Table of Contents
- Hair 101
- How Your Hair Grows
- Kinds of Hair Loss
- What Causes Hair Loss?
- Hair Loss Cures and Treatments
- Surgical and Cosmetic Treatments
- Natural Cures
- How to Manage Hair Loss
Let’s face it. We are pretty partial to our hair.
For both men and women, hair provides us with a sense of security, attractiveness, and even dominance.
While it may seem vain, it’s true.
People, both men and women, have deep-seated fears of losing their hair.
And for men, in particular, hair loss can mean that they have to face the fact that they are aging!
With that in mind, it is certainly no great wonder that everywhere we look we seem to find ourselves staring at hair loss products that claim to be the best on the market to promote hair growth, and also to stop hair loss from even occurring.
But is that really the case?
And do we really need to turn to chemical-laced products to help us save the hair on our heads, or is there perhaps a better, healthier option?
In this article, we will be exploring the world of hair loss in-depth to see what, if any, solutions exist that can help put an end to hair loss once and for all!
To understand hair loss truly, we need to get to the root of the process as a whole.
To start, it is important to know that hair loss is a completely natural part of the overall cycle of hair growth.
In fact, shedding your hair is a normal fact of life, and we all start to lose our hair as we age.
While shedding hair is natural, some people just do it faster than others, and when that happens it is time to take action.
Before we start exploring the options for hair loss solutions, let’s first take a look at a bit of the science of hair and hair loss, as well as some of the most common kinds of hair loss that affect so many people.
To put it simply, in order for new hair to grow, we need to shed some of our old hair.
However, as we age our body’s natural capacity to produce and grow hair starts to slow down, similarly to how our bones stop their growth process.
Hair is a part of an intricate human function that is referred to as the integumentary system.
Interestingly, hair is also a kind of modified skin, as it is comprised of keratin (a type of protein), thus producing structures in your skin that are referred to as follicles.
Inside of every one of your hair follicles is a bulb that is made up of various cells that deposit both melanin and keratin into the hair, giving it its color.
When hair pops up through our skin from the follicle, this is called the hair shaft, which is essentially made up of dead cells composed of keratin fibers.
The hair on our heads, thus, is basically just a vast mass of dead cells, which is why it doesn’t hurt when we get our hair cut.
Let’s explore the hair growth cycle a bit deeper so that we can gain more insight into how it works and what role, precisely, the hair growth cycle plays in why we even lose our hair in the first place.
When we can understand some of the science behind hair loss, then we can, in turn, ultimately be better equipped to reverse the damage that has already been done, or simply stop it from happening in the first place!
How Your Hair Grows
The hair growth cycle has four different stages, and at any given time all of the strands of your hair are individually going through one of the following:
The Anagen Stage
Would you like to learn how I lost 30 pounds in two months? Read my Nutrisystem review here!
The anagen stage is known as the growth phase.
This typically lasts about 3 to 5 years; as you will notice that your hair typically grows about ½ inch each month, on average, during this phase hair can grow anywhere between 18 to 30 inches or more.
However, research has shown that this phase can be affected by many different factors, such as genetics and even the weather.
The Catagen Stage
The catagen stage is known as the regression stage, and this is when the transition to shedding your hair occurs.
During this phase, your hair follicles will gradually detach from your papilla, a structure that contains the very small blood vessels that nourish your hair’s cells.
It is due to this loss of much-needed nourishment that leads to your hair not growing anymore; this phase usually lasts about 10 days.
The last two stages are referred to as the telogen stage and the exogen stage.
During the telogen stage, your hair is considered to be at rest before it detaches itself from your follicle, thus starting the exogen stage.
The exogen stage is your hair shedding until it finally detaches itself from the follicle and enters the exogen or shedding stage.
Once the hair is detached from the follicle, the follicle remains inactive for about three months, after which a new cycle begins again.
All of our hair follicles are undergoing these stages at various times throughout the hair growth cycle.
In other words, when some of your hair follicles are in the anagen or catagen stages, others may still be in the telogen or exogen stages.
Your hair is continuously going through a growth cycle.
And it is because of this cycle that our hair doesn’t just fall out in mass clumps; instead, we simply lose about 50 to 100 strands each day, which is a normal rate at which to shed hair.
On average, hair loss issues, mainly those of hair loss and thinning hair, will occur during the anagen phase.
This is primarily due to the fact that, as we get older, the anagen length’s total duration starts to decrease, and our hair follicles receive less nourishment from our bodies.
That, in turn, leads to our hair becoming increasingly thin and weak with each passing cycle.
In certain instances, your hair will also enter into the anagen stage too early, typically if the catagen stage isn’t long enough; this can lead to more shedding than usual.
Understanding more about how the hair growth cycle works can better help us to see what role any and/or all of those processes play in what kind of hair loss may inevitably affect us overall.
In the following section, we will explore the various kinds of hair loss, how they occur, and more importantly, if there is anything that can be done to prevent or even treat and reverse the type of hair loss that is affecting you personally.
Kinds of Hair Loss
When people talk about “hair loss,” they typically are referring to the most common types, such as thinning hair, receding hairline, balding, excessive loss of hair, or complete loss of hair.
