Hair loss is an unfortunate and sometimes embarrassing occurrence that affects too many people to be ignored. So many things can contribute to hair loss–stress, aging, smoking, nutritional deficiencies, scalp infections, genetics, medical conditions, using certain hair products, hormonal imbalance—that it is a wonder that anyone has hair at all. There are a number of medical options for treating hair loss, from surgery to pills, but if you are just starting to notice unwanted hair loss, or if you are uncomfortable with taking prescription medication, then herbal or natural hair loss remedies may be the solution for you.
Herbal Remedies for Hair Loss
In a world awash in advertisements for pharmaceuticals, it is easy to forget that there are often all-natural ways to better one’s health. Hair loss is no exception; in fact, you might be surprised at the plethora of options available as remedies for hair loss.
Indian Gooseberry (Amla)
Indian gooseberry, or amla, is an important component of Ayurvedic medicine and antioxidant that contains high amounts of vitamin C (600mg/100g) can be used in a variety of ways to treat and prevent hair loss. Use amla oil to massage the scalp, mix amla juice or pulp with other hair-saving herbs (described in the following sections) and use it as a shampoo OR massage it into your hair and scalp, put your hair in a shower cap, and sleep in it overnight, then shampoo your hair in the morning. It can also be bought as a powder and mixed with lemon or lime juice. The internet is full of guides on how to make your own amla hair products, so check them out!
Eclipta prostrata (Bhringraj; Yerba de Tago; False Daisy)
In Ayurvedic medicine, Eclipta prostrate is used in the treatment of liver disease and skin disorders, including eczema and hair loss. It has been clinically shown to have promise as an anti-microbial agent and insecticide. As hair growth agent, Eclipta prostrata was found to be successful in stimulating the growth of hair in mice, leading researchers to recommend it for more testing.
Onions and Garlic
While it won’t be the most pleasantly-scented hair treatment of your life, it is quite effective. Both onions and garlic contain large amounts of sulfur, which transports oxygen throughout the body and assists in cell regeneration, keeping skin, nails, and hair healthy. Extract the juice of onions and/or garlic and massage it into the scalp before shampoo, or mix onion with honey and make a hair mask. Boil garlic with coconut oil and use the resulting mixture several times a week.
Fenugreek seeds are rich in protein and have been used as a treatment for baldness at least since medieval times. Breastfeeding mothers often take fenugreek to increase their milk supply. Not only can fenugreek help restore your hair, but it will also soften it and improve its appearance by giving it a healthy luster. To use fenugreek as a part of your hair treatment regimen, grind up fenugreek seeds and make a paste out of it, then apply it as a hair mask.
Eggs are one of the best natural hair loss remedies available, as they are rich in sulfur, iron, protein, phosphorus, iodine, and zinc. When combined with olive oil or honey, an egg treatment can make hair stronger, prevent further breakage, increase softness, and, of course, regrow hair that has been lost. Eggs restore the natural oils that the scalp and hair contain. There are numerous recipes available for egg yolk hair products online, just remember to ALWAYS wash your hair with COLD water after an egg treatment. Using warm or hot water will curdle the egg and make it stick to your hair.
If making your own hair growth products at home does not appeal to you, do not worry! You can always eat your way to a fuller, thicker, and more beautiful head of hair.
Vitamin C is an antioxidant, which means that it protects your body (including your hair) from free radicals. It also assists in the production of collagen and reduces scar tissue. While you can get vitamin C as a supplement pill, it is best to get it from its natural source, so add the following foods to your diet:
» Raw green hot chili peppers (242mg/100g)
» Raw sweet yellow peppers (183mg/100g)
» Raw red hot chili peppers (144mg/100g)
» Raw guava (228mg/100g)
» Raw parsley (133mg/100g)
» Raw mustard greens (70mg/100g)
» Strawberries (59mg/100g)
» Kiwi (93mg/100g)
» Raw green peas (40mg/100g)
» Raw oranges with peel (71mg/100g)
» Winter squash
» Pineapples (48mg/100g)
» Raw kale (120mg/100g)
» Papaya (62mg/100g)
» Raw acerola (raw west Indian cherry) (1677mg/100g)
Vitamin D regulates calcium and phosphate within the body as well as aiding in cell division and differentiation. Vitamin D affects hair growth by stimulating the hair follicle and activating the cells within the shaft. Studies have shown vitamin D to be effective in regrowing hair in patients undergoing chemotherapy treatment and those simply struggling with natural hair loss. To add vitamin D to your diet, include these foods in your next shopping list:
» Cod liver fish oil (2217IU/200 cal.)
» Pickled Atlantic herring (519IU/200 cal.)
» Whole eggs
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
The body needs omega-3 fatty acids, but cannot produce them on its own, therefore, the only source of omega-3 your body has is the food you eat. Omega-3 fatty acids are known for promoting brain health, but they also nourish your hair follicles, add elasticity to your hair (prevents it from breaking), promotes hair growth in general. Omega-3 fatty acids can be found in a wide variety of fish, including:
They are also present in nuts and grains, such as flaxseed, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, and peanut butter.
Magnesium is one of the most abundant minerals in the body and one side effect of magnesium deficiency is hair loss, so stock up on the following foods:
» Pumpkin seeds
» Sunflower Seeds
» Dark chocolate
» Brown rice
» Black beans
» Cooked spinach
You can also apply magnesium oil to your skin (including your scalp) or take a relaxing bath in Epsom salt, which is actually magnesium sulfate.
Hair is mainly made up of protein, so it is essential that you take in the appropriate amount of it if you want to keep your body and, more specifically, your hair follicles, functioning at full capacity. For meat-eaters, chicken, turkey, and eggs are great sources of proteins, while vegetarians and vegans should include food like Greek yogurt, kale, peanuts, lentils, tofu, peas, and beans.
The body only needs about 11mg of zinc a day, so don’t go crazy with the zinc intake. Zinc regulates hormones, helps maintain production of glands that secrete oil on the scalp that help it grow. It also aids in tissue growth and repair. Chickpeas, oysters, beef, roast beef, and wheat germ are all foods rich in zinc.
Selenium is an important substance in maintaining our bodies’ functionality. Selenium aids in reproduction, DNA synthesis, immunity, metabolism, and stimulates hair follicles, which causes hair to grow. Foods rich in selenium are Brazil nuts, ham, shrimp sardines, halibut, and tuna.
For those unwilling to use surgery or prescription medication, there are a multitude of natural remedies for hair loss that will help you regain your gorgeous head of hair.