There are very few conditions that afflict humans that are as common as hair loss. While everyone experiences some hair fall almost every day, it can sometimes reach alarming proportions that can have serious psychological consequences for the sufferers. Here we look at some natural ways in which we can control early hair loss. Please bear in mind that hair loss is a disease when it’s severe and it is always best to consult a dermatologist and start treatment.
The approach to natural treatment for hair loss has to be three-pronged: Eat better, apply judiciously and reduce stress. It is not all about applying witch potion to the hair, one needs to look at the root cause of hair loss and address the two main causes, nutrition and stress effectively too. Here we focus on topical applications from nature for stemming hair loss.
- Coconut: Traditionally used in oil form as a nourishing agent that protects the hair, there are sporadic research reports to show that it may play a role in stimulating early anagen or growing hair. The Fat composition and antioxidant base of lauric acid may also have some effect on maintaining the color of hair. While more research is awaited, applying coconut and coconut based oils is definitely known to nourish, hydrate and improve hair by penetrating the shaft and scalp to improve circulation.
- Amla or Indian Gooseberry: Amla, consumed orally, is rich in vitamin C, a nutrient essential for the growth and strengthening of hair. Vitamin C also helps build collagen that is vital for hair growth. Apart from this, vitamin C also helps absorb iron, thereby keeping your locks strong and healthy. Amla also helps prevent premature greying of hair. Available as oil that can be mixed with coconut oil too
- Fenugreek: Fenugreek, also known as methi, is highly effective in treating hair loss. Fenugreek seeds contain hormone antecedents that enhance hair growth and help rebuild hair follicles. Fenugreek is also believed to contain proteins and nicotinic acid that may aid in stimulating hair growth. Fenugreek can be soaked in water and the decant drunk for the antioxidant benefit. It can be ground and used as a mask or massaged in oil as a paste for topical softening and strengthening benefits.
- Onion Juice: The current flavor of the month! It is touted by many as extremely beneficial due to its sulphur content but robust scientific studies are needed to confirm this. Onion juice helps treat hair loss due to its high sulfur content, which helps improve blood circulation to the hair follicles, regenerate hair follicles and reduce inflammation. The antibacterial properties of onion juice also may help treat scalp infections that can cause hair loss. A small study on 38 people showed positive result in Alopecia Areata, a very specific, patchy autoimmune hair disorder.
- Aloe Vera: Aloe Vera has alkalinizing properties that may help maintain the PH of the scalp to promote conditions conducive to new hair growth. It also is believed to contain enzymes that directly promote healthy hair growth and is a good hydrator for dry scalps. Regular use is believed to relieve scalp itching, reduce scalp redness and inflammation, add strength and luster to hair, and alleviate dandruff. It can be taken orally as a juice and is also available in gel form for topical use.
It is important to remember that natural, topical applications serve as a good adjunct therapy for hair. Anyone with persistent or severe hair loss and scalp problems should visit a dermatologist to understand the root cause and take appropriate treatment. Also, do remember, natural ingredients can cause allergies too, so if you are prone to allergies or develop ant itching or burning symptoms, consult a specialist immediately.
Eat healthy, Reduce stress and let both nature and science help you maintain those flowing tresses!
– Dr Aparna Santhanam