Background: Natural products have many uses and purposes, including those linked to pharmaceutics and cosmetics.
The aim of this study was to investigate the use of natural remedies for the treatment of hair and scalp disorders in the
West Bank, Palestine.
Methods: An ethnopharmacological survey of herbal remedies and other natural products used in cosmetics and
cosmeceuticals was carried out in the West Bank, Palestine. A questionnaire was distributed to 267 herbalists, traditional
healers, hairdressers and rural dwellers. Collected information included: the names of plants and other natural products,
the parts used, hair conditions, diseases and problems for which these products were used and also their methods of
preparation. To identify the most important species used, the factor of informant’s consensus (Fic), fidelity level (Fl) and
the use-value (UV) were calculated.
Results: Collected data showed that 41 plants are utilized for the treatment of hair and scalp disorders, belonging
to 27 families; among them Lamiaceae and Rosaceae, which were the most commonly used. Plant oils and their
fruits are the most commonly used parts. Hair loss, dandruff, split hair endings and lice treatment, are reported as
the most treated disorders. The number of plant species used consisted of 19, 14, 13, and again 13 with a factor
of informant’s consensus (Fic) for these disorders corresponding to 0.93, 0.94, 0.95 and 0.92, respectively. Fl was 100% for
many plants; the highest UV value (0.84) was registered for Lawsonia inermis, which belongs to the Lythraceae family.
Conclusions: This study showed that many natural remedies are still used in Palestine for the treatment of
scalp and hair disorders as well as for cosmeceutical purposes. This study is of great importance as it allows
us to have a greater perspective on our folkloric use of these natural products. A combined scientific effort
between informants and the scientific community, working in this field, may help in the discovery of new
cosmetics, cosmeceutical and nutraceutical products.