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Ashwagandha Hair Loss: Benefits Explained

Knox Beasley, MD

Reviewed by Knox Beasley, MD

Written by Steph Coelho

Published 04/07/2023

Updated 03/27/2024

If you keep up with wellness trends, you’ve likely heard of ashwagandha. And if you’re dealing with excessive shedding or thinning and prefer herbal remedies to pharmaceutical treatments, you may have Googled “ashwagandha hair loss.”

Ashwagandha (aka withania somnifera) is an adaptogenic herb used in traditional Ayurvedic medicine. Ayurveda is practiced in India based on the idea that health conditions result from consciousness-related imbalances.

As an adaptogen, ashwagandha is thought to help the body adapt to stress. Also known as “Indian ginseng” or “Indian winter cherry,” some believe the herb’s antioxidant properties can help with inflammation, energy levels, stress and anxiety.

All factors that may indirectly help with hair loss.

Read on to learn about ashwagandha hair benefits, whether ashwagandha can cause hair loss, ashwagandha dosage as a hair loss remedy and other treatment options for hair loss.

It’s not accurate to say that ashwagandha directly treats hair loss or improves hair health. But its anti-inflammatory properties might help you better cope with stress — a common trigger for hair loss.

So if you’re wondering whether an ashwagandha hair loss remedy could actually help your hairline, the answer isn’t so clear-cut.

How Does Ashwagandha Benefit Hair?

Ashwagandha hair benefits have to do with the supplement’s potential effects on stress.

Research links chronic stress to hair loss. Studies have found that long-term stress can prevent new hair from growing and keep hair in the resting (telogen) phase of the hair growth cycle.

Evidence also suggests that high levels of cortisol (the stress hormone) can impact hair follicles, even causing scalp irritation.

Generally, this type of stress-induced hair loss isn’t permanent. Reducing stress can often help promote new growth and limit excess shedding.

Since ashwagandha may help reduce stress levels, it could benefit you if you’re dealing with stress-related hair loss.

A small double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized study of 64 people found that taking a high concentration of ashwagandha root extract improved resistance to stress and quality of life.

So, if stress is causing your hair loss, and taking ashwagandha helps you feel better, it might (inadvertently) help support healthy hair growth.

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Is there ever a case where ashwagandha can cause hair loss?

It’s true that some medications can trigger hair loss. For example, certain medications healthcare professionals prescribe to treat depression and anxiety may increase your risk of hair loss.

Blood thinners and certain medications for high blood pressure, like beta blockers, can also cause telogen effluvium, a type of temporary excess shedding that can lead to balding or thinning.

But there’s no evidence that taking ashwagandha triggers hair loss.

Ashwagandha isn’t a direct treatment for hair loss. That said, it may help address hormonal imbalances (like high cortisol) contributing to physical stress and indirectly triggering excess shedding.

How much ashwagandha should you take for hair loss benefits? Always follow the packaging directions. Generally, ashwagandha dosing is around 500 milligrams (mg) twice a day.

Another thing to keep in mind? You may experience side effects when taking ashwagandha supplements, like an ashwagandha powder or oral supplement.

Possible negative effects of ashwagandha include:

  • Diarrhea

  • Vomiting

  • Upset stomach

Before taking something new, you should always consult with a healthcare professional.

Even though ashwagandha has known benefits and is commonly used as a medicinal plant, it may not be safe for everyone.

Consider talking with a healthcare professional before using ashwagandha. It could negatively interact with other medications or supplements you’re taking, aggravate existing health conditions or cause an allergic reaction.

Experts recommend that people with thyroid issues and those who are pregnant or breastfeeding don’t take ashwagandha for hair regrowth or any other reason.

Curious about other herbs for hair loss? Check out our article about triphala and its potential benefits.

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Ashwagandha might help with stress-induced hair loss, but it’s not a first-line treatment for excess shedding.

Let’s go over some of the most effective, science-backed treatments for premature hair thinning and hair loss.


Minoxidil, or Rogaine®, is an FDA-approved medication for the treatment of androgenetic alopecia, also known as genetic hair loss or male pattern baldness. Topical minoxidil doesn’t require a prescription and is available as a 2% liquid solution or 5% foam.

When you apply it to your scalp, minoxidil widens the blood vessels there, allowing more nutrients and oxygen to get to your hair follicles. This can boost scalp health and encourage the hair growth cycle.


Finasteride, or Propecia®, is an FDA-approved hair loss treatment that blocks the production of androgens, like DHT (dihydrotestosterone) and DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone), that can trigger hair loss.

It’s available as an oral tablet or topical solution. Some find finasteride and minoxidil work best together, as with our two-in-one topical finasteride & minoxidil spray.

