It’s normal to see a few strands of hair in your hairbrush, in fact, 100 each day is a normal rate of hair loss. If you find you’re losing a lot of hair on a regular basis it can be cause for concern, but quite common with close to 50% of men and women affected by hair loss by age 50.
There are a number of reasons for hair loss, and in this article, we’ll explore natural ways to reduce your risk of preventable hair loss, give your hair a boost and promote growth. However, if your hair loss is due to a medical condition, it is best to speak to your doctor about remedies.
What Causes Hair Loss
More than just a beauty feature, hair is part of the body’s integumentary system, that serves to protect the body from infection, supports temperature regulation and more. It is constantly moving through three phases of growth, transition, and shedding, but sometimes the cycle is disrupted and hair is lost at a rate faster than it can grow.
The reason for excessive hair loss can be due to genetic tendencies, environmental triggers or exposure to chemicals and toxins, extreme stress or traumatic events, some medication side effects, hormonal imbalance, nutritional deficiencies, infection or illness. Depending on the reason for hair loss, it can be possible to resolve the issues and regenerate the growth cycle.
The Link Between Diet and Hair Loss
One of the major impacts on hair structure and growth that can be quickly and simply adapted is your diet. There is a well-recognized link between diet and hair loss/growth, and studies have shown a nutritional deficiency in protein as well as some minerals and vitamins such as iron and niacin play a large role in hair formation.
Maintaining a healthy diet, while working on lifestyle factors can have a positive impact on your hair health and appearance.
Tips to prevent hair loss and encourage growth naturally
1. Quit Smoking
There are many reasons to quit smoking, with its link to cancer, premature aging and more, but studies have also found a link with smokers and baldness. If the risk of death doesn’t squash the bad habit, perhaps the drastic change in appearance with hair loss leading to baldness might be the final push you need.
2. Aromatherapy Hair Mask and Massage
Stimulate the scalp with a massage to encourage growth, along with coconut oil that promotes healing and has antibacterial properties. Mix in essential oils of Sandalwood, lavender, rosemary, and thyme for a complete aromatherapy treatment that’s been used for over a century in the promotion of hair growth. Rub these oils into your scalp for two minutes each night, then wrap a warm towel around your head to help the scalp absorb the oils. This is not only a beneficial scalp treatment but is also a wonderful self-care ritual that smells great and helps you relax and sleep well.
3. Onion Juice Treatment
A study has shown that crude onion juice applied topically to the scalp can be an effective therapy to treat alopecia areata, a patchy, non-scarring hair loss condition. In the trial, regrowth results were seen in participants in as little as two weeks and over 85% of the trial participants showed hair re-growth over 6 weeks.
4. Red Ginseng Extract
With a long history of medicinal use in East Asia, red ginseng - the steamed root of Panax Ginseng, has been hailed as a great natural remedy for a number of conditions including hair loss. Recent studies have confirmed the theory that red ginseng helps promote hair growth in humans.
5. Consume More Iron
Iron is a crucial nutrient for a range of bodily functions including making blood. When the body does not have adequate levels of iron it uses the small amounts it has for priority functions of which growing hair is not one. So, with low iron can mean increased hair loss. Thankfully, you can turn it around by consuming more iron in your diet with:
- Dark leafy vegetables such as spinach
- Meat: beef, fish, chicken, and turkey
- Oysters and clams
- Pumpkin seeds
- Dried fruit
To help your body absorb the iron in your diet, include foods rich in Vitamin C with your iron-filled foods, and avoid consuming tea, coffee and wine with your meals as these can block iron absorption.
6. Take Pumpkin Seed Oil Capsules
A study of men who took four capsules of pumpkin seed oil daily for 6 months saw a 40% increase in hair count. The reason is believed to be due to the pumpkin seed oil preventing Testosterone from breaking down and impacting hair loss.
7. Drink Green Tea
Green Tea is considered a miracle drink, thought to support healing from a number of diseases and conditions. Studies have shown that green tea, or more specifically an extract made from its compounds, EGCG, helps promote hair growth.
8. Eat More Protein and Amino Acids
Protein and amino acids help support healthy hair growth, but a deficiency can lead to hair loss. Good food sources for protein and the ‘building block’ amino acids include beans, cottage cheese, fish, eggs, seeds and nuts, and whole grains.
9. Reduce Stress
A stressful event or ongoing stress can often lead to hair loss, even up to 3-months later. Try to reduce stressors and manage your stress levels with techniques such as meditation, breathwork, visualizations and mindful movement such as yoga. Learn more about stress management through our Sleep & Stress Summit.
Many people reach for supplements to support their diet and overcome hair loss issues. There are plenty of offers on the market but it’s important to understand that unless you have a deficiency in a certain vitamin or mineral then supplements may not help. Some supplements we suggest looking it to try are marine collagen, zinc, MSM, silica, and biotin. To determine if supplements are required for your condition, talk to your doctor and have a blood test to understand if you have a nutritional deficiency and how to best resolve it.