While they may all seem to be related, the root causes of the various kinds of hair loss are actually quite different.
Here, we will examine some of the major kinds of hair loss, and what differentiates them.
This condition is used to describe hair loss that starts at the crown of your head (the center and the top) and forms the commonly-seen horseshoe-looking shape.
Due to the fact that thinning hair all too often tends to follow a certain path, androgenic alopecia is most commonly called “pattern baldness.”
Androgenic alopecia is additionally found to occur much more commonly in males than in females, and many researchers believe that genetics, as well as the natural aging process, are really to blame for this type of hair loss; roughly 40% of males will begin seeing noticeable hair loss in their 30’s, and they will lose upwards of 65% of their hair by their 60’s.
Due primarily to the fact that the majority of cases of androgenic alopecia are caused by male hormones, it is important to understand why this is.
To start, testosterone in your scalp is first converted into what is called dihydrotestosterone (DHT, for short), and this makes your hair follicles start to shrink; this, in turn, inhibits your hair growth which eventually leads to baldness.
Interestingly, the hair follicles on the back and the sides of your head don’t contain as much DHT as those on the crown of your head, which is why hair loss is mainly concentrated at the top of your head.
DHT also plays a role in assisting in the hair growth of beards and chest hair, which is usually why the vast majority of men who have androgenic alopecia can grow beards quickly and tend to have hairy chests, as well.
While pattern balding mainly strikes men in their middle age, signs of hair loss can also sometimes start during a man’s mid-20s.
When hair loss begins, it can take roughly 15-25 years, on average, for the majority of men who have androgenic alopecia to lose most of their hair.
However, in certain cases, the progression of hair loss is so fast that some men find that they are entirely bald in a period of as little as five years.
Alopecia areata is a condition that is often referred to as “patchy hair loss,” and it is the exact opposite of androgenic alopecia.
Where with androgenic alopecia hair thinning occurs in a strategic pattern, alopecia areata can happen anywhere on the scalp and is usually marked with bald, smooth patches that tend to be circular and range in size.
Alopecia areata usually starts with only a spot or two and then begins to multiply onto various areas of your head.
This type of balding is the result of an autoimmune disease that manifests when our body’s antibodies see hair as a threat and attack it, resulting in loss of that hair.
Alopecia Totalis/Universalis is a far more serious form of alopecia areata.
This condition is also caused by an autoimmune disorder, but instead of losing small, various patches of hair, the individual will lose all of the hair on their head (alopecia totalis) or all of their body hair (alopecia universal).
Cicatricial alopecia is defined as hair loss that is caused by a wide range of skin problems and disorders; these typically affect the scalp and start to attack permanently your hair follicles.
One example of this is when you develop a scalp infection.
Some scarring may occur, and this makes it virtually impossible for any new hair follicles to grow, leaving people who have this condition with bald, red patches on their head in place of hair.
In contrast to the aforementioned conditions that occur due either to natural or to genetic issues, traction alopecia is self-inflicted and typically appears more often in women than in men.
With traction alopecia, hair loss takes place due to constant and continuous tugging on the hair, which in turn puts pressure on your hair follicles.
When added pressure is placed on the hair follicles, due maybe to braiding, weaving, bleaching, or even tight hair ties, this can lead to your hair follicles becoming loose in their hair shaft grip, and they will eventually fall out, leading to very thin hair and/or bald spots.
Involutional alopecia is not exactly a medical condition, as it is not caused by genetics or disease but is due to the growth cycle of your hair.
Commonly referred to as telogen effluvium, involutional alopecia is the result of a longer telogen phase and a shorter anagen phase.
This kind of hair loss is one of the most common kinds, but it is hard to pinpoint the cause thereof, and it is unpredictable, as well.
There have been a large number of studies that suggest that the dormancy phase within the hair growth cycle can be linked to a wide array of underlying factors like pregnancy, diet, stress, and hormonal imbalances.
Now that you have a better understanding of what the various kinds of hair loss are and how they may relate to your own type of hair loss, it is important to understand what some of the root causes are of how hair loss begins.
Once we know these underlying causes, and what role they play in contributing to hair loss, we can take action to address them in order to reduce the odds of developing it, and also fight back against it to improve our chances of growing our hair back, healthily and naturally.
What Causes Hair Loss?
As we have seen, there are a number of medically-related conditions that may lead to hair loss.
However, there are also a number of factors, both natural and artificial, that can contribute to hair loss.
Here are a few of the top causes that are known to help trigger and/or speed up hair loss.
How your hair grows is largely dependent on the nutrients (or lack thereof) in the foods that we consume.
A diet that lacks, or has too many of, the nutrients that assist our psychological functions can severely impact our hair growth cycle.
In order to maintain a healthy cycle, we need to ensure that we are receiving vitally-essential nutrients such as vitamin B, protein, and most notably, iron, in order to ensure that our keratin production remains substantial.
This is due to the fact that an abundant supply of keratin can help provide your hair growth cycle with a longer telogen phase and a significantly shorter anagen phase.
You should also be careful not to consume too much vitamin A, especially if you are already taking supplements that contain it, as this may be toxic to your body and lead to a number of health-related issues like fatigue, loss of appetite, and of course, hair loss.
