You are here

7 Natural Remedies for Hair Loss

January 6, 2014

Main Image

In a culture obsessed with thick luscious locks, thinning hair can certainly affect a woman’s self-esteem.

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, it’s normal to lose 50-100 hairs every day. But what’s a girl to do if you notice more hair in the drain and in your comb and brush than usual? Before you panic and pull out the trusty baseball cap, depending on the cause of your hair loss, there are natural ways to re-grow your hair or at least make the hair you have appear fuller.

What causes hair loss?

Board certified dermatologist Dr. Cynthia Bailey explained to Wellness Today what commonly causes hair loss or balding (known as alopecia) for women. These factors are:

1. Genetic hair loss, called female pattern baldness. Typically, this is worst over the crown with preservation of the frontal hairline. Women at greatest risk have a family history of balding in either female or male relatives.

What you can do: Unfortunately, this type of hair loss may be irreversible. But discuss your options with a dermatologist.

 2. Commonly used medicines like antidepressants, beta-blockers (for blood pressure management), cholesterol lowering drugs, hormones and anti-inflammatory drugs (for pain) cause hair thinning.

What you can do: See a dermatologist to evaluate your list of medications. If the medications are prescription, consult your prescribing physician before you discontinue use.

 3. Medical conditions like thyroid disease and anemia are common hair loss culprits. Hair loss can also be attributed to more vague conditions like leukemia or complex endocrine problems.

What you can do: When your dermatologist rules out other causes for hair loss and your thyroid tests and blood count are normal, visit your primary care doctor for a complete physical to detect an underlying internal disease.

 4. Telogen effuvium is a stress-related condition where you suddenly lose large amounts of hair. The condition can be initiated by pregnancy, surgery or serious illness, radical weight loss, and severe emotional trauma. The good news is that when the body feels safe again, hair re-grows.

What you can do: Stabilize your physical and emotional health.

7 natural remedies for hair loss

1. Garlic and onions

Garlic and onions contain high levels of the sulfur compound allicin, which fights infection and bacteria, helps to promote circulation to the hair-growing areas of the scalp, and regenerates the hair follicles. Try washing your hair with garlic shampoo, or if you can stand the smell, rub sliced garlic cloves directly on your scalp.  You can also rinse your hair with onion or garlic juice, or add the juice to olive oil and massage into your scalp as needed.

2. Black castor oil

This isn’t the clear castor oil your mom force-fed you when you had a cold. Jamaican black castor oil is made from pressing castor beans that have been roasted and boiled and is often used to promote hair growth and to thicken and repair damaged hair. Several years ago, I had a hairdresser from Barbados who urged me to buy a bottle to use on my thinning edges, and it’s been my secret hair re-growth remedy ever since.

3. Apple cider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar has long been used as a remedy for hair and scalp care. Like tea tree oil, it promotes healthy hair growth and prevents thinning by removing impurities and product build-up that might be blocking your hair follicles. Simply rinse your hair with a cupful of apple cider vinegar after washing it. You can also drink a mixture of apple cider vinegar and water several times a day.

4. Aloe vera

When I was vacationing in Maui, a native Hawaiian woman cut a piece of fresh aloe vera and instructed me to eat the bitter pulp. As it turns out, aloe vera gel can also restore the hair’s pH balance when applied to the scalp. And with regular use, aloe vera’s soothing and healing properties can lessen scalp irritation and stimulate hair growth.

5. Eat omega-3 fatty acids

Load up on omega-3 fatty acids, which give hair a healthy sheen and are believed to restart hair growth and help hair grow faster and stronger. Integrative medicine expert Dr. Andrew Weil suggests you get more omega-3’s in your diet by eating wild Alaskan salmon, sardines, herring or mackerel two to three times a week. You can also sprinkle flax seeds on your cereals and salads.

6. Change your hairstyle

Hairdos like tight braids and ponytails put unnecessary strain on your roots and cause thinning called traction alopecia. To give your hair a rest, try wearing a looser style.

7. Biotin and other nutritional supplements

Research shows the benefit of taking biotin (B-complex), combined with zinc, in supplement and food form to treat temporary hair loss. Foods rich in biotin include nuts, eggs, mushrooms, legumes and fish. These foods also contain other vitamins beneficial for hair growth, including iron and vitamins A and D.

After you get to the root of your hair loss, will you try to re-grow your hair with natural remedies?