Seeing more hair in the sink lately?
If you notice it coming out more often or in large amounts, you’ve probably already guessed the bad news. It could be a sign you’re experiencing pattern baldness, follicle damage, or alopecia. Or it could be caused by chronic inflammation or malnutrition.
But no matter the cause, nobody wants to lose their hair—man or woman. And while there’s no “magic” cure, you can naturally control how quickly you lose your strands. In fact, you might even be able to stop abnormal hair loss altogether. Here are 5 natural ways to protect your hair and keep it where it belongs—on your head, not down the drain.
1. Coconut Oil: Coconut oil is anti-microbial and anti-fungal. Applying it directly to your scalp helps keep it free of germs and dirt that can clog or damage your follicles. It does this without the harsh chemicals found in most hair care products. Yet it’s so strong that it has actually been used to treat head lice.1
If you use it before or after washing your hair, research shows that coconut oil can significantly reduce protein damage.2 You can pre-wash your hair with it to help clean your scalp of bacteria and buildup. It will also make your hair stronger and more resilient. No bad smell. No harsh chemicals.
2. Saw Palmetto: Saw palmetto does more than just support your prostate health.
Researchers believe that saw palmetto is effective for stopping hair loss because it stops testosterone from converting into dihydrotestosterone. It’s a compound linked to thinning hair and pattern baldness.3
You’ll find it in some high-end hair care products. But for the most benefit, we recommend you supplement. You can’t get this one from food and most multivitamins won’t give you enough of it.
3. Onion Juice: Ok, we admit it. This one does not sound pleasant. But onion juice really can make your hair grow.
One study showed that applying onion juice to the scalp twice a day caused hair regrowth in almost 90 percent of subjects. And they started seeing results in only six weeks.4
Like coconut oil, onion juice cleans the scalp. But it can also increase circulation and nourish hair follicles because it is rich in catalase. This antioxidant may help get rid of the hydrogen peroxide buildup associated with thinning and greying hair.5
As you can probably imagine, your hair may not smell great after trying this. Make sure to do this before washing your hair.
4. Vitamin D: This one isn’t all that surprising. Vitamin D keeps your hormones running smoothly, so it’s no wonder that it can help keep you from losing your hair.
Researchers in one study found that vitamin D may help stem cells grow new hair follicles in mice.6
Its receptors are crucial for hair growth. So while this vitamin won’t help you grow back hair that you have already lost, it may keep you from losing any more.7
Going out in the sun and getting active is an excellent way to get this vitamin. But you can also get it from eggs, cold water fish, and mushrooms.
5. Iron: Hair loss isn’t a problem exclusive to men. And in fact, it can be even more devastating when it happens to women.
One study followed 5,000 women over eight years. It found that women with low levels of iron in their blood tended to have the most hair loss.8
Iron helps transport oxygen to the scalp. Your hair follicles need oxygen to work at their best. Make sure that yours are getting enough air.
It’s easy to go overboard with iron if you take it as a supplement. This can lead to diarrhea and skin flushing. But it may also cause more serious problems, like fluid in the lungs.9 Instead, look to your diet to add more iron. Some good sources are oysters, spinach, eggs, and grass fed beef.
If you’re having a hard time hanging on to your hair, these natural solutions can help. Even if you just want to keep your hair from thinning, trying any of these will give your scalp and follicles the support they need to keep your hair growing thick and strong for 2014…and beyond!