And there are a number of foods that have been linked to an increase in hair loss.
For instance, sugar can lead to an overproduction of androgen (a male hormone), which leads to hair follicle shrinkage; hair will typically simply stop growing, and then falls out.
Fish products that contain increased levels of mercury, such as swordfish, tuna, and mackerel have also been known to weaken hair and cause its loss.
And fried foods are full of chemicals that lead to a drastic increase in production of DHT.
Stress that takes its toll on your body, either via emotional or physical trauma, has also been linked to hair loss.
Even a new diet regimen that leads to rapid weight loss may cause hair thinning and shedding.
Interestingly, the vast majority of hair loss that is stress-related occurs more often in women than in men and is more temporary than permanent.
In this case, your body simply becomes overstressed, and your hair will start to shed about three weeks to six months following the stressful or traumatic event; after that, it will return to its normal growth cycle.
Medications and Medical Conditions
One of the most common medical conditions that have also been linked to hair loss is hypothyroidism.
This can occur in both women and men and is caused by an underactive thyroid gland.
Your thyroid gland is solely responsible for the production of the hormone thyroxin, which plays a vital role in a number of essential bodily functions such as body temperature regulation, the healthy production of protein, and the proper utilization of both fats and carbohydrates.
As protein is a vital nutrient in the production of keratin, an inadequate supply of protein in your body because of hyperthyroidism will lead to slower hair follicle growth.
For men, in particular, hair loss can be a telltale sign of an underactive thyroid.
There is also a wide array of medications that have been linked to hair loss, most notably those for depression, high blood pressure, blood thinners, and drugs that are used for chemotherapy and radiation treatments.
Hair Health and Practices
While our hair is typically strong, poor hair care styling and practices can inevitably lead to unneeded pressure on our hair follicles as well as scalp damage, both of which may lead to hair loss and damage.
All hair is subject to trauma due to combing, brushing, styling, scratching, massage, and even dying or bleaching.
Even shaving for men can lead to white bumps appearing on the clean-shaven area; these can lead to infections and scarring, which can, in turn, prevent hair from re-growing in the area.
If you do subject your hair to these treatments, including hair styling products, shampooing, and conditioning, using hair dyes, bleaching or perming, or even using curling or straightening products, you need to take care in selecting products that contain as few harsh chemicals as possible, as these can contribute to hair loss by damaging the scalp and causing the hair shafts to break off.
Many of these chemicals have even been known to manipulate your body’s natural hair growth cycle by shortening the anagen stage.
And while a lot of treatments to which you subject your hair, like perming it or relaxing it, will not necessarily lead to permanent hair loss, they can greatly weaken it, thus, making it more prone to breaking.
Hair Loss Cures and Treatments
If you are suffering from hair thinning and hair loss, the good news is that there are a number of different ways that you can treat and often even reverse the signs of hair loss and hair thinning.
Here, we have broken down a few of the top ways that you can take action against hair loss.
Hair Loss Medications
To start, let’s first examine some of the top hair loss medications that are most commonly prescribed, or that can be simply purchased over the counter at your local store.
This is easily one of the most well-known and commonly-used types of medication to help treat hair loss, most notably pattern baldness and alopecia areata.
Minoxidil is an over-the-counter treatment that can be purchased in either foam or liquid form and is directly applied to your scalp, principally the bald patches, to help prevent further hair loss while simultaneously promoting better hair growth.
Usually, Minoxidil can be found in doses of either 2% or 5%.
With the 2% option, you will not typically see hair growth until you have been using the product for about 16 weeks, but growth is usually sped up with the 5% option.
Minoxidil is more effective if you have not been balding for over a five-year period, if your bald spots have fine, tiny hairs in them, or if your bald spots are smaller than 10 cm in diameter.
There have been many studies that have shown that, with regular use, minoxidil can help to regrow hair, though it is usually softer and downier, and only minimal to moderate in thickness.
With regular use, however, hair growth can become thicker to blend better with the rest of your hair.
It should be noted that use of minoxidil is not a permanent solution, and if you stop treatments, your hair follicles will simply return to where they were before use.
And it does not work for every case of pattern baldness.
That said, if you find yourself using it regularly and do not see hair growth within a year, you should stop using it.
While minoxidil has been noted to be generally safe, there have been some side effects observed, such as dryness, hair growth on different parts of the body (usually your hands and face), and minor skin irritation of the scalp.
In certain instances, hair loss actually increases for a few days when you first start using it.
If your hair keeps falling out after two weeks, you should immediately stop treatment and plan a visit with your healthcare provider.
Finasteride is recommended for men only and is only available in pill form.
Finasteride has been shown to slow down the loss of hair while helping to promote its gradual regrowth.
It works by helping to stop the enzyme known as type II 5-alpha reductas that produces DHT.
The average dose is only a pill per day, and it has been shown to be highly effective in over 80% of males who use it.
Similarly to minoxidil, finasteride is the most beneficial if your bald spots still have those fine, tiny hairs.
Typical results can be seen in about 6 weeks to 3 months, and with regular use of two years or more, thicker hair has been shown to come back substantially.
