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Ayurveda describes neem as "sarva roga nivarini", which means the healer of all the ailments. Neem (Azadirachta indica) has various biological properties which help in treating many illnesses.

Neem contains vitamins like vitamin E, carotenoids, and vitamin C, and neem oil - extracted from the fruit and seeds of the tree - has various fatty acids like linoleic acid, oleic acid, stearic acid, and palmitic acid. All these vitamins and fatty acids help in improving skin quality and also reduce the signs of ageing. (Read more: Neem benefits for skin)

These components also help in treating various skin and hair conditions like dermatitis and scalp psoriasis. One of the major components of neem, azadirachtin, is one of the most potent insect repellents.

Neem can be used in three different forms: paste, powder and oil. All of these can be used for skin, hair, face and can be consumed orally too. The following are the benefits of neem for keeping the hair healthy and lustrous:

  1. Neem prevents hair loss
  2. Neem fights dandruff
  3. Neem kills head lice
  4. Neem makes hair smooth and frizz-free
  5. Neem prevents premature greying of hair
  6. Doctors for How does neem help hair?

Neem oil has anti-inflammatory, antibiotic, and antioxidant properties which helps in preventing baldness. It has proved effective in treating psoriasis of the scalp, a condition in which there is redness, inflammation and scaling of the scalp.

The regenerative properties of neem oil help the cells to divide faster and promote the growth and function of hair follicles. This, in turn, helps in hair growth.

Read more: 5 food habits to stop hair loss

Dandruff is caused due to a fungus called Malassezia. This fungus binds to the surface of the scalp and increases the production of sebum on the scalp. Gedunin and nimbidol found in neem extracts have anti-fungal properties, thus they help in reducing dandruff.

Neem oil helps in reducing the inflammation, itchiness, and irritation on the scalp caused by dandruff.

Neem oil has the ability to maintain the natural acidity of the scalp, also called as the pH balance of the scalp. The naturally acidic environment of the scalp also prevents fungal infections.

Research has shown that neem oil has the ability to kill head lice. A study done to determine the efficacy of neem oil in eliminating lice showed that the application of shampoo containing neem oil can kill all the lice within 20 minutes. The insecticidal agent present in neem, called azadirachtin, obstructs the growth and reproduction of lice and ultimately kills them. Also, the smell of the neem oil suffocates the lice, thus it can also be used as a preventive measure against head lice.

Neem extracts contain various fatty acids like linoleic acid, oleic acid, and stearic acid which replenishes the hair and provide lustre to frizzy and dry hair. You can add neem oil in your regular shampoo for reaping the benefits.

Read more: Hair growth treatment and tips

The high levels of antioxidants in neem oil help in preventing the premature greying of hair. Premature greying of hair can occur due to many reasons, but neem oil would be beneficial if the cause of greying is either hormonal imbalance, sun damage or stress. Remember that while neem oil delays the greying of hair, it cannot turn grey hair into black ones.

Dr. Krishna Bhalala

Dr. Krishna Bhalala

Dermatology
4 Years of Experience

Dr. Ragini Puvvala

Dr. Ragini Puvvala

Dermatology
6 Years of Experience

Dr. Priyanka Mutyala

Dr. Priyanka Mutyala

Dermatology
1 Years of Experience

Dr. Siva Subramanian

Dr. Siva Subramanian

Dermatology
6 Years of Experience

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