Turmeric for Hair Growth: Does It Work?

turmeric for hair growth

There’s a lot of information about hair loss and hair growth floating around the internet. It’s easy to get confused about what treatments work and which ones aren’t worth your time. You're probably frustrated if you’ve ever invested time and money in a solution that didn’t solve anything. 

Women, especially, have had limited options for dealing with hair loss. Most of the products available were discovered by mistake and haven’t been improved upon for over 40 years. What’s worse, they often have side effects that make them off-limits for women who are pregnant or nursing.

At Revela, we think it’s time to change the way women approach hair loss. We want to normalize the conversation so those dealing with thinning hair no longer feel alone. Together we’ll talk about how hair growth works, what causes hair loss, and whether or not turmeric can help you grow new hair. 

What Causes Hair Growth?

From the moment you’re born, your hair begins to grow. As you age, the process slows naturally, but the cycle in which your hair grows remains the same. 

Hair growth happens in three phases: anagen, catagen, and telogen. 

Anagen

At any given time, nearly all of the hair on your head is in the anagen phase of hair growth at any given time. The anagen phase is when hair is actively growing. At the bottom of the hair follicle, a structure called the dermal papilla is home to hair matrix cells that begin to proliferate. 

The cells in the dermal papilla are fed by blood vessels that are connected to the dermal papilla. When the dermal papilla is healthy, cells multiply and begin to stick together and form a chain. This chain becomes the beginning of a strand of hair. 

As the strand grows, it will eventually push through the hair follicle and exit through the opening on the scalp called the pore. The hair will continue to grow for several years in most people. 

Catagen

The catagen phase is a transitional phase of hair growth. During this phase, the hair matrix cells stop proliferating, and the root of the hair detaches from the dermal papilla and rests in the follicle. 

The catagen phase marks the stop of hair growth. Hairs in this stage are referred to as club hairs. This phase only lasts two or three weeks. 

Telogen

The telogen phase is the final phase of hair growth. The telogen phase is the resting phase, where existing club hairs rest in the hair follicle until they are expelled. 

During this phase, the anagen phase of a new hair begins in the dermal papilla of the hair follicles. Once the new hair begins to grow, it pushes the club hair out, and the life cycle of that hair officially ends. The telogen phase can last several months.

What Causes Hair Loss?

Multiple factors affect how quickly a person loses their hair and how much hair a person will lose. Genetics play a huge factor in hair loss, so if you watched one or both of your parents struggle with thinning hair, you may be more likely to notice hair loss. 

Lifestyle habits like smoking, poor nutrition, and even certain hairstyles (like dreadlocks) can cause you to lose more hair than you normally would. However, if you can’t attribute your hair loss to these factors, it could be something a bit more complex. 

Androgenetic Alopecia

One of the most common forms of hair loss is called androgenetic alopecia. This type of hair loss is the root cause of male pattern baldness, but it also affects women. 

Both men and women produce testosterone. Some of that testosterone is converted to DHT through interaction with 5ɑ-reductase, an enzyme. DHT can bind to receptors in the hair follicle and begin a process known as miniaturization. 

During miniaturization, the hair follicle shrinks and becomes weaker, unable to support new hair growth. Eventually, many hair follicles will become dormant. 

Telogen Effluvium

Sometimes physical, emotional, or hormonal changes can cause a large portion of the hair on your head to immediately enter the telogen phase of hair growth. When this happens, you’ll notice large amounts of hair being lost all at once. 

This is especially common for postpartum women, who experience hair loss suddenly after they have a baby. This is also the underlying cause of female pattern baldness.

Alopecia Areata

Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disorder that causes the body’s immune system to attack the hair follicles incorrectly. The hair follicles are damaged and unable to support healthy hair growth in the dermal papilla. 

There are different types of alopecia areata, some that affect only patches of hair and some affecting hair on the entire body.

