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Strawberries. You probably know these small, red, and heart-shaped fruits as a delicious snack.

Did you know they can have a place in your beauty routine as well?

Strawberries are beneficial externally as well as internally, particularly when it comes to your hair.

Whether you choose to eat your strawberries or apply them topically, there are plenty of ways to use these powerful fruits for hair health.

Some say that strawberries can be used for teeth whitening and acne. They may also provide benefits for your hair.

Strawberries are loaded with nutritional benefits, including some that may promote hair growth and health. According to the USDA, these bright red berries contain a large amount of:

They also provide small amounts of iron, magnesium, vitamins B6, K, and E.

Their rich combination of antioxidants, ellagic acid, and vitamins may help with hair loss, dandruff, and dry hair.

One old 2006 study showed that the antioxidant properties of strawberries are significant and originate from several sources, including ellagic acid. Ellagic acid removes toxins from your body and protects against harmful molecules known as free radicals.

Vitamin C, which also has tremendous antioxidant properties, aids your body in absorbing iron. Low iron levels are linked to anemia, which has been linked to hair loss, according to a 2013 research review.

The good news is that just a cup of strawberries provides a whopping 141 percent of your daily needed vitamin C.

Additionally, a 2017 research review showed that vitamin C is used by your body to produce collagen, a protein that helps prevent brittle, broken hair. It also helps neutralize free radicals that cause oxidative stress.

As an antimicrobial, vitamin C is known to fight infections. Since fungal overgrowth is linked to dandruff, it’s possible that vitamin C may help fight those pesky white flakes.

From strawberry smoothies to strawberry ice cream, there are countless ways to enjoy this yummy fruit.

However, another 2017 research review showed that including strawberries in your diet isn’t the only way they may promote hair health.

You can reap the benefits of strawberries without eating them at all. Instead, try using or creating your own strawberry hair products. These include:

  • hair masks
  • shampoo and conditioner
  • tea rinses
  • strawberry seed oil
  • exfoliant

Strawberry hair mask

Alopecia is a form of hair loss that results from your immune system mistakenly identifying hair follicles as a threat. There’s no specific diet that treats this condition, but it’s believed that eating certain foods may help.

Strawberries may help protect your hair from thinning and loss. A 2020 study with rats showed that strawberries’ high ellagic acid content has a positive effect on alopecia.

Since alopecia is an autoimmune condition, some use an anti-inflammatory diet to help treat it. An anti-inflammatory diet includes a solid foundation of fruits and veggies.

While more research is needed to truly know the benefits that strawberries provide to people with alopecia, a strawberry-based hair mask may help strengthen your hair, and there’s certainly no harm in giving it a try.

Just grab some strawberries and try one of the recipes below.

Strawberry shampoo and conditioner

A strawberry-infused shampoo will not only leave you with delicious-smelling hair. It may provide several benefits.

You can make your own strawberry shampoo by mixing castile soap with muddled strawberries, or try a store-bought shampoo.

There are plenty of yummy (nonedible) strawberry shampoos and conditioners out there, like The Body Shop’s Strawberry Shampoo and Conditioner, Clairol Hair Food Strawberry Ginger Root Cleansing Shampoo, and Solid Hair Care’s Strawberry Tea Tree Shampoo Bar.

Strawberry hair tea rinse

Hair tea rinses involve applying tea to your hair and leaving it on for up to an hour. The use of tea on hair has been around for centuries, and a wide variety of hair care experts swear by hair tea rinses.

Strawberries are already capable of doing so much for your hair, but adding them to a tea rinse can provide even more benefits.

For instance, black tea rinses are often used to promote hair growth. Go one step further by using strawberry black loose leaf tea instead of just plain black tea, or muddling some strawberries and adding them to your tea rinse.

Strawberry seed oil

Strawberry seed oil may prevent and possibly even treat dandruff.

While more research is needed to say for sure, a 2004 study showed that strawberries’ antifungal properties may help prevent dandruff.

