Using blackstrap molasses for hair is a natural way to promote growth and prevent hair loss. It may even reduce the number of gray hairs. Find out why this sweet dark syrup is good for healthier hair.
What is blackstrap molasses?
It’s one of the byproducts from refining raw cane sugar. The juice from sugar cane, which is low glycemic, is boiled. Then it’s super concentrated. This step creates sugar crystals.
After this step is repeated, what’s left is a thick, brown, tar-like syrup that remains after the sugar has been removed from the juice. Therefore, blackstrap molasses is the syrup produced after the third boiling when making refined sugar.
You might think that because the sugar syrup is processed a few times, it would lose nutritional value. But the opposite is true. The production of this dark thick syrup is a natural refinement. As a result, it’s the thickest and darkest in color and most importantly very rich in vitamins and minerals.
Because blackstrap molasses is the most concentrated form of cane sugar, its vitamin and mineral portfolio is highest among all sweeteners. This is why it’s said to offer the most health benefits of all natural sweeteners.
Although it’s a sweetener, you might not want to drown your pancakes in the dark thick syrup. That’s because the taste is very bitter to most people. However, it’s very high in minerals like dark, amber maple syrup.
Many people are mineral deficient these days. Having one tablespoon a day of this sweet superfood may be enough to get your daily dose of essential minerals.
How does it help hair growth?
One of the many blackstrap molasses benefits is hair growth and hair loss prevention. But let’s get this out of the way first. There’s no solid research you’d be able to find in a scholarly journal about it.
Although there’s been no studies to support its use, there are many testimonials and anecdotes on websites about blackstrap molasses being effective for hair health. And here’s why, from a scientific point of view, there might be some truth to these claims…
Blackstrap molasses contains copper. Copper is a trace mineral. It can be toxic if consumed in large doses. So don’t down a whole bottle of it in one sitting!
But here’s why it’s important to get enough copper in your diet. You would die without it. It’s necessary to maintain life’s everyday functions.
Copper also helps form collagen. Collagen is one of the most abundant proteins in the human body, including your hair. Therefore, foods rich in copper may help nourish your hair because it helps give structure to collagen.
The minerals in blackstrap molasses also provide structural integrity to the cells in our epidermis (skin) and hair. Because of this, it’s possible that blackstrap molasses can make your hair look shinier and more moisturized.
Blackstrap Molasses Gray Hair Prevention & Treatment
The mineral rich syrup may also encourage melanin production. Melanin is the pigment that gives your skin and hair color.
Part of the normal aging process is having less melanin in the hair. Less melanin leads to graying hair.
Some people have had success with using blackstrap molasses to darken hair. From a scientific perspective, if blackstrap molasses encourages melanin production, it could theoretically darken hair.
Can it help with hair loss?
Because of its high nutrient content, it’s basically a multivitamin for your hair. One of the reasons people lose hair is because of nutrient deficiency. It makes sense that minerals, antioxidants and other vitamins could help regrow hair if blackstrap molasses is regularly consumed.
There’s also a lot of antioxidants like zinc, manganese, selenium and other trace minerals in blackstrap molasses. When oxidation occurs in the cells, our bodies are vulnerable to the effects of aging. Antioxidants help prevent oxidation.
Another common cause of hair loss is anemia. One cause of anemia is low iron. If you have anemia, one of the benefits of blackstrap molasses for hair may be preventing hair loss caused by low iron. That’s because the dark syrup is a good source of iron.
Here are a couple of anecdotal blackstrap molasses hair growth reviews:
“I’m 67 and about 20 years ago my hair started falling out in clumps because of stress. Working crazy hours so I would get maybe 3 to 5 hours of sleep each day. My barber told me to try molasses. I started taking one tablespoon a day until the bottle was empty. My hair grew back in and it almost seemed like a miracle! I still wasn’t getting the proper amount of rest, but the molasses STILL worked and my hair filled in pretty quickly. Took about a month or less, but it did work.”
And here’s another one:
“I can tell there is regrowth is because the frontal hairline and temples look better and I know it is not my imagination.”
Just two testimonials is not proof that blackstrap molasses hair benefits include support for hair growth. But more and more people interested in natural solutions are crediting blackstrap molasses for hair growth.
How to use blackstrap molasses for hair
Remember the advice to think about blackstrap molasses as a multivitamin. That’s the easiest way to use blackstrap molasses for hair. You can simply consume 1 or 2 tbsp of it (get the unsulphured variety; it has more nutrients than sulphured).
If you don’t care for the taste, don’t slurp it straight. Mix it in water. Or add it to your morning smoothie or green drink. If you’re going to add it in a blended mix, add stevia to neutralize the bitter taste.
If you’re really willing to go the extra mile, do this with blackstrap molasses for hair growth: use it as a shampoo. This method isn’t for everyone as it can become a sticky mess.
But if you want to give it a try, do this: mix the molasses with some water. Massage into scalp. Let sit for several minutes. The longer the better. If you let it sit 10-15 minutes, this will really let the trace minerals absorb into your scalp and hair follicles. Needless to say, wash it out when done.
Health benefits beyond hair
Blackstrap molasses isn’t just for hair. Here are some of the possible health benefits of this nutrient-rich syrup.
Exercise recovery: Intense exercise robs the body of sugar and minerals. Blackstrap molasses is high in sucrose. The sucrose in molasses is an optimal carbohydrate source for refueling the body.
Nutrient-rich: We have already covered blackstrap molasses’ nutrient composition. But some other nutrients it’s high in are magnesium, calcium, potassium and B vitamins.
Insecticide: This study identified compounds in blackstrap molasses that might be attractive to house flies.
Increases ferritin: Ferritin is a protein that stores iron. If you take a blood test for iron, it can come back normal. That doesn’t mean, however, your body stores iron effectively. Many women experience menstrual cycle problems because of insufficient ferritin.
Here’s what one woman said on an online forum about blackstrap molasses:
“Even though the taste of molasses is bad enough to choke a corpse, I guess I need to use it to boost my iron stores.”
Again, you might want to dilute the molasses or mix it with other ingredients in a blender.
Side effects of blackstrap molasses
Taking just 1-2 tbsp per day of blackstrap molasses is not likely to yield negative side effects. One person who tried it, however, commented on a forum:
“ I did this[took blackstrap molasses] for about 3 weeks, and my [menstrual] shedding really decreased. Afterwards, however, I started having some stomach trouble.”
Other possible side effects of taking blackstrap molasses may include making symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome worse, and causing general digestive discomfort. This includes diarrhea and loose stools.
Blackstrap molasses hair mask
If you want to make your own conditioning hair mask with black molasses, there are several ways. Typically, you’ll need just a few ingredients.
Apple cider vinegar is great for skin and hair. So you might want to consider using it for a blackstrap molasses hair mask.
For a natural thickening agent, you can also use whole-milk plain yogurt and your favorite essential oil to nourish hair. And of course, last but not least, blackstrap molasses.
For this hair mask, you’ll want to blend the following four ingredients:
- a quarter-cup of yogurt
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- a couple drops of essential oil (we like using tea tree oil)
- 2 tablespoons of blackstrap molasses like this one
After the ingredients have been whisked together, simply rub and massage into your scalp and hair. Leave on for 10 minutes or so before washing out and using your regular shampoo.