Everything You Need to Know About Using Cinnamon for Hair
Hair loss can be a very difficult thing to deal with, and it’s something that so many people today are trying to find treatments or cures for. Luckily, natural health and beauty practices have come to the rescue with different substances that can provide benefits that may promote hair growth.
While no treatment is immediate, it is natural, which means it will help promote a healthier scalp and head of hair at the same time, in comparison to chemical treatments that could harm your body in exchange for some hair on your head. Doing a little research into natural substances that might be able to help promote hair growth is a much better option than resorting to chemical treatments or procedures.
What Is Cinnamon?
You most likely already know what cinnamon is. It’s a very popular spice, especially during the fall and winter seasons. Cinnamon is actually a tropical, evergreen tree that produces bark and leaves that are both used for many different purposes.
The leaves are distilled with steam to produce an oil, and the bark is distilled for oil in a similar way as well. The bark can also be used to collect cinnamon “chips”, powder, and sticks that are rolled from the bark.
There are actually hundreds of different types of cinnamon and the trees from which we obtain it, but commercial cinnamon is only obtained from four different varieties. The primary variety out of these four is Cassia cinnamon, and it is mainly used in Canada and the United States of America.
The second-most popular variety of the cinnamon tree is called Ceylon cinnamon, and that variety is primarily used in Asia, Mexico, and Europe. The other two varieties are Saigon cinnamon and Korintje cinnamon; although, these last two varieties only make up about 10% or less in terms of usage around the world.
Each type of cinnamon is generally the same, but the different varieties may be used for different purposes depending on what is required. For example, the more popular variety, Cassia cinnamon, is very inexpensive and is mostly used for its signature, spicy taste. This variety of cinnamon also has high levels of a nutrient called coumarin that thins the blood, which could help somebody lose weight or boost their metabolism. With that said, excessive consumption of coumarin could cause liver damage.
Ceylon cinnamon, on the other hand, is far more popular for its health benefits, which is why it is slowly growing in usage around the world, especially in the United States of America. This variety of cinnamon is milder and slightly sweeter, with a much stronger aroma.
Its levels of coumarin are much lower than its sister, Cassia cinnamon. Many people with diabetes or other people who have started to include cinnamon in their diet for health reasons have chosen to use Ceylon cinnamon instead of Cassia cinnamon for these reasons.
Is Cinnamon Good for You?
Luckily to the people who love the taste of cinnamon, the spice is actually pretty good for you. Of course, as mentioned, the specific health benefits may depend more on the variety of cinnamon you are consuming. With that said, cinnamon contains many healthy and beneficial properties. These properties include it being germicidal, antiseptic, antifungal, antidiarrheal, antimicrobial, and antispasmodic (which means it can be used to relieve muscle spasms).
Cinnamon is also known to be a very powerful antioxidant, which means it can protect the cells from free radicals, which may contribute to chronic diseases, illnesses, and other conditions. Free radicals also contribute to premature cognitive and physical aging.
The spice also has significant anti-inflammatory properties that could help prevent cancers and autoimmune disorders. Some studies have also shown to regulate blood sugar and lower bad cholesterol levels, although further scientific research still needs to be done of those specific benefits.
Cinnamon is generally pretty safe for consumption, as it hasn’t been known to cause any negative side effects. With that said, it may not be good for people who have already been diagnosed with liver problems. Of course, you should also avoid using or consuming cinnamon if you are known to have an allergy to the substance. If you don’t know whether or not you may be allergic to cinnamon, you should speak with your doctor immediately, especially before using it to treat any current medical conditions.
Using Cinnamon for the Hair
Overall, cinnamon is pretty beneficial, but many people might expect that to mean that it’s only good for consuming. While cinnamon certainly provides a lot of internal health benefits, it may also help improve the health and appearance of your hair, depending on how it is applied.
Thanks to the many nutrients, such as antioxidants and vitamins, that can be found in cinnamon, it actually provides a lot of health and cosmetic benefits for your scalp and hair, as well as for skin care practices.
Historically, cinnamon has been used since 2000 B.C. or earlier, and these ancient peoples were using the spice for more than just food. Back then, they didn’t have all of the shampoos, conditioners, and other chemical products we use nowadays. Instead, they relied on the natural substances and compounds provided to them by the earth for their medicinal and cosmetic treatments. Cinnamon, specifically, has been known to promote hair growth and treat hair loss.
Cinnamon For Hair Growth
Cinnamon works for the hair and scalp both physically and chemically. It is a great exfoliant, and its primary benefits are due to the spice’s ability to promote circulation. Stimulated circulation, in turn, promotes hair growth. The tingling feeling you may experience when applying cinnamon is a physical sign of this stimulation occurring.
Cinnamon also exfoliates and removes any build-up that may be present on the scalp, which unclogs and frees up your hair follicles to allow for healthier hair growth.
You can use cinnamon on your hair in many different methods of application, as cinnamon can be purchased in many different forms. For example, you could use powdered cinnamon and combine it with honey and a base oil to create a sort of paste to be used in a topical application to the scalp.
The separate ingredients will work together to provide health benefits to your scalp, promoting healthier hair and a healthier head overall. This paste could also be applied throughout the hair for more focused benefits regarding damaged strands or split ends.
