Manuka Honey for Hair: Benefits, Care, & More
I am a tad obsessed when it comes to natural, homemade recipes, and I’m not talking about edible ones here (although this fantastic hair treatment is 100% palatable, wholesome, and mighty delicious). I find it very cathartic and cleansing using raw ingredients without all the additives and chemicals, and manuka honey is one such amazing elixir that nature has provided for us.
These natural benefits provided by manuka thanks to its unique compounds make it a powerful treatment for hair with the ability to treat dryness, dandruff, and more.
Manuka honey is incredibly easy to use as a hair treatment — it’s part of my routine and is no harder than using any conditioner or packaged and processed hair mask. There’s also no pricey salon trip required. If you’re like me, you may already have a jar of manuka sitting in your pantry waiting to be used.
So, let’s explore a little further how that wonderful pot of real, raw manuka honey in your cupboard is not only delicious and healthy but also can be used to great advantage on those luscious locks of yours.
What makes manuka honey beneficial for hair?
Manuka is a fantastic remedy that I’ve used routinely to treat all kinds of pesky hair concerns. The two primary properties that make manuka honey such a powerful tool for hair health are its hydrating qualities and antibacterial properties.
Moisturizing and Hydrating
Manuka honey is considered to be a natural humectant and emollient, so it naturally draws in and retains moisture. These properties make manuka the perfect moisturizing treatment, as humectants bond with water molecules to add hydration to the hair strands, helping ward off unwanted frizz or dryness.
This hydrating property is also important because in the course of our daily lives our hair is exposed to all sorts of pollutants that surround us, like sun exposure and air-conditioned spaces to name a few. To have a natural ingredient that can help eliminate the effects of dry hair is pretty special.
Manuka honey is a unique moisturizing treatment in that it’s non-oily and contains alpha-hydroxy acids, which do wonders for a wide variety of skin and hair concerns. When used on the hair, alpha-hydroxy acids help clean off dirt and pollutants without stripping the hair’s natural moisture. Manuka honey allows you to access these acids in a completely natural and non-irritating product.
Aside from its hydrating qualities, manuka honey is also a powerful treatment for scalp conditions. Published research has proven that manuka honey is antibacterial, antifungal, and antioxidant. It has remarkable efficacy when used topically for skin ailments, and the scalp is no different.
Studies have even found that weekly use of raw honey significantly improves seborrheic dermatitis symptoms. All trial participants responded positively to topical honey treatment, and just within a week, itching disappeared and there was a significant improvement in hair loss. For those with similar conditions like itchy scalp or dandruff, manuka honey can be potentially life-changing.
How to Use Manuka Honey on Hair
- Try to use a UMF (Unique Manuka Factor) of 10+ or higher for scalp issues like dandruff. It’s best to start with a UMF 20+ until the condition improves a little, and then reduce to a UMF 10+. If you’re just using honey as a routine moisturizing treatment, a lower-grade manuka will work fine.
- Whatever strength you use, be certain that it is real, raw, and unpasteurized manuka honey. This has a huge impact on the benefits of the manuka, as processed honey loses much of its value.
- For best results, make this treatment a part of your routine! For example, I shampoo and condition my hair in the usual manner, towel dry it, and then add a couple of tablespoons of straight manuka honey onto the damp hair, massaging it into my scalp and working it through to the ends. I usually leave the honey on my hair for about 30 minutes and then rinse it off in the shower.
What Others Say About Manuka Hair Treatment
A few of my colleagues who tried out this manuka honey treatment on their hair shared their stories of success with me. Here’s what they had to say:
- “It left my hair feeling gloriously clean and soft. Overall it felt like a treat — a spot of pampering without all the chemicals, and using something multi-purpose from the pantry is right up my alley.” - Kelly, NZ
- “I didn’t use hair wax after using manuka honey, and my hair felt light but not flat. My scalp felt clean and fresh after a gentle massage, and my hair felt very smooth but not like a normal ‘conditioner smooth,’ which can feel lifeless and a bit fake for me. I’m not a fan of conditioner, so I may switch and use honey from time to time.” - Talia, NZ
- “It was FAB! My hair feels super silky and shiny. I have naturally very fine hair and it doesn’t feel fluffy like it often does, and it wasn’t any messier than using a standard hair masque out of a tub. I do feel like the active ingredients affected my scalp skin.” - Kylie, NZ
As my lovely colleagues experienced, there are numerous benefits of manuka honey for hair, so I recommend experimenting a little and seeing what works best for your personal routine, hair type, and scalp concerns. The results can be incredibly impressive and leave your hair feeling better than it has in a long time, without the harsh chemicals or price tag of other treatments.
Get Healthier Hair With Steens Honey
One of the beautiful features of manuka honey is that it’s an entirely natural and clean product that is multi-purposed. There are many hair mask recipes available that include other natural ingredients as well, but I just use the honey straight from the jar. It makes it easy and simple and not nearly as messy from the addition of other things — the bees have already loaded it with plenty of goodness ready for us to enjoy and reap its benefits.
Such beautiful, clever little creatures.
Ready to experience the benefits of manuka? Explore Steens manuka honey products that are the perfect strength for incorporating into your hair care routine.