The eyebrows are a type of hair, just like our head hair in many ways. Hair is a amazing and complex part of us.
So, I thought that depending on deeply you’d like to dive into a topic, you might want a resource that offers more details about some of the more technical parts of hair care and health.
That way, we won’t go down rabbit holes when we’re enjoying the rest of this site!
I’ve put together a list of common ingredients in hair health formulations, with a focus on those used to grow your eyebrows back or to grow thicker eyebrows, hoping to have everything in a convenient resource for you. I’ve also included some topics about hair health and growth in general.
If you have any suggestions or corrections, please don’t hesitate to let me know in the Comments section!
Acacia concinna (shikakai)
Acacia concinna is a traditional Indian (Ayurvedic) medicinal plant used since ancient times, mainly as a shampoo. It’s prized for its ability to clean hair gently without stripping away natural oils. Acacia concinna is also known for its anti-dandruff properties. Additional uses include healing and strengthening the scalp and hair roots.
Acorus calamus (wetland monocot)
Acorus calamus is a herbaceous flowering perennial that resembles the iris and grows in or near water. It is also known as the wetland monocot, sweet flag, or calamus. The stems, leaves, and roots used in Ayurvedic, Siddha, Sikkim, Chinese, and Native American traditional medicine. The oil of Acorus calamus has been relied upon since ancient times to stop hair loss.
Adenosine is a bio-organic compound involved in different functions in the body. Adenosine has been investigated as a topical treatment to promote hair health by stimulating growth and thickening hair shafts. For this purpose it is recommended to both men and women.
Allantoin is a chemical compound used in skin and hair products to heal, moisturize, and soothe. It is also thought to promote healthy tissue formation and cell growth.
Allium cepa (onion)
Allium cepa (onion) is a plant used not only as food but also as a component in skin and hair health treatments. Applied onto the scalp, onion is reputed to encourage hair health by stimulating blood circulation. Onion also has anti-microbial characteristics that address scalp infections. The plant is abundant in sulphur, which boosts collagen production, thereby promoting hair thickness, strength, and growth. It may help those who want to grow eyebrows back naturally while being careful to keep any onion juice away from the eyes (ouch!).
Aloe barbadensis is a plant used for food, medicine, and cosmetics. It is also known simply as aloe. The leaf juice has a variety of enzymes, vitamins, anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory agents, and amino acids. These support hair growth by soothing, promoting healing, and eradicating any conditions that might be causing hair problems, by conditioning the scalp and hair, and by providing an optimal environment to grow eyebrows back.
Amar bel (see Cuscuta reflexa)
Amla (see Emblica offinalis)
Aminexil is a topical that promotes elasticity of collagen, thus improving circulation to the hair follicle. The improved blood flow is conducive to hair growth.
Aminexil complements minoxidil (Rogaine), and the two solutions can be used together topically. Both Aminexil and Minoxidil support hair growth, but in different ways.
Amino acids are the tiny building blocks of proteins. Together, many of these building blocks form long protein chains that can have many different shapes and functions. Protein accounts for over 90 percent of hair fiber.
There are 20 kinds of amino acids, 9 of which the human body can’t produce on its own. To have great skin and hair, it’s important to get enough protein in our diet. Using amino acids topically (in creams and serums) can also improve the condition of hair and skin, according to clinical studies. Some benefits of topically applied amino acids include:
- protection from damaging UV light
- antioxidant effects
- conditioning of skin
- boosting of tissue repair
Aminosaccharides (“amino sugars”) are tiny building bits that provide material to maintain the body in and around certain cells. Normally the amino sugars are made in the cells where they’re needed. People can also get amino sugars through the diet.
Aminosaccharides can be applied on the skin for cosmetic purposes. For example, N-Acetyl glucosamine (NAG) is necessary for production of hyaluronic acid in the skin, and NAG is known to reduce the appearance of dark spots on the skin.
Amla (see Emblica offinalis)
Anagen is the active growth stage of an eyebrow hair. Cells in the root of the hair multiply and continue to add length to the hair shaft. The length of this phase determines the length of the eyebrow hair. The anagen phase lasts between 30 and 45 days. Ingredients that trigger or prolong the anagen stage are ideal to help grow your eyebrows back.
Arctium lappa (burdock)
Burdock is a plant with a history of use in folk medicine for a variety of purposes. It’s considered to be a blood purifier and to have anti-inflammatory properties. Burdock is rich in several items that promote healthy hair: phytosterols, essential fatty acids, and amino acids. These constituents are thought to support hair health by:
- delivering nutrients to the hair roots through increased circulation
- reducing scalp inflamation
- keeping the scalp free of excessive oil and grease
Argania spinosa (argan)
Argan oil is a traditional plant-based treatment for scalp problems that compromise hair health. It has been used since ancient times to ease itchy, flaky scalp conditions that can clog hair follicles and lead to hair loss. Argan oil can relieve symptoms of dermatitis, psoriasis, dry scalp, seborrheic dermatitis (oily scalp), and dandruff. Argan oil is also used to enhance the appearance of hair by increasing control and shine.
Arginine is an amino acid. It’s a precursor of nitric oxide. Nitric oxide enhances blood flow and improves nutrition available to follicles. This improved environment allows for individual hair fibers to become thicker. If you’re hoping to grow your eyebrows thicker, it might be a good idea to try a product formulated with arginine.
Arnica montana is an herb grown mainly in northern India which contains phulin, tannin, volatile oil, and arnicin. Arnica is often used to promote tissue healing, for example, after surgery. It’s sometimes used in hair cleaning and conditioning products and anti-dandruff preparations to promote hair and scalp health.
Ashwagandha (see Withania somnifera)
Azadirachta indica (neem)
The Azadirachta indica or neem tree is native to India. Neem oil is used in Unani, Siddha, and Ayuvedic medicine systems for a variety of purposes, often to treat skin conditions. Neem is often included in shampoos, conditioners, rinses, pre-shampoo treatments, and anti-dandruff forumlations.
Neem is believed to have antibacterial, antifungal, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and regenerative properties. It is used to calm scalp inflammation and stimulate hair growth. Its antioxidants protect skin from free radical damage, and neem’s regenerative characteristics promote normal cell division. Neem is rich in vitamin E, quercetin, nimbosterol, and liminoids. It also contains oleic, stearic, palmitic, linoleic, and other fatty acids.
