So, you’re looking for ways to grow your hair. Maybe you’ve noticed increasing hair strands in your brush or your hair is beginning to look less voluminous than you remember. It might not appear overnight, but one day you may realize your hair is thinning…
What Causes Your Hair to Fall Out?
Before you start thinking that this is only happening to you (and why did it have to be you??), know that your hair is thickest at age 14, and over time (sadly) you experience a gradual decline in density and thickness, says Melanie Palm, M.D, a dermatologist at Art of Skin in San Diego and clinical professor at Scripps Encinitas Memorial Hospital.
The bottom line? Unfortunately, it’s normal.
But in addition to the natural progression of hair loss, a number of other factors can exacerbate thinner strands. One of the most common culprits? Hormonal changes.
Men tend to lose their hair more quickly and more noticeably. Male hair loss is so common and normal that we ever refer to this as androgenetic alopecia, or male pattern baldness. One cause of male pattern baldness is genetics, or having a family history of baldness. Research has found that male sex hormones called androgens are associated with male pattern baldness. The androgens have many functions, including regulating hair growth.
Each hair on your head has a growth cycle. With male pattern baldness, this growth cycle begins to weaken and the hair follicle shrinks, producing shorter and finer strands of hair. Eventually, the growth cycle for each hair ends and no new hair grows in its place.
For women, this often happens with hormones imbalance: when you start or discontinue oral birth control, after you have a baby (approximately four months postpartum), and during menopause. Conditions influenced by hormones, like thyroid problems, or even stress can also cause shedding. Life stressors like surgery, a major illness, some medications, giving birth and postpartum hormone changes can cause an acute hair loss called telogen effluvium three to six months later.
Other causes account from diet to styling habits and lifestyle.
Anemia (translation: low red blood cell counts), low iron stores, and even certain vitamin deficiencies such as certain B vitamins and vitamin D may all be causing hair thinning. Fungal conditions of the scalp may be yet another cause. Health conditions may be a cause of baldness when a rash, redness, pain, peeling of the scalp, hair breakage, patchy hair loss, or an unusual pattern of hair loss accompanies the hair loss.
Hair styling is usually part of our daily routine, but know that those habits might be damaging your hair, weakening its follicles and causing more frequent breakage. Heat, mechanical stress (like pulling your hair in a pony tail very often), harsh chemical treatments, like dying or progressive brushes, can all be contributing to hair thinning and hair loss.
Find out more about what causes your hair loss in the following links:
- Hair loss – Symptoms and Causes – Mayo Clinic
- Why Is My Hair Falling Out? 10 Causes For Hair Loss – Medical News Today
- Why Is My Hair Falling Out? – Healthline
How To Grow My Hair Faster And Longer Naturally?
So what to do about your hair loss problem?
Your first step: Seek a doctor to find out the cause of your thinning hair/hair loss. If you have an underlying medical condition at play, you may need specific medications or treatments in order to regrow your locks. Then, turn to over-the-counter products that can help restore some of the volume, strength, and shine.
You can reverse your hair loss and regrow hair with natural products, however, no need to go for harsh chemicals if you are not willing to. Several natural products have been used to treat bald hair over the centuries.
Aloe vera has long been used for treating hair loss. It also soothes the scalp, reduces dandruff and unblocks hair follicles that may be blocked by excess oil. You can apply pure aloe vera gel to your scalp and hair a few times per week. You can also use shampoo and conditioner that contain aloe vera.
Contains fatty acids that penetrate inside the hair shaft and reduce protein loss from hair. There needs to be more research on coconut oil as a promoter of hair growth, but it’s been shown to improve the health and luster of hair and has been used for centuries. It also provides the essential proteins required for nourishing and healing damaged hair. Coconut oil can be used either before or after you wash your hair depending on your hair type. Some advise to massage the scalp with coconut oil, some advise to avoid it. Better avoid high concentrations of coconut oil in your scalp.
Rosemary Essential Oil
Rosemary promotes hair growth and reduces hair loss. Rosemary oil stimulates new hair growth and can be used to treat androgenetic alopecia. Do not use essential oils directly on the skin. Always mix them in a carrier oil or shampoo.
