Hair loss is a condition affecting millions around the globe. Mostly, men experience localised or complete baldness on their scalp, whereas, women lose hair all over their scalp. The cause of finding excess hair in your hairbrush, shower drain or sleeping pillow could be many. There is no silver bullet as hair loss cure. You need to find out the root cause behind hair fall and then only you will be able to go for right hair loss cure options.
It’s true that men are more likely to have hair loss then female mostly due to their genetic makeup. But women start having hair thinning at an early age compared to men. Complete or partial baldness can affect many socially, and for some people, it can affect their confidence and personality.
Also, there is shuttle difference between hair loss and hair shedding. Yes, both are not same but used interchangeably. Moving ahead, you will see the difference between hair loss and hair shedding, hair loss causes and how can you beat it by specific natural hair loss cure options such as dietary and lifestyle change, essential oil usage, etc.
Hair shedding vs hair loss
Hair shedding (telogen effluvium) is a temporary condition, mostly caused by stressors, which may heal on its own once the cause is not present anymore.
Typical examples of such scenarios are soon after giving birth, recently gone through major surgery or operation, mental stress, after you stop birth-control pills, etc. Also, if the daily hair shedding is within the range of 50-100 hair, then it is perfectly normal.
Females, who have given birth, can experience hair shedding up to first two months. Sometimes people go through a lot of stress because of several possible reasons in the personal as well as professional fronts.
It is vital to get rid of stressful life as soon as possible. Otherwise, you can experience hair shedding for a longer duration. In short, your body takes some time to readjust after there are no stressors in your life.
Hair loss (anagen effluvium) is a condition where something stops the hair growth. Common causes of hair loss are genetic, harsh chemical based hair products, ageing, drugs and treatment, improper immune system, infections, etc.
In some cases, hair growth stops entirely and may heal on its own once the cause is not present. A typical example is chemotherapy treatment where one can lose all hair. But when the procedure stops, hair again regrow on its own.
However, other hair loss causes might require a proper treatment plan. A common cause is hereditary, where you continue to suffer hair loss. There is no guarantee that you can be cured entirely and only an expert dermatologist is the best person to comment after seeing your condition.
Hair loss causes
Hair loss can affect your scalp and even entire body. Though, baldness is usually referred to the loss of hair on the scalp.
Most hair loss is as a result of predetermined genetic factors and the overall ageing process. Men and women may notice a mild physiologic thinning of hair which begins in their thirties and forties (1)
Pregnancy, menopause, birth control pills are the few hormonal changes that women commonly go through which can trigger hair loss (2).Polycystic ovary disorder is another hormonally related health problem that can contribute to hair loss from the scalp.
Birth control pills alter the life cycle of a hair follicle, leading to premature hair fall. Pregnancy-related hair loss is experienced after the baby is delivered rather than during pregnancy.
Protein deficiency in the diet is a common cause of hair loss throughout the ages. If you don’t get substantial protein in your diet, your body may start rationing protein. The protein is thus reserved only for the vital organs of your body, and the supply is limited to hair follicles.
4. Immune system
Alopecia is a medical condition which causes hair loss. It is autoimmune disease where your body immune system causes the hair to come out from its follicles. The hair loss is in patches, spots or it may result in complete baldness.
Further, there are two types of alopecia as alopecia areata and androgenetic alopecia. Alopecia areata condition cannot be cured. However, there are several treatments available which can help the hair to regrow. It can cause three different type of hair loss.
- Alopecia areata – hair loss in patches
- Alopecia Universalis – hair loss all over the body
- Alopecia Totalis – hair loss on the scalp
About two out of three men experience hair loss before the age of sixty. Most of the time it is due to male pattern baldness (3). This type of hair loss is caused by a combination of genes and male sex hormones.
Male pattern baldness usually follows a classic pattern in which the hair recedes at the temples, leaving an M-shaped hairline. This continues further leaving a receding U-shaped hairline.
