Some benefits of using ginseng for hair are better hair growth, less hair loss, and cancer prevention. Many people believe that this rooty herb can stimulate a person’s scalp and help grow hair. Studies show that it has the potential to make people feel less stressed when taken internally, sometimes leading to less hair loss. In addition, lessening the chances of getting a cancer can help a person avoid chemotherapy, which often results in severe or complete hair loss. While ginseng has the potential to be helpful to the human body, care must be taken because it has mild to severe side effects on some people.
Using ginseng for hair conditioning is sometimes believed to lead to better hair growth. Ginseng is commonly found in shampoos and conditioners because of its stimulating benefits. A ginseng shampoo label might have descriptions like “calming” and “for stressed hair” to sell the product. Supposedly, with these benefits, a person can grow their hair faster than normal. The usefulness of applying topical ginseng is debated, however.
Some evidence suggests that ginseng helps people feel less stressed. In one study, more than 500 people participated to find out the benefits of ginseng, which were that people taking the herb had better quality of life than those who did not. It is possible to lose hair when stressed, so feeling happy can help maintain locks. Measuring mental and physical stress can be difficult, however, so the results of the study are not 100 percent reliable.
Another study found that people who take ginseng for hair loss or other reasons are less likely to develop cancer. Chemotherapy is a common treatment for cancer that often has hair loss as a side effect. Lessening the risk of various cancers can help people avoid cancer in the first place and not have to regrow their hair. Like most studies involving ginseng, the proposed benefits are not guaranteed until researchers perform further studies.
A common side effect of taking ginseng for hair is an inability to sleep. Headaches, nausea, and breast pain are also occasionally reported side effects of taking a ginseng supplement. It is generally recommended to talk to a doctor before starting a new supplement, especially if a person is currently taking other medications. Anti-depressants, for example, can cause mania when mixed with a ginseng supplement. It is possible to overdose on ginseng, though experts say that is it usually safe in appropriate amounts unless the patient is pregnant.