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Is kale good for hair and skin?

Kale has become one of the most popular superfoods in recent years. This leafy green is packed with vitamins, minerals, and powerful antioxidants. Kale provides many health benefits when consumed, but can it also improve the health and appearance of your hair and skin when applied topically? In this article, we’ll examine the evidence to determine if kale is really effective for hair and skin care.

The Nutrients in Kale

Kale is low in calories but high in nutrients. Some of the top nutrients found in kale include:

  • Vitamin A – This fat soluble vitamin is important for eye health, immune function, and cell growth. It can also help fight acne when applied to the skin.
  • Vitamin C – This water soluble antioxidant helps produce collagen, boosts immunity, and protects against UV damage when consumed. It has similar benefits when used topically.
  • Vitamin K – This fat soluble vitamin is essential for proper blood clotting. It also helps strengthen bones and follicles when eaten or applied externally.
  • Iron – Iron carries oxygen in the blood to cells and tissues. Iron deficiency can cause hair loss and skin problems.
  • Potassium – This mineral is important for moisture retention in the skin. It helps keep skin hydrated.
  • Omega-3s – These healthy fats support hair growth and skin cell regeneration.
  • Antioxidants – Kale contains antioxidants like quercetin and kaempferol that fight free radicals and premature aging.

Kale for Hair Care

The nutrients in kale make it a great addition to your natural hair care routine. Here are some of the ways kale can improve hair health:

Supports Hair Growth

Kale is packed with vitamins A, C, and K which nourish the hair follicles. The folate helps produce new cells, while the iron transports oxygen for growth. The omega-3 fatty acids support a healthy scalp and may prevent hair thinning.

Moisturizes Dry Scalp

The vitamins and minerals in kale help retain moisture in the scalp to combat dryness and flaking. The healthy fats also lubricate and hydrate the scalp.

Reduces Hair Loss

Iron deficiency is one of the most common nutritional causes of hair loss. The iron in kale ensures adequate oxygen supply to the hair roots to prevent shedding. Vitamins A, C, and K also strengthen the follicles.

Detoxifies the Scalp

The antioxidants in kale can help remove buildup, pollution, and toxins from the scalp and hair. This promotes a cleaner, healthier environment for hair to grow.

Adds Shine

The vitamins A, C, and K found in kale help boost collagen production for smoother, softer strands. The healthy fats also add lubrication for a glossy shine.

Kale Hair Treatment Ingredients Method
Kale Hair Rinse 1 cup kale leaves
2 cups water
Blend kale and water together. Strain out pulp. Apply liquid to scalp and hair after shampooing. Let sit 5 minutes before rinsing.
Kale Scalp Scrub 1/2 cup kale leaves
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp honey
Blend ingredients into a paste. Gently massage onto scalp. Rinse after 5 minutes.

Kale for Skin Care

In addition to hair benefits, kale can improve the look and feel of your skin when used topically. Here’s how:

Fights Acne

The vitamins A, C, and K in kale have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties to help treat acne. Vitamin A speeds up cell turnover to prevent clogged pores. Vitamin C stabilizes collagen while vitamin K aids healing.

Evens Skin Tone

Kale contains vitamin C which inhibits melanin production to help fade pigmentation and age spots. The vitamin K helps reduce under eye circles, while vitamin A promotes new skin cell formation for an even tone.

Boosts Hydration

The electrolytes in kale, like potassium and magnesium, help the skin retain moisture. Kale is also composed of 70% water to deliver hydration when used in masks, toners or creams.

Firms and Tightens

Kale is a source of antioxidant vitamin C which is essential for collagen production to maintain firm, supple skin and prevent wrinkles. The magnesium also helps skin elasticity.

Detoxifies Skin

The antioxidants in kale neutralize free radicals caused by pollution and UV exposure. This protects the skin from damage and reduces signs of aging. Kale’s antioxidants support gentle detox.

Kale Skin Treatment Ingredients Method
Kale Face Mask 1/4 cup kale leaves
1 tsp honey
1 tbsp yogurt
Blend together kale, honey and yogurt. Apply to clean face and leave on for 10-15 minutes before rinsing.
Kale Toner 1 cup kale leaves
1 cup water
3 drops essential oil (optional)
Blend kale and water. Strain out pulp. Mix in essential oil if desired. Apply to face with cotton round after cleansing.

Potential Drawbacks of Kale for Hair and Skin

While kale offers many benefits for hair and skin, there are some potential drawbacks to consider:

  • Messiness – Kale can be messy and stain skin green when used topically.
  • Allergies – Those with sensitivity to greens may experience irritation, itching or rashes.
  • Oxalates – Kale contains oxalates that may interfere with nutrient absorption when eaten in excess.
  • Pesticides – Non-organic kale may contain pesticide residues that can be absorbed into hair and skin.
  • UV sensitivity – Kale contains photosensitive compounds like lutein that may make skin more prone to burning.

Perform a patch test before applying kale to hair or skin to check for any adverse reactions. Introduce kale slowly into your diet if concerned about oxalates. And be sure to purchase organic kale when possible.


Kale is packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that provide many benefits for hair and skin health. When used properly, kale can help moisturize and strengthen hair, plus fight acne, even skin tone, and combat signs of aging. Just be aware of potential drawbacks like messiness, allergies, and pesticide exposure. Overall, kale is a nutritious ingredient that can be used topically or consumed to enhance hair and skin. But introduce it slowly and do a patch test first to be safe.