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It is normal to lose around 100 strands of hair each day. This is due to the natural life cycle of the hair. Old hair is replaced with the new. But, the problem arises when you notice symptoms like thinning of hair, a brush full of hair strands each time you comb or worse, bald patches. Horrifying, isn’t it?

Hair fall is more common in men than in women, with its severity gradually increasing with age. It is caused due to stress, spontaneous weight loss, nutritional deficiencies, certain medications, but, most importantly your genetics.

Some amount of hair fall is inevitable, but, there are certain tips, remedies and treatments you can follow each day to prevent severe hair fall. Certain oils like coconut oil and lavender oil and vitamins like vitamin E have been proven to be beneficial for hair health, and make for effective hair fall control remedies.

These and many more important remedies have been included in this article.

  1. How to avoid hair fall
  2. Diet to reduce hair fall
  3. Stress alleviation to prevent hair loss
  4. Home remedies for hair fall

Diet, nutrition, exercise and health of your hair are important determinants of hairfall, other than your genetics. To avoid hair fall and hair loss, you can take care of these factors. Following tips will help you in avoiding hair fall.

The importance of a balanced diet including the correct proportion of nutritional constituents is well known. But, certain vitamins, minerals and other constituents have a special role in preventing hair loss and adequate consumption of these must be ensured.

  1. Vitamins for hair loss
  2. Micronutrients for hair fall control
  3. Hair fall control diet

Vitamins for hair loss

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is one of the hair essentials, which helps in protecting your hair from all sorts of damage caused due to oxidative stress. Oxidative stress has been recognised as a possible cause of baldness due to androgenic alopecia, which is more common in men.

Nuts, like almonds, walnuts and peanuts, sunflower seeds, and certain vegetable oils like sunflower oil, soybean oil, etc are rich sources of vitamin E and must be included in your diet.

Antioxidant foods

Foods which act against free radicals are called as antioxidants. While Vitamin E is one of the sources, other food sources of antioxidants include orange, lemon, kiwi, salmon, seafood, broccoli, green leafy vegetables and green tea, to name a few.

Biotin

Another vitamin having a beneficial role in hair growth is biotin or Vitamin B7, a deficiency of which is associated with alopecia areata (patchy hair fall). To avoid this, it is the best to increase the amount of food sources of biotin in your diet since the role of supplementation is not very pronounced in the management of alopecia. Egg yolk, nuts, seeds and avocados are some of the rich sources of biotin.

Micronutrients for hair fall control

Minerals, which are otherwise micronutrients, that is, are required in lesser amounts by the body, also have an important role in regulating your hair health.

Iron

Iron is one such mineral, a deficiency of which causes iron deficiency anaemia. Hair fall is a common symptom of this, so, dietary supplementation with iron-rich sources is quite helpful.

It is recommended to include foods like lean meat, pulses, nuts, whole grains and green leafy vegetables to avoid iron deficiency causing anaemia and hair fall.

It is also advised to increase the dietary consumption of foods rich in Vitamin C, like lemon, guava, kiwi, potato, tomato, etc. Vitamin C aids in the absorption of non-haem iron in your body.

Selenium and Zinc

Other important minerals for your hair health are selenium and zinc. Selenium functions by protecting your hair against oxidative damage, and its deficiency is associated with sparse hair growth. Seafood, poultry, eggs and legumes are the richest sources of selenium.

Zinc helps in protein synthesis and thus, governs the formation of the hair follicle (hair is made of a protein: keratin). A deficiency of zinc is commonly found in several types of alopecia and baldness. This deficiency also tends to make the hair brittle, causing it to be more prone to damage, fall and breakage.

To avoid this, foods like oysters, beans, liver, milk and its products must be included in your diet.

Niacin

Niacin is another micronutrient whose deficiency is associated with alopecia. Meat, liver, certain varieties of fish like salmon, tuna, trout and sardines are among the richest food sources of niacin, which can be incorporated into your diet.

Hair fall control diet

Proteins

Other than the micronutrients, proteins have a very obvious role in the prevention of severe hair fall, being involved in the synthesis of newer hair follicles, which replaces the old. Food sources of proteins are lean meats, lean chicken, milk, eggs, pulses and soy products.