Some side effects have been observed, which include a decreased sexual drive and an increase in temporary impotence (which lessens with long-term use).
Corticosteroids are another kind of medication that is most commonly used to help treat those who have alopecia areata.
Due to the fact that hair loss associated with the condition is caused by an autoimmune disease, corticosteroids work to prevent your immune system from attacking your hair follicles, thus providing an increased opportunity for new hair growth to occur.
There are a few different ways to use corticosteroids.
The first is liquid corticosteroids, which are injected directly into your scalp each 4-6 weeks.
Liquid corticosteroids are typically used for smaller bald patches.
The treatments can cause mild to moderate discomfort, and though they have been shown to be reasonably effective, there is no proof that they have any kind of long-term benefits in helping those who suffer from premature balding.
Corticosteroids also are available in both ointments and creams.
Both of these formulations of corticosteroids are directly applied to any area of your scalp where you see patchy bald spots.
Some notable side effects may include dryness of the area where you are using the product, the thinness of the skin, and the development of acne.
While there are also tablet (oral) steroids available by a doctor’s prescription, they tend not to be prescribed too often, due to the high risk of the development of ulcers and diabetes.
Contact immunotherapy is typically used for the most severe cases of alopecia areata.
Here, DPCP (Diphenylcyclopropenone) is applied directly to your scalp weekly.
The dosage of the medication gradually increases over a small period, until you notice a mild allergic reaction; this is the sign that the medication is working.
Hair regrowth typically occurs within about three months following the start of the treatments and signals that the drug is taking effect.
Some of the most commonly-noted side effects are swollen lymph nodes in your neck region, and skin rashes in the treated area.
As stated, one of the most common causes of hair loss is thyroid issues.
This is precisely why medications that are used to treat thyroid-related problems can significantly help to restore your body’s natural hormonal balance, including the growth cycle of your hair.
Due to the fact that this kind of medication is used to treat issues related to your thyroid and not necessarily your hair loss, you will still need to keep taking the medication even after you have noticed that your hair is growing back.
There are additionally some red flags that you must pay attention to, to ensure that you are not receiving too much of the thyroid hormone.
Some of the most prevalent symptoms are heart palpitations, excessive sweating, shakiness, and a sense of restlessness.
Overdoses of thyroid hormones can cause heart attacks, and/or lead to the development of osteoporosis.
Surgical and Cosmetic Treatments
While surgical and cosmetic treatments can prove to be quite costly, and in some cases not even necessarily permanent, solutions, they are of course options that can be considered as a means to helping you cope with hair loss.
Here are a few of the top options:
Hair surgery and transplants are easily the fastest, albeit the priciest, treatments for treating permanent cases of balding and hair loss.
In a hair transplant your surgeon to implants some of your existing hair into any of the bald areas of your head.
Your surgeon will simply remove a follicular sample or graft from various parts of your head where there is still hair, and will then place that graft into the areas where you are experiencing the most balding or hair loss.
The following describes a few of the various kinds of hair transplant procedures:
Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT)
In a follicular unit transplant, the skin on your scalp is removed, then broken down into individual and much smaller grafts.
The sites of transplant on your bald areas are created with extremely thin needles, as well as a localized anesthetic, and the grafts are implanted onto the sites as needed.
Follicular unit transplantation is generally recommended if your balding area is vastly larger, due to the fact that your surgeon will need to make several individual grafts to cover better the larger area of baldness.
The quality of your surgeon will also affect your recovery rate.
Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE)
In follicular unit extraction, instead of removing an entire sample strip, individual, smaller follicular grafts are machine-sliced and then transplanted into your scalp.
While this process is a bit more time-consuming and tedious, the end results are a faster recovery rate with significantly less scarring, as there aren’t any stitches or cuts that are made into your skin.
This method is most commonly used for people who have smaller bald spots, wear shorter styled hair, and also for women, as it is much less invasive.
If you are considering hair transplants, there are some things that you should certainly take into consideration.
For instance, due to the fact that these are considered cosmetic procedures, they are not typically covered under standard health insurance.
And the average price for one can range from $4,000 to $15,000.
Hair transplants are usually only offered as the final choice for a permanent hair loss solution.
And there are a number of circumstances under which you may not even be eligible to receive them.
For example, if you have a problem with your hair continuing to fall out, if you are under 25 years old, or if you suffer from any number of health-related issues like hypertension, diabetes, or serious heart issues.
Additionally, if you do not have enough natural hair already on your head from which they can remove the extra hair follicles, you will not qualify, either.
You should always do a good amount of research about who you are going to allow to perform the hair transplant procedure.
It should always be done by a certified surgeon or dermatologist, and never a technician, and your surgeon should make him/herself consistently available throughout the entire process, including when planning the overall design of your new hair.
Following your surgery, you can more than likely expect a bit of swelling on both your scalp and your face for a few days.
You may also be required to use Finasteride or Minoxidil to speed up the growth process.
And you will need to apply saline to the grafts for a while, as well as use a prescription shampoo that is significantly less harsh on your scalp.
You will begin to notice hair growth in the areas of your hair transplant within about 3 to 6 months after the procedure.
