Hair loss has become quite an epidemic these days.
Until a decade ago hair loss or balding was more of a man’s problem. But now we see just as many women suffer from hair loss.
Lack of healthy diet, stress, and increased use of harsh hair care products are probably the most likely culprits.
Stress robs us of major nutrients that are essential for healthy hair growth. If you notice, when you are very stressed your scalp becomes tight (it may also feel sore in few areas) – this restricts the blood flow. As a result your hair follicles may become malnourished, causing further hair loss.
Learn to relax and tackle your stress. Pranayam and yoga asana are a great way to reduce stress, calm the mind, and stay in shape. Moreover, yoga also helps stimulate the scalp to increase growth.
What has benefited me a lot is replacing synthetic hair care product, with natural homemade ones. Also, there are many home remedies which have been tried and tested by thousands of people and have proven to be beneficial to treat hair loss. Here are my top 10 pick …
1. Natural Shampoo
If you are suffering from hair loss, the first thing that you should do is switch to natural homemade shampoo. Harsh detergents can irritate the hair follicles and cause hair loss. Even so-called ‘natural’ shampoos can contain synthetic detergents, parabens and artificial fragrance, which may harm the hair follicles.
There are many natural cleansers to choose from. My favourite is reetha and shikakai homemade shampoo. Used for centuries, this is in fact the original anti hair loss shampoo. The saponins (natural detergents) in reetha and shikakai are effective for removing dirt and oil from the hair and scalp. It also strengthens the hair shaft, adds body and shine, and promotes a healthy scalp.
Aloe vera is another superb remedy to stop hair loss. It is packed with amino acids, antioxidants, phytonutrients and other wonderful ingredients that help strengthen the hair from within.
Drink 1 to 2 tablespoon aloe vera juice (or fresh gel) once or twice a day, preferably on an empty stomach. Aloe vera helps re-alkalise the body – which is great, as acidic environment affects functioning of every cell of the body, including hair cells.
You can also apply aloe vera gel on your hair. Simply mix 2 tablespoons aloe vera juice, 2 teaspoons almond oil (or sesame oil), and 1 teaspoon castor oil. Massage this blend onto your scalp and let it sit for few hours or leave overnight. Regular use of this blend will help relieve scalp itching and redness, add strength and luster to hair, and alleviate dandruff.
3. Flax seed
Flax seed – one of the best plant-based source of omega 3 essential fatty acids – literally feeds your hair and promotes stronger, healthier new growth. Also include sesame seeds, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds. The fatty acids and high levels of zinc and protein in these foods will help you avoid a dry, scaly scalp, and nourish your hair.
How to use: Soak one teaspoon flax seeds in water, overnight, and eat them in the morning (drink water along with it). You can sprinkle some ground flax seeds on your salads, or make a chutney, which you can add to your sandwiches, stuffed bread (paratha), etc.
Plus, You can make all natural styling gel using flax seeds: Homemade Hair Styling Gel: All Natural And So Easy
4. Castor oil
Castor oil is one of the most beneficial oils for hair loss.
The goodness of castor oil can be attributed to high amounts of ricinoleic acid, an omega-9 fatty acid. Ricinoleic acid helps stimulate blood flow to the scalp and strengthens hair at its root to promote healthy hair growth. It also offers antifungal, anti-bacterial and anti-microbial properties that protects the scalp and hair from dandruff and other microbial infections – which can cause hair loss.
In addition, the essential fatty acids in the castor oil improve the structure of the hair and make hair stronger, smoother and softer.
Castor oil is very thick and not easy to glide, so it’s best to dilute it with other oils such as almond, olive oil or sunflower.
Here’s a scalp treatment that you can use: Take 2 teaspoons of castor oil in a bowl. To this add 1 tablespoon of sesame oil, 1 tablespoon of olive oil (or almond oil) and 3 drops of ylang ylang essential oil, and mix well. Gently massage the mixture into your scalp with your fingertips and continue on the hair strands all the way to the ends. Leave it on for few hours or overnight if you can. Then wash off, using a natural cleanser. Repeat once or twice a week.
Licorice is another superb herb that helps prevent hair loss. Licorice has a weak anti-androgen effects and is especially beneficial in male pattern baldness.
The wonderful amino acids and polysaccharides in licorice help keep the scalp moist and hydrated. They also strengthen the hair shaft and provide natural shine to your hair. In addition, licorice root is very useful in skin conditions like dandruff, eczema, psoriasis, and acne.
