Feeling a little thin on top? These 10 natural ways to prevent hair loss may help!
By Jody McCutcheon
We are as attached to our head’s hair as it (initially) is to us. When we start losing it, we really start, uh, losing it. And we want it back!
As far back as Ancient Egypt, people have sought ways to stem hair loss and stimulate hair growth. While the Egyptians employed a cocktail of iron oxide, red lead, onions, alabaster, animal fats and honey (and wore a lot of wigs when none of those worked), today we still use some of those remedies, in one form or another.
Men’s hair loss in particular has created a billion-dollar industry. Potential cures range from chemically laced topical treatments like Rogaine and drugs to hair transplants and toupees. Yipes!. Yet hair-loss science is imperfect, uncertain and riddled with misinformation that allows companies to sell solutions that may or may not work.
Why we lose hair
We lose hair for several reasons. Chiefly, ageing weakens hair and makes it more brittle. Ageing also decreases hormone production and nutrient absorption, both of which slow hair growth.
Other reasons for hair loss include:
- nutritional deficiencies
- pattern baldness
- illness and autoimmune disorders
Even air and water pollutants and sunlight’s phototoxic ageing effects may facilitate alopecia. In short, there are so many potential causes of hair loss, it’s vital to visit a specialist to know what’s behind your personal hair loss situation,
While there’s no way to completely stop natural hair loss due to ageing and genetic factors, we can certainly control how fast we lose it. And, we can possibly reverse abnormal loss and stimulate growth by taking certain steps, such as those below.
10 Natural Ways to Prevent Hair Loss
1. Change Your Diet
Of all the natural ways to prevent hair loss, this may seem to be the most obvious. But what few people realise is that one consequence of the typical North American high-fat, high-protein, high-salt diet is an acidic environment in the body. This can lead to premature hair loss.
Iron-rich foods like lean red meats and dark green veggies contribute to ferritin levels sufficient to increase the hair’s growth cycle. This means it will grow for a greater period of time. Iron also delivers oxygen to hair follicles, which further incites growth.
Hair is made mostly of protein, and protein deficiency causes hair loss. So, it stands to reason that adding protein to your diet will stimulate growth. But paradoxically, too much protein may result in baldness. A Goldilocks situation seems to exist in terms of protein and hair growth.
Another food ingredient crucial to hair health is omega-3 fatty acids. These facilitate the production and action of hormones and oily lubricants that lead to healthy scalp and follicles and bouncy, shiny hair. Omega-3 fatty acids are found in fish, shellfish, nuts and seeds and their oils.
Healthy hair also requires us to eat our vitamins. For example:
- A and B-complex vitamins promote vibrant, shiny hair
- B12 can neutralise premature hair loss
- C and Zinc help strengthen hair
- Biotin helps avoid hair loss and premature greying
- D facilitates healthy follicular growth
- E helps maintain a healthy, moisturised scalp.
The bottom line? Eating whole foods such as organic eggs, lentils, spinach, red meat, pumpkin seeds and salmon is best. Also include plenty of fruits and vegetables, vitamins and minerals. Most vegetable skins are rich in silica, which contributes to hair strength.
2. Detox Now
Behavioural strategies can also mitigate hair loss, starting with the elimination of three common vices. Namely, alcohol, tobacco and coffee. Excess booze intake leads to hair loss through dehydration. This makes hair dry and brittle (one quarter of your hair strands is composed of water). It also dramatically depletes the body’s iron and zinc levels. Caffeine in large amounts similarly affects the body.
Cigarette smoke, meanwhile, contains toxins that accelerate hair loss as well as premature greying. What’s not known is whether these tobacco toxins directly affect the scalp or simply accelerate the ageing process. What is known is that quitting mitigates the problems.
3. Drink Certain Teas and Infusions
Another of the best natural ways to prevent hair loss naturally is to drink teas.
For example, green tea, saw palmetto and stinging nettle tea contain ingredients that inhibit the conversion of testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a compound that’s linked to thinning hair and pattern baldness. An extract of the saw palmetto plant may have a similar effect on testosterone. These products are prime weapons in the battle against some forms of alopecia.
Swapping coffee for green, nettle or saw palmetto tea may not give you a morning kick, but it could wake your hair follicles up! Can’t drink that much tea? You can actually buy the concentrated ingredients of these teas in pill form to help prevent hair loss.
4. Use Light Therapy
Red light therapy has been proven to stop hair from shedding and increase hair growth in some cases. While the ‘laser comb’ is perhaps the most popular device for those with hair loss, any LED red light instrument will do.
These devices all use light wavelengths which, when applied directly to the scalp, can increase collagen and elastin production, stimulate hair growth, reduce the inflammation that may be causing hair to shed, and increase circulation to the scalp.
One of the easiest ones to use is the Mayraki Hair Growth Ulti-Nutra Laser System.
5. Chill Out With A Massage
This might be one of my favourite of all the natural ways to prevent hair loss naturally!
When we say some experience was so rough, we ‘lost hair’ over it, it could well be the case. As I mentioned in the intro, stress is another factor in hair loss. More specifically of a condition called telogen effluvium.
Meditation and exercise are two ways to relieve stress and create a better hormonal balance, thereby helping to prevent alopecia. Massage also may be beneficial. Both of the body, and of the scalp.
