Have you been experiencing hair loss? Do you feel like your hair isn’t as thick as it once was? Don’t be alarmed. There are plenty of natural remedies for thinning hair that can restore your hair to its former crowning glory.
Some of such these natural home remedies are massage, stress reduction, application oils such as coconut oil, etc. Read on to learn more about what causes hair to fall and how to stop it.
What causes hair fall?
There are various causes for hair fall or thinning hair like poor nutrition, lifestyle habits, genetics and event some medical conditions.
We have around 100,000 to 150,000 hairs on our head on an average and lose approximately 50 to 100 each day normally. If you are losing more this amount per day, then it may be a cause for concern.
Here are some lifestyle habits that may contribute to excessive hair loss:
- Poor nutrition: If you are not getting enough iron, folic acid and other minerals in your diet, you may lose more hair. All these nutrients help the hair follicles to produce hair.
- Stress: Stress can lead to hair loss as it kills off new hairs that are trying to grow from the hair follicles.
- Chemical treatments: Hair coloring and other chemical based treatments like straightening or perming can make the hair weak and brittle.
- Wearing your hair too tightly: When you pull your hair into a tight ponytail, it can break the hair from its follicle.
Some other reasons for hair loss include hormonal changes, sudden weight loss, skin infections, and eating disorders.
Natural remedies for hair loss
Massage can stimulate the scalp and help prevent hair loss. When you wash your hair, you can gently massage your scalp with your fingertips.
This encourages blood flow through the scalp, which helps the follicles receive more nutrients and oxygen and this promotes the growth of healthy hair. It also helps relieve stress and tension.
For the hair massage to be effective, you must massage using a shampoo or oil for at least 5 to 6 minutes a day.
2. Reduce stress
Emotional and physical stress can also lead to hair loss. This kind of hair loss is known as telogen effluvium. Generally, 80 to 90 percent of the hair follicles on the scalp is growing, and 10 to 20 percent follicles are in a resting phase.
Stress can send much more hair follicles into this resting phase, and the attached hair may fall off suddenly. You can reduce this type of hair loss by bringing your stress under control.
Meditation, yoga and breathing exercises can help. You can also join an exercise class and become more socially involved.
3. Aloe vera
Aloe vera is an excellent skin conditioner and moisturizer. It soothes and calms the scalp, which helps in preventing hair fall.
Aloe vera is also highly effective in reducing flaky and itchy scalp, so it helps in reducing dandruff. Dandruff is not just a nuisance; it also prevents hair growth as it prevents the nutrients from reaching the tips of the hair strands.
You can reduce dandruff by mixing aloe vera with your hair oil and massaging it on to the scalp.
While oil and moisture are good for the hair, too much oil can mix with dirt and reduce the strength of the hair and lead to breakage and decreased hair growth. Also, vera also helps to reduce oil on the scalp.
4. Hormone balance
It is not uncommon for women to start losing hair after childbirth or reaching menopause. During these times, the estrogen levels peak and then dip, and this causes hair thinning. Insulin resistance can also lead to hair loss.
When our body is under stress due to fluctuating thyroid levels, it redirects its energy from trivial tasks like hair growth to essential tasks like balancing hormones.
This redirection of energy is the reason why low thyroid levels in the body can lead to thinning hair.
Getting yourself tested for hormonal imbalance, eating a healthy diet and taking multivitamins also helps balance hormones.
5. Rule out medicines
Thinning hair can be a side effect of many medications. These medications damage the hair follicles and this heads to hair fall. Some antibiotics, antifungals and anti-clotting drugs and acne medications can cause temporary hair thinning.
If you have recently started taking any medicine and have noticed hair thinning, ask your doctor to switch to another drug.
6. Coconut oil
Coconut oil contains lauric acid, which helps by penetrating the hair shaft and improving the overall health of the hair. You can massage your hair with coconut oil before or after you shampoo it.
You can also massage coconut oil into your scalp and your hair and leave it overnight. Coconut oil also contains vitamin K and vitamin E, which helps reduce dandruff and makes hair follicles healthy.
7. Rosemary oil
Rosemary essential oil is one of the best oils when it comes to enhancing hair thickness and growth. Rosemary oil increases cellular metabolism and stimulates hair growth.
It also helps in treating androgenetic alopecia. According to research published in 2015, rosemary oil is as effective as minoxidil, in treating androgenetic alopecia (1).
Mix three or four drops of rosemary oil with a carrier oil and massage in on your hair and scalp. Rinse it after some time. You can also add this essential oil to your shampoo and conditioner.
8. Spikenard oil
Spikenard oil is known to promote hair growth and reduce the greying of hair. According to an animal study published in the Pharmacognosy Magazine, when researchers tested spikenard oil on rats, it took the rats 30 percent lesser time to grow back the hair (2).
This result shows that spikenard oil can work well as a hair loss remedy. Just add a few drops of spikenard oil in a carrier oil and massage it on your scalp.
Taking ginseng supplements stimulates hair follicles and thus helps in promoting hair growth. Ginsenosides, the active components in ginseng, have a positive effect on hair health.
10. Avoid hot showers
When you use hot water to wash your hair, you tend to dry it out and make it brittle. Brittle hair is more prone to breaking. So, avoid hot showers and keep your hair moisturized.
Nutrition also plays an essential part in improving the condition of hair. When you eat rich, nutritious food, your hair also grows better. Some foods, on the other hand, can increase inflammation and lead to hair loss.
Foods that improve hair growth
Here are some foods that help reduce hair thinning. Include these in your daily diet.
Wild-caught, cold water fish are a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are anti-inflammatory and are excellent for hair growth.
2. Foods rich in zinc
Foods rich in zinc like grass-fed beef, pumpkin seeds, and chickpeas help improve the overall health of the hair.
3. Vitamin A food
Foods that are rich in vitamin A are good for hair growth. Vitamin A help to made sebum which is vital for a healthy scalp. Pumpkin, kale and sweet potatoes are rich in vitamin A.
Adding iron-rich foods in your diet helps in improving hair growth. Green leafy vegetables like kale, spinach, and even lentils are rich in iron.
5. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that helps in the absorption of iron. Guava, papaya, broccoli, and kiwi are some examples of vitamin C rich foods.
Foods to be avoided
Some foods can lead to inflammation and hormonal imbalance, which causes hair thinning. Foods that contain trans fats, sugar can create a hormonal imbalance.
Too much caffeine can cause dehydration and hormone imbalance which can lead to hair loss. Alcohol leads to inflammation and can cause liver toxicity.
Some other foods like wheat, dairy, corn, and soy can cause allergic reactions in the body, and this can lead to inflammation and hair loss.
Conventional treatments and their side effects
There are several traditional treatments like medication and even surgery that can help improve thinning hair. Prednisone is one such medicine that is prescribed for reducing inflammation and suppressing the immune system.
Unfortunately, this medication can lead to side effects like headaches, nausea, thinning skin, acne, and weight gain.
Minoxidil and Rogaine are the two other FDA approved medicines that are used to treat hair thinning and baldness. Unfortunately, these cease to be useful once you stop using them. These can also lead to facial hair and chest pain.
Finasteride, another pill that is used for preventing thinning hair, can cause side effects like impotence, swelling in hands and feet and skin rashes.
There can be many different causes for hair fall or thinning hair like poor nutrition, lifestyle habits, genetics and event some medical conditions.
While it is normal to lose 50 to 100 hair a day, anything more than this is usually a cause for concern. While there many conventional pills and medications available for treating thinning hair, they can cause side effects.
Natural treatments like massage, reducing stress, using essential oils and avoiding hot showers are much better in dealing with hair loss.