Hair Loss: Causes and Home Remedies

Simple remedies for hair loss and thinning hair

Nov 27, 2018
Hair loss

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Have you experienced thinning hair or hair loss? Wondering why it’s happening and how to stop it? Here’s a look at the usual causes, as well as some natural home remedies.

When did it start? Perhaps you first noticed more hair than usual accumulating around the shower drain, or your hair brush looks as though it was just used to groom the dog.

Whatever the case, hair loss can really get you down. The average person sheds between 50 and 100 strands per day. With approximately 100,000 strands on an entire head, the loss is hardly noticeable and is quickly replaced with new hair. According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), about 80 million Americans have hereditary hair loss.

Natural Remedies for Hair Loss

While a common and normal part of the aging process, nothing inspires a call to action quite like a blow to one’s vanity. And let’s face it, hair’s kind of a big deal. For many women, it’s an important part of our identity. Here are a few things to consider if your mane’s got you down. 

You Are What You Eat

A balanced diet loaded with lean protein, beans, seeds, nuts, eggs and leafy greens is a good way to ensure that your body has all it needs. Omega 3 fatty acids found in certain fish like salmon, sardines and tuna can help lower inflammation and improve scalp health. 

Get Your Vitamins

Low levels of iron, zinc, B12 and D can lead to hair loss. But before you start popping pills, consult your doctor for a blood test to zero in on exactly what’s lacking. 

Buh-Bye Heat

Heat treatments are your hair’s worst enemy. Couple that with chemical dyes and you’ve got yourself a full-blown crisis. Go au naturale as often as possible and save the blow outs and curling irons for special occasions. Get rid of rubberbands that pull the hair and lead to breakage. Opt for hair ties instead. And if you can stand it, a scrunchy is even better (GASP!). Avoid tying hair up while it’s wet and if you’re into braids, make them loose. Yanking and pulling are never good. 

If you wash your hair frequently, stop. Same goes for brushing. Opt for volume boosting shampoos and conditioners that will make hair appear fuller. Treat your hair with care so that it has the best chance of hanging around.

Mane Massage

Delicately massaging your scalp with your fingers tips is a great way to improve circulation, improve hair growth and help shampoos do their thing. Even better, have someone do it for you while you kick back and relax.  

Zen Out

Stress stinks. Not only can it do a number on your physical well-being, but it can wreak havoc on hair. Prolonged periods of stress are notorious for increasing hair loss so look for ways to reduce it.  

Hormone Havoc

Hormonal changes like those associated with pregnancy, menopause and thyroid imbalances are other common causes. Certain medications can also interfere with hair growth. Consult your doctor before adding or eliminating medications.

Hair Loss Treatments

  • Minoxidil (Rogaine), an over-the-counter product that is applied directly to the scalp, can help by slowing hair loss and/or triggering new growth. To reap the benefits, you’ve got to regularly apply, even after noticeable improvement. 
  • If you’re more inclined to go the natural route, hairpieces and extensions might be a good solution. Good hairpieces are expensive, but if the condition is due to a medical issue, you may be able to cover it with insurance.
  • Surgical procedures like hair transplants are expensive and painful. The procedure involves removing plugs of hair from other parts of your scalp and “filling in” the balding areas. Infection and scarring are possible risks.
  • While there isn’t much evidence to support the claim, acupuncture treatments conducted regularly over several months is thought to reduce hair loss.  
  • Patients with inflammatory scalp disease responded well to cortisone injections into the scalp.
  • Is there nothing that apple cider vinegar can’t fix? Equal parts vinegar and water added to a spray bottle and applied twice a week to a dry scalp might help by adjusting the pH of the scalp. Once applied, wrap the hair in a towel for 15 minutes, rinse and wash as usual. 

We hope this advice helps you with your stressful tresses! Your tips are welcome below.

Also, see Natural Remedies for Dry Hair and Scalp.

See the Almanac’s Best Days to encourage hair growth.

About This Blog

Heather Blackmore is a stay-at-home mom with two teenage daughters who keep her on her toes. A former college rugby player, she’s continued her healthy, active lifestyle by focusing on the importance of movement, nutrition and teaching her children the value of hard work. For 20 years, she’s enjoyed writing for national and regional publications on a variety of family and home related topics. Blessed with a wicked green thumb and a determined spirit, Heather tends a perennial and vegetable garden in the southwest suburbs of Chicago. She writes about her garden successes, failures and observations on her blog Here She Grows.

Reader Comments

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Perilla-Green tea and chameleon to treat spot baldness

I noticed when drinking green tea, my hair didn't fall out as fast. Then a few years later, a study from Korea by Seoul National University reported that epigallocatechin-3-gallate in green tea could spur the growth of human hair be encouraging the proliferation of dermal papilla cells while stopping hair cellular self destruction. But, I'm sort of at odds now. Green teas and other teas when brewed have elevated fluoride issues up to 7X the daily intake safe levels. I'm not sure about putting brewed lukewarm green tea on my head yet either. Recently, the Catholic University in Korea did the same test with a more detailed analysis. Perilla-Green tea and chameleon to treat spot baldness. This combo elevated the insulin-like growth factors for hair regeneration. In 25 days an increase of new hair growth follicles were observed. Maybe filtered water with no fluoride with the tea brewing could help. I just haven't had the time to try it yet. This is suppose to work well for both male and female, but not recommended for pregnant women because of the herbal effects on the fetus. Being a male, I'm not too worried about the last statement, but for a gal, it's understandable as pregnancy can change hormones and hair can fall out.

MSM supplement

Years ago I read in the excellent ‘People’s Pharmacy’ column in the newspaper that MSM supplements (without glucosamine) help to reverse thinning hair. I’ve been taking them for about 14 years and my hair is healthy and normal thickness, better than it was before I started taking it. I believe that supplement is made up of compounds of raw fruits and vegetables. Anyway for anyone with thinning hair I think it’s worth a try, it certainly helped me.

Thinning Hair article

In my (unprofessional) opinion, stated from experience, thinning hair has a root cause, no pun intended, concerning the thyroid not functioning properly because of lack of iodine.

Thyroid and thinning hair

It's interesting just how much a poorly functioning thyroid affects the body. My mom experienced the same situation with her thyroid and after her heart attack last year, the meds her doc prescribed caused even more hair loss.

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