Low-level laser therapy (LLLT, for short) is often used to help prevent and even reverse hair loss.
This type of treatment involves a kind of heat/light procedure which is most commonly used for alopecia areata and pattern baldness.
LLLT incorporates a device that can emit light that penetrates directly into your scalp.
LLLT has been shown to help to increase blood flow in your scalp, in order to stimulate hair follicles in the dormant or resting phases, and sets in motion their change into the anagen stage while also preventing DHT production.
LLLT can be done in most hair salons and is conducted by a highly-trained hair professional.
The treatments usually occur 2-3 times per week, and the sessions will involve your scalp being exposed to a laser for about 8-15 minutes.
Typically, there is no set time over which the treatments should be completed, but it has been shown that the longer and more consistent the treatments are, the more effective they will be.
Most people notice signs of hair growth after about 12-26 weeks of the treatments.
And LLLT is commonly prescribed as a treatment following hair surgery.
Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy
Another complementary treatment that is recommended after a hair transplant is that of platelet-rich plasma therapy.
This procedure has been shown to help grow proteins and other components that assist and promote healing following a hair transplant surgery.
It is additionally used to help stimulate hair growth, because it may reverse the shrinking of hair follicles that commonly occurs in pattern baldness.
Scalp reduction cuts away various portions of your scalp where you are balding.
It is often recommended for those who have bald spots on the crown of their heads to help reduce their size overall.
Scalp reduction treatments can be significantly more painful than hair transplants, and many people feel scalp tightness and headaches for a while after the surgery.
For a tissue expansion procedure, a tissue expander is placed directly underneath various portions of your scalp where there is hair.
A saline solution is then injected into the area for about 6-8 weeks to stretch and expand the area of skin that has hair on it.
The material is then removed, the skin where the hair has been expanded is cut away, and the expanded skin is shifted over to the balding area.
This method is usually used to treat hair loss that is the result of injuries or burns to the scalp.
Hair multiplication involves removing donor cells from your hair follicles, and then regrowing and multiplying them in a lab setting.
Once they have successfully been multiplied, they are injected into balding areas to help stimulate hair growth in the area.
Hair Fibers and Concealers
Hair fibers and concealers are products that are directly applied to your scalp and/or hair in order to disguise hair loss and give you the overall appearance of a fuller, thicker head of hair.
This is, of course, only a short-term remedy that can be used while you are either waiting for your hair to grow in or are only suffering from mild to moderate hair loss.
And, as opposed to more pricey procedures, hair concealers and fibers are a great cost-effective way to cover those bald spots.
They also draw significantly fewer stares when you are out and about than opting to wear a wig.
There are a lot of different kinds of hair concealers to choose from.
The most common are hair powder solids, hair sprinkles, and hair sprays.
Sprays tend to be the easiest to apply, and they also contain dyes and chemicals that can match the actual color of your hair to give it a more naturally full appearance.
You should always take care when applying hair sprays, however, because if you use too much the end result will not look real.
While hair sprays are easier to apply, powders and sprinkle are the more commonly-popular methods, because they boast fibers that build and attach to your existing natural hair which results in an increase in volume and a more naturally-defined look.
If you apply these materials to balding areas multiple times, you may even be able to cover the area entirely and make it look completely natural.
In selecting a color, you should always be sure to choose one that most closely matches your natural hair.
You can even opt to blend two colors together; just be sure to apply the darker color first, then the lighter one.
Keep a lookout for fibers and concealers that contain natural keratin fibers and also real human hair, and are sure to stand up against rain and wind.
When you are applying the products, be sure that your hands and your hair are all completely dry, and apply just the right amount to make everything look as natural as possible.
Be sure to apply in layers and stages, as opposed to just caking it on quickly.
Hair Pieces and Wigs
Wigs are a quick and cheap method to help mask hair loss.
However, you should always be sure to choose your wig wisely, as many of them can make a person look uncomfortable and unnatural.
There are a multitude of different options to choose from when it comes to picking out a hairpiece or a wig.
For example, while synthetic wigs are very easy to care for, style, and are cost-efficient, wigs that are made of human hair look much more natural and they are the most common option if you suffer from permanent hair loss.
If you are planning on wearing your wig for a long time, you should definitely invest in a human hair wig.
Your hairpiece or wig should also closely match the natural color of your hair in order for it to look appropriate.
You will also want to consider the texture of the wig, as you will want one that feels soft and smooth, similar to real hair.
If you want a more natural-looking hairline, be sure to find a wig that has a lacing so that it better fits your scalp.
Be sure always to take good care of your wig by shampooing and conditioning your hair and scalp on a regular basis, and avoid wearing any wig that includes a nylon or cotton cap that may absorb moisture, leading to further hair damage.
Choose one with a netted cap that is not too tight, and secure it with double-sided hypoallergenic tape.
And never put your hairpiece or wig on over wet hair, as this can lead to the development of bacteria and mildew.
While so many people tend to turn to chemicals, pricey and invasive treatments, and even wigs and hair pieces to help combat hair loss, there are actually quite a few natural options that you can explore and take advantage of in your daily routine to help ward off hair loss and balding and, in some cases, even reverse the damage and grow back some of your natural hair!
