Unless you’re rocking a shaved head, you most likely want to maintain a full head of hair. But unfortunately, hair thinning and balding has become a common problem these days.
Some factors that can contribute to or lead to thinning hair or baldness are genes, untreated medical conditions, poor nutrition, vitamin deficiency, exposure to harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays and living in a highly polluted area.
Severe physical or emotional trauma, post-pregnancy hormonal changes and chemotherapy also can cause hair thinning and balding.
Even styling your hair can lead to thinning hair and bald patches over time. Continual use of hot styling tools, frequent shampooing, vigorous or frequent brushing, and using a lot of hair products can all lead to breakage and thinning hair.
Although you can’t reverse balding that is related to genetics, you can protect your hair from damage that may eventually lead to thinning. If you’re already dealing with thinning hair or bald spots, these home remedies also promote hair growth.
Here are the top 10 ways to stop hair thinning and prevent balding.
1. Oil Treatment
To promote hair growth and stop hair thinning, oiling your hair and scalp is the best thing that you can try at home.
Oiling helps restore moisture in your scalp and hair, which in turn stimulates hair growth.
Moreover, the act of massaging the scalp helps loosen the dead skin cells and any dandruff flakes that can hamper hair growth, so they can be washed out.
A 2016 study published in Eplasty found that four minutes of scalp massage each day for 24 weeks resulted in thicker hair (1).
When it comes to oil treatment, it is best to leave the oil on your scalp for at least 30 or 45 minutes. It gives enough time for each hair strand to get covered in oil and the scalp to soak up the nourishment.
- Heat some olive oil or coconut oil, so it is warm but not too hot.
- Massage the oil into your scalp.
- Put on a shower cap and leave it for 30 minutes or even overnight.
- Wash the oil out with a mild shampoo.
- Do this 2 or 3 times a week.
2. Rosemary Essential Oil
You can use rosemary essential oil to stimulate hair growth.
It has antioxidant properties that boost hair growth. In addition, the sulfur and silica in it help prevent hair loss.
A 1998 study published in the Archives of Dermatology points out that aromatherapy with essential oils (a mixture of thyme, rosemary, lavender, and cedarwood) can be used for treating alopecia areata (2).
A 2015 study published in SKINmed Journal found that rosemary oil works well like minoxidil, a common hair growth treatment, in treating androgenetic alopecia but with less scalp itching as a side effect (3).
- Mix 3 or 4 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 it on your scalp for 10 minutes.
- Leave it on for 30 minutes, then shampoo your hair as usual.
- Do this twice a week for best results.
Along with rosemary essential oil, peppermint and lavender essential oils are also beneficial.
3. Onion Juice
Onion juice is a safe, natural and effective home remedy that can be great for your hair.
With its high sulfur content, onion juice helps treat hair thinning and prevents baldness by improving blood circulation to the hair follicles, reducing inflammation and rejuvenating the hair follicles.
A 2002 study published in the Journal of Dermatology showed that the use of onion juice as a topical treatment resulted in significantly more regrowth as compared to just tap water in people with patchy alopecia areata (4).
- Grate an onion, and extract its juice by straining it. To help mask the smell to some extent, you can add a few drops of any essential oil.
- Apply this juice directly on your scalp.
- Leave it on for 30 minutes.
- Wash it out using cool water.
- Repeat once or twice a week.
4. Green Tea
Another simple yet effective home remedy for hair thinning is green tea. It contains a high amount of antioxidants that promote hair growth.
A 2005 study on mice found that the polyphenolic compounds present in green tea show promise as a natural remedy for hair loss. However, further studies need to be done on humans. The study was published in the Journal of the National Medical Association (5).
- After washing your hair, rinse it with cool, freshly brewed green tea. Leave it on for 10 minutes, then rinse it out with cool water. Do this 2 or 3 times a week for a couple of months.
- Alternatively, add 2 tablespoons of freshly prepared green tea to 1 egg yolk. Mix well until you get a creamy consistency. Apply this hair mask on your scalp and hair, and cover your hair with a shower cap. Leave it on for 30 to 40 minutes, then rinse your hair with cool water followed by shampooing your hair. Repeat once a week.
- Also, drink 2 to 3 cups of green tea daily to enjoy strong and beautiful hair.
5. Aloe Vera
Aloe vera is another good remedy for hair thinning.
Aloe vera contains vitamins A, C and E, which all contribute to skin cell turnover, promoting healthy cell growth and shiny hair. Also, it balances the pH levels of the scalp and accelerates hair growth.
A 2010 study published in the Journal of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Research reports that the enzyme content of aloe vera prevents hair loss by protecting the scalp against many diseases. It also aids in the reduction of dandruff (6).
- Apply aloe vera gel directly on your scalp. Leave it for a few hours before washing your hair with lukewarm water. Repeat 2 or 3 times a week.
- Also, you can consume juice prepared by blending 1 tablespoon of aloe vera gel in 1 cup of just plain water or ant citrus juice like orange juice daily on an empty stomach to enhance hair growth.
The hibiscus flower is rich in an array of natural properties that help treat hair loss and prevent balding. Being rich in vitamins A and C as well as amino acids, hibiscus induces hair growth.
It also helps thicken your hair, prevent split ends, cure dandruff and prevent premature graying.
