If you struggle with thin hair or hair loss, spirulina may be able to help. As a nutrient-dense superfood, spirulina is packed full of vitamins, minerals, and other plant compounds that can benefit your hair and scalp health.
What is Spirulina?
Spirulina is a type of cyanobacterium, commonly known as a "blue-green algae." It grows naturally in warm, nutrient-rich bodies of water like alkaline lakes. Spirulina is harvested and dried into a powder or tablet supplement form.
Despite its small size, spirulina is considered a "superfood" because it's incredibly nutrient-dense:
- 4 grams of protein
- Vitamins B1, B2, B3, and vitamin E
- Minerals like iron, magnesium, copper, and zinc
- Over 100 different phytonutrients and antioxidants
Because of this nutrient profile, spirulina offers a wide range of possible health benefits beyond just hair, like supporting weight loss, muscle building, athletic performance, diabetes management, detoxification, immunity, and more.
How Spirulina Benefits Hair Health
Several key nutrients in spirulina make it an effective supplement for promoting hair growth and maintaining scalp health:
Hair is made of the protein keratin. Getting enough protein is essential for strengthening fragile strands and stimulating new hair growth. The 4 grams of protein in spirulina powder help nourish hair follicles.
Iron and Zinc
Iron and zinc deficiencies are common causes of hair thinning and loss. These minerals help transport oxygen and nutrients to hair follicles via the bloodstream. Spirulina is a great plant-based source of both iron and zinc.
B vitamins like riboflavin, niacin, folate, and vitamin B12 support cellular health and energy production. Hair follicles require a lot of energy and nutrients to go through the various growth phases. B vitamins fuel this process.
Gama-Linolenic Acid (GLA)
This omega-6 fatty acid decreases inflammation and improves blood circulation. Better circulation around hair follicles ensures optimal delivery of nutrients and removal of waste products, promoting thicker, fuller hair growth over time.
Spirulina contains powerful antioxidants like phycocyanin and chlorophyll that protect hair follicles against environmental damage from UV rays, pollution, and other free radicals. This antioxidant protection prevents premature thinning and hair loss.
How to Take Spirulina for Hair
The standard recommended dose of spirulina is 1-3 grams per day:
Mix 1 teaspoon of spirulina powder into a smoothie, juice, oatmeal, or other foods once per day. The powder dissolves easily.
Take 500-1000mg capsule supplements one to two times per day with meals for easy digestion.
Mix 1 tablespoon spirulina powder with a few drops of water, coconut or olive oil to make a thick paste. Apply to damp hair, massage in, then let sit for 15-20 minutes before rinsing out weekly for extra scalp and hair nourishment.
Drink it Daily
Add 1/2 teaspoon spirulina powder to 8 oz of water and drink once per day for overall health and hair support from the inside out.
Potential Side Effects of Spirulina
In general, spirulina is considered very safe when taken as directed by most healthy adults. Some potential side effects at high doses include:
- Diarrhea or digestive issues (start with small amounts and increase gradually)
- Allergic skin reactions like itching or redness (discontinue use if this occurs)
- Potential drug interactions - check with your doctor about other medications
Pregnant or nursing women should check with their doctor before consuming spirulina, as more research is still needed in these groups.
Where to Buy Spirulina
The best places to purchase high-quality spirulina supplements include health food stores, vitamin shops, and reputable online retailers. Look for organic varieties grown without pesticides or heavy metals. Popular brands include Nutrex Hawaii, Source Naturals, Nature's Way, and Mountain Rose Herbs.
Taking spirulina regularly can help promote thicker, fuller hair over time by nourishing your hair follicles from the inside out. Its nutrient-dense profile supports scalp and hair growth in a safe, natural way. Give it a try for healthy, shiny locks.
Spirulina Recipes to Try
Instead of just taking spirulina on its own, try incorporating it into delicious recipes to mask any taste and make it more enjoyable to consume regularly:
Blend 1 banana, 1 cup spinach or kale, 1/2 avocado, 1 cup almond milk, and 1 teaspoon spirulina powder for a nutrition-packed breakfast or snack.
Mix 1/4 cup almond butter, 1/4 cup oats, 1/4 cup shredded coconut, 1/2 teaspoon spirulina, 1/4 cup honey or agave, and mash into bite-sized balls for an easy on-the-go snack.
Combine 1/2 cup oats, 1 cup milk or yogurt of choice, 1/2 teaspoon spirulina, 1/4 cup berries, and refrigerate overnight for a fiber-rich breakfast.
Whisk 1 banana, 1 cup oat flour, 1 egg, 1 teaspoon baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon spirulina into a batter and cook into green-tinted pancakes topped with nut butter.
Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon spirulina onto any salad for a nutritional boost and pop of color to support vegetarian protein intake.
Mash 2 avocados with 1/2 teaspoon spirulina, lime juice, onion and tomato for a superfood twist on guacamole.
Get creative and add spirulina to smoothies, pancakes, soups, or any other dishes for an easy way to incorporate it daily while enjoying delicious and nutrient-dense foods.
Frequently Asked Questions About Spirulina for Hair
How long until I see results?
Most people notice hair looking thicker and fuller within 2-3 months of consistent spirulina supplementation. Allow at least 90 days for measurable effects as hair grows about 1/2 inch per month on average.
Can it help regrow hair?
While spirulina won't work miracles for advanced baldness, it may reduce hair shedding and help stimulate healthier new growth over time for thinning areas by nourishing follicles. But it works best as prevention rather than a cure.
Is spirulina safe during pregnancy/breastfeeding?
More research is still needed, so it's best to avoid spirulina supplements if pregnant or breastfeeding unless approved by your doctor. The nutrients are generally safe, but high dosages could theoretically interact with medications.
Any drug interactions?
Spirulina may interact with medications like chemotherapy drugs, diabetes medications, or blood thinners. Always check with your doctor before taking any supplements with prescription medications.
Are there side effects?
Generally spirulina is very well-tolerated, but may cause mild digestive issues like diarrhea in some people if too high of a dose is started all at once. Begin with small amounts and slowly work up to minimize potential side effects.
spirulina is a nutrient-dense superfood worth trying for its numerous benefits, including supporting hair growth and thickness when taken regularly. Start with just 1/2 teaspoon daily and gradually increase the dose. Be patient as it may take 2-3 months to notice strengthening, fuller hair as a result of daily spirulina intake.