Fatty acids

Fatty acids, particularly omega 3 fatty acids are also essential to prevent hair fall. They promote hair growth by helping in follicle proliferation. Loss of scalp hair occurs in their deficiency.

So, including foods rich in omega 3 fatty like walnuts, soybean, salmon, flax seeds and eggs may be beneficial. Other than this, topical application of omega 3 rich sources like safflower oil has resulted in hair growth. Omega 3 fatty acid can be utilised in either of these forms.

Stress is one of the major causative factors of hair fall. Severe stress can cause shedding of about half to three-quarters of the scalp hair. Usually, this occurs during periods of excessive stress and is reversible. However, chronic stress and anxiety can lead to severe thinning of hair due to this condition, which will be characterised by oodles of hair being shed each time you comb or wash your hair.

This can be managed by stress alleviation, which is achievable by yoga, meditation, relaxation or breathing techniques. Exercise is also known to increase the levels of endorphins or ‘feel good’ hormones, which will help to combat stress. If you do not want to opt for a gym membership or a yoga class, simple activities like walking, cycling or jogging can also help in eliminating stress.

Other than the above tips, certain home remedies are also useful in the management and prevention of hair fall. This includes some hair oils and do-it-yourself hair masks, which will be discussed in this section.

  1. Coconut oil massage for hair
  2. Peppermint oil for hair growth
  3. Lavender oil for promoting hair growth
  4. Pumpkin seed oil for hair growth in men
  5. Aromatherapy for the treatment of hair loss
  6. Lemon for hair fall control
  7. Onion for hair regrowth
  8. Hibiscus for hair loss control

Coconut oil massage for hair

Certain oils, especially coconut oil have profound benefits for the hair and help in preventing hair fall. Research evidence has proved that coconut oil significantly reduced protein loss which is responsible for the process of hair fall. When used before and after a wash, coconut oil had a significant effect in comparison to the other oils.

Having a low molecular weight, coconut oil easily penetrates within the hair shaft making it stronger and less prone to fall. Coconut oil works effectively on both damaged and undamaged hair. So, it can be used both as a treatment and a preventive measure. Here is how you can use coconut oil for your hair.

  • Take 1 to 2 teaspoons of coconut oil, depending on the length of your hair
  • Warm it a bit
  • Apply within the roots of your hair and gently massage into the scalp
  • You can leave it for half an hour or overnight
  • It is not recommended to go out with oil in your hair since this can cause dirt and dust to get stuck, causing damage
  • If at all you have to go out, it is recommended to cover your head to prevent damage

You can use this every alternate day for the best results.

Peppermint oil for hair growth

Peppermint oil is derived from the plant Mentha piperita and has anti-hair fall properties. A 2014 study demonstrated that peppermint oil is a potential hair regrowth agent. It increased the number of hair follicles and their depth within the scalp while also enhancing their thickness. Here is how you can use peppermint oil for your hair.

  • Take a few drops of peppermint oil and dilute it with some natural oil
  • Massage into the scalp and leave it on for half an hour before rinsing with a shampoo
  • Alternatively, you can put a few drops of this oil in shampoo and conditioner and wash as usual

Lavender oil for promoting hair growth

A recent study confirmed the hair growth promoting potential of lavender oil. Topical application of lavender oil led to an increase in the number of hair follicles and its depth. This causes prevention of hair loss. To use lavender oil for these benefits, you can:

  • Take a teaspoon of lavender oil and mix it with two teaspoons of coconut oil
  • Massage it into your scalp with the help of your fingers and leave overnight
  • Wash it off in the morning and repeat twice a week for the best results

Pumpkin seed oil for hair growth in men

Pumpkin seed oil has significant hair growth potential, as confirmed by a recent study consisting of patients affected with alopecia. When compared with placebo (agents possessing no therapeutic potential), the group treated with pumpkin seed oil had more total hair volume as proved by pretreatment photographs. You can form a pumpkin seed oil rinse to reap these benefits:

  • Brew a cup of green tea and add half a teaspoon of pumpkin seed oil to it
  • Wash your hair and rinse them immediately with this solution
  • Leave it on for 5 minutes and wash off with water

Aromatherapy for the treatment of hair loss

Aromatherapy consists of several aromatic oils like thyme, lavender, rosemary and cedarwood, which have several benefits for your health, including your hair.

