5 Benefits of Using Honey For Hair Growth
Honey is great for just about everything, right?
Surely this nutritious stuff is also great for your hair … but can it help your hair grow?
Well, I am going to be straight up with you on this one.
I have found no scientific research backing up honey for hair growth.
But I have found some research indicating that it may be helpful for reducing hair loss under some circumstances, and it is definitely good for your locks.
That means that while honey does not appear to accelerate hair growth at the root, it may still be able to improve the overall appearance, texture, and health of your hair.
This in turn can reduce breakage, and may help you to achieve your hair length goals faster.
What are all the ways in which honey can help improve the health and appearance of your hair? Let’s take a look!
5 Benefits of Using Honey For Hair Growth
Benefit #1. Excellent for fighting unwanted dandruff.
Honey is a powerful antioxidant which also has antibacterial and antifungal properties.
So it makes sense that it might be able to counteract seborrheic dermatitis (dandruff). While the exact cause of dandruff is not fully understood, scientists believe it may have something to do with a yeast called Malassezia.
In one small study, 90% honey diluted in warm water was applied to seborrheic dermatitis lesions every other day. The honey was left on for three hours before being rinsed away.
The results were impressive.
All the patients experienced improvements, including reductions in itching, scaling, and lesions. The researchers went on to report, “In addition, patients showed subjective improvement in hair loss.”
The initial testing period lasted 4 weeks, after which some patients were included in an ongoing study for the next six months where they continued with the treatments on a weekly basis.
Those who did not participate in this extended treatment period experienced a relapse within 2-4 months of ceasing the original treatment, while those who continued with the applications showed no relapse.
The researchers finished up their report by stating, “It might be concluded that crude honey could markedly improve seborrheic dermatitis and associated hair loss and prevent relapse when applied weekly.”
This is of course something of a commitment.
Putting honey on your scalp for three hours a day every hour a day would be a righteous pain to start out—but you could probably get away with just doing it once a week as the participants did in the longer-term portion of the study.
If you are very dedicated to your beauty routines already, this may not be too daunting.
Benefit #2. Honey can help moisturize and condition your hair.
Honey has humectant qualities, which is simply a way of saying that it is a moisturizer.
As such, it can lock moisture into your hair. It is also an emollient, which means that it has a softening effect.
As such, it can condition your hair so that it is softer to the touch and easier to manage.
This means that if your hair dries out a lot, it can really benefit from regular honey treatments. I will share some recipes with you after I finish going over the rest of the benefits.
Remember, dry hair is prone to breakage, and it is pretty hard to achieve a longer length when your hair is always breaking off at the ends. Honey’s moisturizing properties help to prevent this problem.
Benefit #3. The antioxidants in honey are good for your scalp and hair.
As mentioned previously, honey is an antioxidant. This allows it to fend off damage from free radicals.
This can improve the overall health of your hair, scalp and roots. Indirectly, this may help to promote healthy hair growth and improve the appearance and texture of your hair.
Benefit #4. Honey can make your hair look smoother and shinier.
One of my best friends recently decided to treat her hair with honey for a few hours in an attempt to lighten it (see below).
When I saw her afterward, I knew immediately she had done something amazing with her hair, even though she hadn’t told me about the honey treatment yet.
I can’t even begin to convey the difference in the appearance of her hair! I seriously was blown away by how much better it looked.
There was no frizz, and her curls, which usually don’t behave at all, actually looked like proper curls. And her hair was much, much shinier than usual. It looked like she’d had some kind of expensive salon treatment done, but it was just the honey!
Benefit #5. You can also use honey to lighten your hair.
At first I thought this use of honey was simply anecdotal, but actually, I have found a scientific basis for it.
It turns out that the antimicrobial activity in honey is in part due to the presence of hydrogen peroxide, which according to this paper, “is formed in a ‘slow-release’ manner by the glucose oxidase added by bees during its production.”
Peroxide, as you likely know, is a bleach.
Anyway, I mentioned my friend was trying to lighten her hair with honey. How did it turn out? Well, here again I was impressed. It wasn’t as dramatic as using store-bought bleach or anything, but it was still quite noticeable.