Azelaic acid is an organic compound present in various plants. It has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties that can ease skin and scalp conditions, thereby providing an optimal environment for hair health.
Bacopa monnieri (bramhi)
Bacopa monnieri is a medicinal plant in the Ayurvedic system.
Besides its common names of bramhi or herb of grace, it is also referred to as water hyssop and Indian pennywort.
Bacopa monnieri is rich in plant sterols and alkaloids that enhance the growth phase of the hair cycle and increase follicle size.
In Ayurveda, Bacopa monnieri offers these benefits:
- Strengthens hair follicles
- Promotes hair growth and thickness
- Decreases dandruff caused by dry scalp
- Nourishes scalp
- Prevents alopecia
- Reduces hair loss due to stress
- Conditions hair
Bay leaf (see Lauris nobilis)
Bayberry (see Myrica cerifera)
Berberis lyceum (Indian barberry)
Berberis is a group of shrubs that grow in most regions around the world. Barberry is rich in biologically active isoquinolone alkaloids, especially berberine. The dried fruit, root, and stem bark are used in traditional herbal medicine. Barberry is thought to cleanse the system, thus providing improved conditions for hair health.
Beta-sitosterol is a plant sterol. It has a structure similar to cholesterol (which is found in foods derived from animals, such as meat and buter). However, plant sterols can actually block absorption of cholesterol, giving plant sterols a reputation for promoting heart health.
Besides having this great benefit, plant sterols contain androgen-blockers that can block DHT, a hormone that contributes to hair loss.
Bhumi alma (see Phyllanthus niruri)
Biotin (vitamin B7)
Biotin is a water-soluble B-complex vitamin. It’s an essential piece of our nutrition and can’t be produced by the human body. The consensus seems to be that taking biotin by mouth (whether in food or supplements) will improve the condition of your scalp and hair if you’re deficient in this vitamin. But there’s disagreement over whether biotin applied to the skin or scalp will do anything to promote scalp and hair health. Many sources indicate that biotin is helpful to the hair and scalp only if taken internally. However, this article in the Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology suggests that biotin can indeed enter the system through the skin and improve hair and scalp condition.
Black seed oil (see Nigella sativa)
Bramhi (see Bacopa monnieri)
Burdock (see Arctium lappa)
Caffeine is a drug naturally found in plants such as tea, coffee, and cocoa. In addition to its stimulant properties, it is a powerful antioxidant and is believed to counteract DHT, a hormone that can contribute to baldness, when applied to the scalp.
Topical use of caffeine is showing encouraging results in addressing male and female pattern baldness. It is thought to take only minutes for caffeine in shampoo to penetrate the scalp.
Calendula officinalis (calendula)
Calendula belongs to the daisy family and is also known as pot marigold. Its flowers are yellow to orange. Calendula is native to western Europe, the Mediterranean area, and southwest Asia.
Calendula extract is believed to have detoxifying, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory properties, thus helping to create an optimal environment for healthy hair growth.
Camellia sinensis (tea)
Camellia sinensis has an amazing number of compounds and properties that support hair health. The humble tea plant is prized for its ability to
- improve blood circulation and hormonal balances (An overall healthy body will produce its best possible hair.)
- support (through catechins in tea leaf extract) male hair regrowth by blocking 5-alpha-reductase, the enzyme responsible for hair loss
Camellia sinensis also contains epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG).
Carrissa carandas is a flowering shrub with berry-sized fruit. It’s native to southwest Asia and thrives in high temperatures. The plant is also known by many names, including crane berry, karandas, ring berry, Bengal currant, carandas plum, Christ’s thorn, and karaunda. Carrissa carandas is a powerful antioxidant and besides its other medicinal properties, it is used to
- stimulate collagen production
- address alopecia and psorasis
- encourage hair growth
- color the hair naturally
Cassia obovata (senna)
Not to be confused with henna despite the similarity of their names and uses, senna is a valuable plant in Indian and Chinese traditional medicine. Senna leaves contain myricyl alcohol, kaemferol, emodin, aloe emodin, chrysophanol, mono and diglucosides, Palmidin, and mucilage.
There are many types of senna. Some are used mainly as laxatives.
The most common types used for hair health are Cassia obovata and Cassia italia.
Senna is known to treat dandruff, improve scalp and hair condition, and add shine to hair.
Like henna, senna affects the color of hair. While henna can dramatically redden hair, senna can more add more muted yellow tones to lighter hair. Senna can’t lighten dark hair, however.
Castor bean plant (see Ricinus communis)
The catagen stage is a transitional phase in the hair growth cycle when a hair separates from its blood supply and from the cells that generate new hair. Growth stops during the catagen stage, and the hair follicle shrinks. Some eyebrow hairs will shed at this time.
Cedar wood (see Juniperus virginiana)
Chamomile (see Matricaria chamomilla)
Cichorium endiva (endive)
Endive is a leafy vegetable that belongs to the chicory family. Aside from its usefulness as a food, endive has been used traditionally to address several skin conditions such as scleroderma. Endive is rich in vitamin E, and applied topically to the scalp this vitamin is used to support circulation and promote healthy hair growth. The vitamin A in endive is useful in moisturizing the scalp and maintaining a good oil balance.
Citrus limon (lemon)
Because lemon juice is rich in vitamin C and citric acid, it can support scalp health and cut through oil, dirt, and skin flakes that may be clogging pores and hair follicles. Lemon juice has long been used to fight dandruff, and it’s thought to promote hair growth.
Lemon juice is acidic, so it can bleach. Some people desire this effect and use lemon juice to bring out highlights in their hair. If you’d rather not lighten your hair, avoid leaving lemon juice on it for more than a brief time. The lighter your natural color, the greater the effect will be.
If using lemon around the face or eyes, try diluting it or mixing it with other ingredients to reduce the acidity. Use lemon juice with great caution to avoid getting it in your eyes.
Clary sage (See Salvia scaria)
Cocos nucifera (coconut)
Coconut oil is a staple in plant-based hair and scalp care. It has properties that provide many benefits. Coconut oil contains potassium, iron, vitamins E and K, and antioxidants. Coconut oil’s lauric acid, with its low molecular weight, allows deep penetration into the hair shaft. Fatty acids control dandruff. The oil locks in moisture and smoothes and adds shine to hair.
The cortex is the layer of a hair that is found between the outer layer (cuticle) and the core (medulla). The cortex is composed of keratin molecules. Most of the pigment of a hair is in the cortex.
