Hair growth depends on several factors, including a person’s genetic history. However, there are some home remedies that may help.
Whether a person is trying to prevent hair loss or encourage more growth, knowing some tips on diet and how to treat the hair can help them achieve their goal.
When hair loss is due to a medical condition, however, it is best to speak to a doctor about appropriate treatments.
The following home remedies may encourage hair growth:
Eating more protein:
The body needs protein to grow new hair. Hair loss can arise due to protein deficiency.
Examples of healthful dietary protein sources include:
beans, eggs, fish, nuts, lean meats, seeds.
A person’s daily protein needs vary based on how physically active they are and how much muscle mass they have.
Increasing iron intake:
Iron is another nutrient the body requires to grow healthy hair. Some dietary iron sources include:
clams, lentils, oysters, pumpkin, seeds, spinach
white beans, lean beef, turkey.
Many manufacturers also fortify their foods with iron, which means that they have added iron to them.
People who do not eat meat have iron requirements as high as 1.8 times those of people who do eat meat. This is because the body does not absorb nonanimal sources of iron as effectively.
Aromatherapy is a holistic healing treatment that uses natural plant extracts to promote health and well-being. Sometimes it’s called essential oil therapy.
Examples of herbs that aromatherapy practitioners may use to promote hair growth include:
When using essential oils on the scalp, be sure to mix only a few drops into a carrier oil, such as coconut oil or walnut oil. The researchers also state that inhaling the scent of these oils may affect hair growth.
More research is necessary to determine whether essential oils are an effective solution for hair growth.
Some people may experience topical allergic reactions when using essential oils, so it is best to try a small test patch 24 hours before applying the mixture to the whole head.
Massaging the scalp:
Massaging the scalp helps stimulate blood flow to the scalp, which could help encourage hair growth.
Using pumpkin seed oil:
The authors of a US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health Search database Search term Search looked at whether pumpkin seed oil could help hair growth.
They discovered that men taking 400 milligrams (mg) of pumpkin seed oil for 6 months experienced a 40 percent increase in average hair count, whereas those taking a placebo only experienced a 10 percent increase.
The men all had a history of androgenic alopecia or male pattern baldness. They were not currently taking other supplements for hair loss and were between 20 and 65 years old.
Taking saw palmetto:
A 2-year-long study found that supplementation with saw palmetto may increase hair growth in men with male pattern baldness.
The participants took 320 mg of saw palmetto every day for the duration of the study.
After 2 years, the participants experienced hair growth primarily in the vertex, or the top and back of the scalp. This is a common site for bald spots in men.
Causes of hair loss:
Many people experience aging-related hair thinning or male or female pattern balding.
Doctors tend to divide hair loss not related to age into two major categories: scarring and non-scarring hair loss. Generally speaking, scarring hair loss is permanent. Examples of scarring hair loss causes include scarring alopecia.
Non-scarring hair loss causes can include alopecia areata (hair loss in patches) or telogen effluvium.
Telogen effluvium causes hair follicles to remain in a resting state. As a result, a person’s hair does not grow as quickly or as much as it once did.
This condition can be the result of the following “shocks” to the body:
giving birth, having a fever having an inadequate protein intake
undergoing major surgery, having a severe chronic illness taking certain medications, such as antidepressants, beta-blockers, calcium channel blockers, or retinoids.
Eating a nutritious diet and keeping stress levels low can help prevent hair loss and encourage hair growth.
In addition to these steps, other ways to encourage hair growth include:
not using hair accessories that can cause hair breakages, such as hairpins, clips, and rubber bands
avoiding styling products that can damage and break the hair, such as blow-dryers set to high heat, straightening irons, and curling irons
limiting the use of bleach, relaxers, and hair dyes
avoiding excess shampooing or brushing
when the hair is wet, avoiding brushing it or applying plastic or rubber hair ties. Treating the hair as gently as possible can help preserve it and minimize the rate of hair loss.
Sometimes, however, hair loss is inevitable due to age.