Men, and sometimes women, notice that their hair is thinning prematurely for several different reasons. Age, menopause, genetics, pregnancy, illness, and other factors all play a role in hair loss. When hair starts falling out, it can seem like the end of the world. Read on to learn how to stop hair loss.
How to Reduce Hair Loss
Try to identify when the hair loss started and if you changed anything with your hair. For example, if you started straightening/curling your hair or if you started applying lots of mousse. It is likely that this could be the reason. If you find it was due to the use of these things then stop using them.
Test your hair for thinning if you’re concerned. Testing whether or not you’re suffering from hair loss can be done using what is known as the “tug test”. Take a small bunch of hair, about 20-30 hairs, and hold it between your thumb and index finger. Pull slowly but firmly; if more than six hairs come out at the same time, you may have a hair loss problem. However, this is not the last word and you shouldn’t panic; instead, you should see a doctor or a trichologist immediately if you think you’re losing more hair than normal, remembering that we lose a lot of hairs each day naturally.
- Your doctor has the ability to take relevant hair tests, such as to test thyroid or iron deficiencies, and to take skin biopsies where relevant. Your doctor will also ask you about any medications you’ve been taking.
Try to use more herbal products, avoid using chemical products. They can damage hair.
Oiling the hair also helps with coconut oil for example. By doing this, when you go out the pollution in the environment won’t stick straight onto your hair and damage it. It will stick to the oil instead which can be washed off when you get home.
Stick to one shampoo or shower gel. If it is repeatedly changed it could cause damage to your hair as shampoos aren’t natural, you would be adding more and more chemical products in your hair which could damage them and cause them to fall out.
Wash your hair with warm to normal temperature water. Too much hot water can also damage the hair.
Washing your hair regularly can cause hair fall. Scalp produces its own oil which nourish your hair. So it is better to wash once or twice a week until they are really dirty with warm water.
Do daily scalp massages as it will increase blood flow in the scalp, sending it to the hair follicles to help stimulate growth.
Do not rub your hair vigorously with towel. This will only lead to unwanted hair breakage. Use the towel instead to gently soak out excess moisture.
Clean your combs every week. If you look closely, you will see that combs become dirty over time; so they need to be cleaned with a brush, soap and water as using a dirty comb continuously can lead to hair fall as well. You can do this easily while taking a bath or shampooing each week. This is a necessary precaution to take for hair fall control.
Practice meditation. Believe it or not, most of the times, the root cause for hair loss is stress and tension. Meditation can help in reducing that and restore hormonal balance.
Try and reduce stress or anxiety that is getting to you. Tension and anxiety do not help as you will be so worried your body won’t be mentally healthy so this will lead to physical deterioration too which includes hair loss.
Herbs and Supplements for Hair Loss
Take vitamins. Your mother told you they were good for you, but you may not know that they are good for your hair, too. Add some extra milligrams of these vitamins to your daily regimen:
- Vitamin A: Vitamin A is an anti-oxidant, which promotes healthy production of sebum in the scalp.
- B vitamins: The B vitamins help your body produce melanin, which gives hair its healthy color. Melanin also stimulates blood circulation.
- Vitamin E: This vitamin stimulates circulation, and good blood circulation in the scalp is important in keeping your hair follicles productive.
Treat with saw palmetto. Native Americans use saw palmetto to promote healthy hair and skin. Saw palmetto also blocks the production of DHT (a metabolite of testosterone), a contributing factor to enlarging of the prostate. Because DHT production also causes hair loss, saw palmetto has been shown in some small studies to be effective for preventing hair loss in some men.
Topical Treatments for Hair Loss
Restore moisture through hot oil treatments. You can use any natural oil including safflower and canola or olive oil.
- Heat the oil up so it is warm, but not too hot. Then, massage the oil into your scalp.
- Put on a shower cap for about an hour. When the hour is up, rinse or shampoo out the oil.
- Mayonnaise also works well as a conditioner. Slather your hair with a generous dollop, put on a shower cap for up to an hour, and then rinse it off.
Use essential oils combined with a scalp massage. Massage promotes good circulation in the scalp, to keep your hair follicles active. Massage your scalp daily by hand for a couple of minutes. To enhance the massage, use a few drops of lavender or bay essential oil in an almond, or sesame oil base on your scalp.
Use egg oil. Massage egg oil into the scalp and leave on overnight.
- Shampoo off in the morning with a mild, preferably herbal shampoo. Use shampoo only once as repetition removes the natural lipids of hair making it dry and brittle.
- Use egg oil 2-3 times a week for at least 12 weeks for visible results. Regular, continued use is important for proper nourishment of the cell membranes.
- Continue long term massage therapy of egg oil to prevent hair fall and graying. Discontinuing use may gradually bring back hair fall problems and resume graying.
- Egg oil is mess free and stable. It is a more convenient alternative to egg yolk masks and does not smell like raw egg yolks or cook in the hair during a hot shower. There is no risk of salmonella which could give you a scalp infection.
- You can make egg oil at home or buy it online.
