Chocolate often gets a bad rep for being one of the most decadent guilty food pleasures. While it is true that chocolate is a delicious treat, it is also packed with tons of nutrients and health benefits. Before chocolate turns into chocolate, there are a few things that are done and added to it that are usually the “bad” ingredients that we all know about. However, pure chocolate like cacao or cocoa powder are amazing on their own and some of the healthiest superfoods out there.
Here’s another fun fact, did you know that chocolate - or at least chocolate in its pure form – is also a great hair care ingredient? It’s one of the more underrated ones compared to the OGs like aloe vera, coconut oil, argan oil, etc., but it possesses some hair benefits that even the OGs don’t have!
Here are only a few things that raw, dark chocolate can do for hair:
Chocolate boasts many skin benefits that people have already done extensive studies on. And guess what is also a big part of hair health? The skin on your scalp! To have healthy hair growth and quality, your scalp must also be part of your care routine. Chocolate or cocoa has some amazing skincare elements that would definitely benefit your scalp. It possesses anti-aging properties, high amounts of antioxidants, and it increases blood flow. All of which are conducive to good scalp health and healthy hair growth.
Let’s go back to chocolate and blood flow. Studies show that those with significantly lower blood flow in the scalp are more likely to experience hair loss. Hair follicles, just like anything in our bodies, need oxygen to grow. Blood circulation creates oxygen and bad circulation leads to oxygen deprivation which then causes hair loss. So how does chocolate help with hair growth? Chocolate increases the blood flow in your scalp which gives the follicles more oxygen to keep growing healthily. Furthermore, dark chocolate also contains flavonoids that also induce hair growth. Particularly, it contains a compound called proanthocyanidins which induces the anagen phase of hair growth (the hair growing phase). This basically means your follicles will be encouraged to go out of their dormant state and start the growth cycle.
Also read: 6 Best Hairstyles for Thin Hair
Antioxidant and Anti-Inflammatory
Chocolate gets a bad reputation because of the junk that is put into it to turn it into that sweet, decadent treat that we all love. But in its pure form, it is just chock full of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. This is great for your scalp and hair. Free radicals are something that we encounter daily and detoxifying the hair is very much essential. With free radicals and other contaminants, the scalp can get irritated and inflamed. These are instances that cocoa can help with. All its flavonoids, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory nutrients will naturally detoxify your hair and prevent inflammation on your scalp.
With inflammation often comes dandruff. External contaminants can cause irritation and an irritated scalp will produce excessive amounts of oil and poor nutrition can lead to a dehydrated scalp, both of which are notorious causes of dandruff. Chocolate’s antioxidant properties work to detoxify the scalp and hair of free radicals that are causing dirt and irritation on the scalp and roots. Its anti-inflammatory properties will also calm the inflammation caused by the irritation on the scalp and prevent excess sebum and dandruff. Furthermore, chocolate’s nutrients will nourish the scalp and strands and get rid of dryness and flakiness that may be causing dandruff.
Gray hair comes from a lack of nutrients and pigment in the follicle. Dark chocolate contains high amounts of copper which have been linked to hair growth and preventing gray hairs. It also contains melanin which is the very pigment that causes the color in your hair. The overall nourishment that comes from the vitamins, minerals, and flavonoids in chocolate can prevent a deficiency that causes gray hair. Individual compounds such as copper and melanin add to that by targeting graying hairs specifically.
Chocolate Hair Recipes:
Anti-Dandruff Detox Hair Mask
Feeling a little icky in the root and scalp area? Try this anti-dandruff detox mask. Simply mix together pure cocoa powder, green tea, and coconut oil and you’ve got yourself a very powerful detoxifying hair mask that will cleanse your scalp and hair of impurities and toxins.
Chocolate Hair Conditioner
Dry and brittle hair can be remedied by this conditioning treatment. All you will need is ¾ cup of coconut cream and 1/3 cup of cocoa powder. No fancy tools or preparations, just mix together and apply after shampooing. Leave on for 15 minutes and feel the difference!
Cleansing and Nourishing Chocolate Hair Mask
What if you want to nourish your hair and detox it at the same time? Try out this chocolate, honey, and yogurt hair mask. Honey is an incredibly moisturizing ingredient that will leave your hair hydrated and soft. Yogurt contains high amounts of lactic acids that can help cleanse the scalp and exfoliate dead skin cells. It also contains protein which strengthens the strands. Last but not least, dark chocolate powder has antioxidants, vitamins, and nutrients that will detoxify and nourish the hair at the same time.
Chocolate Dry Shampoo
Need a quick fix for when wash day hasn’t come yet? Try a homemade dry shampoo made from chocolate! Just mix together ¼ cup of cornstarch, 2 tbsp cocoa powder, and 5 drops of your favorite essential oil. Apply on your hair with a makeup brush. The mixture will absorb the excess oil on your hair and extend the life between wash days.
Chocolate is just amazing. Including it in your diet is proven to help with your overall health and mood (as long as it’s in moderation!). And now you know, including it in your hair care routine can also provide tremendous results. Try out some of these homemade chocolate hair product recipes and see the difference for yourself!