Hair loss treatments are a multi-billion dollar business and a growing concern for both men and women. There are many possible causes of hair loss, but most of them fall into two categories: 1) Hair loss (or alopecia) caused by system-wide medical conditions; and 2) Hair loss caused by environmental factors. As we are not medical professionals, addressing #1 is beyond the scope of this blog post. As for #2, there is much that we can do to address the various environmental stressors that might contribute to hair loss. Moreover, there are a few tips that we can provide that don’t cost a lot, and that may help stem the tide of hair loss that you may be experiencing.
Aside from the conditions that can cause male pattern baldness and female pattern baldness (heredity, autoimmune conditions, metabolic conditions), there are the things that we do to our hair that place stress on the hair follicles. These include such things as tugging and pulling wet hair, hair coloring, blow drying, and pulling hair back into a tight ponytail. These factors affect the hair strands themselves by placing stress on the follicles. Over time, these practices can cause inflammation and weaken the hair shaft. Harsh sulfate shampoos, silicone products, and product buildup could lead to damaged hair and scalp.
The solution is simple; we need to cut down on the amount of stress we place on our hair. If we suffer from dandruff or scalp psoriasis, it’s important to seek treatments that will alleviate these conditions, as well. It’s important to treat our scalps the same way we treat our skin. Avoid harsh chemicals and fragrances that can cause rashes and allergic reactions. There are many sulfate-free shampoos on the market now, and a good rinse with apple cider vinegar can help to eliminate or prevent product buildup in our hair, which can clog hair follicles.
For thousands of years, ayurvedic scalp treatment have been used to stimulate circulation in the scalp to help maintain a healthy scalp. Using coconut or amla oil, and including essential oils of neem, rosemary, or tea tree can help minimize harmful bacteria and nourish the hair, as well. One study found it beneficial to use hair products infused with caffeine to stimulate hair growth.
Exercise and eating a balanced diet that is low in sugar are also helpful, as anything that benefits the rest of the body will invariably benefit our hair and scalp.
To sum up, here are some hair loss prevention tips that can help you maintain healthy hair and scalp:
- Avoid mechanically stressing the hair (pulling, wet-brushing, blow-drying, tight ponytails) as much as possible
- If you smoke or drink heavily, stop.
- Use mild shampoos and conditioners, and rinse hair with apple cider vinegar once a week
- Avoid using harsh treatments like perms, relaxers, and hot curlers, which can burn hair follicles
- Wear a hair covering and/or barrier sunscreen on your hair and scalp when out in the sun
- Try yoga or acupuncture to help relieve stress and bring down stress hormones
- Massage the scalp regularly using ayurvedic herbs like Arnica and Ashgawanda (use as directed)
- Use scalp treatments containing essential oils like neem and rosemary, and caffeine-infused treatments like our coffee/orange/clove oil bar soap.
- Eat a healthy, balanced diet that includes adequate calories and vitamins and is low in refined sugar, which causes inflammation.
- Stay active. Not only will it enhance your immune system and improve mood, but it will improve overall circulation.
Finally, if you think there is something wrong, see a doctor. It’s important to rule out any underlying medical condition that may be causing your hair loss. Hair loss can be a scary and embarrassing thing, but with a little effort you can take steps to maintain healthy hair and scalp.
WikiHow article on hair growth
Top 10 Ayurvedic hair loss prevention treatments
American Hair Loss Association website