A 2003 study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology found that the hibiscus leaf extract, when compared to the flower extract, exhibits more potency for hair growth (7).
A 2013 study published 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 males suffering from alopecia (8).
- Add 7 or 8 Chinese hibiscus leaves and a few flowers to 2 cups of extra-virgin coconut oil.
- Heat the oil until the leaves and flowers turn black.
- Strain the oil and allow it to cool.
- Use this oil to massage your scalp before going to bed.
- Leave it on overnight.
- Wash your hair in the morning.
- Repeat a few times a week.
7. Indian Gooseberry
Indian gooseberry, also known as amla, has a high concentration of vitamin C, hence it’s another good remedy for faster and natural hair growth. A deficiency of vitamin C can lead to hair loss and hair breakage.
In addition, the carotene and iron content in amla helps improve hair health and promote hair growth.
A 2017 study published in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine reports that amla might promote hair growth and enhance hair health, and can therefore be considered an effective option for treating hair loss (9).
- Mix equal amounts of amla pulp and lemon juice. Massage it into your scalp and hair thoroughly. Leave it in for 20 r 30 minutes. Wash your hair with a mild shampoo. Do this once a week to control hair loss.
- Also, eat an amla fruit daily to enjoy healthy hair.
8. Quit Smoking
Smoking cigarettes inhibits blood circulation, and thus reduces the amount of blood that flows to the scalp. This causes a reduction in hair growth.
A 2003 study published in Dermatology found that in view of the psychological impact of androgenetic alopecia on men and women, increasing awareness of the association between smoking and hair loss offers an opportunity for education against smoking that may be more effective (10).
A 2007 study published in the Archives of Dermatology reports that puffing on cigarettes may worsen age-related hair loss in men (11).
So, if you are suffering from hair thinning, it is highly recommended that you stop smoking. To help you in quit, try to remain determined and seek the help of a professional.
9. Eat a Healthy Diet
When it comes to controlling hair loss, what you eat is as important as what you put on your scalp.
In fact, poor nutrition, including vitamin deficiencies and not getting enough protein, can be the reason behind hair loss or thinning hair. Crash dieting can also have a negative effect on your hair health.
To restore the health of your scalp and prevent further hair damage, paying attention to your diet is a must.
- Eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables each day to provide the necessary vitamins and minerals required by the body for maintaining a healthy and strong hair.
- Eat plenty of protein, as hair is mainly made of a protein called keratin. But try to get protein from non-animal sources like beans, nuts, cheese and low-fat dairy products.
- The vitamins that are essential for hair growth are vitamin E, C, B-complex and A. Make sure your diet is rich in these vitamins.
10. Get Regular Health Check-Ups
A number of health problems, such as thyroid problems, some infections and chronic stress, can cause hair thinning and ultimately lead to balding.
This is why you need to have regular health check-ups. Timely diagnosis and management of illnesses can help prevent hair loss in the near future.
- If you’re suffering from stress, learn stress management techniques like meditation, yoga and deep breathing to help your mind and body relax, and keep your body safe from stress effects.
- For thyroid problems, such as hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism, it is important to follow your doctor’s advice.
- Get quick treatment for infections like tinea capitis (ringworm that affects the scalp) and other fungal infections that can affect hair growth.
- If diagnosed with diabetes, control it with a proper diet and exercise.
- Some medications may inhibit hair growth. If you think your medication may be affecting your hair growth, consult your doctor.
- Some yoga poses are very helpful in reducing stress.
- Get adequate sleep and rest to help reduce excess stress.
- Be gentle with your hair and try not to pull on or roughly handle your hair.
- Do not brush too vigorously and avoid brushing your hair right after rinsing it.
- Avoid shampooing too frequently, particularly hair that is naturally dry.
- Limit your use of heated styling tools like blow dryers, curling irons and straightening irons.
- Avoid harsh chemical treatments that can cause hair loss.
- Always detangle your hair using a comb with thick, wide teeth.
- Avoid rubbing your hair dry with a towel. Rather, let it dry naturally.
- Avoid hairstyles that pull on your hair and cause breakage, including very tight ponytails and buns.
- One-fourth of each hair shaft is water, so drink enough water to stay hydrated and for healthy hair growth.
- Drinking excess alcohol reduces hair growth. Decrease or eliminate alcohol to see an increase in hair growth.
- Make time for physical activity every day to improve blood flow throughout the body, including the scalp.
- 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. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25842469.
- Onion Juice (Allium cepa L.), A New Topical Treatment for Alopecia Areata. Freshwater Biology. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/j.1346-8138.2002.tb00277.x. Published July 22, 2014.
- The effects of tea polyphenolic compounds on hair loss among rodents. Journal of the National Medical Association. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16035581. Published June 2005.
- 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.
- In vivo and in vitro evaluation of hair growth potential of Hibiscus rosa-sinensis Linn. Journal of Ethnopharmacology. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12963149. October 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.
- 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.
- Association between smoking and hair loss: another opportunity for health education against smoking? Dermatology. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12673073.
- ‘Smoking turns men bald’, new research claims. Daily Mail Online. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-496326/Smoking-turns-men-bald-new-research-claims.html. Published November 26, 2007.