Thinning hair can be one of the most frustrating parts about getting older. Have you ever wondered if there is anything you can do about it?
You may have looked to store-bought products to improve your hair’s appearance and not experienced the results you desired. Unfortunately, most commercial products are laden with chemicals that actually cause further damage to hair.
With a few lifestyle changes and some ancient home remedies, you can increase your hair’s growth and thickness in a matter of months.
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What causes hair to fall out?
Have you ever wondered why some people have thick luscious hair while others are on the real struggle bus, battling hair thinning and even balding?
Hair health, just like skin, is a subtle sign of the inner workings of our body. The process of hair growth is complex and relies upon multiple factors including our genetic expression and proper hormonal balance. (source)
Hair growth starts in the root of a hair follicle, which is made up of a cluster of cells and protiens. Blood vessels feed the follicle, bringing oxygen and nutrients which helps these cells grow.
As the hair grows, it passes by the sebaceous gland, an oil-producing gland that lubricates and waterproofs the hair and skin.
Hair growth occurs in phases and not all your follicles are active at once.
It is normal to lose around 50-100 hairs a day. This happens because an individual hair follicle shuts down. Hair follicles on the top of your head produce hair for about 2-6 years at a time and once one shuts down, the hair falls out. Simultaneously, others will come back online so we should normally retain our naturally thickness.
Unfortunately, there is a large genetic component to hair loss that is outside of our control. (source)
A number of studies have identified the AR gene to be the strongest association with baldness.
As of right now, we haven’t discovered a magical pill that can flip the genetic switch for thick luscious hair.
But don’t let this get you down too much. There are some solutions or there would be no point in my writing this post!
Just like everything else in life, the health of our hair can be modified and optimized by our environment. In this post we are going to explore what we can do to ensure our hair is as healthy as possible, despite our genetics.
By implementing these tips for hair growth, you will likely see an improvement in your hair’s thickness and growth. Especially since most people don’t realize all the things that contribute to increased damage and fall out.
Before we get into it, I wanted to quickly talk about the situations which drive a crazy amount of hair to fall out…
- Nutritional deficiencies
- Hormonal such as changes after childbirth or menopause
- Thyriod dysfunction
- Chronic stress
- Taking certain medications
- Autoimmune disorders
Home Remedies for Hair Loss and Thickness
1. Eat a balanced diet and skip the hair supplements
It is true that hair loss can be related to nutritional deficiency. However if you live in a first-world country, you likely have plenty of access to quality food.
It is much better to use food to increase your body’s vitamin and mineral reserves than supplements. We cannot begin to understand the complex nutritional needs of our hair and there is no better way to get what we need than by eating a diversified diet of God-breathed whole foods.
I suggest staying away from excess hair loss supplements for multiple reasons:
- Oversupplementing with certain vitamins and minerals can lead to malabsorbtion or misuse of other important vitamin and minerals in the body creating an imbalance which leads to unhealthy hair growth. (source)
- Oversupplementing can damage the kidneys and lead to worsening overall health.
- Supplement manufacturers are not regulated in the same way so it is hard to know what you are really getting inside a capsule
That being said, vegetarians and vegans are at more risk for nutritional deficiency that would cause hair loss so if you follow one of these diets and notice increased hair loss, it would be prudent to get some labs done to check for deficiency in iron, zinc, niacin, selenium, Vitamin A, D, K, and total protein. (source)
2. Stop washing your hair so frequently
Good hygiene is an important part of healthy hair but you might be washing your hair too frequently.
If you have dandruff, a lot of split ends, or really dry brittle hair, you are likely washing it too often. The oils in our hair are naturally protective by trapping in moisture. Shampoos are emulsifiers which strip these oils away.
I know it can be hard to imagine not washing your hair, especially if you have an oily head. To make this possible, try skipping a day in between shampooing. You can still wet your hair and massage your scalp for a few minutes to rinse out any sweat or dirt. This gentle rinse will help make your hair less oily so you can skip a day using shampoo.
From there, slowly stretch out the days between shampooing your scalp so it has time to down-regulate the overproduction of natural oils.
I started this process a year ago and now only need to wash my hair with shampoo every 4-5 days.
Because I use less shampoo and conditioner, I have been able to save money and switch to better quality products.
3. Switch to non-toxic shampoos
Speaking of better quality products, another really important step towards promoting your hair’s natural strength and thickness is to only use products that nourish the hair and are free from chemical fragrances.
You wouldn’t believe some of the chemicals in mainstream shampoos and conditioners!
For many of us, we identify beauty with a pleasant smell and you likely don’t want to give that up. I have found a wonderful brand of hair products that uses ingredents that nourish and protect the hair.
This small shop, Under Luna, hand crafts every bottle using herbs from ancient Native American wisdom (I mean look at how long and luxurious Native Americans’ hair are!) and the products smell and feel AMAZING!
4. Be careful with applying heat to your hair
Another thing you can do to promote hair health is to let it air dry as much as possible. Heat damages the delicate cuticle of your hair and will make it more prone to break off. (source)
If you do have to use a hair dryer, hold it a bit further from your head and use medium heat instead of high heat.
When you use a curling iron or straightener, opt for one made of ceramic or titanium with the option to adjust the temperature. Ceramic heats evenly and titanium puts negative ions back in the hair which is less damaging. Lastly, turn your iron on the lowest setting possible when styling your hair.
5. Massage Peppermint essential oil with a carrier oil in your scalp
Make sure that any essential oils you use for medicinal purposes are from a reputable company to ensure they are therapeutic grade and not just synthetic fragrances.
Be sure to actually massage your scalp while you try this as this also helps to increase circulation which stimulates hair growth.
6. Homeopathy for hair loss
Lycopodium 6C can help with premature hair loss and even to minimize hair loss after childbirth. It can be taken twice a day for up to a month to see if this improves your hair thickness and growth.
Related: Home Remedies for Body Odor
7. Try hair masks
Hair masks are great for providing essential nutrients to the hair and scalp at a topical level which can not only increase future hair growth and density but also make your current mane less prone to breakage.
Hair Mask Recipe for Growth
2 free range eggs at room temperature
2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
Whip ingredients together and use a basting brush to apply the mask evenly across your scalp and ends to promote hair growth and strength.
Cover your head with a shower cap or plastic bag and allow the mask to absorb for 20 minutes.
Massage your scalp periodically. Rinse your hair with filtered water and allow it to air dry or follow with a non-toxic shampoo.
Although so much hair loss is genetic, these home remedies for hair growth and thickness can preserve and strengthen the hair you still have.
The final step in promoting the best head of hair possible is to stop stressing about it. You may have heard the saying, “I’m so stressed that all my hair is falling out.” There is some scientific truth behind this. Stress hormones can disrupt normal body functions so it is important to get that under control if you have noticed an abrupt change in your hair texture.
One way to reduce stress is to practice meditation. Another is to lean towards minimalism by removing excess things from your life that suck up your time and energy.
Whatever path you choose, you will not only be doing your hair a favor but your entire body!
If you tried any of these natural remedies, please let me know how they worked out for you in the comments!