Profiling: Hibiscus Flower (Hibiscus Sabdariffa )

Hibiscus is an edible flower from the family Malvaceae or Mallows. Another common name for hibiscus is Rose Mallow. There are over 200 know species of hibiscus with more than 2000 hybrid species. The hibiscus species used for hair is either Hibiscus Rosa-Sinensis found in China, India and their environs or Hibiscus Sabdariffa prevalent in North Africa, Thailand, the Caribbean, and Latin America.

hibiscus powder for hair

In Ayurveda hibiscus is known as Jaswand or Jabakusum depending on specific towns. Hibiscus is commonly consumed as a tea for a plethora of conditions. It’s gentle laxative and a diuretic that increase urine output. It is also believed to maintain healthy cholesterol and blood pressure. Hibiscus is classified as an emmenagogue, or stimulant for menstruation. As with most herbs, pregnant women or those trying to conceive are advise against consuming hibiscus tea as it could cause miscarriage.

hibiscus flowers

  • The hibiscus flower becomes darker as the plant ages
  • Hibiscus flower is the national flower of Malaysia
  • Hibiscus Rosa Sinesis is the state flower of Hawaii
  • Hibiscus Syriacus is the national flower of South Korea

Even though there aren’t any scientific studies on hibiscus for hair, cultures have been using it for millennia and some of the benefits include:

  1. Encourages hair growth by stimulating circulation
  2. Discourages split ends
  3.  Prevents pre-mature greying of the hair strands
  4. Thickens hair
  5. A mild cleanser that helps with toxin elimination
  6. A great hair color for natural hair  especially in combination with henna 



  • Thick grainy consistency is difficult to work with (this would explain why most recipes call for a blend with henna, amla or cassia)
  • Like Brahmi, hibiscus on it’s own has zero clinging capabilties. It was fairly good on the roots but a complete fail on the strands
  • The deep red/burgundy color will stain walls and floor. Lining your bathroom and immediate cleanup is definitely recommended
  • There were some tiny specs of residue after rinsing but nothing to be concerned about
  • Hibiscus gave my curls some definition
  • Post-rinsed hair felt strong but a little dry
  • The powder alleviated scalp tenderness from tight braiding (I didn’t realize my braid was too tight until I undid it and felt sore)

Final Thought:  Despite the clinging problem, I loved the results of hibiscus flower powder on my hair and it makes the cut for my Ayurveda regimen.

SIDENOTES: Adding an acidic element to the mixture would have probably helped with the color output but dyeing my hair wasn’t the goal. My plan is to use Red Raj henna with hibiscus petal and lime/lemon and sandalwood essential oils to dye my hair naturally. This mix should produce some interesting color.


To find organic hibiscus powder:

  • Scylla Charybdis

    Hi Gabrielle,
    Thank you for another thorough tutorial. I subscribe to your channel on YouTube and come here from time to time – when I have time :-)
    Where did you get your ground hibiscus flower/powder? I checked at, where I buy henna thinking that was the most likely place, but (unless I missed it) I do not see hibiscus powder there.


    • Gabrielle Mwangi

      Hi Scylla,
      I hope all is well.
      I have added a link to amazon. This is the cheapest place for good quality and organic hibiscus. Other stores like and are a little crazy when it comes to shipping. So even though their quality is good, I wouldn’t recommend them unless you are buying a lot of other herbs in which case they are your best bet.
      Oh and if you like Cassia, on the side bar I have a link to the best I have ever tried :-)
      Hope this was helpful. Thanks for stopping by and watching my videos.

  • Scylla Charybdis

    I know – I have purchased from Mountain Rose Herbs before and though I love the quality, I can’t really afford them. Thank you for the reminder re: Amazon. You’d think I’d go there first since I more or less live for the items I get from Amazon Prime. I appreciate having the link to the Cassia pointed out. I have locs and tried Cassia once. I could give it another try; the time before left a lot of plant debris in my locs and I was not a happy camper. As long as I’m dealing with a fine powder, I should be OK.
    Thanks again. Cheers.

    • Gabrielle Mwangi

      You are welcome. Amazon is truly a life saver. And I know what affordability is truly not one of Mountain Rose Herbs strong features. I would sift the powder using a strainer before using them. I think it’s only natural to find debri from how they are processed. I have the same problem with the black soap but I like it too much.
      Happy hair growing, love.

  • Dalia Silentfiyah Truly Blesse

    You can also purchase hibiscus from and vitacost. I have a coffee grinder so I grind the dry petals sometimes. I put hibiscus in everything. Love it, excellent for my locs

    • Gabrielle Mwangi

      That’s a great idea! Use of coffee grinder. You could probably get a finer powder that might cling better. Hmmmh! Thanks for the insight. Now I need to find a coffee grinder.

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