Crataegus laevigata (midland hawthorn)
The Crataegus laevigata is a small to medium sized tree that produces berries. In traditional medicine, hawthorn berries are used to promote hair growth. They contain procyanidins which have very high anti-oxidant activity and which may stabilize collagen and maintain elastin. Collagen and elastin are important proteins in the skin.
Cucurbita pepo (pumpkin)
Pumpkin seed oil or extract is considered an excellent support for the hair and scalp. It is used alone or in combination with other plant-based ingredients, to naturally promote healthy hair growth. Pumpkin seed oil is rich in nutrients, including vitamin E, unsaturated fatty acids (linoleic acid), phytosterols (plant sterols), manganese, and zinc. These may help to:
- diminish inflammation
- decrease androgen activity (including that of DHT, which contributes to hair loss)
- supply trace elements needed for healthy hair
- reduce narrowing of blood vessels (atherosclerosis)
Cuminum cyminum (cumin)
Cuminum cyminum is a flowering plant in the parsley family native to a region from the middle east to India. Besides being used as a culinary spice, cumin has a role in traditional medicine. Among its many medicinal uses is the treatment of skin disorders, hair loss, and hair thinning. Cumin has the following properties which contribute to optimal conditions for hair health:
- Anti-inflammatory. Cumin contains thymoquinone, a powerful anti-inflammatory agent.
- Antioxidant. Cumin is rich in vitamins A, C, and E, known antioxidants. It also contains items like carotene and zeaxanthin which scavange harmful free radicals.
- Antibacterial. Cumin seeds can neutralize harmful bacteria on our skin, scalp, and hair.
Curcuma longa (turmeric)
There are at least 133 species of turmeric in the Curcuma family. The most widely used is Curcuma longa (yellow turmeric). Besides its use as a spice for food, Curcuma longa is valued in Ayurvedic medicine, where it’s referred to as haidi.
It has a wide variety of medicinal uses, some of which relate to skin and hair health.
The phytochemical curcumin in turmeric has anti-oxidant properties, stopping free radicals from damaging the body. Curcumin also has anti-inflammatory characteristics that zero in on inflammatory pathways and decrease activity of processes that promote inflammation. Turmeric supports wound healing. It decreases activity of TGF beta, a small protein that can lead to hair follicle death. Turmeric has been used traditionally to treat dermatitis, eczema, dandruff, and head lice. These properties make turmeric ideal for use on the skin, scalp, and hair to promote the most favorable conditions for health.
Curry (see Murraya koenigii)
Cuscuta reflexa (amar bel)
Cuscuta reflexa is a vine in the morning glory family used in traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine to promote hair growth. It is also known as amar bel, giant dodder, and devil’s hair. Cuscuta reflexa is used to relieve an inflamed or itchy scalp. The plant is believed to treat alopecia by preventing hair loss and increasing hair follicles.
The cuticle is the outermost part of a hair. It is made of dead cells that overlap one another like shingles on a roof. The cuticle protects and strengthens a hair.
Damask rose (see Rosa damascena)
DHT is an androgen, a naturally occurring male sex hormone in the body that helps gives males some of their unique attributes. DHT is converted from testosterone. Men, of course, produce testosterone, and even women produce a small amount as well. DHT is destructive to hair follicles, including those of the eyebrows, causing the follicles to miniaturize, a process which results in increasingly thinner hairs. Quite a few of the treatments for hair loss and thinning are an attempt to interfere with the production or presence of DHT. Skin that is free of excess DHT gives you the best chance to grow your eyebrows back.
Eclipta alba is an herb used for traditional medicine and personal care. Its common names aroud the world include false daisy, yerba de tago, and karisalankanni. Eclipta prostrata is closely related to Eclipta alba and is sometimes substituted.
Eclipta alba is used in Ayurvedic medicine for various purposes including liver health. One of its common names, bhringaraja (also spelled bhringraj), translated literally, means “king of hair.” This title reflects the reputation of this plant to support hair growth. Bhringaraja oil is used topically to treat a number of hair and skin problems. It is valued for its purported role in decreasing scalp inflammation, stimulating the anagen (growth) phase of the hair cycle, and even restoring hair in previously bald areas of the scalp. Bringaraja can also be applied as a hair pack made of leaves.
In traditional Chinese medicine, Eclipta alba is known as han lian cao. In ancient medical works, it is credited for its effectiveness in treating baldness and graying hair, among other issues.
Emblica offinalis (amla)
Amla is a rich source of vitamin C, containing 20 times more of this vitamin than an orange. It contains other anti-oxidants also, including quercetin, phyllantine, emblicanin, ellagic acid, and gallic acid. And, alma has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.
Emu oil comes from the fat of the flightless emu bird native to Australia. Aboriginal people used emu oil to soothe aches and pains and to heal wounds. Emu oil is used to reduce inflammation. It contains oleic (omega-9), linoleic (omega-6), linolenic(omega-3), myristic, and palmitic acids. It’s not a miracle oil, but it does penetrate skin especially well.
Endive (see Cichorium endiva)
EGCG is a naturally occurring protective antioxidant (a flavonoid) in the leaves of the Camellia sinensis (tea) plant. Both green tea and black tea come from the same plant; they are simply processed differently after harvesting. Because of these differences, green tea ends up having a much higher content of EGCG. EGCG helps protect molecules and cells by reducing free radical damage throughout the body. It can be taken internally through the beverage tea or supplements, or applied topically as an ingredient in a personal care formulation.
As for its benefits for skin and hair, EGCG is believed to have several. It is thought to reduce the harmful effects of androgen (male hormone) action in the skin and scalp. EGCG has been studied for its ability to protect hair follicles from radiation, stimulate hair growth, and prolong the anagen (growth) phase of the hair growth cycle.
EGCG is a common ingredient in products designed to grow eyebrows back or grow eyebrows thicker.
Equisetum arvense (horsetail)
Horsetail is a perennial plant native to the arctic and temperate areas of the north. It contains phytosterols, quercetin, and amino acids, but is especially prized for its high level of silica, a substance that strengthens nails and hair. Horsetail is used to stimulate the scalp and fortify the hair.
Ethanol is also called alcohol, grain alcohol, ethyl alcohol, and drinking alcohol. As an ingredient in hair, scalp, and skin preparations, ethanol is a well-tolerated, plant-derived solvent included to help deliverr other ingredients more deeply into the skin and hair follicle.
