Does ashwagandha increase hair growth?

Ashwagandha, also known as Indian ginseng, is a popular herb in Ayurvedic medicine that has been used for centuries to promote good health and longevity. One of the benefits of ashwagandha that has been gaining popularity lately is its potential to increase hair growth.

What is Ashwagandha?

Ashwagandha is a powerful adaptogen herb that has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for over 3,000 years. Its scientific name is Withania somnifera, and it is native to India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.

Ashwagandha is known for its potential to reduce stress and anxiety, boost immunity, and improve brain function. It is also a potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, making it a popular supplement for a wide range of health issues.

The Link Between Ashwagandha and Hair Growth

While there is no definitive research to prove that ashwagandha directly increases hair growth, there are several studies that suggest a link between the two. For example, a 2016 study published in the Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine found that ashwagandha root powder improved the density and thickness of hair in women with chronic telogen effluvium, a type of hair loss that is caused by stress.

In another study conducted in 2018, researchers found that ashwagandha extract improved the anagen/telogen ratio in mice, which suggests that it may promote hair growth by inducing the anagen (growth) phase of the hair cycle.

How Does Ashwagandha Work?

Ashwagandha is a powerful adaptogen, which means it helps the body adapt to stress. Stress is a major contributor to hair loss, as it can disrupt the hair growth cycle and trigger hair follicles to become dormant.

Ashwagandha also helps to regulate hormone levels, which can play a role in hair growth. High levels of the stress hormone cortisol, for example, can contribute to hair loss by shrinking hair follicles and reducing blood flow to the scalp. Ashwagandha has been shown to reduce cortisol levels, leading to a more favorable environment for hair growth.

Finally, ashwagandha is a potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. Inflammation can cause damage to hair follicles, leading to hair loss, while antioxidants can protect against oxidative stress, which is a major contributor to hair damage and aging.

How to Use Ashwagandha for Hair Growth

There are several ways to use ashwagandha for hair growth:

  • Ashwagandha Supplements: Ashwagandha supplements are widely available in capsule or powder form. The recommended dose is typically 500-1000mg per day.
  • Ashwagandha Oil: Ashwagandha oil can be applied topically to the scalp. It is believed to improve blood circulation and promote hair growth. Simply massage a few drops of ashwagandha oil into the scalp and leave it on for a few hours before washing it off.
  • Ashwagandha Tea: Ashwagandha tea is another way to benefit from its hair growth properties. Simply steep 1 tablespoon of ashwagandha root powder in a cup of hot water for 5-10 minutes, strain and drink.


While more research is needed to fully understand the link between ashwagandha and hair growth, the preliminary evidence suggests that ashwagandha may be a useful supplement for those who suffer from hair loss or thinning hair. Its ability to reduce stress, regulate hormone levels, and fight inflammation and oxidative stress make it a potentially powerful tool for promoting healthy hair growth.

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