Juice shops are now as ubiquitous as the Starbucks on every corner, and celery juice is an Instagram sensation. It's official: The juicing lifestyle has gone mainstream.
Getting that daily dose of greens does a body good — that's no surprise — but could vegetable juices also help in the quest for longer, stronger, healthier hair? VEGAMOUR spoke with nutrition experts to get their tips on the benefits of vegetable juicing, including how it can impact hair health, scalp health and overall wellness.
Leafy greens are rich in water, antioxidants and other essential nutrients. Thus, drinking — rather than eating — veggies such as cucumber juice or spinach juice can help eliminate toxins while simultaneously hydrating your system. Celery juice, for example, is thought to be a powerful tonic thanks to its anti-inflammatory, alkalizing properties. When juiced, the pulp (fiber) is removed, making celery’s cleansing power even more potent.
Other benefits of green vegetables are:
- Supporting and boosting your immune system
- Bolstering metabolism
- Reducing bloat
- Regulating blood pressure
- Minimizing inflammation
- Improved gut health
Does Drinking Juice Help Your Hair?
"Fresh organic cold-pressed juices have many health benefits. When you consume a juice, you are missing the healthy fiber found in whole food; I always recommend adding a blending fruit or vegetable to your drink recipes if you are juicing, so you get all the powerful health benefits from fruits and vegetables," said Kimberly Synder, Founder of Solluna and New York Times bestselling author. "There are specific juices that can be beneficial for the health of your hair and scalp, including aloe vera juice, kiwi juice and cucumber juice."
According to Synder, spinach is highly concentrated with vitamin B, which restores shine and promotes hair growth. Cilantro enhances hair growth and fights against hair fall or hair loss. Celery is high in water and vitamin A, which helps keep the skin and scalp hydrated and nourishes the roots of hair. Synder also recommends making vegetable juices utilizing a juicer in order to extract as many nutrients as possible.
"Juicing is the right way to kick-start getting your body and mind into a more healthy and balanced state. In the absence of fiber and complex foods, your body has an enhanced ability to absorb the high dose of positive nutritional content found in vegetable and fruit juices," said Olivia Esquivel, co-founder of Southern Pressed Juicery.
Hair Healing Adaptogens
"One thing is for sure, as we continue through this global pandemic, we are all experiencing high levels of stress. Elevated stress brings elevated cortisol levels, and a whole host of issues can manifest in your body, from hair loss to memory fog to lack of stamina and endurance. Enter the ancient healer: adaptogens," said Esquivel.
Adaptogens are functional mushrooms and super herbs that help the body fight the adverse effects of stress hormones and nourish overworked adrenal glands. Adaptogens also have a powerful impact on the HPA axis (hypothalamic pituitary adrenal), the group of glands and hormones that regulate the response to stress, particularly adrenaline and cortisol.
"Adaptogens help the body resist stressors of all kinds, whether physical, chemical or biological. Once in the body, they quite literally go where they are needed to help your body 'adapt' to stress," said Esquivel.
Controlling cortisol levels may help relieve stress-induced hair loss. Using adaptogens, along with taking a biotin supplement or GRO+ Advanced Gummies, can also help bolster hair health with essential ingredients such as broad-spectrum hemp oil, folic acid and zinc.
Vitamins Are Also Vital
“Certain nutrient deficiencies including iron, zinc, vitamin B-3, fatty acids, selenium and vitamin D may impact hair growth and scalp health. Therefore, ensuring that you consume adequate amounts of these nutrients may help support scalp and hair health,” said registered dietitian Mia Syn, MS, RDN. “In relation to vitamin D, vitamin K2 is critically important. While many of us meet our vitamin K1 needs through consumption of leafy green vegetables, vitamin K2 is less commonly consumed in the western diet since it is primarily found in fermented foods like natto."
The dietician's tips include adding the following ingredients to a juice or smoothie:
- Spinach will contribute plant-based iron, beta carotene and vitamin E.
- Pumpkin seeds will contribute zinc.
- Bananas will add vitamin B-3.
