Hair Loss And Growth

Why Amla Is The 8th Wonder Your Hair Needs

by NIKKI POPE, October 22, 2021

Amla for Hair

Hair loss is a condition that affects 1 in 5 Americans. While some treatments help promote growth, medications such as Minoxidil and Finasteride are usually ripe with side effects. While complications ranging from weakness to impotence, more and more people are seeking 'natural' remedies.

One of the little-known boosters for hair growth is Amla, a fruit that has long been used in the Indian holistic medicine that is Ayurveda. Here, we’ll explore its ‘mane’ benefits – and why you should include this in your pantheon of supplements.

What is Amla?

Amla is also known as Indian Gooseberry, with the scientific name Emblica officinalis. It is a pale yellow, an inch sized fruit that comes with a sour taste. The fruit is borne to a small to medium-sized tree with greenish-yellow leaves. The plant largely grows in India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka, among several other countries.

The Amla fruit is rich in Vitamin C, a substance that promotes immunity, wound healing, and the synthesis of collagen, among many other things. 

Amla also contains tannins and minerals such as iron, calcium, and phosphorus. 

What are the Benefits of Amla?

With its high Ascorbic acid content (700 to 1000 mg per serving), it is used in Ayurvedic medicine to combat scurvy – a disease that results from the lack of Vitamin C. 

Amla is also used in promoting digestion, as well as relieving gas and bloating.

Amla is known to many as a Rasayana or rejuvenating tonic – an elixir that promotes strength, prevents disease, and improves brain function. 

How does Amla Promote Hair Growth?

With its many benefits for the body, it comes as no surprise that the Amla Rasayana also works well as a hair tonic. For those who practice Ayurveda, it has become the key to fighting ‘indralupta’ or hair loss. 

True enough, Amla can fight hair loss with the help of its beneficial vitamins, minerals, and other compounds. For one, it is brimming with Vitamin C, which is needed by the body to synthesize the essential hair protein known as collagen. It also defends the hair from free radicals, which can damage the follicles and trigger hair loss. 

Amla is also rich in iron – a mineral that aids in circulation. With more iron, more oxygen is delivered to the roots. This, alongside other nutrients, helps the hair grow faster and longer.

The Amla fruit also contains calcium. This improves iron absorption – the benefits of which have just been discussed. 

Amla’s high phosphorus content also keeps the hair moisturized – making it stronger and more resistant to climate or dandruff-related hair loss. 

Indian gooseberries also contain flavonoids, which are substances that give fruits and vegetables their vivid colors. These help fight androgenetic alopecia or male/female pattern baldness by inhibiting 5-alpha-reductase, the enzyme that helps in the synthesis of dihydrotestosterone (DHT). If left unchecked, increased amounts of DHT can lead to thin & brittle strands – and retarded growth. 

As if the above-mentioned benefits were not enough, Amla can help make your hair look better too. Thanks to its tannins, which are bitter-tasting yellow/brown substances found in some plants, Amla can color your white/gray hair strands naturally.






Amla for Hair Health: What the Studies Say

Amla’s benefits are not mere hokum, as they are documented in many studies – including the published research of Yu et al. Here, the authors evaluated the effects of an herbal extract with Amla on mice. Like the group treated with Minoxidil, Amla-treated mice had longer and thicker hair. The latter, however, had more hair follicles – cells that make the strands grow. 

The extract, which was also given to human participants, showed the same positive results. Those given with Amla had thicker, denser hair that grew longer and faster in just 16 weeks.  Apart from promoting growth and reducing thinning, the Amla extract also helped minimize scalp issues such as itchiness, oiliness, and dandruff. 

Rats were also the focal point of the Amla study of Jain et al.  Here, the authors made use of an herbal extract containing Amla that was also compared to Minoxidil. As expected, those in the herbal group had larger hair follicles – and more ones in the anagen or growth phase. Because of these, those given the extract demonstrated hair growth in just 6-7 days. 

Another study that has documented the benefits of Amla is that of Banerjee et al. Here, the authors used rabbits to compare the effects of different herbs and traditional treatment. Results showed that Amla oil yielded the best hair growth rate of 7-8% in just 8-9 days. 

When combined with other herbal oils such as Hibiscus, Brahmi, and Methi, the powerhouse extract led to complete hair growth in just 18 days. Minoxidil, on the other hand, took 19 days. The extract group also had more hair follicles in the anagen or growth phase (87-89%), compared to the Minoxidil group that only had 67%. 

Amla Oil or Amla Powder: Which is Better?

People with hair issues can choose from two types of Amla: powder or oil. 

The dried Amla fruit can be churned into a powder, which can then be incorporated into shampoo, hair oil, or supplements. Amla berries can be boiled with another oil, with the concoction being applied directly to the strands. 

While both forms of Amla contain hair-boosting ingredients, Amla oil is greasy and tends to leave an unpleasant smell. Amla powder, on the other hand, can be mixed with essential oils to make the mixture fragrant. Amla powder also works faster as you only need a couple of minutes for it to color your hair (compared to several hours with Amla oil). 

How to Use Amla for the Hair

 Here are some ways you can use Amla for your mane:

Amla as a Supplement

Take 0.5 to 1 gram of Amla capsules every day. This should be used in caution with people with diabetes, liver disease, and pending surgery. 

Amla Hair Rinse

Soak the dried fruit in water overnight and use this liquid as a last rinse.

Amla can also be used to make a grease wash. This can be done by combining half a cup of Amla juice, half a cup of lime juice, and water. 

Amla Hair Dye

Amla may help prevent balding – as well as reduce your gray or white strands – in 2 ways.

First, you can make your own Amla oil conditioner by boiling the dried fruit in coconut oil until it becomes charred. Apply the product on your strands and leave it for a few hours before rinsing it out.

Another option is to mix 100 grams of Amla powder with water. You can leave this for as short as 20 minutes before rinsing. 

As a hair tonic, Amla can help grow your mane – and keep your white strands at bay. With its all-natural formulation that comes with few side effects, it may just be the product you need for longer and stronger hair. 


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