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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
- ¼ cup plain whole-milk yogurt
- 2 TBSP organic blackstrap molasses
- 1 tsp organic apple cider vinegar
- 2 drops rosemary essential oil (optional)
- 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?
Discussion (91 Comments)
Katie how often should this mask be used on my hair?
I’ll definitely try this! I am really working on getting long, healthy hair. Do you apply the mask to wet hair or dry hair?
My hair is falling out so much and I don’t know what to do or why, maybe this will help? Every time I touch it atleast 20-50 hairs come out. Ive taken blood and I’m fine. Anyone have solutions or thoughts?
Did you recently have a baby? There is a post partum condition that results in hair loss. I had it both times. I’m currently experiencing the condition now. I’m not sure what can be done. I was just happy to learn it was not anything to serious.
Hair loss can be caused by any number of reasons, diet (not enough fruits/veggies), stress, women’s cycle, not washing hair before bed (to get the pollution out), low in minerals/vitamins, pregnancy, after child birth, etc..
Try looking into any of those, change what needs to be changed. With stress, it’s a tricky one, cause a lot of people who think they aren’t stressed, actually are. That causes so many problems..
You can use Wellness Mamas’ recipe and/or just use a diluted RAW Apple Cider Vinegar and water rinse after you wash your hair. Can do 1:1 ratio or 1:3. It actually cleans all build up off scalp (which can also cause hair loss) and conditions hair. What I do is wash my hair, poor the ACV mix on my hair,(starting with the top of my head) then massage my scalp really well. I like to leave it on while I wash my body,but be careful not to let it drip in your eyes (does not feel good!).
You can use ACV on your hair everyday. You don’t need conditioner afterwards, it’s a really good conditioner all itself! Don’t worry about the smell, it goes away when your hair is dry.
Many blessings and Merry Christmas~
Hi, I’ve had an issue with my hair falling out for nearly 10 years. It started out much like yours, with me losing handfuls at a time. I was diagnosed with Hypothyroidism and started medication, which slowed it down significantly. I have continued to lose a normal amount of hair, but I just never grow new hair. I have found nothing that actually makes a difference, and the dermatologist diagnosed this as alopecia of a hereditary nature. I would suggest making sure you get your thyroid checked and go to a dermatologist right away. Good luck!
Sandy, I have the same problem . I have tried everything and have spent thousands. Nothing has helped
Have you ever thought about Iodine? I was losing hair, insomnia, brain fog, depression, I can go on and on. I found Dr. Group through a series named The Truth About Cancer with Ty Bolinger. Through checking out his site I figured I was probably iodine deficient. My doctor did a thyroid test and said I was fine yet I also discovered that the normal thyroid test will not show that you are deficient. My hair does not fall out anymore, I sleep 8 hours a night like a baby, I feel great. Hope this helps.
Thank you. I will go to the site today and find out exactly what is suggested to correct a possible deficiency.
I too have lost more than half of my formerly thick, curly hair. I am devastated and have had tons of bloodwork done- all of which has come back normal except for low estrogen. My ob-gyn prescribed an estrogen cream, but I will not take hormone supplements. I have tried every vitamin and supplement under the sun, and still cringe every time I wash or brush my hair. I am currently on a B-complex, Thy-Rx 7 for thyroid balance, and evening primrose oil, as well as whole food Vitamin D, calcium, magnesium, and a whole food organic multi. Any suggestions would be so appreciated.
Sometimes you need to listen to your doctor if you want to take the estrogen then your hair may continue to fall out
Debbie where are you getting your supplements? if you are getting them at a store I can tell you they are not good. Your body probably is not absorbing them and they are not getting into your system.
A couple things I recommend is drinking apple cider Vinegar every day. You can make a tea out of it with a little raw honey, cinnamon and lemon juice. It does wonders for your body. Also using it on your hair. I also recommend you drink Wheat grass juice. You can get it in a powder on Vitacost for about 17.99 a month for a 30 day supply. that is something else that will do wonders for you inside and out. I also have used it on my hair. It does so many wonderful things for you.
Thanks for the input. I take all whole food supplements- either Garden of Life or Vitamin Code. I’ve actually gotten my D levels up to 60 using their products, so I know that I’m absorbing them. I’m familiar with ACV and use it often, but never in tea. Could it actually help reverse hair loss? I’ve never heard that. I just can’t figure out why I’m losing it in the first place. I’m only 50 and am incredibly healthy otherwise.
