With all the focus on “looking the part” and being fit these days, a great head of hair has become central to our idea of beauty. So what happens when you see the first signs of a bald patch or shed a bunch of hair every other day? A host of surgical options with hair implants are being offered everywhere, but is there a less invasive (and less painful) way to regrow your hair? Can you at least stop the problem before it gets worse?
Hair loss can be devastating for both men and women. So it may come as a huge relief that alternative therapy and simple home remedies can make a difference. Here’s a look at some of the treatments that have shown results.
For those with an autoimmune cause for their hair loss, as in the case of alopecia areata, alternative therapy can be a boon. In one study, a combination of massage therapy and relaxation techniques were used to treat test subjects with the problem. The hair loss markedly reduced in just three months’ time and by the end of the study hair had begun to show regrowth.1 If you have gone through a major traumatic experience or are facing a lot of stress or a major life change like childbirth, hair loss might be an unwanted addition. Relaxation through yoga or meditation, massages, and trying to work around your stress triggers may help reduce this kind of hair loss, also called Telogen Effluvium.2
Topical Aromatherapy Massage With Essential Oils
Aromatherapy with relaxing essential oil blends massaged directly onto the head can also be helpful. Research has shown that lavender, rosemary, cedarwood, and thyme mixed with a grapeseed and jojoba oils can improve hair growth. While jojoba and grapeseed are just carriers, the real benefits come from the first four oils which are renowned for stimulating hair growth. The added benefit of massage is that it helps improve blood circulation to your scalp and keeps the roots plied with nourishment from the inside.3
Onion Juice for Alopecia Areata
The topical application of onion juice has yielded promising results in several studies. If you’re suffering from patchy hair loss due to alopecia areata, you could give this remedy a try. All it takes is some “crude onion juice” – just juice an onion freshly at home and apply to the affected areas.4
Hair loss resulting from psychosomatic disorders can bring on strong feelings of negativity and be potentially devastating. With self-esteem and body image at a low, complementary and alternative medicine is a route that offers dignity and can work really well for some. Researchers have found that hypnotherapy too can be helpful for reducing hair loss and paving the way for regrowth. One study of people with alopecia totalis/alopecia universalis determined that treatment could help ease depression and anxiety and influence hair growth, stopping hair loss. Scalp hair began to grow back after just 3 to 8 hypnotherapy sessions.5
When it comes to alopecia areata, garlic gel applied topically can improve the outcome of other treatments. One study supplemented the corticosteroid treatment with a regimen that involved topical application of garlic gel twice a day over a 3-month period. The researchers noted a good to moderate benefit and concluded that it can improve the effectiveness of the other treatments being administered.6
Ginseng Radix or red ginseng helps promote hair growth owing to the presence of ginseng saponins, the active ingredients in the traditional Chinese herbal remedy. In one study, a 70 percent methanol extract of the steamed and dried roots of the plant caused significant hair growth.7
Your body needs adequate protein, iron, and vitamins for healthy hair growth. Deprive yourself of these, and you might begin to experience hair loss. To nip this problem in the bud and get your hair growing well again, all you might need to do is ensure your diet incorporates the recommended daily levels of these nutrients.
You’ll need vitamin A from foods like carrots, sweet potatoes, or leafy green vegetables for creating the oily sebum to condition your hair; vitamin C from sources like bell peppers, lemons, berries, broccoli, or grapes for collagen production; and vitamin E from nuts, sunflowers seeds, leafy greens, or seafood for protection from sun damage.8 Some people have benefitted from taking an oral zinc supplement as well. You can also boost zinc intake from dietary sources by eating more seafood, wheat germ, pumpkin seeds, red meat, or nuts.9
References [ + ]
|1.||↑||Putt, Sharon C., Lawrence Weinstein, and Mary T. Dzindolet. “A case study: massage, relaxation, and reward for treatment of alopecia areata.” Psychological reports 74, no. 3 suppl (1994): 1315-1318.|
|2.||↑||Causes of Hair Loss, American Hair Loss Association.|
|3.||↑||Hay, Isabelle C., Margaret Jamieson, and Anthony D. Ormerod. “Randomized trial of aromatherapy: successful treatment for alopecia areata.” Archives of dermatology 134, no. 11 (1998): 1349-1352.|
|4.||↑||Sharquie, Khalifa E., and Hala K. Al‐Obaidi. “Onion juice (Allium cepa L.), a new topical treatment for alopecia areata.” The Journal of dermatology 29, no. 6 (2002): 343-346.|
|5.||↑||Willemsen, Ria, Johan Vanderlinden, Arlette Deconinck, and Diane Roseeuw. “Hypnotherapeutic management of alopecia areata.” Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology 55, no. 2 (2006): 233-237.|
|6.||↑||Hajheydari, Zohreh, Mojgan Jamshidi, Jafar Akbari, and Rezaali Mohammadpour. “Combination of topical garlic gel and betamethasone valerate cream in the treatment of localized alopecia areata: a double-blind randomized controlled study.” Indian Journal of Dermatology, Venereology, and Leprology 73, no. 1 (2007): 29.|
|7.||↑||Matsuda, Hideaki, Miho Yamazaki, Yusuke Asanuma, and Michinori Kubo. “Promotion of hair growth by ginseng radix on cultured mouse vibrissal hair follicles.” Phytotherapy Research 17, no. 7 (2003): 797-800.|
|8.||↑||Trueb, Ralph M. “Pharmacologic interventions in aging hair.” Clinical interventions in aging 1, no. 2 (2006): 121.|
|9.||↑||Park, Hoon, Chul Woo Kim, Sang Seok Kim, and Chun Wook Park. “The therapeutic effect and the changed serum zinc level after zinc supplementation in alopecia areata patients who had a low serum zinc level.” Annals of dermatology 21, no. 2 (2009): 142-146.|