- Nuts and seeds will contribute fatty acid.
- Brazil nuts will contribute selenium.
- Fortified milk will contribute vitamin D.
Here are some other options for drinking or eating for healthy hair. Consider including potassium-rich fruits that activate enzymes, citrus fruits with lycopene, onions, beta carotene-rich carrots or carrot juice. Garlic juice may boost collagen production that helps stimulate hair growth. And, if the results you're seeking are longer, stronger hair, protein is key!
Also: Is Collagen Vegan?
Plant-Powered Protein for Healthier Hair
"Something to note is that our hair is made up largely of protein, but what is important is the quality of the protein. There's plenty of protein in the plant world," said Synder. "Elixirs that contain hemp milk are another way to get omega-3’s into your system. It really does wonders for your hair when you’re getting those essential fats. It opens your circulation, is nourishing and is really, really important."
Synder's plant protein recommendations that can be added to a juice or smoothie include:
- Hemp seeds
- Raw nuts (almonds, Brazil nuts, pecans, hazelnuts, and pine nuts)
- Hemp or sprouted raw protein powder
Spice Up Your Circulation
Proteins — and especially keratin, which is known to be sulfur-rich — are needed for growing healthier, longer hair. Onion juice, which has extra sulfur, may promote hair growth and also can help to boost circulation. Using a scalp massager to stimulate circulation to the scalp supports healthy blood flow to the hair follicles.
"Another great circulation tip is to incorporate warming spices," said Snyder. "I think part of what is amazing about warming spices is that on one level, they stimulate our digestion and then also our circulation. Ginger and turmeric are particularly helpful [and] to some extent, cayenne. They can aid in proper digestion and even have some anti-inflammatory properties, and inflammation is the enemy of circulation."
You can also elevate the health of your scalp and hair with the GRO Discovery Kit. The trifecta of products, including GRO Hair Serum for daily use, GRO Hair Foam for volume and GRO Dry Shampoo utilizing follicle-stimulating technology, can help in creating visibly fuller-looking hair.
Recipe For Tress Success
"Lemons are another ingredient rich in many nutrients: Citric acid, calcium, magnesium, vitamin C, pectin and flavonoids, each of which is beneficial for hair growth. In addition, vitamin C supports the immune system and improves collagen production, which in turn makes the hair grow," said Synder. Here, she shares her recipe for "one of the most potent health and beauty elixirs," which is jam-packed with mineral-rich greens, vitamin-packed fruit such as detoxifying lemon, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fiber, high-quality amino acids (which build protein) and other phytonutrients.
Glowing Green Smoothie® Recipe
- 7 cups chopped spinach (about a medium bunch)
- 6 cups chopped romaine lettuce (about 1 small head)
- 2 cups cold filtered water
- 1½ cups chopped celery (about 2 medium stalks)
- 1 medium apple, cored and coarsely chopped
- 1 medium pear, cored and coarsely chopped
- 1 medium banana, peeled and cut in thirds
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1⁄2 cup minced fresh cilantro (stems are OK)(optional)
- 1⁄2 cup minced fresh parsley (stems are OK)(optional)
- Fill the blender with 2 cups of water. Blend the spinach and romaine until smooth.
- Add the celery, apple, pear and herbs (if using) and blend again until smooth.
- Finally, add the lemon juice and banana; do your last blend.
- Pour and eat fresh!
Up Next: How Does Cortisol Affect Hair Loss?
Can Juicing Make Your Hair Grow?
While the verdict is still out on whether juice makes hair grow, there's no harm in incorporating more veggies and fruit into your lifestyle. Patience and a holistic approach to hair wellness are key in getting the results you want, and they won't happen overnight. And, now — when people are trying to keep their immune systems as strong as possible — is the perfect time to mix up a juice and say cheers to drinking your next salad!
More From VEGAMOUR
- Does Saw Palmetto Help With Hair Loss?
- Side Effects of Finasteride and Minoxidil
- 6 Signs You Need a Scalp Detox (And How to Do It)
- Sara Cervera/Unsplash