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Stinging Nettle for Hair Health

By Daniel Powers, MSc |
Stinging Nettle for Hair Health

Stinging nettle is a popular nutritive herb that’s commonly used to support hair health.

While a herb called “stinging nettle” sounds like one of the last things you’d want to consume, this is actually one of the most beneficial botanicals that you can take.

Despite its stinging nature, nettle provides a variety of vitamins and minerals that can help to support overall health and help you to grow thick, shiny hair.

We’ll review the top research-backed benefits of nettle for hair in this article. We’ll also go over the best ways to add this beneficial herb to your diet.

Stinging Nettle Overview:

Stinging nettle is a member of the Urticaceae family of plants. This plant grows wild throughout the United States and much of the rest of the world.

The scientific name for this herb is Urtica dioica, but it’s commonly called “stinging nettle” or simply “nettle”.

Stinging nettle has a long history of use as a medicine and food. This herb is seen as a nutritive herb, due to its high levels of vitamins and minerals.

Stinging nettle leaves contain histamine and formic acid, when you brush up against fresh leaves, it can sting your skin. This can cause redness, stinging, and an itchy sensation.

It should be noted that when nettle leaves are heated and/or dried, this removes the ability of nettle leaves to sting. So there’s no need to fear getting stung when taking a nettle supplement!

Stinging nettle is typically well tolerated by most individuals and safe to consume.

Stinging nettle can be cooked and used like any other type of green. In fact, stinging nettle is known to be more nutrient dense than spinach!

Stinging Nettle Benefits For Hair:

For millennia, nettle has been taken to help promote thick, luscious hair. It is said to support overall scalp health and hair growth. Read on below.

1. Nutrient Dense

Nettle is rich in essential vitamins and minerals that can benefit hair health.

This includes:

  • Vitamins A, B, C, D, and E
  • Minerals, including magnesium, potassium, calcium, iron, and manganese
  • Phytochemicals, including gallic acid and tannins

Nettle is also rich in protein. It’s estimated that nettle leaf powder contains 30% protein by weight, an impressive amount!

Stinging nettle also contains silica, a key nutrient that works to build stronger hair and nails.

When taking stinging nettle, you are essentially providing your body with the building blocks to build stronger, healthier hair.

2. May Protect Against Hair Damage

Stinging nettles contain a variety of antioxidants that may help to protect against hair damage caused by free radicals.

Free radicals are harmful molecules that can cause damage to your hair, which can lead to hair thinning. Free radicals can impact other areas of health, in particular, they are thought to promote premature aging

Free radical production is often the result of being exposed to environmental toxins, poor diet, lack of exercise, high-stress levels, and low-quality skin care products.

Research shows that stinging nettle contains antioxidants, flavonoids, and vitamin C which work to neutralize free radicals. 

Due to this, stinging nettle leaf is thought to add luster to your hair and protect against free radical damage.

3. May Increase Scalp Blood Flow

Stinging nettle is also thought to help increase blood flow to the scalp.

Blood flow to the scalp is important because it helps to provide your hair with all of the nutrients that it needs to grow strong and healthy. Poor circulation to the scalp stops the roots of your hair from receiving needed nutrients – which can leave your hair follicles weak and lifeless.

Laboratory-based studies show that stinging nettle can increase circulation. It’s thought that stinging nettle works by strengthening and relaxing the blood vessels. This improves circulation and increases the number of nutrients received by the scalp. This helps your hair grow stronger and longer.

4. May Inhibit DHT

Studies show that nettle may have the ability to block dihydrotestosterone (DHT) production, a hormone that has been linked to hair loss.

DHT is a hormone that, when overproduced, can cause hair follicles to miniaturize. When DHT levels are high, the hair growth cycle shortens, which can cause hair follicles to shrink and fall out.

Researchers believe that the mechanism of action for stinging nettle is its ability to block 5-alpha reductase activity. 5-Alpha reductase is an enzyme that converts testosterone into DHT. If 5-alpha reductase levels are reduced, then less DHT is produced.

5. May Reduce Inflammation

Research indicates that stinging nettle may help to restore inflammatory balance to the body. This is part of the reason why stinging nettle is thought to be one of the best herbs for allergies.

Scalp inflammation is thought to be responsible for hair loss as it damages hair follicles, causing hair loss and thinning.

Lab studies have shown that stinging nettle works to reduce inflammatory hormone levels. It does this by interfering with the production of inflammatory compounds.

Additionally, a clinical trial found that applying stinging nettle cream helped to reduce various inflammatory markers.

Balancing inflammation levels is important for overall health, and can also support your hair health.

How To Add Stinging Nettle To Your Diet

Based on stinging nettle’s hair health benefits listed above, adding this herb to your diet is a great decision.

The best way to incorporate this stinging nettle into your diet is by taking a daily supplement.

At Wellbel, we include stinging nettle in our Wellbel Women’s formula, our daily hair health supplement.

In addition to stinging nettle leaf, Wellbel Women also contains biotin, MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane), vitamins A, B9, B12, and D, as well as other key nutrients for hair health.

This formula is your one-stop beauty supplement that works to support hair, skin, and nail health.


Stinging nettle is a safe, well-tolerated herb that’s great for hair health.

Research indicates that stinging nettle may provide many different hair health benefits.

If you are looking for natural support for your hair, stinging nettle is worth considering.

Here at Wellbel, we include stinging nettle leaf in our Wellbel Women formula. This daily women’s health formula works to support hair, skin, and nail health.

Have you tried stinging nettle before? What's your favorite way to include this herb in your diet?

Daniel Powers, MSc
Daniel has a master's degree in herbal science from the Maryland University of Integrative Health. He's the founder of The Botanical Institute, where he writes about the health benefits of herbs.
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