Horsetail (Equisetum arvense) is a plant that has been used as an herbal remedy for centuries.
Historically, it was used as a diuretic to increase the frequency of urination. In recent years, it has developed a reputation as a hair care and hair loss remedy.
Keep reading to learn what properties in horsetail extract may make it beneficial for your hair.
Although the evidence is primarily anecdotal, some scientific studies indicate horsetail may promote healthy hair based on its:
- silicon content
- impact on collagen
- antioxidant properties
Some proponents of natural remedies suggest that the silica in horsetail extract makes it a good hair care product. They back up their claims with:
2016 studyindicating daily doses of silicon over a 9-month period showed positive results for hair properties, such as resistance to breaking
- a 2015 study concluding oral tablets, including horsetail for natural silica, improved hair strength and growth
It’s also claimed that the silicon:
- gives horsetail a texture that is useful for cleaning
- improves hair growth speed
- reduces dandruff
- boosts scalp circulation
Many advocates of using horsetail for hair care suggest its impact on collagen and calcium for bone regeneration are also beneficial for hair health and appearance.
They support these claims with a 2018 study concluding that the silicon in horsetail offers an enhanced biosynthesis of collagen that may improve the formation of cartilage and bone tissue in the treatment of osteoporosis.
Proponents of horsetail extract suggest that horsetail’s antioxidant properties are helpful for hair health, supporting their assertions with:
2015 articlesuggesting free radicals may cause damage to hair follicles, especially in older people
2010 studysuggesting horsetail could be a source of natural antioxidants and potential phytochemicals
Additional scientific research is needed to determine horsetail extract’s ability to stop hair loss or generate new hair growth.
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If you’re considering using horsetail, discuss your plans with a doctor. They can offer insight into how it might affect your current health and if it negatively interacts with any medications or other supplements you’re currently taking.
Horsetail, like most herbal supplements, is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
If you research horsetail for your hair on the internet, you might find a reference to Mane ‘n Tail, a brand of horse shampoo.
Although this shampoo was made for horses, many people use it on their own hair. It does not contain horsetail extract.
While more scientific research is needed, some anecdotal evidence and limited clinical research suggests horsetail may offer some hair care benefits.
Like most herbal supplements, however, it’s not approved by the FDA. Talk with a doctor before using it.