When she started out, her hair was very dark brown, close to black. I would say she got it at least three shades lighter to a medium-dark brown color. While that was nowhere near her ultimate goal of platinum, it was quite amazing for a natural treatment.
The most exciting thing about honey for lightening is the fact that unlike other options (bleach from the store, lemon, etc.), it does not dry your hair out. It has just the opposite effect. It moisturizes and improves the quality of your hair.
So if you just want to lighten up your hair a little bit, honey is your best option. And if you are going for dramatic lightening, you may still want to start out with it.
The lighter your hair is before you apply bleach to it, the easier it will be for you to reach the shade you want. And the less time you put bleach on your hair, the better, since bleach is very harsh.
The other reason you may want to start out with the honey is that it makes a good prep treatment to protect your hair. You want your hair to be as well-moisturized as possible before you apply bleach.
This will keep the frying effect of bleach to a minimum.
Honey Hair Treatment Recipes
Now that you know about the awesome benefits of honey for hair, here are a few different honey hair treatment recipes you can try out.
1. Simple Honey Dilution
- 9 parts honey
- 1 part water
How much do you need?
That entirely depends on how long your hair is. You want to aim to coat it completely.
- Mix the honey and water together in a dish.
- Rub the honey/water mixture into your scalp and hair.
- Cover your hair with some plastic wrap.
- Wait 3 hours, and then rinse it out using warm water.
This is based on the research study which I shared with you earlier. Do this at least once a week for the best long term results. Do it more frequently for the first four weeks if you can.
2. Honey Conditioner
- Your favourite conditioner
This is another incredibly simple idea. Basically, just add a little honey to your favourite conditioner and stir it in until it is mixed thoroughly. Use it in your hair as you always do.
3. Honey and Oil
- Olive oil (or any other oil of your choice, i.e. argan, coconut, jojoba, etc.)
In terms of amounts, just use as much as you need to coat your hair.
- Combine honey with olive oil (or whichever oil you want to use) in a dish in a 1:1 ratio.
- Mix the ingredients together evenly.
- Heat the ingredients in the microwave so that they meld together better.
- Take them out and stir them again.
- Apply them to your hair and scalp.
- Cover your hair with plastic wrap or a shower cap.
- Wait anywhere from 30 minutes to 3 hours, and then rinse it out.
4. Honey, Coconut Oil, and Yogurt
- 2 tablespoons yogurt (no sugar!)
- ½ teaspoon coconut oil (reduce this for very short hair, or increase this if you have very long hair)
- 1 ½ tablespoons honey
- Stir all the ingredients together in a bowl.
- Rub the combined ingredients into your hair and scalp.
- Cover your hair with plastic wrap or a shower cap.
- Wait 30 minutes or longer, and then wash it out.
5. Banana and Honey Hair Mask
- ½ cup honey
- ½ cup olive oil (or any other oil you prefer)
- 2 bananas
- Stir all the ingredients together. Make sure that the bananas are as well-pureed as possible.
- Rub the mixture into your hair and scalp.
- Cover your hair and wait 30 minutes or more.
- Wash it out. You may have to wash your hair twice in order to get all that banana out.
Note: Honey Is Not As Hard to Rinse Out As You Might Think
You might still feel nervous about putting honey in your hair. It is after all sticky gunk, and that can’t be easy to wash out, right?
Actually, honey is not hard to wash out of hair at all!
It dissolves in water, so you will find that it comes right out. Actually, washing oil out of hair is harder than removing honey.
So don’t let honey’s sticky consistency daunt you! It is not that difficult to deal with.
Conclusion: Honey Can Work Wonders For Your Hair
Does honey promote hair growth?
Not according to my research.
But it can do a lot to make your hair healthier, and that means that it is likely to grow longer before it breaks. You also can enjoy more smoothness, shine and softness.
And if you are trying to lighten your hair, it is probably the healthiest way to do it.
So give some of these honey hair treatments a try, and enjoy the fabulous results!
Read Next: 18 Common Causes of Thinning Hair in Women