How to use: Place 1 tablespoon of licorice root with 1½ cups of water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer on a low flame for 15 minutes. Then remove from the heat and let cool. Strain and use. To use, massage this mixture (you can also add few drops of oil to it) into your scalp and leave it on for few hours or overnight if you can. Then wash off with plain water. Repeat once or twice a week.
Green tea is another great remedy to reduce hair fall and stimulate growth.
Green tea contains high levels of polyphenols and abundant antioxidants which help guard against damage from UV rays, slow down oxidative damage, and prevent hair loss. It also offers powerful anti-inflammatory benefits that help soothe hair conditions like dandruff and psoriasis.
Research suggests that caffeine in green tea can stimulate hair growth and block hormone DHT, which causes hair loss.
Green tea makes a fantastic hair rinse and helps strengthen and soften hair and prevent split ends. To make green tea rinse, boil water and then add one teaspoonful loose leaves or a tea bag, cover and allow it to steep for at least 30 minutes. If using loose leaves strain the liquid. Now use this tea on freshly washed hair. As you slowly pour the tea over your head, massage the infusion into your scalp and hair. Let it sit for 5 minutes, then rinse it out with cool water.
Note: You can also add other hair nourishing herbs such as peppermint, amla, nettle, horsetail, and marshmallow when making the green tea rinse.
Hibiscus oil has been traditionally used to prevent hair loss and greying.
Hibiscus is rich in amino acids, antioxidants and other vitamins that help rejuvenate the scalp and tissue responsible for hair growth. Hibiscus is also very moisturising and it naturally softens hair, increases manageability and restores luster and shine.
To make hibiscus oil, take 10 to 15 hibiscus leaves and couple of hibiscus flowers (just use the petals), and grind them into a smooth paste. Place this paste along with 100ml coconut oil in a medium size pan. Heat on a slow flame till all the moisture evaporates. Strain this oil and store in a glass jar or bottle away from direct sunlight. To use, massage into your scalp and hair, and leave it on for several hours, then wash off using a natural cleanser. Repeat once or twice a week.
If you desire good hair you can’t miss amla . Amla is chock-full of hair nourishing goodness. It contains highest natural source of vitamin C and array of other antioxidants. Amla also contains a high concentration of minerals, amino acids and high density of tannins, polyophenols and flavonoids. All of these nourishes and strengthens hair follicles, to promote healthy hair growth, as well as prevent premature greying.
Besides, it’s anti-inflammatory and astringent properties make it beneficial against dandruff and scalp infection.
If you want faster results, take amla every day in your diet. You can either drunk its juice, or include it in powder form. Recommended amount is 3 to 4 gram or about a teaspoon.
(Read more on benefits of amla and how to use it)
Amla hair treatment: You can also make a nourishing hair treatment with amla. Combine 2 tablespoon amla juice with 2 tablespoons olive or coconut oil. Massage the mixture onto your scalp and leave it for 2 to 3 hours or overnight if you can. Then wash off with a natural shampoo. Repeat once or twice a week for best results.
Neem oil contains extraordinarily high levels of antioxidants – a lot more than those found in blueberries or spinach. It protects the scalp skin from ongoing damage that is caused by the free radicals. Neem also has regenerative properties that support healthy cell division and stimulate hair follicle growth and function.
Due to its amazing healing abilities, neem oil can be used for most skin ailments including sensitive scalp, dandruff, eczema, psoriasis, abrasions, cuts, and more.
(Also read: 6 Wonderful Benefits of Neem Oil for Hair and Scalp)
How to use: Take 1 teaspoon neem oil, 2 tablespoons sesame oil (or any other oil of your choice), and 4 to 5 drop of eucalyptus oil (optional). Mix all the ingredients well. Massage this mixture into your scalp and hair, leave it for about an hour or so and wash off using a natural cleanser. You can also leave it overnight for more effectiveness.
I came across this hair mask in an old beauty book, written by an Indian Herbalist. Although I haven’t tried it, this hair mask appears chock full of hair nourishing goodness.
To make this herbal hair mask you will need one teaspoon each of jatamansi, black sesame seeds, triphala, neel (Indigofera Tintoria), and lotus root powder. Mix with milk and apply on your scalp. Leave it on for about 45 minute or so, then wash it off with water.
Along with these natural remedies, include plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables. Also include almonds, dates, munaka (black rasins), aloe vera, sesame seeds and lentils and beans in your diet – all these are great for your hair.
Have you tried any of these natural remedies before?
Image source: Sacred lotus Nelumbo nucifera” by T.Voekler – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons