witch hazel for hair

FAQs about witch hazel for hair

Q. Does witch hazel stimulate hair growth?

A. Witch hazel is an excellent ingredient to remove the build-up of excess oils, sweat, products and dirt. Additionally, the astringent properties of witch hazel also help in promoting better blood circulation to your scalp, which allows the nutrients and vitamins to reach your scalp unhindered. These benefits help in stimulating dormant hair follicles and allowing your hair care products to penetrate your scalp to show better results and improve hair growth over time.

Q. Can I leave witch hazel on my scalp?

A. Witch hazel is extremely potent and it is really not advisable to leave it on your scalp for more than 10 or 15 minutes at the most. If left for more time, it can cause over-drying of your scalp, inflammation and even flakiness.

Q. Should you use witch hazel every day?

A. If you have an extremely oily scalp, then you can use it every day, but it is best not to. For best results, stick to using pure witch hazel or witch hazel-based products about two to three times a week pre-shampoo, to get noticeable results in the quality of your hair.