Peppermint Essential Oil
Peppermint oil can cause a cold, tingling feeling when it increases circulation to the area it’s applied to. This can help promote hair growth during the anagen (or growing) phase. One study found that peppermint oil, when used on mice, increased the number of follicles, follicle depth, and overall hair growth. However, there are not enough studies in humans to prove this to be correct. Do not use essential oils directly on the skin. Always mix them in a carrier oil or shampoo. A 3-5 ml for 100ml, or 3 drops for a tablespoon (15 ml).
Taking red ginseng extract supplements can promote hair growth by stimulating hair follicles. Ginsenosides are the active components of ginseng and are thought to be responsible for its positive effect on hair.
Consuming omega fatty acids can help to improve your hair from the inside, since they are filled with nutrients and proteins. An omega supplement along with antioxidants helps to improve hair density and diameter. It also reduces hair loss. Omega fatty acids help your cells to work correctly and can boost immunity, leading to better overall health. Eating regularly the following foods is the best way to increase your omega fatty acids intake:
- Fish and other seafood (especially cold-water fatty fish, such as salmon, mackerel, tuna, herring, and sardines)
- Nuts and seeds (such as flaxseed, chia seeds, and walnuts)
- Plant oils (such as flaxseed oil, soybean oil, and canola oil)
Viviscal is a natural hair-growth supplement that promotes hair growth in people with thinning hair. It contains a marine complex known as AminoMar C. It consists in minerals, vitamins, and shark and mollusk powder. These ingredients help to regenerate new cells and strengthen existing cells. You have to take the pills twice a day for at least six months in order to see results. Viviscal also makes a shampoo and conditioner.
Is also another natural product that looks promising to treat hair loss, but it has limited research. It has been used for years to cure many things, including enlarged prostate. An extract of saw palmetto berries may block 5-alpha-reductase, an enzyme that converts testosterone to DHT. DHT is the molecule responsible for hair loss.
Castor oil is known for improving hair loss and hair growth. There is evidence that is able to thicken hair follicles, mainly in eyebrows and lashes, but apart from that, there is no scientific evidence that it helps with hair growth or has any special benefits.
Castor oil may cause some allergic reactions. While you can try to use it as a hair mask (like coconut oil) do not have high expectations about this oil to help with thinning hair.
You can use all these products as part of your diet, as part of a hair mask and/or as part of your shampoo and hair conditioner. Or all of them. They are natural and have very few secondary effects.
Remember that these products may take a few months to give noticeable results. My personal experience is that you will find these products weird at first, and then you will see some results after roughly one month of usage.
Changing hair style habits can also help, like avoiding hair styles that pull your hair (pony tails), high-heat hair styling tools, chemical treatment to your hair, using natural soft brushes and natural mild shampoos and hair products.
Why Use Natural Hair Care Products?
Ok, let’s make this one thing clear – if you suffer from a medical condition, you go to the doctor and you take the prescribed medicines. Period. They are strong enough to treat whatever illness you have, and they are prescribed taking into account your personal medical problem, and health condition.
What I am here to help you with is what sort of over-the-counter products you should favor. We have already concluded that hair thinning can be caused by some deficiency in certain nutrients, like vitamins, or healthy fats.
So, what do you think will help you more with your scalp and hair problems?
Mild products made mostly with natural ingredients like vegetable oils, hydrossols and plant extracts, almost the same you are advised to eat in a healthy diet, filled with vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants, and especially, fatty acids (healthy fats)?
Or products with synthetic lab-created ingredients, filled with strong surfactants, most of them usually irritant to your skin/scalp, with almost zero nutrients and skin benefits? Even worse, products where the main ingredient is water and the rest of the ingredients that could actually treat your skin are in such low percentages that they make no effect?
Well, it’s your choice, but be sure that in my posts you will always find the first ones, as I believe that our skin benefits from all the nutrients natural ingredients have to offer (even if, of course, having a healthy diet is much more effective).
For me, natural haircare products are the best haircare products.