Fenugreek (see Trigonella foenum graecum)
Flavonoids are natural substances found in plants, including most of the fruits, vegetables, herbs, juices, teas, and wines we consume. Flavonoids (along with carotenoids) give color to these foods. Flavonoids act as powerful antioxidants in the body.
They can improve the condition of the skin when taken internally, but they are extensively modified through first-pass metabolism as the digestive system processes the flavonoids before they reach the skin. Flavonoids can also be applied topically as ingredients in lotions, oils, packs, serums, and so on. Some of the more common flavonoids you may see in a list of ingredients are quercetin, catechins, anthocyanidins, and kaempferol.
Flavonoids are thought to protect the skin from UVB sunlight, counteract inflammation caused by UV radiation, and support wound healing and blood vessel health. All of these actions promote a good environment for skin and hair health. As such, they may help grow eyebrows back or grow eyebrows thicker.
Folate (Vitamin B9)
Folate (or folic acid) is a B vitamin which is important for healthy blood and cells and vital for fetal development during pregnancy. It’s also encouraged as part of a diet to support hair and nail growth. Folate in the diet is recommended for pattern baldness and alopecia. Many people don’t get enough folate through their diet alone.
As part of a topical skin or hair care formula, folate is used to increase hydration, decrease environmental stress, and improve overall appearance.
Fo-ti (see Polygonum multiflorum)
Ginkgo biloba, native to China and one of the oldest living species of trees, is also known as the maidenhair tree or simply ginkgo. Among other beneficial constituents, ginkgo contains the antioxidants flavonoids and terpenoids.
The leaf of the Ginkgo biloba plant has been used for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine to improve circulation and mental function. Because of its support for circulation, ginkgo is thought to boost oxygen and nutrient availability within the body, leading to an optimal basis for scalp and hair health. Ginkgo can be taken as an oral supplement and is also found as a topical ingredient in skin and hair care products.
Ginseng (see Panax ginseng)
Glycyrrhiza glabra (licorice)
Glycyrrhiza glabra is a herbaceous perennial plant indigineous to Europe and parts of Asia. It is also known as liquorice, mulethi, yashtimadhu, and yastimadhu. The root of the plant has a sweet flavor. Its extract is used in candies and sweets. Licorice was once used to flavor tobacco. In traditional Chinese medicine, Glycyrrhiza glabra is thought to harmonize the ingredients in a preparation. In Ayurvedic medicine, it has many purposes. A few of the most common ones are to ease problems associated with the voice, throat, and respiratory system, and to heal wounds and relieve inflammation of the skin.
Because of its reputed benefits for the skin, licorice is common in skin and hair products. Its antioxidants can help protect skin and hair from environmental stress. Its anti-inflammatory properties help ease eczema, rosacea, itching, and acne. These qualities may help provide the basis for optimal hair growth. For people trying to grow eyebrows back or grow eyebrows thicker, licorice may be a beneficial topical ingredient.
Grape seed extract (see Vitis vinifera)
Green tea (see Camellia sinesis)
Guava (see Psidium guajava)
Hedychium spicatum (spiked ginger lily)
Hedychium spicatum is a small perrenial in the ginger family native to Asia and Ethiopia. It is also known as spiked ginger lily or kapur kachri. It is valued in Ayurvedic and Tibetan medicine. Among other benefits, the plant is valued for its tonic, antiinflammatory, and circulation-enhancing properties. It is used in hair and scalp products to stimulate hair growth and add fragrance.
Hibiscus (see Rosa sinensis)
Holarrhena antidysentrica (tellicherry bark)
This tree, native to Asia, is also called conessi, kurchi, kutaja, and tellicherry bark. It is an important medicinal plant for many purposes in the Ayurvedic and Unani systems of medicine. For skin and hair health, this plant is prized for its ability to:
- gently rinse away toxins
- wash away flakes and oils that impede hair growth
- promote healing of scalp wounds, disorders, and irritation
- control hair loss by supporting healthy scalp and skin
Holy basil (see Ocimum sanctum)
Hops (see Humulus lupulus)
Horsetail (see Equisetum arvense)
Humulus lupulus (hops)
Hops is a perennial climbing plant in the hemp family. The extract of hops is believed to be a powerful inhibitor of 5-alpha-reductase, an enzyme responsible for hair loss, as well as a strong hair growth stimulant.
Indian almond (see Terminalia catappa)
Indian barberry (see Berberis lyceum)
Inositol (vitamin B8)
Inositol is a vitamin used to address such issues as diabetic nerve pain and various mental health conditions. It is used to create a healthy environment in the skin and scalp to support hair growth. Inositol is believed to curb hyperandrogenism, a condition which causes an excess of male hormones in the system and which can contribute to many problems such as acne, ovarian cysts, unwanted facial hair, pattern baldness, and alopecia (a type of hair loss).
Inositol is also used to strengthen hair through increased moisture retention.
Jasmine is a group of shrubs and vines that grow in tropical and subtropical regions and produce a fragrant flower.
Jasmine is antibacterial, antimicrobial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant. These properties help ensure the skin or scalp is in optimal condition to grow healthy hair. Jasmine oil is an excellent moisturizer, and it is believed to strengthen hair roots.
Jojoba (see Simmondsia chinensis)
Juniperus virginiana (cedar wood)
Cedar wood oil is extracted from the wood of the Juniperus virginiana tree. The oil contains thujopsene, cedrol, widdrol, alpha cedrene, beta cedrene, and sesquierpenes. These items give it antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, antifungal, astringent, antiseborrhoeic (anti-dandruff), anti-stress, insecticidal, and toning properties that can improve the condition of the skin, scalp, and hair.
Justicia adhatoda (malabar nut)
Justicia adhatoda (also known as malabar nut, vasa, vasaka, adulsa, and adhatoda) is a tall shrub native to Asia. It is used in the Ayurvedic, Unani, Siddha, and homeopathic systems of medicine. One of its therapeutic uses is to promote health of the respiratory system. In its skin and hair care role, the extract of the malabar nut is applied to soothe skin and address scalp disorders. The juice of the plant is used as a poultice.
Keratin is a protein and the main component (about 95%) of hair. It’s also present in human skin and nails. The keratin cells in our visible hair are no longer living. However, they respond to care.
