Hair loss is an issue faced by both men and women as they grow older. There are several different reasons which affect the loss of hair, not all of which are amenable to natural remedies. The effectiveness of any hair loss treatment is dependent upon finding the cause to prescribe an accurate protocol. Unfortunately too many people attempt to use the most current treatment protocol believing that it will help them without first defining a cause.
Many natural hair loss remedies, which are either traditional or contemporary, are perceived as being free from side effects. This may be because most people believe that natural treatments are free from side effects and deliver additional health benefits. However just as treatments which are manufactured and delivered from a laboratory natural healthcare products also carry with them the risk of interactions with other drugs or other natural path sick treatments as well as side effects when used inappropriately.
Manufacturers and producers of natural health remedies are unable to make claims about what works and doesn’t work because these must first be approved by the Food and Drug Administration. But getting this seal of approval requires lengthy and expensive research that only major pharmaceutical companies are able to afford. And even these large pharmaceutical companies are not able to recoup the cost of a process when the end result is a product which can be purchased at the health food store.
One of the most common natural hair loss remedies will be surprising. It is prevention through good grooming and care. Hair is fairly strong and can usually withstand normal grooming techniques. However, if hair is pulled or there is breakage due to poor habits, changing those habits will prevent bouts of splitting and breakage.
When caring for your hair avoid combing it with a fine tooth comb when it’s wet. This is a common cause of breakage of hair which leads to fly aways. Although it’s tempting to comb the hair when it’s wet because it detangles much better, the stress on the hair shaft is immense. On top of the increased stress the hair is also weaker when it’s wet. This also applies to brushing the hair when wet.
In general brushing can be stimulating to the scalp and encouraging blood flow to the hair follicles which will help maintain good health. However brushing the hair when it’s wet will also increase in breakage. Brushing the hair before washing can loosen up flakes and dead skin at the scalp and make it easier to thoroughly clean the scalp while shampooing.
Remember also that excessive shampooing can strip a vital minerals, calcium, phosphorus, nitrogen and iron from the hair. By removing these minerals and vitamins it weakens the hair shaft and sets up the individual for hair breakage. This is especially true when using commercial shampoos which often contain formaldehyde as a preservative. To disguise the presence of formaldehyde it is also listed using 15 different names the most common of which is Quanternium – 15.
Unfortunately people who suffer from dandruff will use anti-dandruff shampoos which are some of the most dangerous shampoos on the market. The primary ingredient in them has been shown to cause degeneration of the liver as well as contain other highly toxic chemicals which can increase hair loss.
Natural shampoos that are found in the health food store are often a much better choice. However, even with these natural shampoos individual should be careful of the ingredients that can also strip away too much oil from the hair or leave shampoo residue behind. Ingredients that have been helpful are cocamides, Panthenol Pro-B, aloe vera, sage, nettle, burdock, chamomile, chaparral, horsetail and rosemary.
Another technique or method that could be used in order to prevent hair loss or encourage more growth is massage. Using a general massage on the scalp for a couple of minutes a day can stimulate blood flow to the hair follicles and in some cases stimulate growth in minor cases of temporary hair loss. Currently there are electric massagers on the market that have attachments for scalp massage but fingers work just as well.
Another stimulation to the scalp that improves blood flow is the use of aromatherapy. A blend of six drops each of lavender and Bay oils in a base of 4 ounces of either almonds, soybean or sesame oil that is massage onto the scalp and allow to sit for 20 minutes has also been found to be successful.
One cause of hair loss has been a link between a decrease in hormone level from the prostate in men as they age. There has been some connection using saw Palmetto to fight benign prostatic hypertrophy by lowering levels of DHT which is a known cause of androgenetic alopecia, or hair loss.
Aloe vera has also been used by Native Americans and many in the Caribbean to promote healthy hair and prevent hair loss. Aloe can help the scalp to heal and balance the pH level of the scalp while cleansing the pores. A common preparation of aloe vera gel with a small amount of wheat germ oil and coconut milk can be used as a shampoo. Henna is also a traditional American Indian herb that acts as a natural conditioner and is excellent for the maintenance of healthy hair. It helps by up repairing and feeling the cuticle and protecting the hair against breakage and loss.
Exercise is another factor that is important in prevention of hair loss. Although exercise does not have anything directly involved in growing hair most holistic practitioners recommend at least 30 minutes of exercise a day in order to improve overall health. Exercise consequently increasing the heart rate, can improve blood flow and the delivery of oxygen to cells throughout the body. This will help the digestion of food and aid in the health of hair follicles.
Although there is no one cure for hair loss there may be things that people can do to help prevent the continual loss of hair when the exact cause has been determined. In order to ascertain the reason why hair is lost and used the right treatment protocol individuals should see their healthcare practitioner for diagnosis and treatment recommendations. Those treatment or recommendations can be augmented with natural remedies or the individual may choose to use only natural remedies. In either case the choice is that of the individual but, because hair loss can be caused by other underlying medical conditions, it is important for individuals to find out the exact cause or reason for hair loss.
AMerican Hair Loss Association: Hair Loss Treatment
MayoClinic: Hair Loss
Dr Weil: Hair Loss