Do you wait for the day when you can feel your hair blowing in the wind or brush your fingers through your hair without pulling out a bird’s nest? As cliché as it must seem, everyone wants healthier hair. But, while everyone wants it, most people don’t really know what it takes to grow and maintain healthier hair.
Almost 21 million women and 35 million men suffer from hair loss every year. Fortunately, there are ways to alleviate most hair loss conditions, but before you can come up with a solution, it’s important to figure out why your hair is falling out in the first place.
What You Should Know About Your Hair
Most of us are familiar with the keratin-infused conditioners and shampoos. Keratin is the protein that our hair is made from, and is produced in our hairs follicles on the outside of our scalp.
As the hair follicles produce new hair cells, the old cells are pushed out through the surface of our scalp skin. So, the hair you want to feel blowing in the wind is actually a string of dead keratin cells!
The average person has around 100,000 to 150,00 hairs on their head and loses around 100 to 125 hairs per day. The average person’s hair grows at the rate of about 6 inches every year, so if you find a few strands while combing out your hair you should be fine. But, if you feel like your hair is falling out faster than it’s growing, then there is a cause for investigation.
Your Hair’s Life Cycle
Every follicle on your head has its own life cycle and that life cycle can be influenced for good or for worse by diseases, age, and a variety of other factors. Your hair’s life cycle is divided into 3 phases:
- Anagen: consistent hair growth that lasts between 2 to 8 years; 90% of your hair grows during this phase.
- Catagen: transitional hair growth that lasts 2 to 3 weeks; during this phase, your hair follicles begin to shrink.
- Telogen: resting phase that lasts between 2 to 3 months; at the end of the resting period, your hair will start to shed and new hair will replace it. The growing cycle continues again.
What Causes Hair Loss
Your hair’s life cycle can be influenced by various factors that promote hair loss. The leading factors of hair loss are environmental effects like UV rays and pollution, age, and other contributing factors, such as:
- Heredity: According to the American Academy of Dermatology, this is one of the most common hair loss conditions; almost 30 million people suffer from it.
- Medical conditions: such as pregnancy, thyroid disorder, anemia and other autoimmune diseases like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), as well as skin conditions like seborrheic dermatitis and psoriasis.
- Physical and emotional stress: When you experience a stressful event in your life, it can shock your hair’s life cycle, pushing more hair into the shedding phase. Rapid weight loss can also affect the hair life cycle and become a contributing factor to hair.
- Nutritional deficiencies: Vitamin B deficiency and lack of protein can contribute to hair loss. Your protein-deprived body will start to ration off your protein by shutting down your hair growth. Hair loss can happen between 2 to 3 months after a drop in protein intake.
- Overstyling: Strenuous styling and hair treatments like tight french braids and weaves can cause your hair to break off, while chemical relaxers and hair dye can damage your hair’s roots, preventing hair growth.
Natural Remedies for Hair Loss
Fortunately, there are some natural hair remedies that can help treat and prevent hair loss. These include:
Consistent hair and scalp massages will increase blood flow to your hair follicles, condition and nourish your scalp while strengthening your hair’s roots. As an added bonus, scalp massages can also reduce stress.
You can use any hair oils of your personal preference like coconut or almond oil, argan oil, castor oil or amla oil. You can even mix these together and create your own hair oil mask.
- For best results, massage the scalp with any of the previously mentioned oils at least once a week.
Apply Licorice Root
Licorice is an herb that is proven to prevent hair loss and breakage. It can help open up your hair’s pores, soothe your scalp, and prevent irritation and flakes. This remedy is perfect for those who struggle with dandruff.
- Add one tablespoon of ground licorice root into 1 cup milk with a teaspoon of saffron. Mix thoroughly.
- Apply to hair and scalp, cover with a plastic bag or cap and leave it on overnight.
- Rinse and wash in the morning.
- Repeat this remedy once or twice a week.
Fenugreek is extremely effective for hair loss. Fenugreek seeds contain nicotinic acid and proteins which stimulate hair growth. It also contains hormone antecedents that promote hair growth and rebuild hair follicles.
- Soak 1 cup of fenugreek seeds in water overnight.
- Grind the seeds into a paste the next morning.
- Apply paste to your hair and cover with a plastic shower cap or bag.
- Rinse your hair after 40 minutes and repeat this process every week.
Aloe Vera Gel and Onion Juice
With such high sulfur content, onion juice helps treat hair loss by improving blood circulation in your scalp. It also reduces inflammation and regenerates hair follicles. In addition, onions have antibacterial properties that kill germs and scalp infections that can cause hair loss.
Aloe vera contains enzymes and alkalizing properties that promote healthy hair growth and help the scalp and hair’s pH levels. To use aloe vera gel and onion juice together:
- Mix together 3 tablespoons of onion juice and 2 tablespoons of aloe vera gel together. You can also add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Apply this mixture to your scalp and leave it on for at least 30 minutes before rinsing it off and shampooing your hair.
Egg Yolks and Olive Oil
- Separate the egg yolks from the egg whites and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Mix until it becomes a cream-like consistency; apply to the hair starting from the ends, making your way up.
- Cover with a plastic bag or cap and leave it on overnight.
- Rinse in the morning.
Journey to Longer and Healthier Hair
The journey to healthier hair can be a matter of trial and error, but rewarding once you find the solution that works for you. The natural remedies discussed here can be extremely effective, yet will only work when they are practiced consistently.
If you think you could be allergic to any of the ingredients shared in the remedies above, feel free to apply the ingredient to a small area of the skin first, before carrying out any of the methods mentioned above. In addition, it’s important to maintain a balanced and healthy diet, so make sure you eat a lot of green vegetables to give your tresses the best chance they’ve got at looking long and healthy.