Fenugreek is a herb rich in mucilages and it is considered a natural hair-loss preventing treatment, because of its high percentages of phytoestrogens. It also stimulates hair growth.
Our journey in the fantastic world of natural hair care continues with an article dedicated to a plant from the Fabaceae family, one of the most antique herbs cultivated in Egypt, India or Morocco: Fenugreek, also known as Methi.
When purchasing the fenugreek powder, on the label you’ll find fenugreek /methi written with its Latin name – the botanical name of the plant: Trigonella Foenum-Graecum.
This plant has lots of properties: it can be assumed as a spice or as a supplement, or it can be used as a mask on hair or skin.
Its Latin name, “Trigonella”, derives from the plant’s seed’s shape that reminds of a triangle, while the commercial name – fenugreek (Greek hay) – derives from the fact that the plant, in the past, was used as animal’s food. It has a poignant smell, very spicy, which can be either loved or hated.
Fenugreek (Methi) Properties
Fenugreek’s seeds contain trigonelline (active agent characteristic of the fenugreek), lots of mucilages, proteins, flavonoids, saponins, lipids, vitamins, iron and mineral salts (manganese, silicon, calcium and phosphorus).
Fenugreek has many uses and benefits, both in the kitchen and in the cosmetic industry, but today I’m going to focus on its hair care properties as a natural hair-loss preventing remedy.
Fenugreek’s (Methi) Hair Properties:
- Prevents and controls hair loss thanks to its high levels of phytoestrogens, that can imitate the estrogen’s functions
- promotes hair growth
- excellent moisturizing and conditioning agent thanks to its high levels of mucilages
- regulates the sebum production
- it’s a washing and sanitizing agent, thanks to its steroid-saponins
- gives volume and porosity to hair
- leaves hair shiny and silky.
Contraindications*. It should not be used by:
✓pregnant women, since it can stimulate uterine contractions
✓subjects who are undergoing hormonal therapies
✓sibjects prone to develop allergies
*contraindications are mostly related to the assumption of fenugreek, not to the topic masks one can do as a hair care treatment.
RECOMMENDED READING: Fine, Thin Hair? 4 essential tips to get volume & strength in your hair!
Fenugreek (Methi) Preparation
If you want to use fenugreek on your hair, you should buy fenugreek powder (the ideal) or the fenugreek’s seeds. You can also find on the market its dried leaves, but I suggest you not to use them, because it’s more difficult to prepare them and to use them.
Both the fenugreek powder and the methi seeds must be hydrated in order to allow the mucilages to be released and to fully benefit of its conditioning and hydrating properties on our hair. Fenugreek powder it’s slightly yellow, mustard-like.
But let's see
what’s the procedure to prepare and hydrate fenugreek correctly
in order to be able to apply it on our hair.
Just remember that if you DON’T hydrate it enough, you’ll risk obtaining the contrary effect on your hair, because once you’ll apply it, it will re-hydrate itself by absorbing water from your hair.
How to Hydrate Fenugreek
This is the quality of fenugreek you may find on our online shop: it has the baby powder consistency.
For the first time, I suggest you to start with:
- 1 tablespoon of fenugreek powder &
- approximately, from 200-250 grams to a maximum of 350 grams of warm (it’s mandatory!) water or warm herbal infusion (rosemary, sage, horsetail, coconut milk etc depending on one’s necessities)
(the amount of water that methi can absorb depends on its provenience and on the quantity of mucilages contained in the dried and powdered herb). Just remember that you should add water (or the infusion) little by little, over time.
- the maximum amount of time for the hydration is 12 hours, if it is made at room temperature. During summer, it’s better to let fenugreek powder hydrate in a fresh space, or to let it hydrate for less hours, in order not to make it go bad & loose its properties
Thanks to this article, I hope you won’t make the same mistakes I made when I prepared it for the first time: I added the whole amount of water in one go, and I obtained a liquid broth, in which there weren't any traces of mucilages.