Homemade Natural Shampoo Bar and Hair Conditioner
You can make your own shampoo and hair conditioner at home!! I only have recipes for solid shampoo bars, as shampoo bars imply less ingredients, are simpler and easier to make and maintain. The hair conditioner will look a lot like the hair conditioners you are used to.
Shampoo Bar Recipe
This shampoo bar formula, although not specially formulated for thinning hair, contains many natural ingredients that can help with hair loss, and for that, it may actually help with reducing thinning hair.
Besides, you will be certain that you are using natural ingredients in a fair quantity, providing the nutrients your hair and scalp actually need. On the other hand, it only has one mild surfactant, unlike many, many other shampoos that are loaded with them.
This shampoo uses SCI and nourishing oils like coconut oil, argan oil and shea butter, rosemary water infusion or hydrosol, rosemary essential oil and peppermint essential oil.
Hair Conditioner Recipe
This homemade hair conditioner is basically an emulsion, made with argan oil and jojoba oil, aloe vera juice, vegetable glycerin, B5 vitamin or d-panthenol, rosemary infused water or hydrosol, and rosemary essential oil. You can also add geranium essential oil for a great scent, but it’s optional.
Last but not the least, we have the emulsifying wax, BTMS. It acts as a wonderful emulsifier when mixing several different ingredients. In addition to its emulsifying capabilities, it’s also a great detangling agent and absorbs well into hair strands.
Hair Treatments for Hair Growth
If you wish to try some over-the-counter products, I’ve chosen for you the grow new hair treatment kits from Just Nutritive, all made with all-natural ingredients.
Just Nutritive has a good reputation for their natural hair growth products. Check out this review from a blog about hair loss and the more than 2000 Amazon reviews, where more than 60% gave 5 or 4 stars. They explain their products’ ingredients in much detail, which passes some trust right away.
Bear in mind that, from my experience, hair products take time to work. If you are going for one of these kits, use them non-stop for 6 to 8 weeks before deciding it’s not good for you (unless they are causing you some sort of allergy or worsening your hair and scalp condition, of course).
Women’s Hair Loss Kit
A kit comprising of shampoo, conditioner, a rinse cleanser and a hair spray treatment. It feeds scalp and hair follicles with nutrients, minerals and vitamins while stimulating circulation.
Men’s Hair Loss Kit
A kit comprising of shampoo, conditioner, a rinse cleanser and a hair spray treatment designed for men’s hair growth. Delivers nutrients, minerals, and vitamins to follicles while stimulating circulation.
Alopecia Renewal Hair and Scalp Nutrition Kit
A kit comprising of shampoo, conditioner, vinegar and a hair spray treatment for alopecia and scalp spots. This leave-in hair spray contains Jojoba Oil, Flaxseed Oil, Muira Puama Extract, Bergamot Essential Oil, Sesame Oil and Chia Seed Oil.
Women’s Grow New Hair Kit
A kit comprising of shampoo, conditioner and a hair spray treatment. This kit aims more at stimulating damaged hair to grow healthier and stronger. It has antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids such as omega-6 that may stimulate hair growth and help repair scalp damage.
Men’s Grow New Hair Kit
A kit comprising of shampoo, rinse cleanser and a hair spray treatment designed for men’s hair growth. Sea Buckthorn, the “super fruit”, with Pumpkin seed oil, contains antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids such as omega-6 that may stimulate hair growth and help repair scalp damage.
Hair loss or hair thinning is more natural and common than we might think. It will eventually get worse with age. It may be a serious issue for many people, as it greatly impacts your image and looks. However, this is not an irreversible problem. Even if you have had hair loss for years, you might reverse it with the right treatment. You just need to find the right root (!) cause for your problem.
Natural products are effective, especially when your hair loss is caused by a lack of certain essential nutrients. Try many of them, one at a time for a couple of months, to find out what works best for you.
However, if these natural products give you little or no results, contact a doctor or health professional to find out the best treatment for you. In fact, you should consult a doctor anyway in case you do have a medical condition that is also causing hair loss.
I hope you enjoyed this article, if you have any question or wish to make a suggestion, please, leave a comment below.