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An Nutrient-Rich Tea This Herbalist Loves For Hair Health

Woman Braiding Her Long Hair
Image by Susana Ramirez / Stocksy
February 10, 2022

Growing longer, stronger, fuller hair isn't a one-product ordeal. It takes tending to the hair and scalp in a myriad of ways, from protecting the strands you do have to making sure the scalp is buildup-free to, finally, the sort of nutrients you're ingesting. And most beauty professionals have a few tips they rely on for their own hair growth—which I'm always eager to test out. 

But it's not just beauty pros who know a thing or two about how to keep hair healthy—since nutrition and lifestyle also play a huge factor in hair growth, I often like to get other health professionals' takes too, be it an M.D. and nutritionist or even more holistic professionals like an herbalist. 

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So recently when I spoke with Rachelle Robinett, herbalist and founder of Supernatural, I simply had to ask her about what she recommends for hair health.

Why this herbalist loves this iron-rich tea for hair health.

"For hair growth, you want herbs that are high in minerals and nutrients, but primarily minerals like iron. I always encourage people to ingest their herbs by steeping them in water to make a tea, which helps the absorption rate," she says. "A perfect example is alfalfa tea. The alfalfa plant (aka alfalfa grass) is a natural source of iron, antioxidants, and other minerals, so I always recommend it for hair health.”* 

Certified trichologist and founder of Advanced Trichology William Gaunitz, FWTS, agrees: Iron is the most critical mineral for the hair.* "Ferritin is your iron storage protein, and when that is low because you don't have enough iron regularly input into your diet, your hair volume will decline to compensate for your body's need for iron." Gaunitz says the hair will only return once there's enough iron being consumed on a regular basis. Alfalfa tea isn't the only option either—iron-rich foods include beef, chicken, eggs, spinach, sweet potatoes, and beans. Always speak to your doctor before adding an iron-containing supplement to your routine.

It's not just iron that the herb is high in. One cup of alfalfa sprouts contains 5% vitamin C and 13% vitamin K, giving it antioxidant properties too.* Antioxidants can support hair growth by improving scalp health and neutralizing oxidative stress1, one cause of shedding.

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The takeaway.

Long, healthy locks require upkeep in many ways (you can check out our full guide to growing thicker hair here). So there's no magic tonic that can give you lush strands overnight, but if you're looking for new ways to support hair health—iron-rich herbs are one place to start.* 

If you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or taking medications, consult with your doctor before starting a supplement routine. It is always optimal to consult with a health care provider when considering what supplements are right for you.
Alexandra Engler
Alexandra Engler
mbg Beauty Director

Alexandra Engler is the beauty director at mindbodygreen and host of the beauty podcast Clean Beauty School. Previously, she's held beauty roles at Harper's Bazaar, Marie Claire, SELF, and Cosmopolitan; her byline has appeared in Esquire, Sports Illustrated, and Allure.com. In her current role, she covers all the latest trends in the clean and natural beauty space, as well as lifestyle topics, such as travel. She received her journalism degree from Marquette University, graduating first in the department. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.