Here we will be exploring some of the top natural cures that you may want to consider trying.
Hair Spa Treatments
Planning a visit to a hair spa for a treatment is easily one of the most comfortable, non-invasive, and convenient ways to rejuvenate and treat hair loss, while also helping to promote a more healthy hair growth cycle.
While visiting a hair spa is incredibly beneficial for helping to treat hair loss, hair spas are also widely regarded for helping other hair-associated problems like dry, damaged hair, split ends, and even dandruff.
There is a variety of hair spa treatments that are offered at salons, and they will more often than not include features like oil massages on your scalp, shampoo and deep conditioning, and other treatments that may prove effective in increasing your blood circulation to help bring much-needed nutrients back to your hair follicles in order both to activate your glands, increasing their oil production, and to increase hair growth.
Natural Ingredient Scalp Massage
Scalp massages can greatly help to increase your blood flow to your hair follicles, assisting with the absorption of all of the required nutrients to stimulate hair growth.
By incorporating simple essential oils and ingredients that can already be found in your kitchen, you can create a unique treatment that can help rebuild and repair those damaged hair follicles while also stimulating hair growth and treating any scalp disorders and infections that may occur.
Fenugreek seeds have been noted for decades to assist in treating hair shedding and hair loss.
Fenugreek seeds contain proteins and hormones that are highly regarded for being able to rebuild your hair follicles while also stimulating hair growth.
To take advantage of these benefits, soak about a cup of fenugreek seeds overnight in water, grind them into a paste, and apply the paste directly onto your hair; cover with a shower cap and allow your hair to rest for about 40-45 minutes before rinsing.
Practice this treatment each day for at least a month.
Indian gooseberry (also known as Amla) is a popular all-natural ingredient that is widely regarded as being able to help grow hair fast.
It is also considered to be an antibacterial treatment to keep your scalp healthy.
To use Indian gooseberry, simply mix a tablespoon of its pulp with some lemon juice and massage it directly onto your scalp, cover with a shower cap, leave it on overnight, and shampoo and wash it out the following morning.
Aloe vera possesses several enzymes that are known to help to promote natural hair growth and also a healthy scalp by regulating your head’s natural pH level.
Aloe vera is also used to treat a number of other scalp and hair conditions such as scalp redness, inflammation, and itchiness, while also helping to minimize dandruff and making your hair stronger and shinier.
Simply rub the gel-like substance of an Aloe vera leaf directly onto your scalp, leave it on for a couple of hours, and then rinse it away with warm water.
Repeat this process 3-4 times a week for best results.
Licorice root is an herb that helps to soothe your scalp while also removing dry flakes that are associated with dandruff and other scalp irritations.
To use licorice root to help ward off hair loss and stimulate hair growth, simply mix a tablespoon of ground-up licorice root with a cup of whole milk and 1/4 teaspoon of saffron.
Apply onto bald patches, leave on overnight, and rinse off in the morning.
Repeat 2-3 times per week for maximum results.
Castor oil is well-known for having a number of both antibacterial and antifungal properties that are excellent in helping to cure scalp infections.
It also boasts vitamin E, powerful omega-6 fatty acids, protein, and a lot of other vital nutrients that can help your scalp retain its moisture in the hair follicles, and also stimulate hair growth.
If you want to try castor oil, simply massage it directly onto your scalp and down through your hair strands.
If you have long hair, pile it up into a top-knot, cover it up with a shower cap and then blow-dry for about 15 minutes, and then wash your hair with both shampoo and conditioner following the treatment.
Coconut milk and/or oil have long been used to help promote hair growth and healthier, shinier hair.
This is largely due to the fact that coconut is rich in the natural minerals, iron, and protein that contribute to healthier, breakage-free hair.
Simply apply the coconut milk or oil directly onto just your bald spots or all over your hair, leave it on overnight, and then rinse it clean the next morning with lukewarm water.
Repeat every time you wash your hair for the maximum benefits.
It is not a secret that eggs are packed full of the protein that is the main component in the production of keratin.
Eggs also are loaded with a number of other various minerals, such as iron, zinc, iodine, phosphorous, and selenium.
To make an egg mask, mix one egg white with a tablespoon of honey and olive oil to create a paste.
Apply the paste to your hair, leave on for about 20 minutes, and then rinse with shampoo in lukewarm water.
You can repeat this process at least once a week.
Essential oils have a great reputation for containing a number of natural ingredients that can help to stimulate your body’s cellular metabolism, thus promoting and speeding up the hair growth cycle.
Mix three or four drops of peppermint, sage, and rosemary oils with a base oil such as olive or coconut, and massage directly into bald areas and thinning hair spots at least once daily.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar has a lot of health benefits, including supporting your hair health.
To enjoy some of them, mix roughly 75 ml of apple cider vinegar with about a liter of water (don’t worry about making too much, as the mixture stores easily for future use).
Use it as the final rinse after you shampoo your hair.
It will help to maintain your pH balance, thus increasing and speeding up your hair growth.
Potatoes are a naturally-good source of the vitamins A, B, and C; all of these are vital to stimulating your hair growth.
To make potato juice, cut a potato into thin slices and then blend together to extract the juice.