Early researches on these oils have proven their anti-hairfall effects. When compared with other oils, essential oils are more efficacious in the treatment of alopecia areata when used with carrier oils like jojoba and grapeseed. To reap the benefits of essential oils, follow these steps:

  • Take half teaspoons each of lavender and rosemary oil and mix with two drops each of thyme and cedarwood oils
  • Mix them with 6 drops of grapeseed and 4 drops of jojoba oils
  • Massage into your scalp for 5 to 10 minutes
  • Then, wrap with a steamed towel and leave overnight
  • Wash your hair

You can perform this therapy for 6 months for the best benefits.

Lemon for hair fall control

Lemon is one of the most commonly employed home remedies. Being a strong antioxidant, it helps in reducing oxidative damage to the scalp responsible for hair loss. You can follow these steps to make a lemon hair wash:

  • Mix 1 tablespoon of lemon juice with 3 tablespoons of aloe vera juice
  • Massage this for 5 minutes and wash after half an hour

Onion for hair regrowth

Being another common remedy, the benefits of onion for hair regrowth have been proven by a clinical study comparing the effects of onion juice with normal water. Results revealed that onion catered to significant hair growth in patients affected with alopecia. To use onion juice, you can:

  • Take a tablespoon of onion juice and dab on a cotton swab
  • Gently rub the juice in your entire scalp with the help of this swab
  • Massage with fingers
  • Leave for about an hour, then wash

You can perform this remedy on alternate days

Hibiscus for hair loss control

Hibiscus, a commonly available flower is a wonderful remedy for the prevention and control of hair loss. There are two ways in which you can use hibiscus for hair growth:

Hibiscus oil

  • Fetch 8 to 10 hibiscus flower leaves
  • Crush, grind and add them to 1 cup of heated coconut oil
  • Upon cooling, rub this oil into your scalp and leave overnight
  • Wash your head the next day as usual

Hibiscus hair mask

  • Form a paste of few hibiscus leaves
  • Add 4 tablespoons of curd to it
  • Put it on your scalp
  • Rest it for an hour
  • Wash off with a mild shampoo

Hibiscus hair oil is also commercially available and is a ready to use product if you want to avoid these long remedies.

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References

  1. Dietitians of Canada. Food Sources of Niacin. [Internet]
  2. Emily L. Guo, Rajani Katta. Diet and hair loss: effects of nutrient deficiency and supplement use . Dermatol Pract Concept. 2017 Jan; 7(1): 1–10. PMID: 28243487
  3. MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia: US National Library of Medicine; Hair loss
  4. Rele AS, Mohile RB. Effect of mineral oil, sunflower oil, and coconut oil on prevention of hair damage. J Cosmet Sci. 2003 Mar-Apr;54(2):175-92. PMID: 12715094
  5. Ji Young Oh, Min Ah Park, Young Chul Kim. Peppermint Oil Promotes Hair Growth without Toxic Signs . Toxicol Res. 2014 Dec; 30(4): 297–304. PMID: 25584150
  6. Boo Hyeong Lee, Jae Soon Lee, Young Chul Kim. Hair Growth-Promoting Effects of Lavender Oil in C57BL/6 Mice . Toxicol Res. 2016 Apr; 32(2): 103–108. PMID: 27123160
  7. Cho YH et al. Effect of pumpkin seed oil on hair growth in men with androgenetic alopecia: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2014;2014:549721. PMID: 24864154
  8. Hay IC, Jamieson M, Ormerod AD. Randomized trial of aromatherapy. Successful treatment for alopecia areata. Arch Dermatol. 1998 Nov;134(11):1349-52. PMID: 9828867
  9. Sharquie KE, Al-Obaidi HK. Onion juice (Allium cepa L.), a new topical treatment for alopecia areata. J Dermatol. 2002 Jun;29(6):343-6. PMID: 12126069