Long, luscious hair is a desire of many! But it seems very few people are lucky enough to have a head full of beautiful hair. In fact, many people complain about losing their hair.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, it’s normal to lose 50 to 100 hairs per day (1). So, if it appears that you are losing more than this, it is a matter of concern.
Hair loss can be especially difficult for women to deal with, as many women look at their hair as their “crowning glory”. But hair loss in men also can affect their self-esteem.
Some of the causes of hair loss include nutritional deficiencies, hormonal imbalance, thyroid issues, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), use of birth control pills, too much stress in life, excessive use of hair styling products, use of chemical-based hair care products, age, genetics and a poor hair care routine.
Depending on the cause, hair loss can be sudden or gradual, affecting either just the scalp or the entire body.
If you are looking for a treatment for hair loss that works without the side effects of chemicals or medications, try some natural remedies.
Natural remedies for hair growth have no side effects and won’t burn a hole in your pocket. With some ingredients many already have in the kitchen, you can regain the texture and growth of your hair.
Here are the top 10 home remedies to control hair loss.
1. Regular Scalp Massage
Perhaps the most inexpensive method to control hair loss is a scalp massage.
A proper hair and scalp massage with oil increases blood flow to the hair follicles, conditions the scalp and enhances the strength of your hair’s roots. It will also promote relaxation and reduce feelings of stress, a common reason behind hair loss.
A 2016 study published in Eplasty reports that hair thickness increases with standardized scalp massage (2).
You can use oils like coconut, almond, olive or castor oil for massaging your scalp.
- Warm up a little oil of your choice.
- Massage the warm oil onto your hair and scalp by applying light pressure with your fingertips.
- Leave it on for at least 1 hour or overnight.
- Then, shampoo your hair.
- Do this 2 or 3 times a week.
2. Rosemary Essential Oil
Scalp massages help stimulate the hair follicles to increase hair growth, and adding rosemary essential oil to your regular hair oil will help prevent hair thinning and balding.
Rosemary essential oil is good for your hair. It has antioxidant properties that boost hair growth. In addition, the sulfur and silica in it help reverse hair loss.
It also cleanses the scalp and hair of microbes, thus preventing itchiness and dandruff.
A 1998 study published in the Archives of Dermatology points out that rosemary aromatherapy can be used for treating alopecia areata (3).
Another study published in the SKINmed Journal in 2015 found that rosemary oil works well like minoxidil, a common hair growth treatment, but with less scalp itching as a side effect (4).
- Mix 2 or 3 drops of rosemary essential oil into 2 tablespoons of a base oil, such as olive or coconut oil.
- Apply it on your hair and massage your scalp using your fingertips for 5 minutes.
- Leave it on for at least 30 minutes, then shampoo your hair as usual.
- Do this twice a week for best results.
3. Aloe Vera
Aloe vera is an effective remedy to deal with different types of hair problems, including hair loss.
It helps cleanse pores and balance the pH level of the scalp, which are important for stimulating hair growth. In fact, the proteolitic enzymes in aloe vera will remove dead skin cells from the scalp, so that they don’t clog the hair follicles.
Aloe vera also has the incredible ability to increase blood circulation to an area. Plus, it contains vitamins A, C and E that contribute to cell turnover, promoting healthy cell growth and shiny hair.
A 2010 study published in the Journal of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Research notes that the enzyme content of aloe vera protects the scalp against many diseases. This, in turn, promotes healthy hair growth (5).
It also controls dandruff, one of the causes of hair loss. A 1999 study published in the Journal of Dermatological Treatment found that aloe vera helped resolve scalp inflammation caused by dandruff (6).
- Extract the gel from an aloe vera leaf.
- Apply it on your hair and scalp and leave it for about 45 minutes.
- Rinse it out with normal water.
- Repeat 3 or 4 times a week to see better results.
4. Indian Gooseberry (Amla)
Indian Gooseberry, also known as amla, is a popular remedy used in Ayurveda to control hair loss.
It helps strengthen the hair follicles, stimulates hair growth and prevents hair breakage and split ends, mainly due to the antioxidants and vitamin C present in it.
The vitamin C also helps build collagen that is vital for hair growth and aids the absorption of iron, thereby keeping your hair strong and healthy.
A 2009 study published in the Journal of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Research found that amla oil has the ability to improve hair health and boost hair growth in rabbits and rats (7).
A 2017 study published in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine reports that amla might promote hair growth and enhance hair health (8).