Apply directly to your scalp, leave on for about 15 minutes, and then shampoo and rinse.
This mixture can be reapplied as often as you wash your scalp.
Garlic is very helpful in promoting an increase in your blood circulation to your scalp, as well as hair regeneration.
To use garlic as a treatment, boil some crushed cloves of garlic in coconut oil and then apply directly to your scalp, making sure that you massage your head from your scalp down to your roots.
Wash and shampoo your hair, and repeat three times a week.
Alma and Henna Paste
Henna has been shown to assist significantly in growing a fuller, thicker head of hair, whereas Amla is an all-natural key ingredient in staving off hair loss.
To prepare, simply combine both the henna and the alma with some coconut oil and plain yogurt to create a paste, and apply to your bald spots.
Leave on for as long as desired, and repeat as often as you wash your hair.
Balayam yoga is an acupressure exercise that is associated with hair stimulation and growth.
The process requires you to rub your fingernails on both of your hands together in order to help to stimulate scalp activity.
Interestingly, in acupressure therapy, it is a common notion that your hair follicles on your scalp are directly linked to your fingernails, and so by completing this exercise, you can help your body to stimulate the blood circulation of as well as directing nutrients back into your hair follicles, thus promoting hair growth.
When done correctly and over a long period, it is well-known to help cure pattern baldness in both women and men.
All you have to do is rub your fingernails of both of your hands (with the exception of your thumbs) against one another as hard as you can.
Be sure not to let the surfaces of your nails rub up against one another, but only the tips.
Do this exercise for 10 minutes twice a day – before breakfast in the morning, and before dinner at night.
If you complement this with healthy foods that are loaded with iron and protein, you will see visible results in about 3-6 months.
It should be noted that balayam yoga only works with pattern baldness and other closely-associated types of hair loss, and it should never be done if you suffer from high blood pressure, as this can worsen your condition.
One of the most important factors that contribute to a healthy head of hair is your diet.
Hair growth heavily relies upon nutrients in your bloodstream, so it is essential to consume all of the best foods containing all of the necessary nutrients that you can:
- Omega-3 fatty acids (such as salmon);
- Protein (such as legumes and beef);
- Iron (green, leafy vegetables such as spinach, lentils, and kale);
- Vitamin C (such as kiwi, papaya, oranges, and broccoli);
- Vitamin B (like chicken, legumes, oatmeal, and bananas);
- Vitamin E (such as tofu and cereals);
- Zinc (like chickpeas and pumpkin seeds);
- Biotin (such as yeast and eggs).
Be Sure to Avoid Foods Like:
- Trans fats. Consumption of these can lead to an increase in your overall production of DHT, which is linked to the destruction of your hair follicles. Trans-fatty acids can be found in corn oil, vegetable oil, and soybean oil.
- Sugar. Sugar has been known to cause a number of hormonal imbalances, while also increasing the overall production of DHT in your body.
- Processed foods. Also widely considered as contributing to hormonal imbalances.
- Alcohol. Can cause inflammation and liver toxicity, both of which can lead to hair loss.
- Caffeine. Can lead to an increased production of DHT and hormonal imbalance.
Take Your Supplements
If you are not receiving all of the needed nutrients from the foods that you consume, you may want to start incorporating dietary supplements into your health regime.
Multivitamins are a great way to ensure that you are receiving all of the essential vitamins that your body requires, and they only need to be taken once a day.
Fish oil, which is loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, is also highly recommended.
Care for Your Hair
While there are a number of treatments that can help you combat hair loss and balding, it should be noted that you should practice good hair care in order to prevent further hair loss in the first place.
If you put your hair through a lot of stress, it is going to weaken, break, and fall out.
You will want to be sure that you are always washing your hair with a milder, or even all-natural, shampoo and conditioner that contain biotin to ensure that your hair remains as clean and strong as possible.
Hot water also can dehydrate your hair which leads to thin, dry hair that is prone to breakage, so you should opt for cooler showers, if you can, and always limit the use of your blow dryer.
One myth is that if you brush your hair a 100 strokes every day, you will find that your hair becomes longer faster and stays shinier for longer.
This is untrue, due to that fact that too much brushing can in fact put too much pressure on your hair follicles which will loosen them, and your hair shaft will fall out.
While you should certainly keep brushing your hair because it is great to stimulate blood flow via your scalp to your hair follicles, you should only do it first thing in the morning, when you are initially styling your hair.
And you should only use a wide tooth comb, especially when you are managing knots and tangles because you can pick through the issue instead of just pulling it out.
If your tangles are too much to manage, you may want to invest in a moisturizing shampoo or detangler to loosen them.
How to Manage Hair Loss
Managing your hair loss is equally important as treating it.
While we have explored the ways various treatment options can help reverse balding and also improve and increase your hair growth, we will now explore how you can manage hair loss while also preventing it from continuing to occur.
Hair Loss from Medication and Chemotherapy
Struggling to cope with hair loss due to medications and chemotherapy can be very hard to handle because it simply is not expected.
This can be a very hard time that can lead to depression.
