Definition - what exactly is hair lotion?

A hair tonic is generally a liquid that is applied to the hairline and scalp and massaged in, thereby helping to care for them. Depending on the product, it can have very different functions. It can be used both for cosmetic purposes, for example for styling the hair, or for medical purposes, for example for use against dandruff or dry scalp. The hair tonic can have a positive effect on both the scalp and the hair.

Also read:

  • How to treat dandruff right
  • Dry scalp - what to do?

Hair lotion is often also referred to by the synonym hair tonic. The term tonic comes from the Greek and means “tonic”, which in the end it should also represent for the hair. However, there is no significant difference between hair lotion and hair tonic.

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What does the hair tonic do for the hair?

Hair tonics are used for many different purposes. On the one hand, hair tonic should counteract hair loss. Other hair tonics not only counteract hair loss, but also stimulate the scalp to re-synthesize hair. But different hair tonics can also be used against oily hair, dry and irritated scalps and against psoriasis.

You might also be interested in:

  • Hair loss
  • Dry scalp - what to do?
  • Psoriasis of the scalp
  • Scalp - itching, burning, pain
  • This is how greasy hair is treated properly

Since hair tonic has many different uses, they consist of many different active ingredients that are adapted to the desired effect. This is because each active ingredient is specifically designed for a purpose. For example, active ingredients such as minoxidil are used in the hair lotions that are supposed to work against hair loss. For oily hair, hair tonics with nettle are preferred.

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Hair lotions are also often used preventively, i.e. preventive.

Hair lotion against hair loss

Hair loss can be specifically prevented and fought with hair tonic. However, there are different causes of hair loss that need to be managed differently. On the one hand it can be hereditary, on the other hand it can also lead to hair loss due to hormonal malfunctions. According to the various causes of hair loss, there are different active ingredients, some of which are synthetically produced, but some also come from nature. However, there is usually nothing to counteract hereditary hair loss.

An active ingredient that is often used as a remedy for hair loss is minoxidil.Minoxidil has the effect that it stimulates the blood circulation in the scalp and thereby ensures an improved anchoring of the hair follicles in the scalp. This is to prevent increased hair loss. Minoxidil also has a second effect, namely it stimulates the new synthesis of hair follicles. This has the consequence that new hair can grow.

Caffeine is another active ingredient against hair loss. Hair lotions containing caffeine are especially popular with men. To do this, the caffeine is applied directly to the hair follicle and, as with Minoxidil, is supposed to stimulate blood circulation in the scalp. This improves the delivery of nutrients and minerals to the hair follicles and strengthens the hairline.

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Also read: Hair loss in men

Natural remedies, such as nettle or birch, can often be found in hair tonic. Like the active ingredients described above, they affect the blood circulation in the scalp and thus lead to a better supply of nutrients to the hair roots.

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Hair lotion for oily hair

If you are looking for a solution against oily hair, hair lotions with a relatively high alcohol content are often used. Oily hair is caused by the increased production of fat by the sebum glands located on the scalp. Usually these are responsible for the healthy condition of the scalp. However, if there is overproduction, too much fat is produced, which is why the hair is often referred to as "greasy". The alcohol content in the hair lotions has a drying effect on the scalp and thus has a "degreasing" effect. In addition, hair lotions that contain nettle help against oily hair.

Also read:

  • This is how greasy hair is treated properly
  • Properly treat and prevent oily hair
  • Overactive sebum - symptoms and treatment

What does the hair tonic do for the scalp?

The scalp can be damaged due to various causes. This can lead to dehydration, irritation, dandruff or even an oily scalp. For each of these possible damages, there are different hair tonics that are designed to fix or prevent them. These have different ingredients that are intended to achieve a targeted effect.

In addition, the alcohol content is different high or low, depending on the application.

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  • Dry scalp - what to do?
  • Psoriasis of the scalp
  • Scalp - itching, burning, pain

Hair lotion for a dry scalp

For hair lotions that are supposed to help against a dry scalp, it is best to use hair lotions that contain caffeine or rosemary. But tea tree oil, urea, apple cider vinegar, nettles, quark, jojoba oil, coconut oil or honey are also ideal for use against dry scalps.

All of these agents ensure better blood circulation in the scalp, which ensures a better supply of nutrients and a better moisture content in the hair. The nutrients and moisture can, however, also be supplied from the outside by other means in hair tonic. These include the remedies listed above such as quark, jojoba oil, coconut oil and honey. Due to their high moisture content, these act as a moisturizer and, if necessary, even preventively protect against recurring dehydration of the scalp.

Hair lotions with high alcohol content should definitely be avoided if the scalp is dry, because they only have an additional drying effect.

Also read: Dry scalp - what to do?

