These 11 simple tips make it easy to fight hair fall and promote the growth of longer, stronger hair!
I’ve always admired my daughter Britta’s thick tresses, and it seems like it wasn’t so long ago that MY hair was just as thick and plentiful! These days, my hair is quite a bit thinner (both in terms of the thickness of the hair shaft and the number of strands overall) compared to how it was during its “glory days.”
I started noticing more hair fall than I was used to around the time I turned 40. It was disconcerting (to say the least!) to start seeing a LOT of hair in my hands every time I washed it!
I even talked to my doctor about it, because I knew there were medical conditions that could cause higher than normal hair loss. Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it), my hair loss turned out to be the of “garden variety” that comes along with the honor of growing older. 🙂
Although it seems to be my destiny to have thinner hair as I “mature” (my own mother experienced the same fate), there are plenty of things we can do as individuals to prevent hair loss and stimulate hair growth, and I’ll be sharing 11 of those remedies in today’s post! These tips can help us all slow the progression of hair loss and maintain healthy locks for years to come!
What Causes Hair Loss?
Our hair grows in a cycle with three distinct stages: active growth, resting, and shedding. Even a healthy person who isn’t experiencing excessive hair loss can expect to lose about 100 hairs per day!
Hair loss is a common side effect of aging, and typically affects men earlier than it does women. By age 40, about 50% of men will experience some degree of androgenetic alopecia (better known as male pattern baldness.) On the other hand, around 50% of women will experience female pattern baldness by age 70.
If hair loss is sudden or patchy, you should talk to your doctor, as it may be a symptom of a larger condition. Other conditions that can cause hair loss include:
- Hormonal changes from pregnancy, childbirth, menopause, or thyroid problems
- Certain medications, like those taken for high blood pressure, depression, and arthritis
- Radiation treatment
- Nutritional deficiencies
- Grooming practices
11 Simple Ways To Stop Hair Loss
1. Eat More Protein And Omega-3s
Protein is present in every cell in your body and plays a crucial role in many bodily processes, including hair growth. A 2017 study of people with hair loss found that many had an amino acid deficiency, meaning they weren’t eating enough foods containing amino acids that are critical for protein production, and by extension, hair growth and strength.
If you’re struggling with hair loss, make sure you’re getting enough protein in your diet from sources like seafood, lean meats, eggs, and legumes. Fatty acids like omega-3s are also important for maintaining hair and scalp health, and you can get more of those in your diet from sources like seafood and flaxseed.
2. Don’t Forget Your Vitamins
And speaking of diet, don’t forget about vitamins! One that’s particularly important for stopping hair loss is vitamin A. Studies have found that retinoids, which are derived from vitamin A, can increase hair growth and prolong its active growth.
There are plenty of foods that are good sources of vitamin A, like leafy greens, carrots, and sweet potatoes, or you can get it in the form of daily supplements of vitamins and minerals. A collagen supplement can also support hair health and growth as a source of amino acids and antioxidant protection.
3. Talk To Your Doctor
Losing your hair early in life or without explanation can be a symptom of hormonal imbalance. If you have hair loss and are experiencing other symptoms of hormonal imbalance, like weight gain, muscle aches, and joint pain, consult your doctor for medical advice right away. If it is a hormone issue, treatments like hormone therapy can stop hair loss and other symptoms.
But it isn’t just your hormones that can play a role in hair loss. Other conditions can contribute to hair loss too, like stress, anemia, pregnancy, and certain medications. Your doctor can help you determine if one of these other issues may be causing your hair loss.
4. Avoid Smoking, Alcohol, And Caffeine
Certain habits, like smoking and drinking alcoholic or caffeinated drinks, can worsen hair loss. Smoking reduces blood circulation throughout the body, and blood circulation to your scalp is an important factor in hair growth and retention.
Drinking alcohol and caffeine can contribute to hair fall in a couple of different ways. Too much of either can suppress your immune system, which plays an influential role in the hair growth cycle. Alcohol and caffeine can also lead to sleep problems, and we all know how important sleep is to our overall health and wellness!
Stress and tension are one of the most common causes of hair loss and hair fall. If you’re experiencing hair loss and you’re also under a lot of stress, you should make it a priority to find effective ways to calm your mind and relax.
Some of the most effective practices for reducing stress include meditation, yoga, spending time outdoors, and making time for hobbies. Find one or two stress reducers that work for you and incorporate them into your schedule regularly to help prevent hair loss.
6. Exercise Regularly
Exercise is not only another good way to reduce stress, but it also improves your overall health too. And a healthy body means longer, stronger locks! 🙂
7. Try An Essential Oil Treatment
Scalp massages can help stimulate hair follicles and increase blood flow, both of which can help stop hair loss and promote hair growth. It’s also easy to incorporate essential oils like lavender, rosemary, and thyme to your scalp massages, which, according to a 1998 study, can be a safe and effective treatment for hair loss due to alopecia areata (AKA patchy hair loss.)
Additionally, a 2018 review found that coconut oil may be useful in preventing hair damage from grooming and exposure to UV rays. Combining a scalp massage with coconut oil and one of the essential oils listed above is a great way to make take advantage of all these hair benefits at once!
Just add a few drops of lavender, rosemary, or thyme essential oil to a small handful of coconut oil, then gently massage the oils into your scalp. Cover your hair with a shower cap and leave it for 1 hour, then shampoo your hair as usual. Use this relaxing remedy once a week for healthy hair.
8. Apply Onion, Garlic, Or Ginger Juice
In addition to essential oils and coconut oil, other natural juices can be used to help stop hair loss as well. For instance, a 2002 study of individuals with patchy hair loss found that participants who applied onion juice twice every day had significantly increased hair re-growth than those in the control group.
Juice from raw garlic, which is a close cousin to the onion, is thought to be effective for this type of treatment too. And finally, many people report success with using ginger juice to stop hair fall. (Though personally, I think I’ll stick with the essential oils!)
9. Apply Green Tea
Green tea contains antioxidants, which may help protect against hair shedding and boost hair growth. Make a strong green tea by steeping two bags of green tea in 1 cup of water, then apply the tea to your scalp. Leave it on for an hour, then rinse.
10. Style Your Hair Gently
Depending on the cause, stopping hair loss can take some time. But in the mean time, you can help reduce hair fall by being smart about how you handle and style your hair.
Here are a few things you can do to be gentle with your hair care and help prevent hair loss:
- Set your hair dryer on cool and low settings, and minimize your use of flat irons.
- Don’t dye your hair more than one or two shades lighter or darker than its normal color to minimize damage from chemical treatments.
- If you use hair gel or hair spray, don’t wait for it to dry before you comb through it—if you do, the hardened hair is more likely to break.
- When your hair is wet, use a wide-toothed comb instead of a brush, and comb it lightly to avoid any pulling and tugging.
- Avoid unnecessary brushing, combing, curling or straightening. Excessive use of these tools and techniques will weaken the hair at the root level.
- Avoid taking hot showers, which can sap your hair and scalp of their natural oils and make your hair dry and brittle.
- Wash your hair with a mild shampoo, as harsher formulas may cause hair to become dry, brittle, and prone to breakage. Look for words like “gentle” or “soothing” on the label.
11. Clean Your Scalp After Sweating
Whether you exercise regularly or just sweat a lot, you don’t want to let a lot of sweat accumulate and sit on your scalp. Not only can sweat dehydrate your hair, but it can also lead to clogged pores, bacterial growth, and even fungal issues (yuck!)
This article was originally published on One Good Thing.