If you are experiencing loss of hair that is related to taking a medication or undergoing radiation therapy or chemotherapy, here are some great tips that can assist you as you are waiting for your natural hair to grow back:
- If you don’t like wigs, hats, or turbans, you may want to opt for a soft cap, as they are comfortable and They can also be worn as you sleep, which will help you to collect any hair that falls out during the night.
- Be sure always to apply sunscreen to your scalp. This is commonly overlooked for those who are new to the world of hair loss, but it is extremely important to do so, as you will save yourself from discomfort from sunburn.
- One process that you may want to try to prevent hair loss is called “scalp cooling.” This requires you to put on a tightly-fitted cap that contains a cold gel directly on your head. The cooling temperature can help to decrease the size of your blood vessels in your scalp, leading to less chemo penetrating into your hair follicles; this, in turn, may lead to less hair loss.
The most important thing that you can do for yourself, however, is simply to try not stress about your hair loss.
Obsession may lead to depression, and this can create a downhill emotional spiral that reinforces unhealthy habits.
It is important to have a big support group to help you to cope with these emotions, and just to feel better about yourself.
Just because you are losing your hair due to a health-related issue does not mean that you can’t look your best.
Do your make-up, or buy a great outfit! Your hair is not what makes you special, you are.
Here are Some Pointers for Managing Hair Loss That is Not Related to Medication or Chemotherapy:
- Find Your Style.There are a number of men in the world who are bald and look amazing. The trick is simply to own your look. Don’t be ashamed of your hair, or the lack thereof, but find a way to make it work for you. While shorter hairstyles can certainly reduce the look of blatantly-thinner hair, if it is styled wrong or if it is the wrong cut, it can look like you are trying to cover something up, and this only looks worse. Head to your barber and ask for some advice on what the best look is for you, and how you can rock an awesome new cut, even with hair loss.
- Get Used to It. This goes hand in hand with the first point. If you can deal with the fact that you are losing your hair, the abler you will be to make it look good. Teach yourself how to make your new look work for you, as the more confidence you have, the more respect you will earn. If you want to wear a hat on occasion, by all means, do! Just don’t do it to the point where people are questioning what you are trying to hide.
- Patience is a Virtue. It is undoubtedly going to take time to grow back your hair, and you may want to come to terms with the fact that it might not be the same as it used to. Just be patient and go with the flow. Keep practicing all your healthy new hair growth tips, eat right, and do the best you can, but most importantly be patient. New hair does not grow back overnight!
- Future Hair Loss Prevention. When it comes to investing a good deal of both money and time in figuring out how to deal with your hair loss, the last thing that you want to do is to exacerbate your existing condition. And the same holds true for finally re-growing your new hair; you won’t want to return to the things that led to your hair loss in the first place! That is precisely why prevention is the best way to combat further future hair loss. Here, we will be exploring some of the top ways that you can prevent future hair loss from occurring.
- Shampoo and Condition. While it is important to keep your hair clean, you will want to ensure that you do not overdo it. Even the mildest of shampoos can cause damage to your hair. Be sure not to wash your hair with shampoo more than three times a week, and always condition after you shampoo to prevent your hair from becoming brittle and dry, as this can lead to breakage. Additionally, you should never be harsh on your hair when you wash it; just lather your scalp, give it a good massage, and let the water naturally rinse the suds from your hair.
- Hair Drying. Towel drying your hair can make it more prone to breakage. Try not to use a rough towel, but opt for a soft cloth or towel to pat your hair dry, and never rub it harshly. You should also avoid hair driers as much as you can.
- Stay Hydrated. Water is essential to our general health and well-being, but it is also vital in preventing scalp dryness, and also in supporting the blood circulation that provides essential nutrients to your hair follicles.
- Cut Down on Smoking. Smoking is known to limit your body’s supply of blood that flows to your scalp and your hair follicles, which can damage your hair growth rate and cycle.
- Avoid Stress. Stress contributes to hair loss because of how your body responds to emotional and physical shock, stress, and trauma. Be sure always to avoid stress as much as you can, and do exercise regularly and get enough sleep to keep your body in good shape and producing the endorphins needed to reduce pain and boost your blood circulation.
- Visit Your Doctor. If you are experiencing substantial hair loss, you need to get in to see your doctor or healthcare provider. While you may feel that the issue is something that is related to age or stress, there are a number of other underlying medical conditions that may require the care of a physician. The medical diagnosis can determine the exact cause of your hair loss, and also to help ensure that it is not a deeper problem than simply some shedding. And, if you get to your doctor in time, there may be more options available to help you find treatments to keep your hair loss from getting worse. When it comes to hair loss, it is always better to be safe than sorry.
While hair loss is a health issue that no one wants, there is hope in treating it.
There are a good number of reasons why hair loss can not only be treated, but can also be controlled, reversed, and even prevented.
The fact is that if you are losing your hair, do not fret because there are a lot of options available to help you out.
Be sure always to take your situation with an open mind and a positive attitude.
Even if your hair loss is permanent, don’t let that discourage you.
Baldness in today’s society is becoming a hot trend, and if you can rock the look with the confidence to match, then you are going to earn the respect and admiration of anyone who comes into your presence.
The more positive and free of the stress that you can be, the better you will be able to deal with and heal from your hair loss.