Using medicinal plants and essential oils in hair care isn’t new. One such plant that has been touted in both traditional and complementary medicine for its numerous hair care benefits is sage.
Sage oil and other derivatives like sage essential oil and clary sage essential oil have been associated with promoting hair health.
What Is Sage?
Sage, scientifically known as Salvia officinalis, is a perennial, evergreen subshrub with greyish leaves and blue to purplish flowers. This herb is not only well-regarded in the culinary world but also revered in the realm of medicinal plants.
Throughout history, sage has garnered renown for its therapeutic properties and has become a beloved and frequently utilized ingredient in various natural remedies.
Varieties of Sage
There are several types of sage, but the most commonly known include:
- Common Sage (Salvia officinalis): This is the variety most people are familiar with. Its leaves are used for culinary purposes, and it’s often referred to as garden sage.
- Clary Sage (Salvia sclarea): This variety is known for its oil – clary sage oil. It has a slightly different aroma than common sage and is renowned for its calming properties.
Benefits of Sage to Hair
Sage, in its various forms, offers several hair care benefits:
1. Prevents Hair Loss
Sage oil strengthens the hair follicles, preventing thinning hair and male pattern baldness. The sage tea rinse has been traditionally used to strengthen hair and improve its texture.
Hair loss can be attributed to various factors, including hormonal imbalances, nutritional deficiencies, stress, and scalp infections. With its rich nutrient profile and therapeutic properties, Sage has traditionally been used to combat many of these root causes.
Hormones like DHT (dihydrotestosterone) are known culprits behind male pattern baldness. Sage has compounds that can help balance hormone levels, reducing hair thinning associated with hormonal imbalances.
2. Restores Shine to Hair
Sage’s natural oils help in restoring the shine and vitality of hair. Using a sage hair spray or a rinse can leave your hair looking lustrous and healthy.
Hair gets its natural shine from the oil (sebum) the scalp produces. Over time, due to factors like pollution, excessive shampooing, or chemical treatments, hair can lose its natural luster.
With its sebum-regulating properties, Sage ensures the hair doesn’t become too dry or oily, restoring its natural shine. The antioxidants present in sage combat free radicals that dull the hair.
Regular use of sage can help protect hair from oxidative stress, maintaining its natural gloss. Sage acts as a natural conditioner, smoothing out hair cuticles and ensuring hair strands reflect light more uniformly, giving hair a shiny appearance.
3. Stimulates Hair Growth
When combined with sage essential oil, essential oils can stimulate hair growth, leading to thicker and stronger hair. Sage improves blood circulation when applied to the scalp, ensuring that more nutrients reach the hair follicles, promoting growth.
Stress is a known factor in reduced hair growth and increased hair loss. Clary sage oil, in particular, is known for its calming and stress-relieving properties, indirectly promoting healthier hair growth.
Sage’s nutrient-rich profile means it can strengthen the structural bonds in hair, reducing breakage and ensuring that hair grows longer and stronger.
4. Darkens Hair
Sage is also famed for darkening grey hair. A sage rinse can be used to restore natural hair colour and give it a deeper shade.
Sage has been traditionally used as a natural remedy to restore pigment to gray hairs. While it doesn’t reverse graying, it can darken existing gray strands, giving an overall darker appearance to the hair.
Apart from acting on gray hair, sage can deepen the natural shades of your hair. Brunettes might find their hair taking on richer, deeper tones with regular sage use.
Sage provides a protective layer to hair strands, shielding them from harmful UV rays and environmental pollutants that can lighten hair over time.
5. Balances Scalp Health
Sage is instrumental in regulating sebum production on the scalp. An overproduction of sebum can lead to oily hair and scalp, while too little can cause dryness and brittleness.
Sage helps strike the right balance, maintaining the natural health of the scalp. A healthy scalp is paramount for healthy hair growth.
Sage’s antimicrobial properties fight off bacteria and fungi, preventing potential infections such as dandruff or folliculitis. Sage provides a calming effect for those with sensitive scalps or conditions like seborrheic dermatitis, reducing inflammation and associated redness.
6. Natural Hair Volumizer
Regular use of sage, especially in tandem with other essential oils like rosemary essential oil, can lead to a perceptible increase in hair thickness. This can be especially beneficial for individuals with naturally fine or thinning hair.
