Your hair is often one of the first things a new person will notice about you, and if you experience hair loss, you can feel self-conscious, or even unattractive. Women especially can be hyper-aware of their thinning hair, as TV and magazines tend to represent women with healthy and full locks of thick, long hair. Plus, thinning hair is often hard to hide – not everyone wants to wear a wig or a hat all the time.
There is hope.
Whether your hair loss is caused by alopecia, a condition where your immune system attacks your hair follicles, or it’s just a natural part of getting older, there are natural treatments you can apply at home to help stimulate the hair follicles1 and nurture your scalp.
Check out these 10 natural remedies you can do at home to stop hair loss:
1. Scalp Massage
Scalp massage has long been used as a relaxation technique in many cultures. Not only relaxing, massaging the scalp can stimulate circulation and can help build healthy hair roots. Studies have shown that only four minutes of scalp massage every day can result in increased hair thickness in 24 weeks. 2 Try it with any of the natural oils mentioned below.
2. Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera is an amazing plant with incredible healing properties. Many people know that it can treat sunburn, but it may also be useful in helping prevent hair loss by restoring the health of the scalp. Evidence has shown that aloe is even effective in treating psoriasis and dermatitis, two conditions that can affect your scalp. 3 You can apply this mild, soothing gel directly to the scalp as a mask and leave it on for 10 to 30 minutes before washing out.
3. Coconut Oil
While we’re not big fans of you putting it on your face or cooking with it, but the healing properties of coconut oil on your hair is great. Full of healthy fatty acids, coconut oil helps nourish the scalp.4 What’s more, experts have shown that coconut oil can actually penetrate hair and reach the inner part of the strand, which further helps strengthen it from the “inside out.” 5 Apply melted coconut oil to the scalp and massage it in. Even better, leave it on for several hours if you can.
4. Mustard Oil
Mustard oil is another amazing natural oil you can use in scalp massage that has been used in Ayurvedic medicine in India for many years. 6 Antifungal and antimicrobial, it also contains vitamin E and omega-3 fatty acids, which could aid in hair growth. 7
5. Essential Oils for Hair Growth
Certain essential oils can also stimulate hair growth in the scalp, and they can be added to coconut or mustard oil for an invigorating, tingly scalp massage. Rosemary, in particular, is a great oil for thickening the hair and revitalizing the scalp, along with lavender and clary sage.8
Note: Test all oils on a small patch of skin first before applying to your scalp to rule out any allergies.
6. Scalp Exfoliation
Many of us exfoliate dry skin in the winter months, but you might not know that your scalp can benefit from a healthy scrub, too! Exfoliation is great for the scalp. It can stimulate circulation and get rid of dead skin cells and product buildup, making room for regrowth. You can buy scalp scrubs or make your own by mixing one of the healing oils mentioned here, along with sugar and your favorite essential oils. 9
7. Ditch Stress
If you notice large amounts of hair falling out in the shower and a hormone or vitamin issue has been ruled out, stress could be the cause. Too much stress can cause hair follicles to enter a resting phase, making hair fall out in large amounts in a short amount of time. 10 Exercise, meditate, and take time for yourself – your hair will thank you.
8. Change Your Hair Habits
Bad hair habits that could be damaging to your hair and scalp can also be a major cause of hair loss. Reevaluate your products and hair tools. Products containing harsh chemicals, and tools like flat irons can cause your hair to thin over time. Overly tight ponytails, buns, and other hairstyles that require a lot of tugging can also play a part by breaking your strands. Be kind to your hair and it will be happier for it!
9. Eat for Hair Health
Healthy hair growth starts from the inside, so make sure you are eating for hair health. A well-balanced diet full of leafy greens and low on refined sugars and fatty, fried foods will give your hair the vitamins and nutrients it needs for steady growth. Focus on foods with zinc, iron, protein, and omega-3 fatty acids, all of which have been studied for their contribution to healthy hair.11
If you’re wondering how to stop hair fall naturally through your diet, certain types of meat that are high in zinc could be a good start. These include beef and poultry.12
In one study, more than 300 men and women suffering from hair loss were found to have zinc levels that were substantially lower than normal.
Another study found that people with hair loss had substantially lower zinc levels than others who had normal levels.14
Nuts could be another dietary option if you are looking at how to stop hair fall naturally. In one study, researchers found that 90 percent of participants reported a decrease in hair loss after taking omega-3 and omega-6 supplements, in addition to supplements containing lycopene, vitamin C and vitamin E.15
Walnuts are high in both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.16,17 Spinach can also help reduce hair loss thanks to its high vitamin C content.18 Vitamin C helps fight oxidation that can lead to not only hair loss but also the graying of hair.19
Just make sure you have a talk with your doctor first before starting any sort of new dietary routine. You want to make sure that you don’t have any food allergies, and you want to make sure that any new foods you try won’t interact negatively with any medications you might be taking.
10. Consider Supplements
Aside from good nutrition, there are a few supplements that can help with hair loss. Studies have shown that Saw Palmetto may be effective as a treatment for male pattern baldness, with 48 percent of men in one study seeing positive results. 20 Biotin is one of the many beneficial B vitamins, and a biotin supplement may also help hair regrowth.21
Taking care of your body inside and out is a sure way to create a good environment for healthy hair and to stop hair loss. Give a few of these home remedies a try and see if they work for you!
Article updated: April 4, 2018
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11. “6 Nutrients For Healthy Hair”. Health.com. N.p., 2016. Web. 25 Jan. 2017.
12. Office of Dietary Supplements – Zinc. (n.d.). Retrieved April 04, 2018, from https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Zinc-HealthProfessional
13. Kil, M. S., Kim, C. W., & Kim, S. S. (2013, November). Analysis of serum zinc and copper concentrations in hair loss. Retrieved April 04, 2018
14. Abdel, N. S., Atef, M. M., & Al-Qaradaghi, S. M. (2016, January). Evaluation of serum zinc level in patients with newly diagnosed and resistant alopecia areata. Retrieved April 04, 2018
15. Le, C., Cheniti, A., Connétable, S., Piccardi, N., Vincenzi, C., & Tosti, A. (2015, March). Effect of a nutritional supplement on hair loss in women. Retrieved April 04, 2018
16. Walnuts Nutrition: Rich in Alpha-Linolenic Acid (ALA). (n.d.). Retrieved April 04, 2018, from http://www.berkeleywellness.com/healthy-eating/food/article/walnuts-rich-healthy-omega-3s
17. Top 10 Foods Highest in Omega 6 Fatty Acids – myfooddata. (n.d.). Retrieved April 4, 2018
18. (n.d.). Retrieved April 04, 2018, from https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/3167
19. Trüeb, R. M. (2009). Retrieved April 04, 2018, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2929555/
21. Christopher Travers, MS et al. “Is Biotin As Good As Advertised For Your Hair Loss?”. Health Essentials from Cleveland Clinic. N.p., 2016. Web. 25 Jan. 2017