The keratin added to shampoos and conditioners cannot address the causes of baldness, but it can fortify, protect, and condition the hair shaft, allowing it to grow longer and look better.
Ketoconazole is a drug used to fight infections caused by yeast or fungus. It destroys the yeast or fungus or prevents its growth.
In the U.S., ketoconazole is known by the trade names Xolegel, Extina, Kuric, Ketodan Kit, Nizoral, and Nizoral A-D. Ketoconazole is also sold as Ketoderm in Canada.
While it was not created to treat hair loss, ketoconazole is used off-label for this purpose. It is thought to reduce the inflammation that leads to hair loss by getting rid of yeast and fungus on the scalp.
L-cysteine is an amino acid. L-cysteine can form bonds in the body, such as the ones that hold the keratin fibers together in our hair. Topical application of L-cysteine can help maintain the moisture, elasticity, and texture of the hair. It prevents damage and breakage.
Lauris nobilis (bay leaf)
Lauris nobilis is also called tej patta or sweet bay. It is a culinary herb that comes from the leaf of the bay tree. In folk tradition, it is believed to fight dandruff and seborrhea and to have a regenerating effect on the scalp. People also use the oil to reduce itchiness and inflammation of the scalp and to improve the condition and appearance of their hair.
Lavandula angustifolia (lavender)
Lavandula angustifolia is a fragrant plant that reaches a height of between one and three feet. It is also known as common lavender or lavender. It grows year round as a shrub in warmer climates, but in colder regions it grows as a perennial. The oil of the lavender plant has medicinal uses in folk medicine. It is used to help control dandruff and to deep condition and add shine to hair. What’s more, lavender essential oil is believed to provide antimicrobial and circulatory benefits when applied to the scalp.
Lemon (see Citrus limon)
Lepidium meyenii (maca root)
Lepidium meyenii is also referred to as maca root and Peruvian ginseng. Maca is native to the the central highlands of Peru, and in the ancient Incan civilization it was used in many treatments and remedies for the hair and skin. It’s rich in B vitamins, vitamin C, zinc, manganese, iron, iodine, and adaptogens. Its phytochemicals are believed to improve hair quality, promote hair growth, and treat dry scalp. Maca is thought to encourage keratinocytes around the hair bulb.
Licorice (see Glycyrrhiza glabra)
Linden (see Tilia cordata)
Maca root (see Lepidium meyenii)
Malabar nut (see Justicia adhatoda)
Matricaria chamomilla (chamomile)
This annual plant is known by many names, including water of youth, German chamomile, Italian chamomile, Hungarian chamomile, scented mayweed, and wild chamomile. It’s been used in traditional medicine for centuries. Chamomile is prized for its healing properties, and it is used for wound care. Its calming nature is useful in treating inflammation of the scalp which can contriibute to hair loss. Chamomile extract is also good for maintaining the health of hair and scalp.
The innermost part of a hair is the medulla, a soft, fragile core.
Midland hawthorn (see Crataegus laevigata)
Minoxidil (also known by its U.S. trade name Rogaine) is a drug used to treat male- and female pattern baldness and alopecia areata. For many people, minoxidil stops hair loss, and for some people it has been shown to regrow hair. Some people show no improvement at all. Any improvements gained through minoxidil are maintained only so long as minoxidil use is continued.
Minoxidil can be taken as a tablet, but it’s usually applied topically as a liquid or a foam. Topical minoxidil was once available only by prescription but can now be bought over the counter.
Unlike some plant-based or folk medicine treatments for hair loss, minoxidil has a great deal of rigorous research to support its effectiveness. On the other hand, minoxidil is a drug with potential side effects to take into account.
Murraya koenigii (curry)
The Murraya koenigii is a tropical to subtropical tree native to India whose leaves produce the culinary herb curry. It is also known as curry and kari patta. Murraya koenigii leaves are rich in beta carotene, amino acids, and other beneficial nutrients. It is used in Ayurvedic medicine to treat diabetes and gastrointestinal and liver disorders. It is described as having antibacterial, antioxidant, lipid-lowering, and anti-cancer properties. Applied to the skin or scalp, curry decreases inflammation and moisturizes. It is believed to strengthen hair roots and remove toxins, dirt, and dead skin.
Myrica cerifera (bayberry)
Myrica cerifera is a large shrub or small tree native the sourthern Unitied States, the Caribbean, and Central America. It is also called bayberry, wax myrtle, candleberry, southern bayberry, and tallow shrub. It is used for candle wax, decorative gardening, and medicinal purposes. For hair, scalp, and skin, the natural wax of the fruit of the plant lends a desirable texture and feel to products like butters and balms. Myrica cerifera has been used in herbalist traditions around the world. Its possible beneficial effects include antioxidant, antifungal, antibacterial, anticancer, and blood pressure-lowering activities.
Myrobalan (see Terminalia chebula)
Neem (see Azadirachta indica)
Nettle (see Urtica dioica)
Niacin (vitamin B3)
Niacin is also known as nicotinic acid. It helps the body turn food into energy. It’s also important to the digestive and nervous systems.
The skin also needs niacin to carry out its functions. Niacin is a strong vasodilator, widening the blood vessels that supply blood (and thus oxygen and nutrients) to the hair follicles. Niacin can also decrease scalp inflammation. This vitamin stimulates production of keratin, the vital protein that makes up 95% of the hair strand.
Nigella sativa (black seed oil)
Nigella sativa is a flowering plant native to south and southwest Asia. It’s also known as black seed, fennel flower, and black cumin. This plant is used as a spice, food preservative, and natural remedy for conditions as diverse as asthma, migraines, arthritis, and high blood pressure. Nigella sativa oil is rich in fatty and amino acids, and it is used as a folk remedy for dandruff, eczema, and psoriasis. Its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties make it a good natural support for skin and hair health by promoting an optimal environment for hair growth.
Ocimum sanctum (holy basil)
Ocimum sanctum is a perennial plant native to the Indian subcontinent but also cultivated in tropical areas of southeast Asia. It is also known as holy basil and tulsi (Sanskrit for “the incomparable one”), tulasi, and thulasi. Ocimum sanctum is an important plant in the Hindu religion as well as in Ayurvedic medicine. As an adaptogen with antioxidant, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory characteristics, Ocimum sanctum is used to boost the immune system and life force, to cope with stresses, to bring clarity, and to rejuvenate. Ocimum sanctum is thought to help hair and scalp health by improving blood circulation and reducing inflammation, itchiness, dandruff, and dry scalp. These properties supports hair growth by providing optimal conditions. It is also a fine conditioner.