Hair lotion for an itchy scalp

Itchy scalp is usually associated with a dry scalp. However, it can also be caused by psoriasis, allergies or lice. There are different remedies for all of these causes that have different effects. Means are often used that have a calming and, if necessary, moisturizing effect on the scalp. One remedy of choice here is nettle, which is particularly helpful against itching. Another proven, fast-acting remedy for itchy scalp is urea.

For more information, see: Scalp - itching, burning, pain

Hair lotions are often high in alcohol. This can be both productive and counterproductive for an itchy scalp, depending on the cause. Alcohol has a disinfectant effect and can therefore be used as a productive agent against lice.

Also read: head lice

However, if the itchy scalp is associated with a dry scalp, hair tonics with a high alcohol content are a poor choice as they also have a drying effect. Hair lotions with a low (basic) pH value of around 5 have a calming effect on the scalp and are therefore popular.

Also read: Dry scalp - what to do?

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Hair tonic for psoriasis

Psoriasis, also known as psoriasis, is a skin disease that can have various causes. It represents an increased and faster growth of the upper layer of the skin and can affect other parts of the body in addition to the scalp. Usually an itchy scalp goes hand in hand.

Also read: Scalp - itching, burning, pain

The remedies that help against psoriasis include salicylic acid, olive oil, urea (urea), lactic acid, but also remedies such as cortisone and vitamin D supplements. These can be found in various hair tonics that specialize in psoriasis. However, the use of cortisone should be treated with caution, as it causes the skin to become thinner and more susceptible to infection. In some cases, light therapies are also offered to treat psoriasis. Here the hairline is irradiated with UV light.

Further information can be found at:Psoriasis of the scalp

Hair lotion for dry dandruff

There are two types of dandruff. On the one hand there is the dry dandruff that is caused by a dry scalp, and on the other hand there is oily dandruff that can be found on an oily scalp.

If the scalp is dried out, dry dandruff usually goes hand in hand. Usually there is also increased itching and irritation of the scalp. Means like apple cider vinegar calm the itching and increase the moisture content. But remedies such as avocado, beer or olive oil can also help treat dry dandruff. The agents cause the moisture content to rise and, as a rule, also ensure shiny, well-groomed hair at the same time.

Also read:

  • Scalp - itching, burning, pain
  • Dry scalp - what to do?
  • Psoriasis of the scalp

Hair lotions generally contain high levels of alcohol. The reason for this is that the alcohol has a disinfectant effect on the scalp. At the same time, however, alcohol also has a drying effect, which should be absolutely avoided with an already dry scalp and dry dandruff. Therefore, hair lotions with low or no alcohol content should preferably be used.

What is the hair lotion made of?

As a rule, the hair tonic consists of a base of an alcoholic solution. Ethanol is usually used for this, but other alcohols can also be part of the hair lotion. Contents such as sulfur or acids can also be part of the hair tonic in highly diluted form. Depending on the product, the hair lotion also contains other additives. These are adapted to the desired effects of the hair lotion.

Substances such as birch or nettle are said to stimulate hair growth or reduce hair loss. But rosemary can also be found in some hair lotions and is said to help against dry scalp.

For products against a flaky scalp, remedies such as witch hazel (also called witch hazel) are sometimes used. Cortisone can also be found in some hair tonic. However, these may require a prescription and are intended to help against inflammatory processes on the scalp or increased hair loss.

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Also read: Hair loss

You can also make hair lotion yourself. The advantage here is that substances such as alcohol, sulfur or acids, which tend to cause intolerance on the scalp and hair, can be omitted. The hair tonic can be adapted to the desired hair or scalp problems, but at the same time represents a low risk. Experiments with different substances mixed together should therefore be absolutely avoided. Hair lotions without alcohol are difficult to preserve and must therefore be used up quickly.

Despite the alcohol content, hair tonic is counted as a largely natural means of caring for and treating the hair and scalp.

How does nettle affect hair?

Nettle can often be found among the ingredients of hair lotion. The nettle is said to work against hair loss. It contains numerous active ingredients, including vitamins, minerals and iron. These are usually well tolerated by the scalp and, in addition to reducing hair loss, also take care of the scalp and hair. In addition, applying nettle promotes blood flow to the scalp.

Tea tree oil for the hair

Tea tree oil in hair lotions serves several purposes. On the one hand, it is often applied to prevent possible scalp irritation and, on the other hand, it should also promote blood circulation. Tea tree oil also has an effect on skin blemishes, skin irritations, reddened scalp, dandruff and hair loss. It has a disinfectant effect on the scalp and can thereby kill possible fungi, bacteria and mites that attack the hairline. It is therefore often used for skin blemishes.

Also read:

  • Scalp - itching, burning, pain
  • Psoriasis of the scalp
  • Hair loss

Tea tree oil is extracted from the leaves and branches of the Australian tea tree and is one of the essential oils. A large component of the essential tea tree oil is terpinen, which is also an active ingredient.

