Information and Solutions for Men and Women

Antioxidants for Hair Health


Researchers continue to discover biochemical compounds in plants and herbs that have potent antioxidant (and other) properties which are beneficial to our health. Some may be familiar to you as spices (e.g., garlic and turmeric) — and in general, spices and herbs have some of the highest antioxidant capacities. 61 Many of these botanicals have been used as herbal remedies by traditional medicines (such as Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine) to treat a number of dermatological conditions for thousands of years—including hair loss. 61-62

Some herbs and supplements with high antioxidant content that may help thinning hair include:

Table 9: Antioxidants for Hair Health


Carotenoids 63

(e.g., astaxanthin, beta-carotene, cryptoxanthin, DHIR, lutein, and zeaxanthin)
Coenzyme Q10 38

Rosemary 66

(herb or extract)
Curcumin 64, 66
Rutin 67
Garlic 68

(herb or supplemental form)
Sangre de grado 61
Genistein 67
Siberian ginseng  10
Ginkgo biloba 50
Silymarin 67
Grape seed extract 37
St. John’s wort 61
Lemon balm 61

(dried leaves)
Sulforaphane 64, 69
Lycopene 63
Turmeric 70
Melatonin 10
Vitamin C 47
Pomegranate 64

(extract or fruit)
Vitamin E 10, 47
Quercetin 67
Wild marjoram 61

In addition, the essential trace elements copper, zinc, and manganese are required to produce natural antioxidants in the body and for them to function properly. 47 Not only are copper and zinc required for the body’s own natural antioxidant defense system, deficiencies in either one can cause hair loss. 32

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Present in many herbs and foods, such as carrots, sweet potatoes, saw palmetto, and gingko.
3,3¢-dihydroxyisorenieratene, more potent as an antioxidant than other carotenoids.
Present in grape skins and seeds, berries, peanuts, and red wine; also a phytoestrogen that can help regulate androgen sex hormones.
Rosmarinus officinalis; should not be used in pregnancy.
Primary active constituent in the spice turmeric, derived from the dried rhizome of the Curcuma longa plant; also may be able to help with depression, hypothyroidism, and diabetes.
A glycoside derivative of the flavanol quercetin.
Allium sativum; can also be used to lower high blood pressure, a common symptom in diabetics.
A traditional herbal medicine from Peru derived from the Croton lechleri tree sap. Translated it means dragon's blood and is extremely high in antioxidants.
Found in soy and red clover; has phytoestrogenic properties.
Also called Eleuthero Root. If you have a thyroid condition you may want to avoid using this herb.
A flavonoid from the milk thistle plant.
Hypericum perforatum; also may help relieve stress and mild depression related to hair loss.
Melissa oficinalis; also may help relieve stress related to hair loss.
Found in cruciferous vegetables (e.g., broccoli and Brussels sprouts). Do not eat raw if you have hypothyroidism, and limit cooked servings to 2-3 a week.
Animal studies suggest turmeric can also help with depression, hypothyroidism, and diabetes. Topical turmeric may help with hair loss caused by seborrheic dermatitis.
One of the most common flavanols in plants; found in apples, berries, grapes, onions, pomegranate, red wine, teas, thyme, and tomatoes.
Dried leaves.
Some texts refer to essential trace elements as oligoelements.