Many people yearn for thick, healthy hair, but not everyone is blessed with it. Through the ages, some people have sworn that certain treatments, oils, and natural extracts could stimulate hair growth. But are any of them the real deal?
If you’re struggling with slow hair growth or thinning strands, you’re certainly not alone. Hair loss and thinning are a lot more common than you might think, especially as we age. Fortunately, there might be some truth in some of the old wives’ tales for dealing with this issue.
First, it’s normal for anyone to lose around 50-100 strands of hair per day. This small amount is called “hair shedding,” and it shouldn’t be a cause for concern. Hair loss, on the other hand, is when someone sheds more than 100 strands each day, it comes out in clumps, and/or leaves bald or thinned patches on your head. Hair loss, however,
Tens of millions of Americans deal with some form of hair loss, and it affects men and women of any age. It has many potential causes, including vitamin deficiencies, hormonal changes, medications, genetics, and health conditions.
But according to Shab Reslan, trichologist and hair expert, one major factor is to blame more than any other.
“Stress-induced hair loss is by far the most common cause we are seeing today,” Reslan said. “Other reasons include post-IVF, postpartum, improper scalp care, tight hairstyles, and medications.”
There are also many different types of hair loss, and some are permanent and some are not. Androgenic alopecia, for example, is hereditary hair loss, and it can affect anyone.
With the exception of stress, androgenic alopecia is the most common cause of hair loss. It’s the cause of male pattern baldness and thinning hair in older women. However, this type of hair loss might be treatable with some of the approaches we discuss below.
Other types of hair loss can be caused by medical conditions, certain drugs, or treatments, like chemotherapy. Hair loss caused by any of the latter is unlikely to be fixed by topical treatments.
Cody Sanders, a holistic health practitioner and co-owner of Mixhers, advises her female clients to discover what’s causing the problem first.
“Understanding the root cause of hair loss allows a woman to address it head-on, no pun intended,” Sanders said. “For instance, if it is a hormone imbalance caused by nutrient deficiency, excess stress or toxicity, she can work to boost her nutrient consumption and absorbency, prioritize rest, and work more stress-reducing strategies into her day.”
The best way to find out what’s causing your hair loss is to visit a dermatologist, trichologist, or another healthcare practitioner who can address your concerns.
If you can’t find a specific stressor or other plausible reason for your hair loss, you might be dealing with a hereditary condition. If that’s the case, there are a few natural treatments that might be able to help stimulate your scalp, moisturize your hair, and promote healthier hair follicles.
Rosemary oil has been the subject of several studies to determine its effectiveness for treating hair loss. One conducted on mice in 2013 suggested that rosemary might help hair regrow by preventing dihydrotestosterone (DHT) from binding to hormone receptors. This is typically what causes androgenic alopecia in men and women.
A 2015 study compared rosemary oil and minoxidil (a popular hair growth treatment found in products like Rogaine). The conclusion was that rosemary might, indeed, be an effective way to grow hair over the long term.
To use rosemary oil to treat hair loss, add about 10 drops to your bottle of shampoo and wash your hair regularly. You can also add it to a carrier oil, such as coconut, and apply it directly to the affected areas of your scalp.
Pure Rosemary Essential Oil
Add a few drops to your shampoo.
If you’ve never used a scalp massager before, first of all, you’ve been missing out! These devices gently massage shampoo or conditioner into your scalp while you’re in the shower.
Not only does it feel amazing on your head, but a scalp massager also stimulates blood circulation on your scalp. This can improve hair growth for people dealing with certain types of hair loss by encouraging hair growth in the areas you massage.
Use it every time you shampoo and take photos of the areas you’re trying to stimulate every few days so you can gauge if there’s a difference.
The perfect way to stimulate blood flow to the scalp.
Like a scalp massager, a scrub also stimulates your scalp. This Ginger Root + Mint mixture by Rooted Rituals is made with micro-exfoliators that stimulate hair follicles to encourage hair growth.
Ginger root and mint both soothe your scalp, restore moisture, and add shine to your hair. A scalp scrub is also a great way to remove any buildup from other products.
Rooted Rituals Ginger Root + Mint Quick Rinse Scalp Scrub
Stimulates your scalp and removes buildup.
According to Reslan, inflammation, itching, and subsequent hair thinning and hair loss are all signs of an unhealthy and unbalanced scalp.
“The best way to maintain a healthy, non-irritated, and build-up-free scalp,” Reslan said, “is to incorporate a weekly scalp scrub, like The INKEY List Glycolic Acid Exfoliating Scalp Scrub.”
This product uses both physical and chemical exfoliants to remove product buildup and promote a healthy scalp. You can apply it in the shower, rinse it out, and then just follow your usual shampoo and conditioning routine.
While studies don’t show a lot of proof that it can help with hair growth, castor oil does help keep your hair moisturized and your scalp healthy. Some anecdotal evidence suggests that it can also help your hair grow more quickly, although, at present, there isn’t any scientific evidence to support this.
If you’re looking for ways to improve hair growth, though, it certainly won’t hurt to try some castor oil. Just comb it through your hair, leave it on for a few hours, and then wash it out. You can also mix a few drops in with your shampoo for softer, silkier hair.
Adds deep moisture to your locks.
The trouble with oils is they can leave your hair sticky. And if you already tend to have oily hair, anyway, the last thing you probably want to do is add more. It also takes extra time to massage oils into your scalp every time you take a shower.
If you’d rather speed up the process, just grab a shampoo and conditioner that contain all the ingredients your need. This Peppermint Rosemary Hair Growth shampoo and conditioner are both paraben- and sulfate-free. Plus, they both contain the rosemary oil you need to stimulate hair growth.
First Botany Peppermint Rosemary Hair Growth Shampoo and Conditioner Set
The oils you need right in the bottle.
Again, there’s no scientific evidence that aloe vera stimulates hair growth. However, it does have properties that support a healthy scalp and moisturize your hair.
In fact, it’s been used for thousands of years to treat skin and hair issues. The natural contents of aloe vera can strengthen hair, protect it from UV damage, and fight itchiness from dandruff.
This cold-pressed aloe vera comes in a handy pump bottle, making it easy to apply small amounts to your hair and scalp.
Organic Aloe Vera Gel
A natural way to keep your hair healthy.
Coconut oil is another natural product that’s been used for many years as a way to keep hair moisturized. It’s filled with fatty acids that are great for your locks. It also has anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal properties that support a healthy scalp.
To use coconut oil, just comb it through your hair, and then rub it into your scalp. Let it sit for several hours or overnight before you wash it out. You can also use coconut oil to moisturize your face and body.
Organic Coconut Oil
You can use this for your hair, skin, scalp, and when cooking!
Natural hair-growth remedies can work for some people, but they might not be powerful enough to effectively treat all types of hair loss. If that’s the case for you, there’s no reason to feel like you have to stick with essential oils and scalp massagers.
Actsyl-3 Hair Growth Serum is a powerful treatment that promotes hair growth by combining lab-tested ingredients with key amino acids and peptides. According to the brand, the key ingredients in this serum have been shown to successfully treat many common types of hair loss without interfering with hormones.
To use it, simply apply the serum and massage it into your scalp. You don’t have to rinse it out and can even leave it on overnight.
People of every age and gender struggle with various forms of hair loss. Be sure to consult a dermatologist to find out what’s causing the issue. If the condition is treatable, you might find one (or several) of these natural methods can help you work your way back to a healthy head of hair!