April is National Garden Month!
Did you know there are plants you can grow in your own back yard that can actually benefit your hair? In honor of National Garden Month, we are growing more than just hair here at HairMax! What better way to officially kick off spring than a little DIY gardening that won’t just make your yard come to life, but also help your hair com back to life. From superfoods to herb and vegetables, here are 7 of the best foods to grow at home for better potential hair health.
Who knew that some of the best and healthy solutions for hair loss may be found in your backyard! Herbs and plants have been used to help promote hair growth for years, because they are said to help your scalp in so many different ways. Some say you can use them topically and others can be eaten or made into tea, for example, here are some recent posts about the benefits of 5 Essential Oils That Promote Hair Growth and the 5 Foods to Boost Hair Growth.
Let’s take a look at some of the best plants and herbs you can easily, and inexpensively, grow yourself!
In last week’s post about using rosemary essential oil, we learned that there’s increasing scientific evidence that rosemary oil can help boost hair growth. Along with being a powerful stimulant to increase blood circulation to the hair follicles, this oil can help fight your dry and flaky scalp due to the antibacterial and antifungal properties.
Hair health aside, many people use rosemary as a natural remedy for relieving pain or skin irritation and soothing indigestion. The soothing aroma of rosemary is frequently used to help relieve everyday stress, which is also a common cause of hair fall, especially in women. It is also said that the aroma of this herb is a natural deterrent for garden pests, like mosquitoes!
HOW TO GROW
- While you can grow your own rosemary from a seed indoors and transferring it outside in the spring, it is much easier to grow it from clippings.
- Keep soil uniformly moist, allowing it to dry out between watering and be sure to have good drainage to prevent mildew/root rot.
- Cut stems for fresh rosemary, or use a rack/hang upside down in bunches to dry. Once dry, strip leaves from the stems.
Germination: 14 to 21 days | Sun Preference: Full sun | Soil Preference: Light – pH 6 – 7
Spacing: 18 – 36” | Time to Harvest: 11 – 14 weeks
Chia seeds have been popping up everywhere lately, from beauty products to restaurant menus, and for good reason. They are perfect to sprinkle on top of salads, add to smoothies or water, but if you’ve bought them before, you’ll understand why growing it yourself makes total sense as a small bag can cost you up to $10!
In a recent post about this powerful little seed we discussed the many benefits of chia seeds, like how they have 10 grams of fiber in a 2 tablespoon serving, they are jam packed with antioxidants that help protect the body from free radicals, aging and cancer. 60% of chia seeds are composed of omega-3s that can help improve the integrity of keratin and elastin in your body so your hair is able to be thicker and more voluminous.
HOW TO GROW
Considering the size of a mature chia plant takes up a good amount of space and grows taller than most herbs, having a backyard is suggested. So, if you are planning on growing chia in a pot, you will need one on the larger side and any specialist at your home improvement store can help advise you on what supplies you’ll need.
- Sprinkle a few seeds over the soil and rub gently to cover them.
- Water the seeds daily.
- Harvest as soon as most of the petals have fallen off the flower.
- Give the heads time to dry in paper bags or on a drying rack (Do not hang the plants upside down or you can lose seeds)
- The fastest and easiest way to extract the seeds is to rub dried flower heads with a flat hand and then isolate seeds using a strainer.
Germination: 10 – 20 days | Sun Preference: Full sun | Soil Preference: Nutrient rich
Spacing: Sprinkle over soil | Time to Harvest: 5 – 14 days
Green tea (Camellia Sinensis) is one of the most common Chinese herbal remedies for everything from weight loss to hair loss! How can it help your hair? Well, green tea can improve blood circulation to your scalp giving hair follicles more nutrients and is also a DHT blocker, the compound that causes hair loss.
HOW TO GROW
- You can grow from seed or clippings, or you can buy a plant from a nursery.
- When starting from seeds, it can take years to make into tea, as it takes at least 3 years to grow a plant with enough leaves for a harvest. Take care of it and you’ll have tea for the next 50 years!
- Cover the seeds lightly with soil and keep the soil damp and warm.
- When new shoots appear in spring, it’s called a flush.
- Harvest the top two leaves and leaf bud on new spring growth
- There are different ways to prepare tea leaves:
For Green Tea:
- Spread harvested leaves and buds in shady spot for a few hours
- Steam them on stove top for a minute or two or roast in skillet.
- Dry leaves on baking sheet in 250-degree oven for about 20 minutes
- Store in air tight container.
Germination: About 4 months | Sun Preference: Sunny to partly shaded | Soil Preference: Slightly acidic – pH
Time to Harvest: When leaves appear…Up to 3 years when started from seed
Along with chia seeds, Kale has become one of the more popular greens, popping up on menus, beauty products, and even pet foods! It should be no surprise when you look at why kale is such a powerhouse plant. Having only 33 calories and around 3g of protein per raw cup, kale is also rated as one of the best veggies for absorbing free radicals in the body.
It is also packed with vitamins A, C, K, B and omega-3 fatty acids, which are important for hair health and growth. While kale can have a bitter, ridged, rough texture, if a younger plant is harvested, commonly known as baby kale, the leaf will be closer to spinach and a little sweeter. You can also marinate it in some lemon juice and dash of olive oil to break the leaves down for salads or raw consumption.
HOW TO GROW
- Early spring to early summer for best plant time.
- Plant seeds ¼ to ½ inch deep into light soil that is well-drained.
- After about 14 days, move seedlings to 8 – 12 inches apart.
- Water regularly, but careful not to overwater.
- When leaves are the size of your hand, pick a fist full, but not the bud (in the top center of the plant) to keep producing.
Germination: 10 – 14 days | Sun Preference: Full sun | Soil Preference: Neutral to slightly alkaline
Spacing: 8 – 12” | Time to Harvest: Varies per type.. when leaves are about size of hand
When I think of basil, I think of caprese salads, margharita pizzas, and pesto sauce! However, basil leaves have been historically used in medicine, as well as diet, in many cultures. The plant has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and anti-fungal properties. When broken down into an essential oil, it is said to potentially have stimulant properties that, when applied topically, can increase blood flow to the scalp in turn should help hair growth.
HOW TO GROW
- Basil grows easily from clippings, but can be grown by seeds indoors as well.
- After last day of frost, plant seeds/seedlings in ground about ¼ inch deep
- Keep soil moist. In hotter weather water freely.
- Best harvest time is when plant starts to bud, before flower blooms
FIY basil blossoms, if left on, have a great smell and said to attract pollinators to your garden!
Germination: 5 – 10 days | Sun Preference: Full sun | Soil Preference: Rich, moist, pH 6 – 7
Spacing: 12 – 18” | Time to Harvest: 10 weeks
Beets have been a popular salad topping or side dish for many years, and for good reason! Commonly known as “nature’s multivitamin”, beets can help your body fight off the common cold or some even say help against cancer!
Not only are the roots beneficial, but the leaves are just as edible and healthy. It has been said that beetroot can help complete your nutritional deficiency, help prevent scalp inflammation and might even help reduce you stress level.
HOW TO GROW
- Plant beet seeds ½ to 1 inch deep.
- Keep soil moist until sprouts emerge.
- Gently space seedlings 3 – 4 inches and water well.
- Don’t let greens grow above 6 inches before harvesting.
Germination: 5 – 10 days | Sun Preference: Full sun | Soil Preference: Fertile, moist soil, pH 6 – 7
Spacing: Seeds: 1 – 2” Seedlings: 3 – 4” | Time to Harvest: 50 – 70 days
Also known as “vegetable confetti”, they are one of the easiest greens to grow, especially for kitchen herb gardens or window boxes. Scientists say they have a greater concentration of vitamins and minerals versus fully grown greens.
If you look for them at the store, you will see how cost-efficient it is to grow yourself. There are over 40 different types of microgreens you can plant, like arugula, chard, sorrel, and Russian kale.
In one study, the younger greens had four to six times more beneficial nutrients. There are several different microgreens to choose from, including Microgreens Milk Mix seeds, which are ready to harvest within five to ten days.
HOW TO GROW
- Read seed packet for special requirements.
- Sprinkle seeds over soil and cover with a very thin layer of soil.
- Dampen surface with water spray bottle, or cover container with lid/clear plastic wrap until seeds sprout.
- Mist with water once or twice a day to keep soil moist not wet.
- Discard covering once sprouted and continue to mist daily.
- When leaves arrive, snip above soil line and store in refrigerator.
Germination: 3 – 7 days | Sun Preference: 4 – 5 hours of direct sun | Soil Preference: Potting soil
Spacing: Sprinkle seeds | Time to Harvest: Depending on type…about 2 – 3 weeks after planting
Results differ for everyone so it’s important to try different approaches… even if these foods don’t really effect your hair health, your body will definitely thank you for all of the healthy nutrients and vitamins! Comment on which ones you try and if you see any difference!
Using products with essential oils, such as the HairMax for density products, will help fortify and revitalize hair. Infused with a synergistic blend of DHT blockers, anti-oxidants and therapeutic botanicals to restore balance, optimize scalp health and enhance the vitality, thickness and volume of your hair. These gentle products cleanses your hair without the harsh effects of sulfates that strip essential oils from your hair.