Hair loss is more common than most people realize, and it affects both men and women. In fact, 40% of all men will experience at least some hair loss by the time they are 40 years old, and 50% of all women will experience hair loss by the time they reach the age of 50.
Hair loss can be expensive to treat, but money is only one way in which it can take a toll on the people who have it. It can also wreak havoc with a person’s self-esteem, and it may even increase the chances of experiencing depression. So what causes hair loss, and what can we do to prevent it?
40% of all men will experience at least some hair loss by the time they are 40 years old, and 50% of all women will experience hair loss by the time they reach the age of 50.
Primary Causes of Hair Loss
While many different factors can contribute to hair loss, the majority of hair loss falls into one of these four categories:
- By far the most common cause of hair loss in both men and women is heredity. The propensity to lose hair is hard-coded into our genes – it’s called early pattern baldness. Men with early pattern baldness typically experience a receding hairline and bald spots, while women’s hair is more likely to thin.
- Hormonal changes and disease. Women may experience hair loss as a result of pregnancy or menopause. In addition, thyroid conditions may cause hair loss. Other diseases that can cause or contribute to hair loss include: alopecia, ringworm, lupus, sarcoidosis, and trichotillomania (hair-pulling syndrome.)
- Certain types of prescription drugs, such as the drugs used to treat cancer, high blood pressure, arthritis, depression, and heart problems may cause hair to fall out.
- Other factors. Other factors that may cause or contribute to hair loss include: radiation treatment for cancer, shock caused by a major life event such as the death of a family member, and harsh chemical products or styling methods.
Simple Home Remedies to Control Hair Loss
The good news is that you don’t have to spend a ton of money – or use dangerous chemicals – to control hair loss. Let’s take a look at 20 simple remedies you can use at home to keep your hair on your head:
Rinse your hair with onion juice. Onions are very high in Sulphur, which has been an ingredient in traditional hair loss remedies for centuries. Finely chop a large onion, then squeeze the juice from it. Apply the juice to your scalp and let it sit for 15 minutes. Wash your hair with a mild shampoo and allow your hair to air dry. Use twice a week for the best results.
Along the same lines, make a garlic oil treatment for your hair. Like onions, garlic is very high in Sulphur. Simply crush a few cloves of garlic and boil them with some coconut oil (use enough to coat all the hair on your head.) Let the mixture cool, then massage it into your hair and scalp. Let it sit for a half an hour, then rinse and shampoo. Do this treatment twice a week.
Even without garlic, coconuts are great for your hair. You can either do a hot oil treatment by heating some plain coconut oil and apply it to your hair, or make homemade coconut milk by grating a coconut and squeezing out the liquid. For the oil treatment, apply to hair and let sit for an hour before washing it out. If you use coconut milk, leave it on overnight and rinse it in the morning.
Make a hair mask of egg white and olive oil. Whisk one egg white with one teaspoon of olive oil and whisk until it forms a paste. (You may need two eggs and two teaspoons of oil if you have long hair.) Apply it to your hair and scalp and let it sit for 15-20 minutes before rinsing with cold water and washing with a mild shampoo.
Speaking of cool water, stop rinsing your hair with very hot water. Heat from hot water can damage hair the same way heat from a flatiron can. Rinse your hair with cool water instead.
Massage your hair and scalp with essential oils. Some of the most beneficial oils for hair loss include lavender, rosemary, cedarwood, and thyme. Mix a few drops of essential oil with an unscented base oil such as grapeseed oil or jojoba oil. Massage the mixture into your scalp and hair. Let it sit for 30 minutes, then rinse it out with cool water and a mild shampoo.
Aloe vera gel is commonly used to treat burns, but it can also help with hair loss. It is particularly effective as a treatment for alopecia. Apply the gel to your hair and scalp and massage it in. Let it sit for several hours, then rinse with lukewarm water and shampoo.
Eat enough Omega-3 fatty acid. This is the essential fatty acid found in cold water fish such as salmon and mackerel, and in plant sources such as flaxseed, chia seeds and nuts. Omega-3 helps replenish and moisturize your scalp, thus promoting hair growth and minimizing loss.
Amla is an herb you can buy in ayurvedic stores and online. Boil dried amla in coconut oil until the oil turns black. Then massage it into your hair and scalp.
Hair is made of proteins, so if you aren’t getting enough protein in your diet it can contribute to hair loss. Foods high in protein include beef, chicken, pork, fish, eggs, beans and legumes.
Neem is another ayurvedic herb. You can make a rinse for your hair by boiling neem in water until the volume of the water is reduced by half. Cool it, then use it as a rinse for your hair.
Grind fenugreek seeds into a paste and apply them to hair as a mask.
Use apple cider vinegar as a rinse for your hair. The vinegar helps maintain the balance of your hair, thus preventing loss.
Vitamin A and Vitamin C both help the body to produce sebum, a natural lubricant that coats hair and prevents it from breaking off. Foods high in these vitamins include sweet potatoes, carrots, red peppers, citrus fruits and dark leafy greens.
Processed foods can cause inflammation and other health problems which may contribute to hair loss. Eliminate highly processed foods from your diet, particularly those containing high amounts of added sugar, trans fats, or monosodium glutamate.
Caffeine can deplete nutrients from the body, including the nutrients that help to build strong hair. If you drink a lot of caffeinated beverages, try cutting back.
Green tea contains antioxidants and other things that are good for your hair. Try brewing a cup of tea with two green tea bags. Rinse your hair with it and let it sit for an hour before rinsing.
Be gentle to wet hair. Hair is more susceptible to breakage when it is wet.
Exercise helps improve circulation, and better circulation to your scalp can help promote hair growth. Try to get 30 minutes of aerobic exercise at least three times every week.
Do whatever you can to reduce stress. Losing hair is stressful enough, but stress can also accelerate hair loss. Some stress-reducing activities to try include yoga and meditation.
It’s easy to feel helpless when your hair starts falling out, but if you try these 20 remedies at home, you will reduce the amount of hair you are losing.