Amla and Hair Growth

Researchers have been testing amla oil for hair thickness and regrowth.

Amla Fruit, which is found the Indian Gooseberry Tree, may promote hair growth. Scientists have discovered a possible link with Amla Extract and hair growth. Amla, also known as Phyllanthus emblica Linn (a fruit which is grown in tropical and subtropical areas of China, India, Indonesia, and Thailand) has actually been around for centuries and is well known in traditional Indian medicine. The emblica fruit has antioxidant and anti-inflammation properties and is rich in nutrients. It contains approximately 600 to 700 milligrams of Vitamin C per fruit. This is 20 times the amount of vitamin C as a grapefruit, and 15 times that of a lemon. The aforementioned qualities may contribute to recent interest in a possible connection between Amla and hair growth.

Research on Amla Hair Oil Benefits

Scientists have researched the benefits of the exotic fruit over the years and found that it may have an effect on hair growth. A quantitative study of hair growth was done on rabbits (1). The rabbits were divided into four groups. Group A was treated with amla oil. Amla oil showed significant growth at a concentration of 7% to 8% and at a higher rate than two of the other oils that were used. Growth was observed over 8-9 days.

Researchers may have found a connection between Amla and hair growth in a study measuring the hair growth in rabbits (1).

Researchers may have found a connection between Amla and hair growth in a study measuring the hair growth in rabbits (1).

Another study was done to determine the effects of Amla on hair growth (2). The effects of extract in HaCaT keratinocytes and Dermal Papilla (DP) cells of human hair follicles were determined by MTT assay and cell counts. The results showed that Amla stimulated the increase in DP cells in a concentration-dependent manner, and showed a minimal effect on keratinocytes. This suggested that the extract might promote hair growth by prolonging the anagen phase through the proliferative effect on DP cells.

Possible Uses of Amla Hair Oil

Vitamin C facilitates cell division and is used by the body to produce collagen which is a structural component of the skin and the walls of the hair follicles. Therefore it can potentially help optimize the health of these tiny structures and prevent dryness and itchiness of the scalp to improve the quality of hair.

The following vitamins and nutrients are also found in Amla:

Iron
Calcium
Vitamin A
Vitamin B
Proteins
Fibers
Phosphorous
Essential fatty acids

Frequently Asked Questions – Amla and Hair Growth

Where can I get pure Amla?

Unless one takes frequent trips to India or North Africa, it can be quite difficult to get pure Amla. It is usually sold in the form of oil and can also be found in popular shampoos and conditioners. Amla powder is also sold at most international food markets.

What are the best Amla hair products?

There are many amla hair products which make various claims, however, the most effective hair product will likely be a carefully formulated topical hair product containing cold-pressed amla hair oil. The topical application of such a product enables a more direct route to the hair follicles and scalp.

How does Amla oil for hair thickness work exactly?

According to a study published in the Research Journal of Medicinal Plants, Amla oil extract may prolong the growth phase of hair follicles by proliferating dermal papilla cells. This may help create the appearance of thicker hair. However, it should be noted that more research is needed before stating definitively that amla oil makes hair thicker.

References:

  1. Akhtar, M. S., and M. A. Jabbar. “Effect of topical application of oils of amla, coconut, sarson and samsol on growth of rabbit’s hair and sheep wool.” JPMA. The Journal of the Pakistan Medical Association 31.11 (1981): 246-249.
  2. S. Luanpitpong, U. Nimmannit, V. Pongrakhananon and P. Chanvorachote, 2011. Emblica (Phyllanthus emblica Linn.) Fruit Extract Promotes Proliferation in Dermal Papilla Cells of Human Hair Follicle. Research Journal of Medicinal Plants, 5: 95-100.