I just started my Vitamin D3 and Iron regimen today, after asking for blood work done, which showed drastic deficiencies in D and very low iron. I had anemia twice before in my 20’s but I actually feel fine, not tired, pale, etc. No excessive blood loss, so I was at wits end as to why, but endocrinologist said the low iron could be why I had hair loss coming on in last 2 years. Also had bone density scan, which showed I was borderline, so I am taking everything like you are, and the D3 in 50,000 IU prescription-strength once a week, with K2 (as MK-& and MK-4), and iron with vitamin C, as well as magnesium and calcium, at different times because some are fat-soluble, others water-soluble and should not be taken together. I hope in about 3 months I will see and feel major differences 🙂
I appreciate your advice on the timing of the supplements I’m taking. I have been checked for anemia and my iron levels are fine. Maybe changing the timing on my supplements will help, as nothing else has. If anyone else has ANY suggestions, please let me know.
I have also been struggling with massive hair loss over the past couple of years. My doctor kept having me up my thyroid meds which didn’t really help. Recently I started making an oat straw decoction (or is it an infusion?!) and it had an immediate effect. I went from handfuls of hair coming out every day to only a few strands. Miraculous! Before bed, I take 1 tbls oat straw and put it in a quart jar and then cover with just boiling water and let it sit on the counter over night. The next morning I strain it and drink the tea. Today I am going to buy some blackstrap molasses and start taking that too to see if I can start getting it to grow back. I already take ACV every day as well as vitamin D, zinc, magnesium, etc.
Just wondering have any of you gals been using WEN by Chaz dean, I used it and LoVed it BUT AFTER six months my hair was coming out in handfuls. It is a very softening product but, it is not balanced right. I found a site A site and almost 700 people around the same time that I was using when had been losing half their hair fortunately I stopped using it because my mother was a cosmetologist barber instructor and she said hey Heather did you start using that one product about six months ago and I’m like yeah oh my gosh and so I stopped using it and guess what my hair stopped falling out so I’m just wondering because I know a lot of people that like natural have tried it but they’re not aware that it works so well that it actually softens your hair shaft too much and it falls out because I don’t think it’s pH balanced or whatever would stop that. I feel really sad for people to some of them lost 50% of their hair mass or volume and they’ll never get it back.
Heather, what shampoo and conditioner are you using now
CASTOR OIL!!!!!!!!!! Wellness Mama has a recipe with carrier oil mixed in. Otherwise, it’s hard to spread it, because castor oil is very think. My husband has been using it on his bald patch for about 3 weeks, and we see new little hairs sprouting up! I’m now putting in on my scalp for my thining, long, curly hair. It will take much longer for me to see a benefit, but what I see on his scalp is very encouraging.
I read an article on hair loss and some people had good results with saw palmetto. It has to be a good brand, with a high ratio of Saw palmetto. I used Havasu Nutrition brand and I had good results after 1 month of 1 pill daily. I’m not sure if my hair loss, no growth was due to menopause, but my hair hadn’t grown in length for ages until I tried the saw palmetto. I noticed 3 to 4″ growth after 2 months. I don’t take it anymore, and I can still keep it growing at a good length.
Do you use store bought products on your hair? I quit using them a couple years ago, except for Say Yes To Carrots every now and then. I only put conditioner about 4 inches from roots. I use Alafia Black Mud Soap , usually from Wholefoods as my shampoo. I wash my hair maybe once a week now as it is balaced and doesn’t need washed much. I also use a pure bar of hair soap I made.
My sister has been a beautician for 30 years now, an excellent one in fact and she asked me last year what I was doing different. Are you taking different vitamins? No I said……I told you I haven’t been using store shampoos or products. My hair has beome much thicker and she told me that my hair would never grow long, that was maybe 2 years ago when she trimmed it A Lot because it was so split. She trimmed my hair about 8 months ago and to this day I have no splits and I also let my hair dry naturally. I don’t use a curling iron except on my bangs. My natural hair is now thick, down to my waist and ringlets. Quit using hair products! Also, make your own deodorant from baking soda, coconut oil and essential oils. All that chemical stuff going into our lymph glands is bad and our scalp.
Sara, would you mind sharing that hair soap recipe you make? I’d love to try it! Thanks :)..
I know! And do not use WEN it made my hair fall out. Can u tell us your bar recipie, or may I buy some from you?
