Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Quinoa- The Hair Superfood

 By Stephanie Rose Bird of

We’re hearing more and more about the miracle “grain” quinoa—mostly as a tasty super-food, but also, increasingly, as an ingredient in hair care products. Let’s learn more about this high-protein food, which though commonly referred to as a grain, is technically not a grain.

Quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa Willd.), pronounced KEEN-WAH, is also called Quinua, meaning “mother grain,” in Inca language. Other names for Quinoa include vegetable caviar and Inca Rice. While it may seem new to many readers, it was a staple in the Inca diet and is still enjoyed regularly by the Quechua and Aymara people, who are their descendents. Quinoa has been consumed consistently over the past 5,000 years by people who inhabit the mountainous and valley regions of Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador and Chile. The indigenous people that have enjoyed Quinoa believe it enriches and oxygenates the blood.

Quinoa for Your Hair

Quinoa offers accessible vegetable protein to gently cleanse and nourish your hair. Its amino acids help repair damage to the hair shaft while its proteins coat, strengthen and protect the hair. Packed with vitamins and minerals as well as amino acids, Quinoa can aid in hair growth while preventing breakage. Many new shampoos and conditioners are utilizing this beneficial herb. Look for hydrolized quinoa protein. This type of formulation is believed to form a protective barrier over the hair shaft, while it encourages sheen. Its humectants attract moisture from the air, while generally conditioning your hair, yielding a well-defined curl pattern and a sexy head of hair.

Nexxus recently launched a new product line—Phyto Organics ChromaLife Colour Retention System—that relies on quinoa’s amazing benefits. PhytoSpecific’s Moisturizing Styling Balm also contains quinoa oil. And Aveda’s Damage Remedy Daily Hair Repair contains quinoa protein, too.

It sounds like an ingredient definitely worth looking for!

Stephanie Rose Bird is a practicing herbalist. She is the author of five books including, “The Big Book of Soul: the Ultimate Guide to the African American Spirit: Legend & Lore, Music & Mysticism, Recipes & Rituals,” published by Hampton Roads Publishers. Her website is at

The Aveda Damage Remedy line is a staple for me. I use it every other week for my deep conditioning treatments and it leaves my hair feeling moisturized and soft! I love it! I never realized that it had quinoa in it.

Do you eat quinoa or use products containing quinoa?


  1. I love eating quinoa and now that I know it's also great for our hair, I'm even much happier! Thank you very much for this great information about the great quinoa. :)

  2. Great post! Check out my quinoa-oriented blog...


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