The Truth About Turmeric and Hair Growth

Regardless of the reason that you are losing hair, you just want to find a way to slow the process and restore the locks you love. However, you don’t want to waste time on a solution that isn’t well researched and will only leave you frustrated. 

Turmeric has been used in ancient cultures’ medicinal practices for centuries, and information suggests it might even help with hair loss. Here’s what you should know about how turmeric works and whether or not it’s a good option for you. 

What Is Turmeric?

Turmeric is a root in the ginger family that is commonly used as a spice or in supplement form for health and wellness benefits. It contains an active compound called curcumin, which is a curcuminoid. 

Curcuminoids are compounds in turmeric that have traditionally been believed to have healing and restorative properties. 

Does Turmeric Help Hair Loss?

Some researchers suggest that curcumin might be beneficial for the hair and skin. It is an antioxidant that helps protect cells against oxidation from external stressors. While this is good for overall cellular health, that doesn’t necessarily mean it will cause cells in the dermal papilla to grow. 

Some studies have supported the use of curcumin and other curcuminoids in lowering testosterone levels and inhibiting DHT production. It’s worth noting that these studies only studied the production of DHT in human prostate cancer cells, not human hair matrix cells. 

Does Turmeric Have Any Side Effects?

Curcumin and other curcuminoids are unstable compounds. This means they change easily, react differently when taken, and function in different ways in certain environments. 

Additionally, curcumin is not very bioavailable. When you take it in supplement form, very little of it actually reaches your bloodstream. Remember that the dermal papilla relies on blood vessels to supply it with hair-growing nutrients. 

For turmeric to be effective for anything, you must take large amounts of it. 

Another problem with turmeric is that it’s hard to separate only curcumin from the turmeric root. There are generally numerous other compounds and substances that accompany it, making it hard to isolate and placing you at risk of ingesting other ingredients you may not want. 

Lastly, there’s no research on whether turmeric is safe to consume in supplementation form if you’re pregnant or nursing, making it a non-viable option for women who might be experiencing telogen effluvium postpartum or even during pregnancy. 

The Bottom Line

More research on turmeric and its effects on hair growth is needed. Many of the studies on curcuminoid treatment for hair loss also implemented and studied the use of another medication. As such, it’s hard to determine whether the results could be attributed to turmeric, the medication used, or both. 

Science may one day support the use of turmeric for hair growth, but it hasn’t done so yet.

What Does Work for Thinning Hair?

It’s easy to feel defeated when some options for thinning hair aren’t safe for you, and others just simply don’t give you the results you want. That’s why we created our Hair Revival Serum

The hair loss industry has relied on the same outdated solutions for over 40 years. These treatments carry massive side effects that many people don’t want, and they can be especially harsh for women.

We developed our hair revival serum through a process of AI-innovation that narrowed our search to solutions specifically targeting the dermal papilla. We discovered an ingredient that stimulates the dermal papilla and reawakens your roots. 

How Our Hair Revival Serum Works

Our Hair Revival Serum works in two ways:

  1. ProCelinyl™. Our groundbreaking discovery of this ingredient means our serum targets your follicles directly, where the hair matrix cells proliferate and create new hair. 
  2. Supportive ingredients. In addition to ProCelinyl™, our Hair Revival Serum contains research-backed ingredients that help combat DHT and support the health of the hair follicle. 

You’ll also see results sooner than you might expect, in as little as six weeks. 

Hair You Love, Safely and Easily

It’s time to change the way we approach thinning hair and clear up the misinformation.  With Revela, you can revive your hair follicles and support the healthy hair you’ll love.

Profile photo for Enzo Benfanti

Reviewed by: Enzo Benfanti, MEng |

Enzo is a chemical engineer and data enthusiast with a background in industrial chemicals. His previous experience is in developing catalysts and designing industrial chemical processes to produce the precursors to detergents, polyester fibers, and other specialty materials. He received his bachelor’s degree from the University at Buffalo [Go Bills!] and his master's degree from Columbia University, both in chemical engineering.

Written by: Kyle B. Martin |

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