There are a variety of home remedies that people use to try and regrow their hair. However, it is important to remember that research to support such methods is not always extensive.
There are many common myths about lifestyle approaches or remedies that can help hair regrow, and it is often difficult to determine the fact from the fiction.
Here we will explore what works and what doesn't work.
- Looking after hair is an important part of avoiding hair loss.
- Multiple nutrient deficiencies may result in hair loss.
- While it is more common in men, women can lose their hair too.
Lifestyle techniques and methods
There are a range of remedies and techniques that people can try. Including:
Hair dye and vigorous brushing may cause hair loss, while washing hair frequently and using styling products will not.
There are some misconceptions about whether hair care does contribute to hair loss and regrowth.
For example, washing hair too often does not cause hair loss. Blow-drying hair can cause hair loss because it can damage, burn, or dry out the hair — however, this hair will grow back.
Hair dye is another cause of temporary hair loss — most hair-coloring treatments contain chemicals that can damage the hair and make it fall out.
Overly vigorous brushing can cause injury, which can lead to hair loss and some hairstyles, such as tight plaits, ponytails, or cornrows, can cause hair loss because there is too much tension on the hair.
Hair care products, such as gel, mousse, or hairspray, do not cause hair loss, though.
A study conducted in Japan showed that scalp massage could increase hair thickness. The men involved in the study had regular massages over a 24-week period, and while hair growth rate did not improve, thickness improved significantly.
Researchers believe that this could be to do with increased blood flow and direct stimulation of the cells.
While hair loss can be affected by nutrient deficiency, the exact links between diet and hair loss are complicated:
- Iron: Iron deficiency is the most common nutritional deficiency in the world and is a known cause of hair loss. Women experiencing perimenopause and menopause are at risk of iron deficiency, as are vegans, vegetarians, and people with certain conditions, such as celiac disease. In a study on mice, the reversal of iron deficiency also leads to the restoration of hair growth.
- Zinc: Zinc deficiency has a direct link with brittle hair, and increasing zinc levels also leads to the regrowth of hair. However, researchers do not know whether zinc supplementation would help those without diagnosed zinc deficiency.
- Fatty acids: A deficiency in essential fatty acids can lead to hair loss on the scalp and eyebrows.
It is important to remember that there is a lack of research on the role of supplementation. Researchers do not know whether supplements will prevent hair loss in people that do not have nutrient deficiencies.
There appears to be a direct link between stress and hair loss. Likewise, a shock to the system, be that through physical or emotional trauma, can also act as a shock to the hair follicles and they can stop growing.
Red ginseng is a popular supplement for promoting hair regrowth.
Exactly why this happens is unclear, although researchers think it could be because of indirect stimulation of the hair follicles.
Before taking any supplements, it is important to ensure that they won't interact with any medication or existing conditions.
The omega-6 fatty acid arachidonic acid has been shown to promote hair growth by helping to speed up the production of the follicles.
This natural hair growth supplement was shown to promote hair growth in women experiencing temporary thinning. However, a further study also showed its ability to decrease hair loss.
The use of geranium oil as a treatment significantly promotes hair growth and can prevent hair loss. People can apply it by mixing a few drops into a shampoo or conditioner.
Coconut oil can be used as a pre-wash and a post-wash wash hair product.
The use of aloe vera as a treatment for a variety of different things has been traced back as far as 6,000 years ago in Ancient Egypt.
One such treatment is for hair loss, and evidence has shown it has a soothing effect on the skin that can help alleviate certain conditions.
Using rosemary oil for at least 6 months has been shown in a study to increase hair count. However, many of the group experienced scalp itching as a side effect.
Facts and myths
Women can experience hair loss and hair thinning as well as men, although the causes may be different.
Here are some commonly told mistruths and also some genuine reasons behind hair loss.
Only men experience hair loss
FALSE: Women also lose their hair, but this tends to be hormone related.
Some women experience hair loss after pregnancy, as a symptom of polycystic ovary syndrome, or if they have problems with their thyroid gland.
Hair loss is hereditary
TRUE: Although it is not limited to either side of the family. The hair loss gene can be passed from either the father or the mother.
Masturbation will cause hair loss
FALSE: There is no known link between masturbation or having sex that can cause hair loss.
Aging leads to hair loss
TRUE: As both men and women age, the number of follicles on the scalp reduces, which means the hair will gradually become thinner and sparser.
Wearing a hat causes hair loss
FALSE: Unless the hat is too tight and causes tension on the hair, wearing a hat has no link to hair loss whatsoever.
The sun causes hair loss
FALSE: Hair loss occurs at the follicle, meaning at the base of the hair. The sun cannot reach the follicle because the hair acts as a shield against it.