If you are a hair loss sufferer or simply want to prevent becoming one, natural remedies can be effective for you. In this article, you’ll find out why your hair falls out and how natural treatments can nourish your scalp to promote new healthy hair to grow.
Hair Loss: What You Really Need to Know
Alopecia is the medical term for hair loss. Not even up to this very moment its causes are exactly understood. Most people believe alopecia is all about patches of hair missing or falling. Wrong! Indeed, alopecia is associated with hair shedding, but it can also cause hair thinning to a point where it will no longer be visible — but the hair is there, so it’s not exactly lost.
It’s known that hair begins to fall out more often when a hair follicle is damaged or if the hair growth cycle is disrupted.
Hair follicles are situated on the outermost layer of the scalp. They are responsible for the production and growth of hair strands. When follicles are weakened, they produce less and thinning hair, visibly associated with hair loss. Likewise, to produce new hair, the follicles need to go through several cycles that can undergo changes in the hair growth rate.
When the hair growth cycle is disturbed, it can affect the regular rate of hair production and gradually decrease it until it no longer produces new hair.
Many factors can affect the hair follicles and the growing cycle. Genetic conditions, medications, nutritional deficiency, hormonal imbalance, stress, age, and even your lifestyle can impact the hair follicles.
You may be the one causing hair loss
You can be the one who causes hair loss in the first place by not taking proper care of your hair and scalp. Too much washing, or styling, and even over-dyeing your hair can make it fall more quickly. Make sure you’ve read our article about habits that you must avoid for preventing hair loss.
Even if genetic factors cause your condition, the way you take care of your hair and scalp can genuinely make a difference.
What combating hair loss actually means?
When a hair follicle dies, it stops producing hair. Sadly it’s impossible to revive dead follicles; thus, a cure for hair loss does not exist. So what treating hair loss is about if we can’t reactivate the dead follicles? It’s all about enhancing and boosting your remaining active hair follicles to produce thicker hair. But how do you do that? Well, your scalp’s health directly affects the quality of the hair produced by follicles. If your scalp is healthy and well-hydrated, the follicles will most likely grow thicker hair, stronger, and less prone to premature fall.
How natural remedies help against hair loss?
Among the natural ways of combating hair loss, we count herbal remedies, plant-based treatments, and essential oils, which topical application is known to benefit the scalp. Improved blood circulation, scalp moisture, and nutritional support are just a few of the privileges you can get from herbal remedies.
Improve scalp blood circulation
A good scalp blood circulation ensures that the essential nutrients given to your body will reach the hair follicles. This is extremely helpful because nutritional deficiencies can lead to hair loss, so driving more nutrients to your scalp can make things muuuch easier.
Rich in antioxidants
Researchers keep up discovering compounds in plants and herbs with high antioxidant activity beneficial for humans’ scalp. How does this help you? Antioxidants are chemicals that diminish or counter the effects of free radicals. The free radical theory of aging states that organisms age because cells accumulate free radical damage over time. This leads to oxidative stress, aka to an imbalance between free radicals and antioxidants. Oxidative stress has been linked to hair loss because it can disturb hair follicle cycling. Some natural herbs are a rich source of antioxidants — curious which ones? Continue reading.
8 Best Natural Remedies for Hair Loss
A popular herb for most people, peppermint is well known for its distinct refreshing aroma and high medicinal value. Peppermint oil helps stimulate hair growth, and it’s encouraged to be used as an alternative therapeutic medicine for hair loss.
This study suggested that peppermint oil facilitates hair growth by promoting the conservation of hair dermal papilla vascularization, which may contribute to the induction of the early anagen stage. Due to its ability to kill bacteria and antioxidant properties, peppermint creates a healthy environment in which hair can grow. Moreover, it stimulates the blood circulation to the scalp, allowing hair to receive more nutrients.
The best way to use peppermint oil is to massage it into the scalp and let it act for 20 minutes. Then just shampoo your hair as usual. Repeat twice a week.