Female-pattern hair loss is also known as androgenic or androgenetic alopecia. Unlike men, women do not tend to have a receding hairline, instead, their parting may widen, and they may have noticeable thinning of hair.
5. Systemic disease
Hypothyroidism is a medical term for an underactive thyroid gland. This gland produces hormones that are critical to metabolism as well as growth and development. If the gland is underactive, hormones responsible for proper hair maintenance is scarce leading to hair loss (4).
Anaemia is a condition of Iron deficiency. Iron is an essential element which in conjunction with haemoglobin circulates oxygen throughout our body. Iron deficiency sends your body into survival mode.
The body then channels oxygen to support vital functions rather than fueling hair cycle. Autoimmune diseases such as lupus can also cause hair loss. In this case, the overzealous immune cells start attacking the hair follicle.
Trichotillomania is classified as a psychological impulse control disorder which causes people to pull their hair out compulsively (5). It often begins in teenage and is four times more common in women than in men.
7. Vitamin imbalance
Deficiency of vitamin B is a significant cause of hair loss. Excess intake of vitamin A supplements can also cause hair thinning (6).
Any physical trauma such as surgery, a car accident, or severe illness can cause temporary hair loss. The stress accompanying physical stress triggers hair shedding, also called as telogen effluvium.
Sudden weight loss is also a form of physical trauma that can result in thinning hair. This is seen in eating disorders such as anorexia or bulimia. Emotional stress can also cause hair loss.
Some of the drugs used in the treatment of cancer can also cause your hair to shed out (7). People prefer shaving their head in this period. Post-treatment the hair grows back again.
Certain classes of medication like blood thinners and the blood-pressure medicines may lead to hair loss. Certain drugs that might cause hair loss include methotrexate, lithium, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and antidepressants. Steroid took orally or in injectable form also triggers hair loss.
Seborrheic dermatitis caused by bacterial infection of the scalp leads to dandruff problem, itchy scalp and hair loss. Tinea capitis is a fungal infection of the scalp commonly called ringworm. This infection can grow deep within the hair follicles and cause bald patches to appear.
- Suggested read: How to Get Rid of Lice Naturally? – 10 Home Remedies
Conventional hair loss treatments
Most people typically shed fifty to hundred hair a day and is usually not noticeable. This is because thinning of the scalp is accompanied by new hair growing in at the same time.
Hair loss is visible when this cycle of hair growth and shedding is disrupted. In the case of autoimmune disease, like alopecia, a drug like corticosteroids is prescribed.
It is an anti-inflammatory drug which is available in the form of pills, injection, ointment and foam. However, it does provide a fast hair loss cure but takes a long time for you to notice the positive effects.
Rogaine or minoxidil is the popular drug which is used in the case of pattern baldness. It is typically available in the form of foam and is applied locally to the affected area. It may take 12-14 weeks for you to notice the hair regrowth.
For seborrheic dermatitis and tinea capitis, antibacterial and antifungal medication is prescribed. Health professionals usually prescribe minoxidil for topical application on the affected area for hair loss patches. The use of minoxidil is almost indefinite (8).
Natural hair loss cure options
Coconut oil is a potent source of vitamin E and fats that helps moisturise your hair and keep it healthy. Therefore this oil is believed to the best oils when it comes to hair loss cure options.
Coconut oil is also a rich in proteins, essential fats and minerals such as potassium. The fatty acids, lauric, caprylic and capric acid, found in coconut oil penetrates deep into the hair shaft and scalp (9). Massage your scalp regularly with this oil at least twice weekly.
● Avocado oil
Avocado oil has been proven to be very useful in treating acute hair fall. It helps deeply condition your scalp and hair. Avocado is a rich source of antioxidants which helps fight the free radicals damage that can lead to acute hair fall.
● Rosemary oil
Rosemary is an essential oil which is believed to increase cellular metabolism which stimulates hair growth. It also supports the scalp by reducing oily and congested skin and stimulating hair follicles thus reducing hair loss.
