White Oak Extract: Does it Work for Hair Loss?

White Oak Extract: Does it Work for Hair Loss?
Oak Tree Logo Silhouette isolated. Vector illustration

White oak extract is something that is fairly easy to find. However, very little is known about this bark and how it works, and just as few people have even heard about it. Even so, this specific extract is starting to gain traction in a wide variety of different areas.

Though only a handful of folks in the hair loss community are using white oak extract for their hair, this doesn’t necessarily mean that it won’t work. But perhaps a closer look at this extract is needed to convince you of this.

What Is White Oak Extract?

White oak extract is made from the bark of white oak trees, hence why it is often referred to as the longer name of white oak bark extract. Out of the many different types of oaks, white oaks are one of the few types that are made into an extract.

This type of tree originates in the Eastern parts of North America and has the scientific name of Quercus alba. The Northeast is where it grows both naturally as well as in tree lots where it is carefully cultivated. Perhaps the most notable feature of this type of oak is the white bark.

Though not perfectly white, the grayish color can get closer than many other trees that are referred to as having white bark. Like most oaks, white oaks grow to be large and sprawling, sometimes being the largest trees in the forests. They also grow for decades without a problem, some even growing for more than one or two centuries.

Though not well known today, white oak bark has been used for quite a while. Native Indians who lived in the areas where white oaks grew used it for a variety of things. Then, when the settlers came, some of the Indians taught its uses to them, and it has been used since.

It is for that reason that white oak bark was listed in the US Pharmacopoeia as long ago as 1916. While the bark is considered the best part, the acorns are also used in a few remedies as well. This is mostly done for stomach complaints, though more often, the acorns are just eaten as regular acorns.

However, the bark of the white oak is what we are looking at. White oak bark is available in capsules, tinctures, extracts, and a variety of other forms.

The Benefits Of White Oak Extract

There are three main benefits of white oak bark extract. These are its astringent, antiseptic, and anti-inflammatory properties. Those three things mean that it is good for a variety of different health problems that you might have.

Inflammation and itchiness, whatever the cause, is soothed by this extract. It is even soothing around your sensitive private areas and for varicose veins. When it comes to hair, this assistance with inflammation can do wonders to help with hair growth.

The astringent and antiseptic properties of it make it useful for things like bee stings and cuts. Yet, these two properties also make it perfect for helping the health of your scalp and hair. So, basically, all three of the white oak bark properties, though good for other things, are also great for your hair and scalp.

White oak bark has a handful of very important nutrients in it as well. These include: Vitamin B12, iron, and potassium, as well as a tannin content of somewhere between 15 to 20%. Coincidentally, most of these are ones that are great for your hair, which is why it helps hair growth.

Most commonly, white oak extract is used in a tea for things ranging from arthritis to diarrhea. It also supposedly helps to stimulating appetite, as well as improving your digestion. This extract is also great for your immune system. This makes it perfect to drink in a tea for colds, fever, coughs, sore throats, and bronchitis.

There are also a few random remedies that this bark extract is used for. Some people use it to tighten their loose teeth by applying it directly onto their gums. It is also used for gallstones. Finally, white oak bark makes a good diuretic, helping to cleanse your kidneys and bladder. shampoos shampoo

How To Use White Oak Extract

This type of extract is just as versatile as any other extract that you might want to use. True, not much information is around on how to use it for hair growth. But it stands to reason that white oak extract can be used just like any other on your hair.

White oak extract is most often added to bathwater when you are using it to treat a skin problem. This allows the extract to soak into your skin and help with inflammation. This also works for your hair, but only if you let your hair soak in the water too.

Alternately, you could put the extract into a hair rinse, shampoo, or conditioner to ensure that it gets on your hair. Most hair masks also tend to have at least one ingredient that adds moisture to them. Simply add some white oak extract either in place of some of the liquid or in addition to it.

A couple of other ways this extract can be used for your hair that are equally simple are taking it internally or putting it directly on your hair by itself. Though taking white oak extract internally won’t benefit your hair directly, it can still help some.

Finally, if you are not certain that the extract is for you, you do have other options. As mentioned, white oak bark can be found in a variety of different forms. So, you have a lot of options for ways you can add this extract to your hair care routine.

Cautions When Using White Oak Extract

One of the downsides to an extract like this having so little information on it, is the fact that you are left equally ignorant about possible side effects. Even websites like WebMD are uncertain as to what these could be.

To be on the safe side, they advise you to avoid using white oak extract if you have a fever, infection, kidney problem, liver problem, heart problem, certain skin conditions, or a nerve condition. This seems a bit excessive, especially since these are some of the things that the extract helps with.

However, most likely, that is just their way of covering themselves, just in case. Because of its diuretic properties, it does make sense that you should not use white oak extract for long periods of time. Using this bark for more than two weeks at a time is considered the most you want to do.

That is internally, however, and there is no indication of how using it externally might be different. If it was likely that you might react to it, though, it would not have been placed on the GRAS list, which means that it is generally recognized as safe.

Still, if you are allergic to trees, then you probably should go easy on any type of bark extract. You should also keep in mind that extracts are concentrated forms of something. Therefore, white oak bark extract is going to be far more potent than any type of tea.

A Word On Making Your Own Extract

If you have your own white oak tree, it is entirely possible to make your own extract from it. You likely already have what you need for making an extract. You simply need bark from your white oak tree, a mason jar, and either glycerin or something with a high alcohol content. Vodka is commonly used for this.

Try to use a knife or vegetable peeler to get as much of the inner bark off as possible. Make sure that your bark is as clean as possible once you are done with that. Then, pack the white oak bark into your glass jar.

Pour the vodka over the bark. Your goal here should be to completely cover it while having one part bark and one part liquid. Cover it all up and store your jar in a dark place for about a month. Then, strain the bark out however you want to. What you have left is extract!

And, in case you are wondering, the difference between an extract and a tincture is basic. An extract has equal amounts of the plant as the alcohol or glycerin. Meanwhile, a tincture is more of a ratio of one to three of those things.

Final Thoughts

Though white oak extract is one that you have probably not heard about until now, it is growing in popularity. This popularity means that there will most likely be studies done on it in the near future. These will no doubt show just how beneficial the extract of this bark is for you.

So, if you are desiring a new hair treatment that you can try out, you should try this one. Even if the white oak bark extract doesn’t help your hair as much as you might want it to, it can still help your health.

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Christopher is the founder of Hair Loss Geeks, which launched back in 2011. At the time there wasn't any credible information on the internet about hair loss. As someone suffering from hair loss himself, Christopher began his extensive research journey. After launching the site, he later graduated from Boston University in 2012 with his PhD in Biochemistry. What started off as a hobby project quickly became a bigger focus as it grew. Christopher hopes everyone can learn from both his experience and research.

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