- Mix equal amounts of amla powder and lemon juice to make a paste. Massage it on your scalp and hair. Use a shower cap and allow it to sit for 1 hour, then rinse it out with normal water. Do this 2 times a week.
- Alternatively, you can use amla oil to massage your scalp and hair, 2 or 3 times a week.
- Consuming amla on a regular basis can be quite helpful in strengthening your hair follicles.
Coconut has several benefits for your hair. Not only does it promote hair growth, it also conditions it.
Coconut contains fatty acids that penetrate the hair shafts and reduce protein loss from your hair, which is important for healthy and strong hair. It also has minerals and proteins that reduce hair breakage.
A 2003 study published in the Journal of Cosmetic Science found that coconut oil, being a triglyceride of lauric acid (principal fatty acid), has a high affinity for hair proteins and, because of its low molecular weight and straight linear chain, is able to penetrate inside the hair shaft (9).
You can use coconut oil or coconut milk to prevent hair loss.
- Warm a bit of coconut oil and massage your hair from your roots to the tips with the oil. Wash it out after 1 hour. Do it 2 or 3 times a week.
- Alternatively, grate a medium-sized coconut and squeeze out the milk. Add 1 tablespoon of fenugreek seeds to the milk. Let the fenugreek soak in it for 1 or 2 hours. Then, blend the mixture and apply on your scalp and hair. After 20 minutes, rinse it out and shampoo your. Do it twice a week.
- Another option is to boil ½ cup of coconut oil and 7 or 8 fresh curry leaves. Strain it, then apply this solution on your hair. Use this twice a week to see a difference.
Also known as shoe flower, hibiscus nourishes hair and controls hair loss.
Being rich in vitamins A and C as well as amino acids, hibiscus can combat hair loss and induce hair growth.
A 2003 study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology found that hibiscus leaf extract, when compared to its flower extract, exhibits more potency on hair growth (10).
Another study published in 2013 in the Egyptian Dermatology Online Journal found that ethanolic extract of hibiscus leaves possess effects against androgenic alopecia in male rats. Hence, it may be used in the future as a hair-restoring agent for men suffering from alopecia (11).
- Add 8 to 10 Chinese hibiscus leaves and flowers to 2 cups of extra-virgin coconut oil.
- Heat the solution until the flowers turn black.
- Strain the oil, allow it to cool and store it in a bottle.
- Use the oil to massage your scalp before going to bed.
- Wash your hair in the morning.
- Repeat this a few times a week.
7. Fenugreek Seeds
Fenugreek, also known as methi, is another very effective home remedy to stop hair loss.
The seeds contain hormone antecedents that enhance hair growth and help rebuild hair follicles. They also contain proteins and nicotinic acid that stimulate hair growth.
Fenugreek seeds also have antibacterial properties, which help cure dandruff, a common cause behind hair loss.
- Soak 1 cup of fenugreek seeds in water overnight. The next morning, grind them into a paste. Apply the paste on your hair and cover it with a shower cap. After about 40 minutes, rinse your hair. Use this remedy 2 or 3 times a week.
- Alternatively, add 1 tablespoon of fenugreek seeds to 2 to 3 tablespoon of olive oil and heat it. Strain it and allow it to cool. Use this oil to massage your scalp, 2 or 3 times a week.
8. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is another good remedy to control hair loss and promote hair growth.
Its acidic nature helps restore an alkaline state in the body, which in turn prevents any kind of infection of the scalp, which can lead to hair loss.
It also delivers key nutrients that are important for hair growth.
- Mix 2 tablespoons each of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar and water.
- Apply this solution on your scalp and massage for 5 minutes.
- Leave it on for another 5 minutes.
- Rinse it out with water, then shampoo as usual.
- Use this treatment 1 or 2 times a week.
9. Good Hair Care Routine
A good hair care routine is a must if you want to control hair loss and promote hair growth.
For instance, you need to regularly wash your hair gently but with a good shampoo. But over-washing can be bad for your hair’s health. Too much shampooing can suck the natural moisture out of your hair and dry it out, causing breakage and hair loss.
Also, do not use hot water to wash your hair. Use lukewarm or cool water.
After washing, do not use a blow dryer to dry your hair. The heat from the dryer strips the serum from your hair, making it look dry and dull.
A 2011 study published in the Annals of Dermatology reports that using a hair dryer causes more surface damage than natural drying (12).
Apart from washing and drying, you may need to change the way you style your hair. For instance, tight hairstyles put excessive tension on the hair follicles, which can lead to hair breakage and even hair loss.
