Honey Is the Moisturizing Natural Ingredient That Benefits All Hair Types
Find out why the natural ingredient is proving incredible for the driest of hair.
We love honey. Whether incorporated into food or a staple of your beauty routine, it’s practically impossible to not obsess over the sweet ingredient. And while we most commonly think of it as something healthy to eat, it’s just as beneficial for the hair. That’s why honey hair care is becoming more prevalent and proving foolproof for optimal hair hydration and scalp health.
The experts can attest to its efficacy. “Using honey in hair products is a great way to moisturize and repair dry and damaged hair naturally,” says Rachel Quenzer, Garnier Whole Blends ambassador and expert chef. “Honey is full of antioxidants and nutrients that are beneficial to your hair and your body. It is believed to be one of nature’s most soothing ingredients, and it has both emollient and humectant properties, which means it can restore the natural luster of hair by locking in moisture.” Quenzer also says that honey contains proteins that can provide added strength and structure to the hair, which helps to reduce breakage and brittleness.
“Additionally, honey has also been scientifically proven to have a lot of antibacterial properties and antifungal properties, which makes it good for your scalp,” Quenzer says. “If you’re looking for hair products with natural ingredients that provide a lot of benefits, you can’t go wrong with products that contain honey.” Those scalp benefits, according to Dr. Isfahan Chambers-Harris, biomedical scientist and trichologist, serve as a growth elixir of sorts. “Honey works to promote the growth of the epithelial (skin) cells on your scalp, which stimulates and strengthens the follicles for healthy hair growth,” she says.
Millie Morales, a Miami-based celebrity hairstylist, agrees, adding that she recommends this ingredient to many of her clients. “Honey smoothes and seals the hair follicles,” she explains. “It can help restore the natural gloss of your hair and also clean and treat.”
“Most people think of honey as being one ingredient and something often used to cook with or even as a condiment, but there are over 300 different types of classified honey—and not all honey is created equal,” Quenzer says. “Most experts will tell you that raw honey is the way to go, but not everyone has time to create their own honey treatments from that.”
Nonetheless, you should aim for natural honey for your hair. “The more natural the honey is, the better it’ll be for your hair,” Morales says. You may also sacrifice efficacy when not using natural honey. “Over-the-counter products containing honey may lack the important nutrients your hair needs. as they are destroyed once it’s pasteurized and processed,” Dr. Chambers-Harris says. “Try adding it to a DIY hair mask or conditioner once a week to retain moisture and strengthen your locks.”
Now, even though the type of honey you use matters, the good news is that it works for all hair types. However, coarser and thicker hair should use more honey to increase ingredient penetration and better efficacy. “Curly hair types that have lower porosity hair or that don't easily allow moisture in can really benefit from honey,” Dr. Chambers-Harris says. “Since honey is a natural humectant, it can help to take moisture from the air and seal it in your hair.” However, be sure to properly shampoo and rinse out the honey to avoid buildup in the hair.
If you’re scared of using raw honey, you can try products that incorporate it instead. “I love the Whole Blends Honey Treasures line that includes shampoo, conditioner, and a 10-in-1 Miracle Nectar,” Quenzer says. “All three of those products have propolis, which is often called ‘bee cement,’ and royal jelly—a product made by the queen bee herself—to help infuse nutrients into the hair and help to repair it.”