These antifungal properties are due to the high volume of vitamin C in strawberries. A 2014 research review showed that vitamin C encourages white blood cell production and supports immune system function.

Using a strawberry oil product such as Berry Fusion Super Grow may help heal and hydrate your scalp. This is in part due to its antioxidant properties like ellagic acid. It may also strengthen your hair from the root due to its high levels of vitamin C.

If using straight strawberry seed oil, dilute with a carrier oil such as coconut oil. Then you can apply to your clean, wet hair before styling. Just finger comb through your hair to distribute.

Additionally, you can add strawberry seed oil to your DIY recipes or your existing shampoo and conditioner.

Pro tip: Make sure you buy strawberry essential oil and not strawberry fragrance oil.

While research suggests there are health benefits, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn’t monitor or regulate the purity or quality of essential oils. It’s important to talk with your healthcare professional before you begin using essential oils.

Be sure to research the quality of a brand’s products. Always do a patch test before trying a new essential oil.

Strawberry exfoliant

Exfoliation is important for your skin, and that includes your scalp.

Scalp exfoliation takes place using physical or chemical exfoliants that work to remove excess oil, dandruff, and skin cells.

Scalp exfoliation can lead to healthier, shinier hair if done properly. See below for a strawberry scalp exfoliant recipe to try.

Try these homemade recipes to add strawberry to your hair care routine.

Strawberry hair mask to lock in moisture

This moisturizing strawberry mask is great if your hair is feeling a bit dry.

Recipe creator Taylor Bradford explains that it’s best to use this mask when you have extra time, as it can take a bit to thoroughly wash out the strawberries.

Ingredients

  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 cup strawberries, pureed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Directions

  1. Combine ingredients.
  2. Apply to hair.
  3. Keep on for 20 to 30 minutes.
  4. Wash with cool water.
  5. Apply conditioner for 5 minutes.
  6. Rinse.
  7. Shampoo and condition hair as normal.

Strawberry hair mask to promote shininess

This strawberry hair mask by Hairspray and High Heels combines two ingredients to produce shiny and smooth hair.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise or yogurt
  • 8 mashed strawberries

Directions

  1. Combine ingredients.
  2. Mix well.
  3. Apply to hair.
  4. Keep on for 20 minutes.
  5. Wash with cool water.

Strawberry scalp exfoliator

This recipe by Naturally Curly is full of silica and vitamin C, which is great for people experiencing hair thinning and fungal growth.

Ingredients

  • 2 ripe mashed strawberries
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey

Directions

  1. Combine ingredients well.
  2. Apply to scalp.
  3. Leave on for 20 minutes.
  4. Rinse with cool water.

Strawberry hair treatments aren’t scientifically proven to help hair growth or shine. There’s no harm in putting strawberry in your hair, but it’s important to keep your expectations realistic.

If you have concerns about your hair thinning, hair loss, or hair health in general, consult a trichologist, or hair and scalp expert, to discuss options.

When shouldn’t you use it?

As with anything, you can overdo it. If you consume an excessive amount of strawberries, you may deal with common side effects like diarrhea and gas.

One serving of strawberries is equal to a cup of sliced berries — approximately eight whole strawberries. A serving is about 50 calories.

Additionally, a 2017 study noted that eating strawberries and other fruits may interfere with the thyroid gland in people with thyroid conditions.

It is best to consult your doctor if any of this applies to you.

Except for a few special circumstances, you can’t go wrong by adding strawberries to your diet or hair care regimen.

Strawberries are a powerhouse fruit with countless nutritional benefits for your whole body.

Whether you prefer to eat your strawberries, use a strawberry hair care product, or a combination of the two, you’re well on your way to healthier and stronger hair.


Ashley Hubbard is a freelance writer based in Nashville, Tennessee, focusing on sustainability, travel, veganism, mental health, social justice, and more. Passionate about animal rights, sustainable travel, and social impact, she seeks out ethical experiences whether at home or on the road. Visit her website wild-hearted.com.