The trick is to add the warm water and/or infusion little by little and mix it vigorously. As you add the liquid, you must maintain a consistency similar to the consistency of a pudding or a yogurt and you’ll see that fenugreek, after the hydration, will raise in volume.
You will likely have lumps, but you can remove them with a blender.
Personally, I prepare the powdered fenugreek by adding water little by little for at least 10-15 minutes, then I let it rest, and every 2-3 hours I check its consistency, and if necessary, I add more water, always mixing it vigorously.
The consistency of the hydrated fenugreek (methi) reminds me of the consistency of a mayonnaise. When you add water, you’ll see that the creamy consistency becomes more liquid, but if you mix it vigorously, the water will be absorbed and you’ll get back to the initial consistency.
If you see that your fenugreek mix has a too liquid consistency because you think you added too much water, don’t add any more water, and mix it vigorously, until the water is absorbed, and maybe you’ll obtain the perfect consistency for it to be applied on hair.
Instead, if this “accident” happens in the first hours of the hydration, you can try adding more powdered fenugreek little by little, in order to try and obtain the perfect mix.
You’ll understand that the methi’s mucilages have been released if, when you touch the hydrated methi mix, you’ll feel a viscid patina on it, due to mucilages.
If you already prepared flaxseed gel, I assure you that the methi’s consistency is far more pleasant than it, both visibly and to the touch.
If you want to see the whole procedure, you can watch it in the video-tutorial below < there are english subtitles available, you just have to activate them >
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You can powder the fenugreek seeds and use them as I explained above, or you can use them to make a gel similar to the flaxseed gel.
Since hydrating the fenugreek powder is a quite difficult and long procedure, I suggest you to prepare it in a bigger quantity and to store it in the freezer in little portions that you will defrost in a water bath or at room temperature whenever you’ll be ready to cuddle your hair.
In the fridge, fenugreek hydrated gel resists for 2 to 3 days, but I wouldn’t store it longer, since it has no preservatives in it and it can easily go bad.
How to use Fenugreek on Hair
- As a washing hair mask (it’s better to use it along with other herbs or other washing flours): Wash Your Hair Naturally with Flours: chickpea flour and...
- Hair-Loss preventing Hair Mask (sitting time: 1 hour) on clean hair, covered with a shower cap and a wool hat
- As a wetting agent to prevent hair dryness in herbal hair colors mixes. In this case, methi powder can be hydrated until you obtain a more liquid mix, batter-like, that can be used in the coloring mix instead of water.
By doing so, we avoid that fenugreek hydrated gel may dilute the herbal hair color too much. And, of course, it will help obtaining the perfect consistency for it to be applied on hair: Henna & Herbal Hair Colors: 20 F.A.Q. (frequently asked questions)!
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Frequently Asked Questions:
- Can I use fenugreek in my hair mask without hydrating it?
No. Fenugreek needs to be hydrated and needs a lot of water. If you use it without hydrating it, it will absorb water from your hair.
- Does fenugreek color hair?
No, methi doesn’t contain any dyeing agents.
- I can’t stand fenugreek’s smell, I find it awful, what can I do?
You should always use it along with other washing herbs or flours, and use the acid rinse to remove its smell from your hair: Shiny & Soft Hair with an Acid Rinse: Apple Vinegar or Lemon?
- Is fenugreek a washing agent? Can I use it alone to wash my hair?
The result is very subjective and depends on how dirty your hair was, but I personally prefer to use it along with other washing herbs or flours, because it doesn’t contain many saponins.
So, if you can properly prepare it and you can make it release the mucilages, fenugreek will help make your hair silky, shiny, soft, vaporous and most of all, hydrated. As a natural hair-loss preventing agent, the ideal would be to use the hair-loss preventing hair mask made with fenugreek, along with fenugreek capsules. But, before you start taking fenugreek (methi), I strongly suggest you to talk to your doctor in order to rule out the contraindications I talked to you about above.
Take care of your skin and hair consciously. You'll find everything you need (even herbal hair colors) on our online shop. Click HERE to visit it!
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