Cinnamon and Honey Hair Mask
Losing your hair can be very stressful no matter your age or sex and many people spend a great deal of money on commercial treatments that promise to help restore your hair to its natural levels. One popular natural treatment for hair loss is to combine cinnamon with honey to stimulate the scalp and boost the growth of hair.
When you apply this mixture in the form of a mask, it can help stimulate better circulation to the skin which in turn boosts the flow of blood to your hair follicles. This nutrient- rich blood can then nourish your scalp and boost the growth of new hair.
The majority of people will have no reaction to cinnamon whether it is used topically or consumed. However, it can cause irritation to some people so you should always do a patch test on a discrete area of skin before applying a larger dose like a mask. Assuming that you have no reactions, try using the following home treatment once each week and you may well find your hair growing back thicker and healthier.
You Will Need
- One tablespoon of cinnamon.
- One tablespoon of good quality runny honey.
- One cup of olive oil
- Mix the honey and cinnamon together well in a bowl.
- Slowly add the olive oil until a smooth paste has formed.
- Expose your scalp with a comb and apply a decent layer of your paste to the scalp.
- Make sure you coat your entire scalp with the paste.
- Leave the mask sit and work into your scalp for at least 15 minutes.
- Rinse out your hair with warm water and a mild shampoo.
You should not expect immediate results but if you follow this remedy once a week, you will ensure that your scalp is getting provided with the essential nutrients necessary for hair growth. It should also prevent any further hair loss.
Cinnamon to Lighten your Hair
You can also use cinnamon to naturally lighten your hair instead of the chemically laden bleach products that many people use. Many commercial products can have a very damaging effect on your hair and while the results from cinnamon may be less dramatic, it is a much better option for your hair in the long run.
What you need
- Two teaspoons of cinnamon.
- One cup of good quality honey.
- One teaspoon of lemon juice.
- One cup of deep conditioner.
- Place all of the ingredients in a bowl and mix them together well.
- Allow the mixture to sit which allows the hydrogen peroxide contained in the honey to develop better.
- Again, it is important to do a patch test to make sure you are not sensitive to the cinnamon.
What to Do
- Dampen your hair. It should be wet but not totally soaked for the process to work.
- Apply your cinnamon mixture. This is likely to be a messy process and you may need a partner or friend to give you a hand. If your mixture is a little thick, add a little water until you get the right consistency.
- Rub your mixture over your hands and apply it very thoroughly from the roots to the tips.
- Let the mixture sit for at least 3 to 4 hours or preferably overnight. Use a shower cap to cover your hair and make sure you cover your pillow in a towel. It will need some time to have the lightening effect you are looking for.
- After letting it sit overnight, you need to wash your hair thoroughly. Both the sticky honey and the cinnamon itself can be a pain to get out. Rinse your hair out first then wash with shampoo thoroughly. You may have to shampoo a few times to get rid of all the stubborn cinnamon.
Repeat this process several times until you get the desired effect. You can expect to have to repeat the treatment three or four times before seeing the effects you are hoping for. Although the effects will be nowhere near as dramatic as bleach, your cinnamon mix is actually good for your hair’s health so a repeat treatment or two will not harm your hair.
Cinnamon Oil for Hair
Cinnamon oil is also another option to consider when it comes to using the spice in hair care treatments. Cinnamon oil, or cinnamon bark oil, is known to have very high concentrations of antioxidants, just like the natural spice does.
These antioxidants can help fight free radicals, reduce inflammation, and treat damage that has occurred due to sun exposure. Using the oil for the application may make things easier, as you could mix it in with your shampoo or apply it directly to your damp hair.
Things to Keep in Mind
Many substances are given what is called a comedogenic rating to help people determine whether or not that specific substance is likely or unlikely to irritate their skin, clog their pores, or worsen the appearance of skin conditions such as acne breakouts.
These ratings are given on a scale that ranges from zero to five, and the lowest numbers are used to represent substances that are the least likely to cause these bad reactions. With that said, not all substances have been given these ratings, so some are more difficult than others to determine ahead of time.
Cinnamon has not been given an official rating on the comedogenic scale. With that said, it is generally known that “spicier” oils, herbs, and other substances may be more likely to cause irritations, especially with people who are prone to sensitive skin.
If you know that you often experience sensitivity on your skin, you may want to speak with your doctor before using cinnamon on your skin or hair. You might also choose to do a small patch test on your arm to see if you experience any negative reactions before applying it to your scalp.
Remember that your scalp is much more sensitive than the rest of your skin, especially since it is typically protected by your hair. Cinnamon does provide a lot of health and cosmetic benefits, but you need to be careful to make sure that you won’t make things worse for yourself by using it.
If you do experience a bad reaction to cinnamon, there are still many other natural substances that can be used for the same benefits of hair growth promotion and hair loss prevention.
Overall, cinnamon is a very beneficial spice that certainly deserves much more credit than it is currently being given. Next time fall or winter comes around and you are enjoying the strongly aromatic scent of cinnamon, remember that that same spice could do a lot of wonderful things for your body, skin, and hair. Just be careful when using it, as with any other skin or hair care treatment, especially if you have sensitive skin.