Menthol for the hair

Menthol or mint oil can be found in hair tonic. It is used to accelerate hair growth and to reduce hair loss. The blood circulation in the scalp is stimulated, so that the hair roots are stimulated. This stimulation of the hair roots contributes to increased hair growth by enlarging the hair follicles and growing thicker hair.

Also read: Accelerate hair growth

The menthol also cools the scalp and therefore has a calming effect on irritation and redness. Mint oil is one of the essential oils.

Minoxidil for the hair

Minoxidil is often used in hair lotions to prevent hair loss. By applying a hair lotion containing minoxidil, the blood circulation in the scalp is improved, which means that the hair follicles can be anchored better in the scalp. Due to the improved blood circulation in the scalp, the hair roots are also better supplied with nutrients, which also leads to a stabilization of the hair roots in the scalp.

If the active ingredient minoxidil is applied to the hair, a further process occurs in addition to the improved anchoring of the hair in the scalp. When applied, minoxidil changes into the active ingredient minoxidil sulfate. Minoxidil sulfate is in turn able to stimulate the new synthesis of hair follicles and thus, in addition to reducing hair loss, also ensure the formation of new hair.

Is there also a hair lotion without alcohol?

As a rule, all hair lotions contain alcohol. There are only a few hair tonics that are specifically made without alcohol. The reason for this is very simple. The alcohol in the hair tonic has a disinfectant and antibacterial effect on the scalp. In addition, alcohol is often used as a preservative in hair tonic, which has the advantage that the hair tonic has a longer shelf life and does not have to be used up within a few days.

However, the alcohol content can also have negative effects, especially on an already irritated scalp. It can cause the scalp to dry out, causing increased irritation. For oily hair and oily scalps, hair tonic with an alcohol content is often used.

Also read:

  • Scalp - itching, burning, pain
  • This is how greasy hair is treated properly
  • Properly treat and prevent oily hair

Hair lotion is also quite easy to make yourself. You can then omit the alcohol accordingly. However, you shouldn't experiment too much with your own hair tonic creations.

Is there also a hair lotion with cortisone?

Some hair lotions also contain cortisone. Cortisone is a hormone that is normally produced in the adrenal gland. However, it can and is also gladly used for application to the scalp and hairline. The cortisone is said to lead to reduced hair loss. Cortisone is also popular for use against psoriasis, as it has an anti-inflammatory effect. However, the use of cortisone should be viewed with extreme caution, as, in addition to the promised effect, it also leads to a thinner scalp and more susceptible to infection. The body's own immune system can also suffer from the use of cortisone in the long term.

Further information on "Cortisone" can be found at:

  • Effects of cortisone
  • Side effects of cortisone

Are there hair lotions with sun protection?

Hair lotions with sun protection can now also be purchased. The purpose of this hair lotion is to protect the scalp from sunburn, especially for men with thin hair. But there are also hair tonic with sun protection for women and men with full hair.

The hair tonic, like the usual hair tonic, is used on the scalp and the hairline. First it is lightly massaged in and then left to soak in for a few minutes. The hair tonic does not have a greasy effect on the hair and is also often used by men in combination with caffeine-containing hair tonic, which additionally strengthen the hair roots and thus reduce hair loss.

How do I use the hair tonic correctly?

The word 'hair tonic' or 'hair tonic' is somewhat misleading when it comes to use. In contrast to conventional shampoos, hair treatments, etc., the hair tonic is not applied to or in the hair, but rather to the scalp and the hairline.

Applying the hair lotion can turn out to be a bit more complicated. Hair lotion, like water, is very thin, and therefore there is a risk of it being wasted on hair. The hair is not damaged by this, but it is also not beneficial. A tip for this is to wash or at least moisten your hair beforehand. Wet hair does not absorb the hair tonic so well, so more gets onto the scalp.

Therefore, hair tonic is often sold in bottles with pipettes or as a spray bottle. This allows a simple and targeted application of the hair lotion to the scalp. At best, part the hair for this and then move the parting until you have rounded the whole head.

After the hair tonic has been applied to the scalp, it should be carefully massaged in. Depending on the product, an exposure time between a few minutes and several hours is recommended.

What results can be expected?

Hair lotion can achieve different results depending on the product and the reason for using it. Hair lotions are mostly made from natural medicinal products such as nettle or birch and have a calming effect on the scalp and stimulate blood circulation in the scalp. However, it can also be used for everyday hair and scalp care.

A distinction is made between two types of hair tonic - medical hair tonic and cosmetic hair tonic. The medicinal hair tonic usually has a special reason for use, which includes, for example, hair loss, dry & itchy scalp or psoriasis. The cosmetic hair tonic is applied with the purpose of better styling and a more well-groomed appearance of the hair. Both types of hair lotion have a specific effect on hair and scalp due to their different ingredients and, with the right choice of products, achieve a successful effect.


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