One study tested the effectiveness of topical crude onion juice in treating hair loss and showed that raw onion juice could be an effective topical therapy for hair loss. Two groups were divided and advised to apply the treatment twice daily for two months. The hair regrowth began after two weeks of treatment with raw onion juice. In the 6th week, the hair regrowth was observed in 86.9% of volunteers, yet it was 93.7% higher among men than women.
To use, work onion juice into your scalp and let sit for 15 minutes.
People have treated their body, skin, and hair with coconut oil for decades due to its high concentration of healthy fatty acids that can calm skin irritations. The hydrating proprieties of coconut oil have been proven to improve the scalp’s health as well as the quality of the hair. According to a study conducted by Aarti S. Rele, coconut oil reduces protein loss for undamaged and damaged hair when applied as a pre-wash or post-wash product.
Because one way to reverse hair loss is to stimulate blood circulation, cayenne pepper does the job. Cayenne is a good source of vitamin A and also contains some potassium and fiber, but capsaicin is what causes intense blood flow. In 2007, one study suggested that capsaicin administration might increase hair follicles production, promoting hair growth in humans with alopecia. Many doctors recommend taking iron supplements while treating hair loss with cayenne pepper. Because iron has high positive effects in hair growth, balanced with cayenne pepper, it can generate new hair to grow.
Aloe vera gel has cooling and healing properties when it’s applied to the skin. More than 75 active ingredients have been identified in the raw gel of aloe vera, including antioxidants, fatty acids, enzymes, minerals, and essential amino acids.
Researchers suggest that aloe vera gel’s main potential benefit is increasing the blood circulation to the area where it’s applied. Besides, aloe vera has shown to be a great anti-inflammatory agent that provides rapid relief from itching and complete skin regeneration.
Until today, there is no real study that directly associates aloe vera with hair growth. However, the many benefits of this plant can moisturize and heal the scalp, so it may as well help against hair loss.
Many of the properties found in licorice improve hair condition, relieve irritations such as dandruff, and moisturize the scalp. Licorice is used in Chinese medicine for its anti-hair loss effect and the ability to restore dry hair.
The main components of licorice extract, glyceric acid, and its derivates offer an anti-hair loss effect by inhibiting dihydrotestosterone production (DHT) by eliminating 5-alpha-reductase enzyme activity. DHT is an androgen that causes hair follicles to miniaturize, contributing to male pattern hair loss. The testosterone is converted to DHT with the help of an enzyme called 5-alpha reductase. High levels of DHT can shrink the hair follicles, making them produce less and thinning hair.
A study conducted by the International Journal of Applied Pharmaceutics has determined that a hair tonic prepared with licorice extract in concentrations of 2.5%, 5%, and 10% had hair growth activity similar to minoxidil.
Saw Palmetto Oil
Widely accepted as a natural remedy to reverse hair loss and treat conditions like alopecia, saw palmetto’s extract works to inhibit DHT in the scalp, helping control hair loss and reviving hair follicles.
According to a 2016 study, saw palmetto might inhibit the 5-alpha reductase enzyme, responsible for converting testosterone to DHT. In a small study of 34 men and 28 women with androgenic alopecia, topically applied saw palmetto extract in lotion and shampoo base for three months, showed a 35% increase in hair density and a 67% increase in sebum reduction.
The mechanism of action of saw palmetto extract is thought to be similar to finasteride, blocking the 5aR enzyme, yet is a natural ingredient, easy to find.
Ginseng is an ancient herbal remedy recorded in The Herbal Classic of the Divine Plowman, scripted approximately 2000 years ago. Modern science has revealed that ginseng extract contains various bioactive constituents, especially groups of saponin compounds, which accredits ginseng with hair growth activities. Quynh Lien Pham and other researchers proved that fermented black ginseng possesses anti‑oxidative and anti-aging effects, promoting hair growth.
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