In a 2016 study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, researchers found a strong association between scalp-pulling hairstyles (tight ponytails, braids, knots and buns) and the development of traction alopecia, or gradual hair loss (13).
Also, avoid combing or brushing your hair when it is wet. Leave it loose until it is fully dry. Be gentle when brushing and don’t brush more than once a day.
10. Consider Your Diet
Following a healthy and nutritious diet is the secret behind healthy and strong hair. In fact, a poor diet is linked to hair loss.
A 2017 study published in Dermatology Practical & Conceptual reports that multiple nutrient deficiencies may result in hair loss, which may include protein and several vitamins. Nutrient deficiencies may arise due to genetic disorders, medical conditions or dietary practices (14).
So, a solution to hair loss is to follow a healthy diet rich in protein and vital vitamins and minerals. It is an essential prerequisite to healthy hair growth.
Opt for foods high in vitamins A, B, C and E, iron, zinc, copper, magnesium and selenium. In fact, if you are low on iron, zinc or any other essential nutrients, your hair will suffer a lot.
Including a variety of fruits, vegetables and healthy proteins in your diet is the best way to prevent hair loss. Foods that improve hair health include dark leafy greens (for the iron and vitamin C), eggs (for the vitamin D), sweet potatoes and carrots (for the beta-carotene), and fish (for omega-3s and magnesium).
To get a boost of nutrients, you can also take blackstrap molasses. Simply mix 2 teaspoons of it in a cup of warm milk or plain water and drink it once daily.
- Hair tends to be the most damaged near the tips and a good trim every six to eight weeks will take care of that.
- Stress is one of the root causes for a lot of health problems, including hair loss. Try to control stress through yoga and meditation as much as possible.
- Smoking reduces circulation, and this includes blood flow to the scalp, so it is time to quit smoking.
- Drinking alcohol and caffeine in excess can hamper the immune system and cause further hair to fall out. So, break those bad habits.
- Staying hydrated is crucial for tissue growth and the health of your hair.
- Exercise regularly, as it allows sweat to clean out and unclog your hair pores.
- Avoid medications and supplements that could cause hair loss.
- Protect your hair from sunlight and other sources of ultraviolet light.
- Do you have hair loss or hair shedding? Ringworm | American Academy of Dermatology. https://www.aad.org/public/skin-hair-nails/hair-care/hair-loss-vs-hair-shedding.
- Standardized Scalp Massage Results in Increased Hair Thickness by Inducing Stretching Forces to Dermal Papilla Cells in the Subcutaneous Tissue. Eplasty. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4740347. Published 2016.
- Randomized trial of aromatherapy. Successful treatment for alopecia areata. Archives of Dermatology. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9828867. Published November 1998.
- Rosemary oil vs minoxidil 2% for the treatment of androgenetic alopecia: a randomized comparative trial. SKINmed Journal. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25842469.
- Aloe vera: A Potential Herb and its Medicinal Importance. Journal of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Research. http://www.jocpr.com/articles/aloe-vera–a-potential-herb-and-its-medicinal-importance.pdf.
- A double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of an Aloe vera (A. barbadensis) emulsion in the treatment of seborrheic dermatitis. Taylor & Francis. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.3109/09546639909055904.
- Preparation, evaluation and hair growth stimulating activity of herbal hair oil. Journal of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Research. http://www.jocpr.com/articles/preparation-evaluation-and-hair-growth-stimulating-activity-of-herbal-hair-oil.pdf.
- Preclinical and Clinical Studies Demonstrate That the Proprietary Herbal Extract DA-5512 Effectively Stimulates Hair Growth and Promotes Hair Health. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5429933. Published 2017.
- Effect of mineral oil, sunflower oil, and coconut oil on prevention of hair damage. Journal of Cosmetic Science. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12715094.
- In vivo and in vitro evaluation of hair growth potential of Hibiscus rosa-sinensis Linn. Journal of Ethnopharmacology. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0378874103002319?via%3Dihub. Published August 13, 2003.
- Effect of ethanolic fraction of Hibiscus rosa sinensis l., leaves in androgenic alopecia. Egyptian Dermatology Online Journal. http://www.edoj.org.eg/vol009/0902/005/01.htm.
- Hair Shaft Damage from Heat and Drying Time of Hair Dryer. Annals of Dermatology. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3229938. Published November 2011.
- All hairstyles are not created equal: Scalp-pulling and hair loss. ScienceDaily. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/04/160427165334.htm. Published April 27, 2016.
- Diet and hair loss: effects of nutrient deficiency and supplement use. Dermatology Practical & Conceptual. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5315033. Published January 2017.