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This $6 Drugstore Product Can Ease Scalp Irritation and Stimulate Hair Growth

Countless people swear by witch hazel as a helpful toner for oily and acne-prone skin — but did you know you can get some equally great benefits by using it in your hair, too?

It makes sense when you think about it: The anti-inflammatory and oil-controlling properties that make it so beneficial for our faces can do the same for our scalp. Although most evidence for the witch hazel’s hair benefits are anecdotal, one study from 2014 found that it was able to help participants ease irritation and redness, plus treat conditions like psoriasis or eczema on the scalp. 

On top of avoiding those frustrating conditions, maintaining a healthy scalp is essential to warding off hair loss or thinning. Plus, witch hazel has also been found to stimulate blood circulation to promote new strand growth — meaning it can help keep your hair thick and strong! 

You can apply it directly to your scalp and strands, but don’t over-saturate it. Pouring it in a spray bottle will make it a lot easier to spritz evenly, or you can use a saturated cotton ball to spot treat particularly irritated areas.

Sarah Lewis, the author behind One Essential Community, a popular blog dedicated to uncovering all of the amazing ways we can use essential oils, includes witch hazel in her “mermaid hair tonic.” 

She claims that along with the anti-irritation and circulation perks, it also helps tame frizziness and amps up the volume. Lewis mixes the witch hazel with rosemary oil, cedar wood oil, peppermint oil, and hemp oil and recommends using it daily on wet hair for the best results. You can find more info on her website (including a free printable recipe and label for the tonic).

Before you start spritzing any witch hazel on your strands, it’s important to make sure you’re getting an alcohol-free product, like Dickinson’s Alcohol-Free Witch Hazel with Rose Water (Buy at Walmart, $5.97). If you don’t want to go the DIY route, you can also find witch hazel already included in beauty products, like RE-fresh Scalp Care Anti-Dandruff Shampoo (Buy at Walmart, $6.98). 

Remember to always do a test patch before going all-in with any hair treatment, but especially one with witch hazel. Even alcohol-free versions and ones mixed with hydrating oils can still potentially dry out sensitive skin, which nobody wants.

Here’s hoping that adding a little witch hazel to your hair routine will help your strands grow strong and healthy!

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