You can read more about the link between ashwagandha and testosterone in our guide to ashwagandha and testosterone.


If stress isn’t the reason for your hair loss, testosterone could be playing a role. Spironolactone is a prescription acne medication that reduces the effects of hormones called androgens — testosterone is a common one involved in hair loss — and minimizes shedding.

Hair Loss Shampoo and Conditioner

Brittle strands are prone to breakage, which can make it look like you’re losing hair. Adding moisture back into your hair can help prevent damage.

Reaching for a hair loss-fighting conditioner after using a shampoo formulated for hair loss can help with hydration.


Biotin is an important B vitamin for hair health. According to research, it may encourage hair regrowth.

You can get biotin by eating foods like eggs, milk and bananas.

Another option is a biotin supplement, like a biotin gummy. When shopping for biotin gummies, consider a formulation with added vitamin D since being low in vitamin D may also cause hair shedding.

Hair loss treatments, delivered

Whether you’re experiencing hair breakage or loss, it’s understandable that you want to get to the bottom of what’s causing it and find a solution to get back to a healthy head of hair.

  • Ashwagandha may have some indirect benefits for hair regrowth and hair loss.

  • The medicinal plant can help you better cope with daily stress, a common trigger for hair loss.

  • If your hair loss is stress-induced, you may benefit from taking an ashwagandha supplement and finding other ways to deal with chronic stress.

  • Addressing stress might help improve hair density, assuming your hair loss is stress-related.

  • But ultimately, more research (including human studies) needs to be done to confirm the health benefits of ashwagandha.

Talking with a healthcare professional is the best way to find a hair loss treatment that works for your needs.

Our online consultations make it quick and easy to get to the root of your hair problems.

12 Sources

  1. Singh, N., Bhalla, M., de Jager, P., Gilca, M., (2011). An Overview on Ashwagandha: A Rasayana (Rejuvenator) of Ayurveda. African Journal of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicines. Retrieved from
  2. How Stress Causes Hair Loss. National Institutes of Health. Retrieved from
  3. Chandrasekhar, K., Kapoor, J., Anishetty, S., (2012). A Prospective, Randomized Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study of Safety and Efficacy of a High-Concentration Full-Spectrum Extract of Ashwagandha Root in Reducing Stress and Anxiety in Adults. Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine. Retrieved from
  4. Drug Induced Hair Loss. American Hair Loss Association. Retrieved from
  5. Asghar, F., Shamim, N., Farooque, U., et al., (2020, May). Telogen Effluvium: A Review of the Literature. Cureus, 12(5): e8320. Retrieved from
  6. Benefits of Ashwagandha and How Much to Take. Cleveland Clinic. Retrieved from
  7. Suchonwanit, P., Thammarucha, S., Leerunyakul, K., (2019). Minoxidil and its use in hair disorders: a review. Drug Design, Development and Theory, 13: 2777-2786. Retrieved from,as%20increasing%20body%20hair%20growth
  8. Brough, K., Torgerson, R., (2017, March). Hormonal therapy in female pattern hair loss. International Journal of Women’s Dermatology 3(1): 53-57. Retrieved from
  9. How to stop damaging your hair. American Academy of Dermatology Association. Retrieved from
  10. Ablon, G. (2015). A 3-Month, Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study Evaluating the Ability of an Extra-Strength Marine Protein Supplement to Promote Hair Growth and Decrease Shedding in Women with Self-Perceived Thinning Hair. Dermatology Research and Practice. Retrieved from
  11. Biotin (2020). Medline Plus. Retrieved from
  12. Khan, Q., Fabian, C., (2010, March). How I Treat Vitamin D Deficiency. Journal of Oncology Practice, 6(2):97-101. Retrieved from
Editorial Standards

Hims & Hers has strict sourcing guidelines to ensure our content is accurate and current. We rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We strive to use primary sources and refrain from using tertiary references. See a mistake? Let us know at [email protected]!

This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information contained herein is not a substitute for and should never be relied upon for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment. Learn more about our editorial standards here.

Knox Beasley, MD

Dr. Knox Beasley is a board certified dermatologist specializing in hair loss. He completed his undergraduate studies at the United States Military Academy at West Point, NY, and subsequently attended medical school at Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans, LA. 

Dr. Beasley first began doing telemedicine during his dermatology residency in 2013 with the military, helping to diagnose dermatologic conditions in soldiers all over the world. 

Dr. Beasley is board certified by the American Board of Dermatology, and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology.

Originally from Nashville, TN, Dr. Beasley currently lives in North Carolina and enjoys spending time outdoors (with sunscreen of course) with his wife and two children in his spare time. 





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