Onion (see Allium cepa)
Oryza sativa (rice)
Oryza sativa (rice) is the seed of a species of grass. Rice is eaten as a grain by so many people that it ranks third in the world for production of agricultural crops. Besides being a staple grain in the diet of billions of people, rice is used to produce other items such as wine, vinegar, and oil. Rice bran oil comes from the hard outer layer (chaff or husk) of the grain. Besides being used in cooking, this oil has therapeutic uses.
An important constituent of rice bran oil is gamma-oryzanol, a powerful antioxidant registered as medicine in Japan and South Korea, as well as vitamin E and phytosterols. Rice bran oil is high in oleic and linoleic acids and contains co-enzyme Q-10, zinc, copper, calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus. and inositol. Many of these nutrients are independently renown as essential for hair health.
Panax ginseng (ginseng)
Ginseng is the root of Panax plants that grow in various regions in the world with a cold climate. Ginseng is used for culinary and medicinal purposes. To date there haven’t been many rigorous scientific studies of the medicinal properties of ginseng, but it has many centuries of use in folk medicine. Panax ginseng is a traditional treatment for high blood sugar, general and chronic fatigue, a weak immune system, memory problems, and other health challenges. Ginseng is thought to improve the condition of the scalp and hair through its antioxidant, adaptogenic, and anti-inflammatory properties. It is also believed to help hair follicles by supporting formation of the cells in the innermost (medullary) layer.
Panthenol is a form of vitamin B5. It is an essential nutrient in the human diet. Panthenol is also used in shampoos, conditioners, and serums to support hair flexibility, moisture retention, and elasticity. It can penetrate the root as well as the shaft of hair. It is thought that panthenol can thicken hair by restoring moisture. Look for hair care products formulated with panthenol if you’d like to grow thicker eyebrows.
Patchouli (see Pogostemon cablin)
Peptides, like protein, are formed from amino acids, but peptides are shorter in length than protein. There are many different types of peptides that communicate various messages to cells throughout your body. For example, when collagen protein in your skin breaks down, it produces certain peptides that let skin know it needs to produce more of this protein. It is thought that when certain peptides are added to a skin care product, the peptides can fool the skin into believing that it has lost collagen and needs to make more. Peptides have been studied for their effectiveness in supporting wound healing, collagen production, hair transplant success, and improved hair growth. Types of peptides commonly used in personal care formulations include copper peptides, pentapeptides (including palmitoyl pentapeptide-3, trademarked as Matrixyl), hexapeptides, palmitoyl oligopeptide, and palmitoyl tetrapeptide-7.
Phyllanthus niruri (bhumi amla)
Phyllanthus niruri is an annual herb that is native to tropical locales. It is also known as bhumi amla, niruni, hazardana, gale of the wind, stonebreaker, quebra-pedras, and seed-under-leaf. It has antioxidant properties. It is used in folk medicine to treat diabetes and diseases of the stomach, liver, and spleen, to reduce uric acid levels, and to break up kidney stones and gallstones. It is believed to promote hair growth by by reducing conversion of testosterone to DHT (a substance which contributes to hair loss).
Pogostemon cablin (patchouli)
Pogostemon cablin is a bushy herb in the mint family that is native to tropical areas of Asia . It is also known as patchouli. Its essential oil is produced by steam-distilling the leaves of the plant. It is most often used as perfume, incense, insect repellant, and herbal tea. It is believed to have antiinflammatory, antiseptic, antidepressant, and analgesic properties. For hair and skin, patchouli is used in traditional Asian medicine systems to treat dry skin, eczema, dermatitis, dandruff, and oily scalp.
Polianthes tuberosa (tuberose)
Polianthes tuberosa is a sweet-smelling flowering perrenial related to the agave, probably native to Mexico. It is also known as tuberose, nishigandha, and rajnigandha.Tuberose is widely used to support mental health by decreasing stress, depression, anxiety, and insomnia. It has warming properties that are believed to increase blood circulation, thereby supporting skin and hair health.
Polygonum multiflorum (fo-ti)
Polygonum multiflorum is a flowering plant that originates in southern and central China. It is also known as fo-ti, as well as tuber fleeceflower, and he shou wu. It is valued in Chinese medicine for its health-boosting, rejuvenating, anti-aging, and tonic properties. Its benefits for eyebrows may include increasing blood flow to the skin, thereby bringing oxygen and nutrients that promote hair growth. Fo-ti has been studied for its ability to induce the anagen (growth) phase in resting follicles and to support growth of dermal papilla cells (essential for hair growth).
Pomegranate (see Punica granatum)
Procyanidins are a group of antioxidants that belong to the flavonoid class and contain epicatechin and catechin molecules.
Green tea, grapes, rosehips, apples, blueberries are rich in procyanidins.
Japanese researchers found that a procyanidin paste applied to the scalp promoted hair growth in balding men. Through their antioxidant properties, the procyanidins were thought to destroy free radicals that undermine scalp and hair health.
Prunus africanum (pygeum)
Prunus africanum, or the African cherry, is a tree native to higher elevations in Africa. It is also known as the African plum tree. The bark extract of the tree is called pygeum. It has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Pygeum has been used for centuries in folk medicine to treat such diverse conditions as malaria, mental illness, kidney problems, stomach and appetite issues, and gonorrhea. More recently it has been used as an alternative treatment for enlarged prostrate (BPH). Its possible benefits for skin, scalp hair, and eyebrows stem from the antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-androgenic (male hormone suppressing) activities, which promote conditions more conducive to growing healthy hair.
Psidium guajava (guava)
Psidium guajava is an evergreen bush or small tree that is native to Central and South America and the Caribbean. It is also known as the yellow, lemon, and common guava. It produces an edible fruit. It also has properties deemed beneficial in traditional medicine to treat respiratory disorders, diarrhea, fever, ulcers,diabetes, and hypertension. Concerning the skin and hair, guava contains antioxidants and is believed to address inflammation and wound healing, thereby enhancing the conditions for healthy hair growth.
