Hair loss – what it is and how it can be treated with natural remedies
Hair loss, known in the medical world as alopecia, is the accelerated loss of more hair than normal. It can affect both women and men and can be a temporary episode or a permanent condition. Hair loss can be counteracted with the help of natural remedies that regenerate the hair ornament and strengthen it.
Alopecia or hair loss occurs when we lose too much hair. Normally, between 50 and 100 hairs fall out every day. Hair has a life cycle that follows three phases:
- Anagen phase: the growth period lasting between two and eight years. About 85-90% of the threads on the scalp are in this phase.
- Catagen phase: the transition period, in which the follicles begin to thin. This period lasts on average two to three weeks for each thread.
- Telogen phase: the “rest” period lasts between two and four months. After this phase, the hair falls out.
When the body is healthy, these three phases are in balance. As some hairs fall out, new ones grow. Hair loss or alopecia is characterized by an imbalance between falling and new hair.
How alopecia manifests itself
Hair loss (alopecia) can occur both in the scalp and in other parts of the body. It may appear suddenly or may install gradually. Among the most common symptoms of alopecia are:
Gradual thinning of the hair on the top of the head:It is the most common form of alopecia and occurs especially in case of men as they get older.
Hair loss in circular parts of the scalp:Some people experience hair loss only in certain areas of the scalp. They are usually in the shape of a circle and can be the size of a coin or larger.
Sudden hair loss:An emotional or physical shock can cause a large amount of hair loss to fall out. People who face this type of condition may be left with large strands of hair in their hands after combing. This type of alopecia is usually temporary.
Hair loss all over de body:Certain treatments, such as chemotherapy, can lead to hair loss on the scalp and body. Fortunately, the hair grows back after the treatment.
Hair loss in case of women
In case of women, alopecia is not as visible as at men, but studies show that more than half of women experience excessive hair loss at some point in their lives. The most affected are women who:
- have passed the age of 40;
- they have just given birth
- have treatments, such as those with chemotherapeutic drugs;
- dye, bleach or chemically treat their hair very often.
The signs of hair loss at women are:
- the presence of a large number of threads on the brush, in the shower, on the pillow or on clothes;
- the path from the top of the head becomes more and more obvious and leaves the scalp visible;
- the tail is getting thinner and thinner;
- hair breaks easily.
What causes hair loss
Alopecia can occur for several reasons. On the one hand, genes play an important role, on the other hand diet and treatments applied to the hair can affect it. Among the most common causes of hair loss there are:
Heredity:androgenetic alopecia sets in as people get older. It manifests itself in both men and women, depending on the family history;
Hormonal changes or medical conditions:pregnancy, menopause, thyroid problems can cause hormonal imbalances that lead to hair loss;
Medications or supplements:hair loss can be a side effect of treatments for cancer, arthritis, depression, heart disease, gout or hypertension;
Stressful events:emotional shocks, but also daily stress can lead to hair loss. In general, if the cause of stress is removed, the hair stops falling out;
Chemical treatments:perming, bleaching, dyeing, excess styling products, but also catching the hair in very tight tails can cause it to break and weaken and, ultimately, fall out.
How to regenerate hair with natural remedies
When alopecia is hereditary, with its installation, it will evolve gradually and irreversibly. Fortunately, there are natural remedies that can delay this process. In addition, in the case of temporary alopecia, caused by stress or other factors, natural remedies can help hair to regenerate:
Aloe vera:the aloe vera plant has been used for hundreds of years to regenerate hair. Its sap acts as a soothing to the scalp and removes dandruff or excess sebum, thus releasing hair follicles and helping them to regenerate and grow. You can massage the scalp with aloe vera gel several times a week or use an aloe vera shampoo;
Coconut oil:the fatty acids in coconut oil penetrate the hair and reduce protein loss. Depending on the type of hair, coconut oil can be used before or after the bath. If the hair is greasy or with a tendency to thicken, make a treatment with coconut oil overnight or a few hours before bathing. Massage the scalp with coconut oil and then wash. If the hair is dry, coconut oil is used after the bath and can be left in the hair;
Jojoba oil:scalp massage with jojoba oil is a very good treatment for hair loss because it moisturizes the hair follicles and strengthens them. In addition, jojoba oil supports cell regeneration in the hair and leaves no greasy residue on the scalp, so it does not load the hair root;
Rosemary oil:it is used to treat androgenetic alopecia because it stimulates the growth of new hair. Mix in a neutral oil (olive or grape seed) a few drops of rosemary essential oil and massage the scalp for a few minutes. Drops of essential oil can also be added to the shampoo, but it is not recommended to use rosemary oil directly on the scalp;
Geranium oil:this essential oil stimulates blood circulation to the scalp and helps with hair regeneration. It can be mixed in conditioner, hair mask or in a neutral oil. Regular use strengthens and moisturizes hair;
Saffron oil:removes dandruff and strengthens the follicles, penetrating deep into the hair and nourishing it from the inside. Stimulates hair growth and provides a healthy shine;
Pumpkin seed oil:this remedy is administered orally and is especially useful for men with alopecia. Pumpkin seed oil blocks the conversion of testosterone in the body into a compound called dihydrotestosterone, which is responsible for hair loss;
Fish oil:this oil is also administered orally to strengthen the hair inside. Omega fatty acids in fish oil support cell development and help hair to be denser and stronger;
Gingseng:gingseng supplements stimulate hair growth due to the regenerative action of the follicles;
Onion juice:the sulfur in onion juice supports hair regeneration and accelerates their growth because it improves circulation in the scalp. Onion juice is obtained by squeezing two or three onions. Apply to the scalp and hair and leave on for at least fifteen minutes. Then wash your hair as usual;
Lemon:fresh lemon juice supports hair growth, keeping the scalp clean and healthy. As with onion juice, leave on the scalp and hair for at least 15 minutes, then shampoo normally. Lemon essential oil can be used, but not directly on the scalp but diluted in another neutral oil or in cosmetics;
Licorice root:regenerates dry or irritated scalp, opens pores and strengthens hair follicles. It can be consumed in the form of tea;
Apple cider vinegar:hair loss can occur because the threads of hair are oversaturated with sebum or cosmetics. In such situations, rinsing with apple cider vinegar acts as a degreaser for hair follicles and prevents the accumulation of bacteria that thin the hair;
Cayenne pepper:stimulates blood circulation to the scalp due to capsaicin, a compound specific to pepper.
Egg:stimulates hair growth due to its high protein content. Mix an egg with a tablespoon of olive oil and apply on freshly washed hair. Leave on for at least ten minutes and rinse well.
Iron:is a very important mineral in the body and its lack is associated with hair loss. It is recommended to eat foods rich in iron - red meat, fish, tofu, broccoli and greens.
Biotin:vitamin B7 (biotin) is recommended for people who face hair loss, but also skin conditions. Foods rich in vitamin B7 are eggs, wheat germ or mushrooms.
Zinc:this mineral supports countless processes in the body, including hair growth. People with alopecia should include zinc supplements in their diet on the recommendation of a doctor.
Amino acids:these protein compounds help the body to function. Some of them, such as cysteine and L-lysine play an important role in maintaining healthy hair and growing it. Foods that contain abundant amino acids are cheese, fish, eggs, nuts and seeds, whole grains and meat.
Hair loss is a normal process that manifests itself differently from person to person, depending on age, gender, hereditary factors or lifestyle. When excess hair is lost, this process can be slowed down or even stopped with the help of natural remedies or essential minerals such as iron or zinc. A balanced diet, quitting alcohol and smoking and eliminating stressors can also help maintain a rich hair for as long as possible.