Rub rangoli henna into your hair. It is a green powder with the texture of talc that seals the hair cuticle, which strengthens the hair shaft at the root.
Boil potatoes and rosemary in water on your stove top. Strain the liquid, and use it daily as a hair rinse.
Try rubbing your scalp with garlic juice, onion juice, or ginger juice. Make sure you only use 1 of these juices; don’t mix them. Leave the juice on your scalp overnight, and wash it out in the morning.
Try lavender oil massage. Lavender Oil with its wonderful fragrance is beneficial for preventing hair loss due to its antioxidant nutrients as well as antifungul and antiseptic properties. This oil derived from lavender flowers treats dandruff as well as itching, controls hair breakage all to prevent hair loss. It deeply conditions the hair and also controls dandruff. Lavender oil is widely used to treat alopecia areata too. Alopecia areata is a condition when excessive hair is lost and that too in patches. In such extreme cases daily massage with lavender oil is required. Jojoba and grapeseed oils can be used as base or carrier oil for any essential oil including lavender.
Rub green tea into your hair. The tea contains anti-oxidants, which may prevent hair loss and help hair growth.
Try licorice root. Licorice root is another herb that prevents hair loss and further damage to the hair. The mollifying properties of licorice roots open the pores, soothe the scalp and help get rid of irritations like dry flakes. This remedy is good for dandruff, hair loss and baldness.
- Add one tablespoon of ground licorice root to one cup milk with a quarter teaspoon saffron. Mix it thoroughly.
- Apply the paste on bald patches at bedtime and leave it on overnight.
- In the morning, wash your hair.
- Follow this remedy once or twice a week.
- You can also take licorice internally in the form of licorice tea three times a day.
Try fenugreek (methi) seeds treatment. This will provide shine and add strength to hair with regular use, helping to keep hair intact.
- Soak and grind one cup of fenugreek (Indian methi seeds) with sufficient water to make a paste.
- Apply to the scalp and massage it lightly.
- Leave it for half an hour.
- Rinse out with cold water.
- Brew 2 bags of green tea in 1 cup of water. Let the tea cool slightly, and then apply it to your hair.
- Leave the tea on for 1 hour. Then, rinse your hair thoroughly.
Lifestyle Changes to Prevent Hair Loss
Take care of the hair that you have. Never brush wet hair, and avoid rubbing your hair dry with a towel. Instead, let it air dry or else blow dry it to the point of dampness, and let it dry from there.
Be careful how you style your hair. Some styles that require tight pulling and elastics, clips, etc. can be a cause of hair loss if done on a daily basis. For example, tight ponytails, braiding tightly, corn-rows, and plaits, can lead to significant hair loss when done daily. Winding hair tightly onto rollers, especially heated rollers, is also liable to cause more hair loss. The medical name for loss of hair due to hairstyles that are too tight is known as “traction alopecia” and it is completely preventable as a cause in and of itself!
- Be careful with layering styles that lose a lot of your hair. If you’re already experiencing hair loss, don’t speed it up by having the hairdresser remove more hair! However, careful layering can actually create a fuller look to the hair. Hair that is too long and all one length can pull the roots flat to the scalp and make the hair thinner.
Include more high-protein foods in your diet. Eating lean meats, fish, soy, or other proteins may help to curb hair loss. Besides containing protein, many foods rich in protein also contain Vitamin B-12.
Avoid wigs or hairpieces. While these may seem like good cosmetic solutions, they may also speed up hair loss by damaging your hair follicles.
Reduce stress. Sometimes, the root cause for hair loss is stress.
- Practice meditation. Meditation can help to both reduce stress and restore your hormonal balance. Practicing meditation can also help you in other aspects of your life.
- Get some exercise. Walk, swim, or bike for 30 to 60 minutes per day. Or, try playing a sport like tennis, so you can take out your aggression by hitting a ball. The exercise will help to lower your stress levels.
- Talk or write it out. Talk to your spouse, a friend, or family member, or to a therapist about what you are experiencing. Take the time to record your feelings in a journal.
Eat your way to top form hair. Nutritional responses to preventing hair loss are simple common sense approaches to keeping you, your hair, and your scalp healthy and are beneficial for your health all round – a healthy body is more likely to have healthy hair than an unhealthy one. It is possible that hair loss can be slowed by a healthy diet filled with vegetables and fruits. The following nutritional requirements that can be sourced adequately from a healthy diet in most cases can be of help with preventing or minimizing hair loss:
- Iron: This is an essential mineral, known as heme iron in animal food sources and non-heme iron in plant sources. Good sources of iron in your diet include: liver, beef, pork, fish, leafy greens, fortified cereal, beans, and pumpkin seeds. Vegetarian women may experience a lack of enough iron more than other people.
- Protein: Protein is essential for strong hair, but it’s the protein from the diet, not from a shampoo, that matters! A deficiency in protein can lead to hair loss and adequate protein can help to provide the amino acids that strengthen hair. Good sources of protein include: Seafood, white-meat poultry, milk, cheese, yogurt, eggs, beans, pork tenderloin, soy, lean beef, and protein bars. Vegans, dairy-free consumers, and others can get good non-animal protein from tempeh, tofu, wholewheat bread, peanut butter, brown rice, lentils, quinoa, nuts, seitan, beans, broccoli, potatoes, etc.