Punica granatum (pomegranate)
Punica granatum is a bush or small tree that bears edile fruit. The plant is likely native to the area including Iran and northern India, but it also grows in the Mediterranean, the Middle East, south Asia, Arizona, and California. It is also known as pomegranate and grenadier. It is rich in vitamin C and polyphenols (ellagic acid and punicalagins), all of which have antioxidant properties. Pomegranate is believed to prevent cell damage and to improve circulation and blood flow to the scalp. In turn, hair can appear thicker and healthier. If trying to grow your eyebrows thicker, you might want to consider products that list Punica granatum as an ingredient.
Pumpkin (see Cucurbita pepo)
Pygeum (see Prunus africanum)
Pyrithione zinc is a substance included in some anti-dandruff shampoos, conditioners, and treatments. Dead skin cells can build up on your scalp, harboring dirt and chemicals and clogging follicles and pores. These unhealthy conditions can cause hair loss. If your type of hair loss or thinning is due to dandruff or seborrhea, the ingredient pyrithione zinc may reduce it.
Rice (see Oryza sativa)
Ricinus communis (castor bean plant)
Ricinus communis is a perennial plant native to India, eastern Africa, and the southeastern Mediterranean region. It is also common throughout tropical areas. It is also known as palm of Christ. Castor oil is made from the “bean” (actually a seed) of the Ricinus communis. Castor oil has high levels of essential fatty acids Omega 6 and Omega 9 as well as proteins and vitamin E. Another component of castor oil is ricinoleic acid, which is thought to promote hair growth. The oil is able to penetrate the skin easily. When applied to the scalp or skin, the many nutrients in castor oil optimize the tissue for hair growth.
Rosa damascena (damask rose)
Rosa damascena is a deciduous shrub with thorny branches and fragrant pink-to-red flowers, native to either the Middle East or Central Asia. It is also known as damask rose and rose of Castile.
Damask rose has several uses. First and foremost, it is used to make perfume products.
Second, a small amount of the damask rose harvested is used in culinary products, as the petals are edible and can be used as a garnish, flavor, or herbal tea. Rosa damascena petals have high levels of vitamins A, B, C, and D, as well as pienene, eugenol, stearoptene, camphene, farnesol, geranoil, linalool, and citronellol.
Third, damask rose has beautifying and healing characteristics that make it a popular ingredient in skin and hair care products and in cosmetics. The vitamins in the petals nourish the skin. The extract of the flower functions as an astringent to control excess oil. Sugars in the rose, applied topically, ease inflammation and irritation. Rose oil is believed to soothe, rejuvenate, and restore the health of the skin. Rose extract is used to reduce free-radical damage and condition the skin and scalp.
Healthy skin is the foundation for healthy hair. By promoting skin health, damask rose also supports healthy hair.
Rosa sinensis (hibiscus)
Rosa sinesis is an evergreen shrub in the cotton family indigenous to east Asia. It is also known as rose mallow, Hawaiian hibiscus, Chinese hibiscus, China rose, and shoeblackplant. Some of its uses are
- Culinary. Its petals are edible and are also used to make herbal tea.
- Religious. Hindu worship of Devi.
- Medicinal. Diabetes, constipation, diarrhea, contraception,
- Cosmetic. May protect skin by absorbing UV radiation. Helpful in wound healing. Its benefits to skin, scalp, and hair include its use as an androgen, its natural hair-blackening properties, its reputation for keeping hair strong and shiny, its ability to fight dandruff and itchy scalp.
Rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary)
Rosmarinus officinalis is a perennial herb in the mint family native to the Mediterranean area. It is also known as compass plant, compass weed, and polar plant.
Rosemary has been used for hundreds of years as a folk medicine for hair loss. It is thought to work by reducing skin and scalp inflammation, by promoting cell growth, by decreasing follicle-clogging sebum buildup, and by decreasing the enzyme 5-alpha reductase (which converts testosterone in the skin into damaging DHT).
Salvia officinalis (sage)
Salvia officinalis is an shrubby evergreen culinary and medicinal plant native to the Mediterranean area and cultivated around the world. It is also known as common sage and garden sage.
Sage oil is derived from the dried leaves of the plant through steam distillation. The oil contains cineole, thujone, borneol, bornyl acetate, camphor, famesol, alpha-pinene, and linalyl acetate. These give sage oil antioxidant, antbacterial, and astringent properties. The oil is used to treat dandruff, to reduce buildup from the hair and scalp, to moisturize and soothe an itchy scalp, and to encourage hair growth by stimulating the skin and scalp.
Salvia scaria (clary sage)
Clary sage is an herb used in folk medicine to provide several benefits to the scalp and hair. The essential oil of clary sage is used to regulate the oil produced in the scalp, to help treat dandruff, and to limit inflammation involved in dermatitis.
Saw palmetto (see Serenoa serrulata)
Senna (see Cassia obovata)
Serenoa serrulata (saw palmetto)
Serenoa serrulata is a small palm tree found exclusively in the southeastern United States. It is also known as saw palmetto, and Serenoa repens. Saw palmetto may also appear in a list of personal care ingredients asSerenoa repens liposterolic extract (SPBE).
Saw palmetto is perhaps best known for its action as a DHT blocker. DHT is a naturally occurring hormone which gets converted from testosterone. DHT causes prostate disorders in men and causes men’s and women’s hair follicles to miniaturize and hair to become thinner. This process can affect eyebrows.
Saw palmetto can be taken orally or applied topically. It is often chosen by people who prefer to try a natural plant-based approach to treating their hair loss.
Sesamum indicum (sesame)
Sesamum indicum is a flowering annual plant indigineous to India and tolerant to dry growing conditions.
Sesamum indicum is grown mainly for its edible seeds and oil. The oil is an antioxidant rich in vitamin E. It also has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antiviral, antifungal, and antibacterial properties. These qualities make sesame oil a good natural support for skin, scalp, and hair health.
Shikakai (see Acacia concinna)
Simmondsia chinensis (jojoba)
Simmondsia chinensis is a shrub or small tree found only in North America (the southwestern United States and the state of Baja California in Mexico). It is also known as jojoba, gray box bush, coffeeberry, quinine nut, wild hazel, deer nut, pignut, and goat nut.
Its benefits were first discovered by Native Americans who used the jojoba nut to make a salve for healing and conditioning the hair and skin. They also used jojoba to tan animal hides.
Today jojoba oil (which is technically a wax) is mainly used for personal care products. Its antimicrobial, antioxidant, and antifungal properties make jojoba oil ideal to maintain skin, scalp, and hair health.