Sara what conditioner do you use
Hi. I do not want to lose my blond highlights with the molasses, but I am loving what this mask has done for my hair. Could honey be substituted in the recipe for the same results without the darkening affect? Thank you.
I’m having the same issue. I’m thinking/hoping it’s stress. I will be trying this to see if it helps and maybe the vitamin B complex.
May and October are the most common reasons for (normal) hair loss. Grief can cause hair loss, too. See a homeopath!
Does the molasses have to be blackstrap to work? Thank you.
Can be hypothyroid! Check for other signs of it, like low basal temp on waking, cold hands and feet. Typically can be poor iodine intake. I see it in those that live inland or don’t like shellfish, or when there is high bromine intake (can come from soda).
How can you safely take this regularly and not gain weight or an added dependency to sugar products? I already am overweight, and molasses is horrible tasting! 🙂 but, I’m 33 and have a ton of grey hair, that I first received at the age of 13, and hypothesised that I would be totally grey by now, but luckily am not yet. With each child, boys and 3 of them, the grey at the front got more prevalent. I have just decided that dying my hair is no longer something I should do, I haven’t dyed since April 2015, and have cut a lot off just to get colorant out faster. So, how can molasses consumption on a regular basis be good? Thanks for your response!
I wrote an article about this recently, but the short version is that blackstrap molasses is very low on the glycemic index and is actually full of nutrients (it’s also pretty mild-tasting if you don’t generally care for the flavor of molasses). I wouldn’t add a ton to your diet, but in reasonable quantities it can be an asset. You can read more here: https://wellnessmama.com/62447/blackstrap-molasses/
I too had grey hair at age 12. Actually it is white. I had colored it for a long time but honestly when it is this white nothing sticks and my husband asked me to stop because he said dyed hair losses it natural shine. So at age 33 I went all white. I am now 43 and still have white hair and the funny thing is I get so many people complementing me on it. Also fun, weird thing is men often thing I have blonde hair? Or they just can’t process my face with the hair color but I also have Grey eyes so who knows..But you can also by Magnesium concentrate spray for your hair if that might be easier. I am using Wellness Mama’s thinning hair mask for my husband and will report back on that in 2 more months to see if it helped him..Have a great day and Thank you Wellness Mama for all your recipes and articles it helps…
It’s often a problem with a mineral or a vitamin deficiency. My husband had premature gray hair and the reason was he was low in folic acid. My son inherited the same deficiency and he gets plenty of folic acid. At 24, well past the age my husband had grey hair, my son has thick brown hair.
I am actually sitting here reading this with coffee and coconut oil on my hair in an attempt to darken my gray hairs. It is only the second application, but I really feel like my hair took on a more amber/honey tone after the first application. I am only partly gray, so it may be hard to tell how well it works until it is sufficiently darker.
Yes, I tried this as well and it certainly conditioned it well and lifted the roots from the caffeine. The coffee did colour the hair slightly but not enough to cover the grey root growth even with weekly use. I also tried strong coffee thicken with XanthanGum which was a lot less messy!
I have been battling anemia, I get intravenous iron every week and I can actually taste it in my mouth it’s metallic and aweful! I am going to add molasses to my hair and insides.
Just remember Heather Bueltemann – there is such a thing as overdosing on iron – called hemochromatosis – your body has a limited capacity to excrete iron, so it can build up in your body and be at toxic levels, so PLEASE make sure you tell your doctor you are taking iron orally as well, so they can adjust your IV dosage!
Heather Ann Bueltemann
Yes thank you,
I only take 1Tblsp of molasses no additional iron beyond that. I tell my doc everything I take or put on my skin. She thinks I’m a health freak! Shakes her head alot
hahahah I can relate to that Heather !!! XD
I’ve used egg, banana, honey, lime and lemon to wash my hair. The egg seems to be the key cleansing ingredient. I take molasses, when I remember, for an iron supplement. Gotta try this ? thank you.
This is amazing!! Putting these ingredients on my grocery list now!
Excellent! Will try this recipe on my greying hair (!) and report back. Love the idea of eating molasses for health, my mother gave it to us in the late 50s…your recipes are always so innovative and “doable”. Thank you!
I used coconut 76 degree melt tonight I was out of ACV so I used red wine vinegar. I can feel you cringing Wellness Mamma, I didn’t read it till I sprinkled it on my hair. My hair is still wet but it feels stiff too. Like when hair is frozen. I don’t know what will happen??
Please can someone tell me how to get the anesthesia out of your hair. I just had surgery and my hair is coming out worse than ever