For the latter, the addition of oils such as almond or coconut make the massage more pleasant, sure. But they also infuse the scalp with essential vitamins and minerals that contribute to hair growth. You can get a massage from a professional, or simply massage your own scalp with either your fingertips.
6. Don’t Fake It
One of the easiest natural ways prevent hair loss is to simply stop using extensions, weaves or hairpieces daily. These may damage hair follicles permanently over time, as they all cause stress where they anchor to the scalp.
Sure, hairpieces may provide some temporary volume, but constantly wearing them is another hair-loss accelerator. Believe me, I know many women who have tried all kinds of hair extensions. And inevitably they end up with loads of hair being pulled out when they’re applied and removed.
Also be careful with hair straighteners, tight ponytails, blow dryers, harsh chemical hair dyes and heated rollers. All of these can further damage delicate hair and cause it to break off.
7. Try Anti-Hair Loss Products
Did you know? One of the best natural ways prevent hair loss is simply to use an all-natural shampoo.
That’s because most commercial shampoos contain sodium laurel or sodium laureth sulphate (SLS). Both of these detergent chemicals are harsh on hair, and SLS also corrodes hair follicles and impairs their ability to grow hair. One study even showed that if you use pure SLS on your scalp, it will actually cause hair to fall out immediately!
Some trichologists (hair specialists) believe that increasing use of SLS in shampoo is leading more women to lose their hair (or to have it thin out) than ever before.
Not to worry! Eluxe has recommended some fantastic, gentle shampoos with all natural ingredients.
You can also look for shampoos that contain certain hair-encouraging ingredients. Namely:
- rosemary oil
- saw palmetto extract
- peppermint oil.
One we would recommend is Wild Science Growth Boost Shampoo and Conditioner. These contain hair-growing botanicals like caffeine, biotin, salicylic acid, vegetable proteins, and essential oils. It’s all 97% naturally-derived, silicone, paraben, and sulphate-free, and vegan.
But you can also try other products designed for encouraging hair growth, like oils and serums.
Our pick? Mayraki Hair Growth Serum Intense.
8. Try A Supplement
Anti-hair loss supplements is another of the best natural ways prevent hair loss. Especially if you’re losing hair due to too much DHT (a male hormone that causes androgenic alopecia). If you suffer from a lack of ferritin, protein, iron, biotin or other trace elements that are essential for healthy hair growth, a supplement may help, too.
There are several on the market, such as:
- Viviscal, which many celebs have endorsed
- HairAnew, which always gets good reviews from users
- NutraFol, which has special formulas for both men and women.
Most anti-hair loss/pro-hair growth supplements are likely to contain marine collagen of some kind, so aren’t vegan friendly. But NutraFol has four patented clinically proven ingredients to combat the underlying causes of hair loss, thinning hair and declining hair health. It also claims to contain bio-actives that will minimise hair shedding and hair loss due to stress and DHT.
Even if you’re not losing too much hair, designated hair supplements like these have a rich content of A, C, D, and Zinc. They also contain biotin, selenium and other anti-ageing herbs that can offset the damaging effects of stress, nutritional deficiencies, and act as a preventative part of your anti-aging strategy for your locks. So why not give one a try?
9. Use A Dermaroller
In case you’re not familiar with it, a dermaroller is a simple device that is used to make tiny pin pricks in the skin. The pricks penetrate into the dermal layer, just deep enough to stimulate new cell production. They also boost circulation, but don’t cause damage or (too much) pain. This whole process is also known as ‘microneedling’.
The dermaroller has been used as a beauty device for decades to renew the youthfulness of skin but stimulating collagen, reducing the appearance of wrinkles.
In a similar way that the dermaroller is used to stimulate collagen production on the facial skin, it can also be used to increase cell production and increase blood circulation around the scalp, which in turn will help with new hair growth.
We’d recommend the 1.5mm dermarollers by BIA (Beauty In All). Priced at around $20, this is one of the cheapest and best natural ways to prevent hair loss. Especially when you follow up your rolling with a hair-growth product like BIA’s Hair Growth Elixir. The dermaroller allows it to penetrate into the scalp more deeply.
10. Use A Good Hair Oil
Our final of the best natural ways to prevent hair loss is to regularly use a hair oil. This is a secret that has been used in India for generations.
And by ‘hair oil’, I mean this: you can either use a commercial hair oil that’s designed to stop hair loss. Or, you could just use a natural oil, such as lavender or peppermint, and apply it directly.
And it will be worth it! Did you know that lavender oil has been shown to have the same effect on stopping hair loss as minoxidil?
Here’s how it’s done:
- For best results, warm up the oil and massage a small amount gently into the scalp on dry hair.
- Leave for at least 30 minutes to a few hours and wash off as normal with shampoo and conditioner.
- But here’s the kicker: you need to use it 2-3 times a week. Which means this one takes quite a bit of time to try.
Got the time and the will to do it? Avani Hair Growth Oil by Veda is a good one to try! It features high concentrations of thyme and rosemary oils, which are said to help your hair grow. It smells lovely, too!
Do you have any tips of your own on natural ways to prevent hair loss? We’d love to hear them!