For centuries, tamarind has been said to provide multiple benefits for skin and hair. It is packed with antioxidants like carotene, as well as vitamins A, C, B1, B3, E, and K.
It also contains beneficial flavonoids, polyphenols, and minerals like magnesium, potassium, iron, zinc, and phosphorous. Could tamarind’s nutrient-dense nature be the reason why it is so popular for health and beauty?
In this article, you will learn why tamarind can help hair, what happens if tamarind is applied to hair, how the seeds may aid in hair growth, and whether or not tamarind can lighten/brighten skin.
We will also learn how to make your own tamarind paste for hair health, and how to wash your hair with tamarind to get the most out of this beneficial fruit.
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What is Tamarind?
Tamarind is a tropical fruit that is popular in Indian cuisine. It has a unique flavor that is both sour and sweet, and it is often used in curries and other spice-heavy dishes. The fruit is also used to make chutneys and sauces, and it can be found in many Ohmic desserts.
Tamarind is high in fiber and vitamin C, and it also contains a variety of antioxidants. The fruit has been used for centuries in traditional medicine, and it is believed to have numerous health benefits.
Today, tamarind is grown throughout tropical regions of the world, and it is widely available in supermarkets and specialty stores.
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What happens if tamarind is applied to hair?
Tamarind has been used to soothe an irritated scalp, especially for those prone to an itchy scalp or dandruff. It can also gently cleanse the hair to restore natural moisture without the grease to promote healthy, shiny hair.
When applied to the hair, tamarind can offer benefits such as oil control, repairing environmental damage, strengthening hair, and promoting hair growth while also preventing hair loss.
As it cleanses, it removes excess sebum from the scalp to control oily hair. Our hair is exposed to all kinds of pollutants each day. This ranges from UV radiation to environmental pollution.
Because tamarind is rich in proteins, it can repair environmental damage to help make hair stronger and healthier.
Related: What Is Tamarind Puree?
On a similar note, the proteins and nutrients in tamarind can help strengthen hair down to the follicles to nourish and prevent split ends and breakage.
It is normal for us to lose hair each day. The average person is said to lose around 100 strands of hair each day.
However, some people lose much more than this and can have bald patches and very thin hair as a result. Tamarind may help keep the scalp healthy, reduce irritation, and ultimately strengthen follicles to keep them from falling out.
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How do tamarind seeds help hair growth?
Tamarind seeds help to strengthen the follicles of the hair, which in turn, promotes hair growth. When hair follicles are healthy, this can result in hair that grows faster and falls out less.
A variety of nutrients in tamarind are responsible for hair benefits. These include anti-inflammatory compounds like polyphenols and flavonoids, as well as nutrients like vitamins A and C, antioxidants, and various flavonoids.
These help to fight free radical damage, nourish the hair and scalp, and strengthen hair. One of the most potent nutrients in tamarind seed that promotes hair growth is beta carotene. This is also known as vitamin A.
Related: How To Make Tamarind Seed Powder
This vitamin is a fat-soluble micronutrient necessary for the growth of healthy hair and skin. Our body actually converts beta carotene into vitamin A, which is also known as retinol. Some people may not be getting enough of this important vitamin, which means their hair and skin can pay the price.
In fact, some signs of this vitamin deficiency include dry eyes, vision loss, acne, inflammatory skin conditions, frequent infections, slow wound healing, and of course hair loss.
Tamarind seed infusions can be applied topically to the scalp to support hair growth, and tamarind fruit and seeds can be consumed internally for additional support as well.
Related: Does Tamarind Paste Have Soy?
Does tamarind whiten skin?
Tamarind may help boost skin’s vitality due to the presence of alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), vitamins A and C, and its anti-inflammatory properties. However, there is no clinical evidence to suggest tamarind whitens skin dramatically.
That said, tamarind has been used for centuries to lighten and brighten skin tone with varied results. The AHAs in tamarind gently exfoliate the skin to clear pores and prevent acne. This may also help lighten age spots and scars to give the appearance of glowing skin.
The vitamins in tamarind may help boost skin tone and brightness because they are powerful antioxidants. Antioxidant vitamins in tamarind, such as vitamin C, may promote cell regeneration to produce more radiant skin.
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Vitamin C may also help boost collagen production in the skin to help further lighten dark spots and scarring. Amino acids in collagen are known to minimize the appearance of dark spots, scars, atherosclerosis plaque, and even discoloration from UV exposure.
There is evidence that vitamin C may also reduce melanin production in the skin to counter hyperpigmentation and brown spots. Because tamarind is anti-inflammatory, it may soothe and calm inflamed, red skin.
This can help promote healthier-looking skin as well. For those with age-related dark spots and dull skin, the antioxidants and flavonoids in tamarind may help to repair damage and premature aging.
So while there is no direct evidence that tamarind lightens skin, there is evidence that various nutrients in tamarind can support skin health, counter hyperpigmentation, and boost skin vibrance.
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How do you make tamarind paste for hair?
If you don’t want to purchase tamarind paste, you can make tamarind paste at home for application to the hair.
Follow these simple steps:
- Start by collecting tamarind fruit pods. Remove the skin from the pods and cut the fruit pulp into small pieces.
- Rinse them to clean off any dirt and place them in a medium-size bowl with two cups of hot water. Allow this to steep covered for ten minutes.
- When everything has softened sufficiently, squeeze everything through a strainer, making sure to push the pulp through the strainer and into a bowl.
- You may add small amounts of warm water to the strainer to loosen up the pulp as needed when you are straining. Discard the fiber and seeds.
- Boil the pulp you strained for five minutes, stirring frequently.
- Allow this to cool and store it in a jar to use as needed.
- Refrigerate between uses. This should keep for up to one month in the refrigerator and six months in the freezer.
- Massage a small amount into the scalp and hair up to twice weekly for best results.
Related: What Is Tamarind Paste?
How do you wash your hair with tamarind?
It is easy to make a hair wash with tamarind by first soaking the concentrated pulp in warm water for ten to twenty minutes.
Next, you will need to strain out the juice through a cheesecloth. Make sure you squeeze it hard to get all the juice. Save the pulp and seeds if you want to use them for cooking, etc.
To use tamarind hair wash, apply the juice to the scalp and massage into the hair as well. It is best to do this in the shower before getting your hair wet. Allow this to sit in your hair for ten minutes and then rinse it out. Then wash your hair as usual.
Repeat this up to three times per week for best results. Refrigerate your tamarind juice between washes. It should last up to one week refrigerated.