Most of us will have thought about hair loss, a good percentage will have experienced it or you may even be going through it as we speak.
While there are many shampoo’s, conditioners and health supplements on the market, these are not always the healthiest of options, nor are they the cheapest or most effective.
While hair loss affects people differently – some of us will be at the mercy of our genes, some affected by stress, trauma or dietary habits – there are many things you can do to slow or even prevent this process:
1. reduce stress
One of the most common reported discontents of our modern age is stress. Stress is often a cause for a whole host of physical ailments such as chronic fatigue, high blood pressure, poor digestive function but it will also affect the amount of hair your head.
It usually takes around three months for hair loss to occur after a continued period of stress or after a physical or psycological trauma has occurred. It is essential then to try and keep a tab on your stress levels.
Use simple meditation and breathing exercises when feeling overwhelmed or to check in with yourself. This will not make unpleasant circumstances disappear but it will prove essential in helping you manage and possibly avoid high stress levels in the future.
2. Cut out Abrasive Shampoo and Conditioner
One of the most important things to do when suffering from hair loss is to stop using abrasive, chemical-rich shampoo and conditioner. These will dry out your hair and strip your scalp of its essential natural oils.
These hair products are especially bad to use in winter as this is a time of year when skin and hair has a tendency to dry out anyway. Even when using natural, chemical-free and organic hair cleaning products, these will still often prove too harsh for those struggling to keep a head of hair.
One solution is an old Ayurvedic hair treatment: Regularly massaging a little Bhringaraj oil into the scalp will help lubricate and preserve your natural oils. Following this with a Shikakai powder wash will keep your scalp lubricated, yet effectively clean the oil from your hair. Repeat this process 1-2 times per week.
3. Develop Good Habits
It helps also to be conscious of certain habits you may need to change if you really are concerned about hair loss. Keeping your hair and scalp healthy requires certain lifestyle changes such as changing the way you clean your hair (see above) and regular cuts (every 6-8 weeks is fine). It is also better to air-dry your hair as blow-drying heats hair unnaturally, damaging it and promoting dryness.
Avoid wearing hats when not required and break the habit of running your fingers through your hair (sometimes this is a physical side-effect of stress – see tip 1). It is thought that side partings also put pressure on the strength of your roots – in this case, wild morning hair is best.
4. Eat a Healthy, Balanced Diet
Your diet might also need looking at. Cutting excessive alcohol, sugar and junk food consumption is a vital first step.
The food you consume will always have an effect on the way you look and feel physically, therefore stick to a healthy, natural diet. Going organic is especially recommended as this immediately cuts your consumption of multiple harmful chemicals.
Food containing the following are beneficial to hair growth:
Vitamin B complex: cheese, yoghurt, eggs, green leafy vegetables, peanuts, beans and beer yeast flakes.
Vitamin E: Sunflower and grape seed oils, mixture of seeds and nuts, wheat germ flakes and a whole host of fruit and vegetables such as kiwi and spinach.
Calcium: Dried herbs, almond milk, dairy products, turnips, kale and sesame seeds.
Magnesium: Molasses, raw unrefined cacao, oat, rye and various seeds.
Choline: Cauliflower, swiss chard, sardines, scallops, chicken, eggs and beef.
AND FINALLY, drink plenty of water. A high consumption of liquids throughout the day is essential in eliminating bodily waste, lifting your mood, dissipating stress levels and keeping your scalp lubricated – all these factors will help contribute to a healthy head of hair.
5. Feed Your Scalp - Increase Blood Circulation
As well as lubricating the scalp, it is also crucial to maintain good blood flow throughout the body and particularly to your hair roots. Make sure you:
- Exercise regularly, attempting to increase your heart rate for a minimum of 20 minutes.
- Massage your scalp with oil as often as possible, this will help activate the flow of blood and oxygen to the extremities. (see 2.)
- For some the winter cold can have a detrimental impact on blood circulation. If you are one of these people, make sure you keep warm
- Quit smoking. It is thought that the nicotine and carbon monoxide content in cigarettes may prevent healthy blood circulation, causing hair follicle dormancy and subsequent hair loss through lack of nourishment.
DISCLAIMER: While we have provided some of the best ways to treat hair loss naturally, hair loss can sometimes be a side effect of a more serious condition – if in doubt always seek professional medical advice.
Sebastian von Holstein is the online editor for Permaculture magazine and also the founder of the newly launched Von Holstein Group, which aims to restore health and balance to communities through the arts, design and architecture.