beets for glossy hair

Many moons ago, I worked in a soul food restaurant in New Orleans where they served a popular salad that was made up of only beets and onions. I love the remarkable color of beets and it has certainly been trending in the restaurant scene. A beets, beetroot, and table beets are in the same family as a sugar beet or Beta vulgaris , but are genetically and nutritionally different. Sugar beets are white and used for sugar extraction but the beet (beetroot) is red or gold in color. The beet is a member of the vegetable food group and more specifically, the root vegetable family. It is from the Chenopodiaceae and they have edible leaves, roots, and stems. They qualify as dark green vegetables just like kale or bok choy and have less carbs than starchier veggies and a significantly higher percentage of their carbs come from fiber.

Beets are excellent sources of fiber, folate, manganese, and potassium with a good source of vitamins B6, C, iron, and magnesium. They also contain riboflavin, thiamine, pantothenic acid, choline, betaine, phosphorus, copper, selenium, and zinc. With all these amazing nutrients it's no wonder the beet is being touted as a “super food,” but people have been taking of advantage of its health benefits dating back 4,000 years to the time of the Babylonians.

Beets became popular around the 19th century when they were discovered they could be used to make sugar. The very first beet sugar plant was built in Poland.  Their history can go even further back, as beetroot was offered to Apollo in his temple in Delphi and was hailed to be worth its weight in silver!  During the early times of beets, their medicinal properties far outweighed their eating qualities. It was also quite popular during the 16th century for using beet juice as a natural red dye and the Victorian’s used it to dye their hair.

Beets and your hair

Beetroot juice is an awesome asset for your hair. With the carbs, protein, potassium, phosphorus, calcium, and vitamins B and C, they all work at bringing better blood circulation to our scalp and hair while promoting stronger and healthier strands. Beetroot juice also eliminates a dry and itchy scalp with its anti-pruritic properties. Its enzymatic properties destroy excessive dead cells and dry conditions of the scalp while also moisturizing the scalp at the same time.

According to Kathleen M.  Zelman, MPH, RD, LD, beets are rich in natural chemicals called nitrates and  through a chain reaction, your body changes those nitrates into nitric oxide 
and that helps with blood flow.  Better blood flow or blood  circulation helps to nourish your hair follicles and carry the necessary  nutrients your hair needs for optimal growth and quality.  Add nourishment to your strands with beetroot through the carotenoids that also give your hair a glossy texture. Some even make a beetroot paste and apply it to bald patches to encourage growth. The carotenoids assist in blood circulation, which in turn nourish the hair follicles. Mixing beet juice vinegar has been said to rid dandruff.

Temporary hair dye

If you've ever cooked with beets, you know their juice make for a powerful dye. With the natural food pigments, beet juice is great for a temporary color change of a reddish or purple hue. You can darken your hair’s color by washing your hair with a beet juice shampoo mixture like the one below.

Beet juice shampoo mixture

What you'll need
  • Plastic or rubber gloves (beet juice will stain your skin)
  • One large beet
  • Blender or food processor
  • Knife 
  • Strainer 
  • Large bowl 
  • Favorite sulfate-free shampoo 
  • Small funnel
Directions
  1. Chop up the beet into large pieces and place into the blender or food processor. 
  2. Blend to extract the juice and then strain juice into a bowl before transferring into a measuring cup. 
  3. Pour some of the shampoo out of the bottle and place in another measuring cup. Use a small funnel to pour beet juice into the shampoo bottle. 
  4. Shake well to mix the shampoo and beet juice. 
  5. Test on a small section of hair while in the shower. You may have to add more shampoo or beet juice according to how light or how dark of a hue you want. 
  6. Leave the mixture in for 15 min. (or longer for a deeper color) and rinse. 
  7. Style as usual. 

Have you ever used beet juice in your hair routine?