Sage adds a natural bounce and texture to the hair, making it appear fuller. This is particularly useful for those who might be experiencing hair thinning or those seeking a more voluminous look.
7. Protection from External Aggressors
Sage offers a protective barrier against environmental aggressors like pollution, dust, and UV rays, all of which can deteriorate hair health over time. This protective shield ensures that hair remains resilient and less prone to external damage.
Sage is a natural heat protectant for individuals who frequently style their hair using heat tools, reducing potential damage from straighteners, curlers, and blow dryers.
8. Natural Fragrance and Freshness
Apart from its myriad hair benefits, sage also imparts a naturally refreshing scent to the hair. This can be especially delightful for those looking to reduce the use of synthetic fragrances or perfumed hair products.
Sage’s antimicrobial properties not only combat potential infections but also keep the hair feeling and smelling fresher for longer, reducing the need for frequent washing.
How to Use Sage Essential Oil on the Hair
There are various ways to harness the power of sage for your hair:
1. Sage Hot Oil Treatment
- 5-10 drops of sage essential oil
- Two tablespoons of carrier oil (e.g., coconut oil, jojoba oil, or olive oil)
- A small bowl
- A shower cap
- Pour the carrier oil into the small bowl and heat it for a few seconds in the microwave or on the stove until it’s warm but not too hot.
- Mix in the sage essential oil drops with the warm carrier oil. Stir well.
- Using your fingertips, massage the oil mixture into your scalp using circular motions. Ensure you cover all areas, then work the mixture down the length of your hair.
- Put on the shower cap, allowing the heat to help the oil penetrate deeply.
- Leave the oil on for at least 30 minutes, though it can be left on overnight for deeper treatment.
- Wash your hair thoroughly using your regular shampoo, making sure to remove all the oil.
2. Refreshing Sage Hair Rinse with Apple Cider Vinegar
- 5-10 drops of sage essential oil
- 1 cup of water
- Two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
- A bottle or jar
- Combine the water, apple cider vinegar, and sage essential oil in the bottle or jar.
- Wash your hair with regular shampoo and thoroughly rinse it.
- Pour the sage and apple cider vinegar mixture over your scalp and hair. Ensure it covers all parts.
- Delicately massage your scalp and hair for a few minutes, embracing the soothing sensation it brings.
- Depending on your preference, you can rinse out the mixture with cold water or leave it in for added shine and conditioning.
3. Sage Hair Mask Recipe
- 5-10 drops of sage essential oil
- Two tablespoons of a base mask (like aloe vera gel or plain yogurt)
- A bowl
- Combine the base mask (aloe vera gel or yogurt) in the bowl with the sage essential oil. Mix until well combined.
- Using your hands or a brush, apply the mask evenly across your scalp and through the lengths of your hair.
- Allow the mask to sit for 20-30 minutes.
- Rinse out the mask with lukewarm water and follow up with your usual shampoo and conditioner.
Always do a patch test before applying sage essential oil directly to your skin or scalp. Essential oils are potent, and some people might have reactions.
If you’re new to using essential oils, consider consulting with a professional or doing thorough research to ensure safe use.
Sage, whether in the form of sage oil for hair, sage tea, or fresh sage leaves, has undeniable benefits for the hair. Its properties in maintaining hair health and promoting hair growth make it an essential asset in natural hair care remedies.
By incorporating sage into your hair care routine, you are tapping into nature’s bounty and ensuring that your hair gets the best, chemical-free treatment. Remember always to source high-quality products and enjoy sage’s manifold benefits.
Also, always consult with a healthcare provider or a certified dermatologist if you have concerns about introducing a new product into your beauty regimen.
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Is sage safe for all hair types?
Yes, sage is generally safe for all hair types. However, always conduct a patch test before using any new product or remedy.
How often should I use sage treatments on my hair?
This largely depends on your hair needs. For general maintenance, once a week is sufficient. If you’re addressing specific issues like thinning hair, consider using it 2-3 times a week.
Can I mix sage essential oil with other essential oils for my hair?
Absolutely! Sage pairs well with oils like rosemary essential oil, which further enhances its hair care benefits.