- Vitamin C: Vitamin C foods help in the good absorption of iron. Try to combine the iron source with a vitamin C source at the same time. Good sources of vitamin C include: Citrus fruit, green leafy vegetables, salad, baked potatoes, tomatoes, etc.
- Omega-3 fatty acids: These fats keep hair healthy and have a role in preventing hair from becoming dry and brittle. Good sources include: tuna, salmon, mackerel, flaxseeds, and walnuts.
- Biotin: This is a B vitamin of importance for healthy hair. Good sources of biotin include: brewer’s yeast, bulgur wheat, lentils, sunflower seeds, soybeans, and walnuts.
- Zinc: Zinc is important for hair nourishment too. Good sources include: oysters, lean beef, peanut butter, turkey, and pumpkin seeds.
Avoid food or eating habits that can inhibit hair growth or encourage hair loss. There are some things you should not do or eat in order to avoid hurrying hair loss. The following things can harm your hair and bring about hair loss, either temporarily or even permanently depending on your genetic make-up:
- Avoid very low-calorie liquid diets. As well as depleting your energy in a major way, such diets can cause hair loss.
- Avoid eating raw egg whites. Not only can these harbor bacteria that can harm you, raw egg whites contain a substance that binds biotin. This prevents its absorption.
How to Treat Hair Loss
Consider treatments if you have hair loss confirmed. Your first line of defense is accurate diagnosis, because temporary hair loss usually remedies itself, or can be helped with specific therapy or treatments.
Medications. Some medications can slow or even prevent hair loss. For both men and women, Minoxidil (Rogaine) can be used, or for men-only, Finasteride (Propecia) can be obtained through your doctor. Minoxidil is sprayed onto the scalp twice daily and arrests hair loss and may even cause regrowth in a few men. Finasteride is taken as an oral drug. In both cases, it takes about a year to see whether they’re effective for you as an individual. Finasteride works in about 60 percent of men who take it. It is strongly recommended you research possible side effects before taking Finasteride. Recent studies have linked Finasteride to potentially irreversible sexual dysfunction. It is not recommended for those trying to conceive a child, as it may impact the fetus negatively.
Ask your doctor about steroid creams, corticosteroids, or PUVA (a light/drug combination therapy) in the case of alopecia areata. Irritation can sometimes stimulate hair growth too, such as applying irritating chemicals prescribed by the doctor.
Get a hair transplant. Micro-transplants are commonly performed for male-pattern baldness. This consists of small transplants of one or two hairs at a time and it appears very natural.
Try hair restoration surgery. This is the transplantation or redistribution of hair. Hair is removed from the dense area of hair and placed into the areas where hair has been lost. Since the follicle goes with it, it grows into old age, goes gray and is permanent. Micro-transplant surgery takes a strip from the back of the head which is then stitched; it heals so that it is virtually unseen and then transplanted. It is also possible to take a scalp section, remove a piece of scalp and tuck it in so that the bald area is removed and the hair-bearing areas are stitched together to do away with the bald patch. This can only work on a small area where there has been a scar though. Hair restoration surgery is usually done on men, not women.
Consider laser treatment. Try laser therapy, which may stimulate hair growth by increasing blood flow to hair follicles. Some dermatologists and many hair-loss centers offer in-house sessions, or you can purchase a laser comb or brush that you use at home.
Wake up dormant hair follicles. When hair follicles go dormant, you begin to lose your hair. The dormant follicles no longer create hair, so when enough of the follicles in a specific area shut down, your hair will appear thinner. What is a dormant hair follicle? Is it: small tiny hair visible on the scalp but not growing, no visible hair on the skin but existing beneath the skin, hair that is only visible with a microscope. Some technique can activate dormant hair follicles.
Watch the news on stem cell or gene therapy with respect to hair loss. Research is ongoing and it’s likely a baldness cure will be eventual but for now, it’s under research.
- If you have tried all of the above methods and nothing seems to be working, see your doctor as in some cases it could be a symptom of a more serious problem.
- When you apply topical treatments to your scalp, make sure that you don’t use them around clothes, furniture, or bedding that could either be ruined, or acquire an unpleasant odor from the treatments.
- Avoid brushing hair when wet, as the hair tends to fall easier.
- Remember to drink 8 cups of water a day. It’s great for your skin and hair.
- Oiling your hair can help keep hair healthier.
- Stick to one shampoo or gel.
- Try not to use straighteners, curlers or other chemical products such as dyes excessively, these can damage your hair if used too frequently.
- As you get older, your hair gets weaker so don’t be too worried if a few strands of hair falling occasionally.
- Try to relax and have an optimistic view on things. A healthy mind leads to a healthy body.
- Doing ‘Headstand’ pose of yoga for about a minute daily reduces the hair fall. But please consult your doctor before doing this pose.