Molasses is a nutrient-dense natural sweetener that is a good source of minerals like magnesium, iron and calcium as well as copper and other trace nutrients. It is often consumed internally as a plant source of iron or used as a natural sweetener, and externally, a molasses hair mask is a natural beauty remedy that has been used for centuries.
Molasses for Hair?
Though there isn’t a lot of scientific research on why molasses is so beneficial for hair, there are thousands of anecdotal reports of it being used to strengthen and condition hair (and even naturally reverse gray hair!).
The great thing about this natural beauty remedy is that it works internally and externally, and seems to be most effective when used both ways. In other words, you might get the most benefit from sipping a gingerbread latte with some molasses in your hair.
How it Works: Internally
When used in foods or drinks regularly, molasses may provide benefit to hair due to its unique combination of nutrients, especially copper, which is important for hair growth. Molasses also contains a good amount of iron, which may help stop anemia (a common cause of hair loss) and antioxidants that may help stop premature graying.
How it Works: Externally
There is also some evidence that nutrients in molasses can help nourish and strengthen hair externally. Like honey, it is a natural sweetener that works as a natural deep conditioner and makes hair silky and smooth.
The dark color of a molasses hair mask may also help cover gray naturally. I don’t have any gray hair yet, so I haven’t been able to test this theory first-hand, but I have used molasses to help naturally darken my hair in the winter months when my sun-bleached summer hair starts to grow out. It worked wonderfully to tone down the really blonde streaks I get after spending time outside all summer.
A Molasses Hair Mask?
I can speak from firsthand experience in my early trials with natural beauty recipes that there is a definite wrong way to use molasses on hair… mainly, putting it straight on the hair undiluted. It is incredibly thick (and sticky!) and takes forever to get out if applied directly.
Instead, using molasses in combination with other hair-healthy ingredients helps improve and thin out its thick texture and intensify the benefits without the need to shampoo dozens of times.
My favorite hair-boosting ingredient to combine with molasses for deep condition hair is yogurt. It is a natural source of amino acids, beneficial bacteria and enzymes, zinc and lactic acid that help nourish the hair and scalp.
Molasses Hair Mask Recipe
- In a small bowl, whisk together yogurt, molasses, and apple cider vinegar.
- Add essential oil if using.
- Massage into hair and scalp.
- Cover with a shower cap or wrap in a towel and leave on for 10-15 minutes.
- Shampoo as normal.
Ever used food in your hair? How did it go?