You can add a few drops of rosemary oil to a carrier oil and massage on the scalp leaving it overnight.
● Clary sage
Sage is another essential oil which is highly recommended for hair loss. It can balance and support healthy sebum levels in the scalp. It also counteracts sluggish circulation and improves blood flow which promotes hair growth.
Use clary sage in conjunction with olive oil and apply on the scalp twice weekly for excellent results.
● Carrot seed oil
Carrot seed oil is a potent tonic for the scalp and is highly nutritive to your hair. This essential oil is distilled from the seed of wild carrots. Carrot seed has nourishing, detoxifying and hormone regulating qualities.
Use a carrier oil like coconut oil and add few drops of carrot seed oil and massage throughout the scalp covering especially the affected areas.
2. Hair mask
● Onion hair mask
Onions are considered a rich source of sulfur which promotes collagen production in your scalp, thus enhancing new hair follicles growth. Onions are also rich in antioxidants which can prevent premature greying of your hair.
The antibacterial properties of onions also help keep scalp problems at bay. Add one tablespoon of fresh onion juice to two tablespoons of yoghurt. Apply the pack covering your scalp and leave it for an hour before washing with cold water.
Repeat this pack weekly till you see the desired results.
● Castor oil and honey mask
Castor oil is packed with omega-6 and omega-9 fatty acids and also vitamin E, which deeply nourish your hair. Castor oil also contains the ricinoleic acid that helps balance your scalp’s pH level.
It can also undo the damage of harsh chemical hair products that may be clogging the hair follicles and preventing healthy hair growth. Castor oil is highly viscous so mix it with olive oil which will make it easier to apply and wash off later.
Olive oil itself adds essential antioxidants to the mask which help strengthen your hair.Mix few drops of castor oil to a tablespoon of olive oil and two tablespoons of honey.
Cover the entire scalp paying particular attention to the affected area. Leave it for about an hour and rinse with cold water.
Including few supplements in diet will not only help in reducing hair loss but will also promote hair regrowth.
● Vitamin supplements
Vitamin B complex has shown positive results in combating stress. Biotin or B7 helps in thickening your hair naturally (10). Vitamin E is essential for maintaining the health of a hair follicle and strengthening the hair shaft.
Fish is a potent source of omega-3 fatty acids. Cod liver oil or fish oil helps reduce the inflammation in the scalp and be viable hair loss cure option.
● Green tea
Green tea helps in detoxification and contains antioxidants which combat free radical damage promoting hair growth.
● Aloe vera juice
Aloe vera can be an excellent hair loss cure option as it contains proteolytic enzymes which can repair dead skin cells on the scalp, promoting repair and maintenance of hair follicles.
Protein is essential to maintain the growth cycle of the hair follicle. Bone broth contains collagen and amino acids, which encourages healthy hair growth.
Flax seeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds and pumpkin seeds are an abundant source of fatty acids and omega three acids which help in regrowth of hair (11).
Final thoughts on hair loss cure
Eat a nutritionally balanced diet by including omega-3 fatty acids, seafood, nuts and seeds, which will maintain a healthy scalp and avoid hair loss.
Try to avoid processed and junk food. Moderate sugar in your diet. Alcohol and smoking can damage the hair follicles and cause hair loss. Keep caffeine intake to a minimum.
Avoid tight hairstyles, such as ponytails. Also, avoid compulsively twisting, rubbing or pulling your hair. Try to avoid harsh treatments such as hot rollers, curling irons.
Maintaining proper personal hygiene will prevent any form of bacterial and fungal infection. Hydrating the scalp with hair masks and oils is an efficient way to prevent flaking and drying of the scalp. It will also nourish the scalp promoting hair growth.
Hair loss is a part of ageing process. It is difficult to defy, but it can be delayed by taking proper precautions at the right time.