Spiked Ginger Lily (see Hedychium spicatum)
Tea (see Camellia sinesis)
Tellicherry bark (see Holarrhena antidysentrica)
During the telogen stage of the eyebrow hair growth cycle, which lasts for about three months, a hair rests or sheds.
While in the telogen stage, the eyebrow hair does not grow.
The telogen phase ends when the hair follicle starts the anagen (growing) stage again.
Terminalia bellerica (vibthaki)
Terminalia bellerica is a tree found in lower elevations of southeast Asia. It is also known as vibthaki, vibhita, vibhitaka, beleric, bahera, and bastard myrobalan. In Ayurvedic medicine it is called bibhitaki and is combined with other ingredients in a life-extension preparation. It has many varied applications in traditional medicine. When applied topically, it is believed to reduce inflammation. The fruit pulp is used as a treatment for hair growth.
Terminalia bellerica contains sitosterol, galic acid, egalic acid, galloyl glucose, chebugalic acid, and oxalic acid.
Terminalia catappa (Indian almond)
Terminalia catappa is is a tree native to tropical areas of Africa, Asia, and Australia. It is also known as Indian almond, country almond, sea almond, Malabar-almond, tropical almond, and false kamani. It is used in Asian, African, and Indian folk medicines for a wide variety of purposes. It has anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. The leaves and seeds of the tree are high in vitamin E, magnesium and contains olein, glycerides, and linoleic acid. These ingredients support skin and hair health and beauty help control dandruff.
Terminalia chebula (myrobalan)
Terminalia chebula is a medium to large tree native to south, southeast, and southwest Asia. It is also known as black myrobalan, chebulic myrobalan, and haritaki.
Terminalia chebula is used for a wide variety of purposes in Ayurvedic medicine. It can be taken internally or applied topically. As an ingredient in personal care products, it’s antibacterial and antifungal. It is believed that as general health and scalp health improve, hair will become thick and shiny.
Tilia cordata (linden)
Tilia cordata is a deciduous tree native to cooler climates in the northern hemisphere. It is also known as linden or lime (no relation to the citrus fruit). Tilia cordata (small-leaved) is closely related to Tilia platyphyllos (large-leaved) and the two plants are used for similar purposes.
Linden is used in traditional medicine for a wide range of purposes, including personal care. Linden is believed to increase circulation and ease irritations in the scalp, clear dandruff, strengthen hair by reducing breakage, and add body and shine to the hair. For application to skin and hair, linden flower extract is valued for its flavonoids, with potent antioxidants, and glycosides, with water-binding characteristics.
Trigonella foenum graecum (fenugreek)
Trigonella foenum graecum is an annual plant grown worldwide in semi-arid conditions. It’s a seed spice used to enhance foods and is used in traditional medicine as well. Trigonella foenum graecum is also known as fenugreek and methi.
The lecithin found in fenugreek can moisturize and strengthen the skin, scalp, and hair. Fenugreek is also rich in protein, which is thought to have restorative and rejuvenating properties when used on skin and hair. The nicotinic acid (niacin) contained in fenugreek is a strong vasodilator, opening the vessels that supply blood (and thus oxygen and nutrients) to hair follicles. Niacin is also known to decrease scalp inflammation and to stimulate production of keratin, the protein that makes up 95% of the hair strand.
Tuberose (see Polianthes tuberosa)
Turmeric (see Curcuma longa)
Urtica dioica (nettle)
Urtica dioica is a flowering perennial herb found worldwide. It is also known as nettle, common nettle, nettle leaf, and stinging nettle.
Nettle is used as a food and tea around the world. In traditional medicine nettle has been used to treat rheumatism, gout, influenza, hemorrhage, and diseases of the skin, kidneys and urinary tract, gastrointestinal tract, and cardiovascular system.
Nettle root extract has been used as a treatment for enlarged prostrate by reducing levels of DHT, a male hormone that is also responsible for shrinking hair follicles and causing hair loss. Nettle is available in supplements and is an ingredient in some shampoos, conditioners, and serums. It is often combined with other herbs that benefit hair in natural treatments.
Vanispati is fully or partially hydrogenated vegetable oil In India. It is often made from palm oil. Vanispati is an ingredient in Indian hair products.
Vibthaki (see Terminalia bellerica)
Vitamin E is an essential component of human nutrition. It is a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. As such, it helps protect, repair, and calm the scalp and provide a healthy environment for hair growth. Vitamin E can be taken internally or applied topically in a shampoo, conditioner, mask, or oil treatment.
Vitis vinifera (grape seed extract)
Vitis vinifera is the common grape vine. It is cultivated mainly for wine but is also consumed as table grapes, raisins, and grape juice. It has been used historically in folk medicine to heal skin and eye conditions, treat hemorrhoids, ease sore throats, and address a wide variety of other conditions. Grapevine sap, grape seed extract, grape leaves, raisins, and ripe and unripe grapes have been used in traditional medicine, depending on the affliction.
Grape seed extract is rich in proanthocyanidins, a compound believed to stimulate hair growth by converting the hair cycle phase from resting (telogen) to growth (anagen).
Wetland monocot (see Acorus calamus)
Withania somnifera (ashwagandha)
Withania somnifera is a small perennial shrub grown in China, India, Yemen, and Nepal. It is also known as ashwagandha, winter cherry, Indian ginseng, and poison gooseberry.
Ashwagandha holds a prominent place in Ayurvedic medicine and is used to treat many diverse condtions. It’s prized for its tonic and rejuvenative properties. A paste made of the root of the plant is traditionally applied. The anti-inflammatory, hormone balancing, antibacterial, and antimicrobial properties are believed to be beneficial for skin irritation, wounds, and blemishes. It is also used traditionally to increase circulation in the scalp to treat hair loss.
Yashtimadhu (see Glycyrrhiza glabra)
Zinc is an essential mineral for the human body. Zinc gluconate is a popular form of zinc for nutritional supplements. Its role in cell division makes zinc important in wound healing. It promotes skin regeneration. This mineral is also used by the body to process fatty acids needed for healing the skin. Some people take zinc gluconate supplements to reduce dandruff, and zinc is an ingredient in some dandruff shampoos. Zinc is believed to be essential to the body in creating and using collagen, a key protein in skin. Research is promising that zinc may be effective in treating alopecia.