There’s no better way to develop an appreciation for something, than when it seems you’re about to lose it. So, no matter how much you may complain about your hair on a regular basis, you find a new love for it at the first sign of baldness! Yes, those strands of hair in your wash basin and bathroom drain can set off alarm bells, but hair loss shouldn’t come as a shock — it affects all of us and in most cases is completely normal. Of course, premature hair loss and early balding can be quite disturbing, which is why a good part of the world is always on the quest to find some solution to stop hair loss or magically reverse it.
While most natural cures for hair loss may seem like the stuff of fantasy, not all home remedies for hair growth are hyped up or exaggerated. Ayurvedic physicians have studied and recorded their observations over millennia, giving us valuable insights and recommendations into the problem of hair loss, which they termed as khalitya. Many of these hair loss remedies are now being proven to be beneficial for hair growth and restricting hair loss, although most are slow acting and require both discipline and patience. In addition to using Ayurvedic remedies for hair loss, you also need to make diet and lifestyle changes to help get the desired results.
Common Causes of Hair Loss
Hair loss occurs due to an imbalance of pitta, which is responsible for managing hormones and the digestive system. When this fiery dosha becomes aggravated, it can have an adverse effect on the quality and health of your hair.
Depending on your dosha type, here are some potential triggers that can throw pitta out of balance:
- Hot weather
- Spicy, sour, and salty foods
- Hot and sharp foods and drinks
Other hair loss causes and factors may also include:
- Certain health conditions and hormonal changes
- Certain medications and supplements
- Radiation therapy
- Excessive hairstyling
While aging plays a significant role in hair loss, early and dramatic hair loss isn’t really inevitable. Depending on the underlying conditions and causes, hair fall may be preventable and even reversible in some instances.
How to Prevent Hair Fall with Diet & Nutrition
Long-term hair health greatly depends on your lifestyle and diet. Don’t wait for signs of baldness to appear; the time to act is now. A balanced diet will get you far in terms of thick and lustrous hair. With gradual modifications, you will be able to strengthen and rejuvenate your hair as you start taking back control. Don’t forget these essential hair health nutrients.
Balanced diet for healthy hair growth
Protein: Your hair is made of protein, so it’s no surprise that it also requires this macronutrient to stay strong. You can get your daily dose of around 50 – 70 grams of protein from sources such as lean white meat, dairy products, and eggs. You can also opt for vegan sources such as nuts, legumes, and algae.
Vitamins: B vitamins, as well as Vitamins A, C, D, and E, are crucial to overall hair health. While some work to strengthen your hair, others are known to prevent damage and dryness. Make sure to balance your diet so that you get enough of all the vitamins you need.
Some of the most popular sources of vitamins are fruits and vegetables. Nuts and seeds are also a great addition, as they provide other essential nutrients.
Minerals: Minerals, especially zinc and selenium, can protect the scalp from dryness. You can find them in whole grains, oysters, eggs, walnuts, spinach, seeds, green peas, and chickpeas.
Iron is also incredibly important for hair health. If iron intake is inadequate, you may experience anemia, leading to disruption of nutrient supply to the hair follicles and eventually hair fall. You can obtain iron from animal-based products such as red meat and fish or vegan sources such as leafy greens.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Fats often take a bad rap, but not omega-3 fats. These healthy fats provide your scalp with oils that keep it well-hydrated and they are also known to have an anti-inflammatory effect, minimizing the risk of hair loss associated with inflammatory scalp conditions.
You can up your intake of omega-3 fats by consuming more seafood, as well as various nuts and seeds. If you prefer fruits, then you can also include more avocados in your diet.
Ayurvedic Home Remedies for Hair Loss
1. Bhringaraj (Eclipta alba)
Classified as a rasayana in Ayurvedic texts, bhringraj is often regarded to as the king of herbs due to its potent healing abilities. Not only is it one of the best remedies for liver cleansing and hair growth, but it is also believed to slow down the aging process. Bhringraj oil is one of the most popular hair growth remedies on the Indian subcontinent and is highly recommended for premature hair loss.
The use of bhringraj in hair loss remedies is also supported by research findings that suggest it may reduce hair growth time, which would help increase thickness of hair. A study published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology found that the use of products containing bhringraj enhanced regeneration and growth time of hair, also encouraging an increase in hair follicles in the anagenic phase.
How to prevent hair fall with bhringraj
Blend a handful of bhringraj leaves and add a bit of water to create a consistent paste. Alternatively, you can also mix some bhringaraj powder with just enough water to make a thick mixture.
Apply this paste on your scalp and let it sit for half an hour. Wash thoroughly with a mild shampoo and repeat the process every second day.
2. Amla (Indian gooseberry)
Amla is rich in vitamins and antioxidants that can help keep your hair strong and shiny, reducing the risk of premature greying. Additionally, it has the ability to tackle aggravated pitta and reduce its adverse effects on hair health. Amla’s potential as a remedy for hair loss is supported by the finding that amla extract may inhibit an enzyme linked with male pattern balding.
How to prevent hair fall with amla
- Mix a few tablespoons of amla powder with an equal amount of water to form a paste.
- Gently massage the paste onto your scalp and let it rest for half an hour.
- Repeat the treatment every second day. You can also perform this in conjunction with bhringaraj, alternating between the use of bhringraj and amla.
To get the most out of amla, you can also use it as a culinary ingredient or simply treat yourself to some amla juice.
3. Neem (Indian Lilac)
Neem is one of the most valued medicinal plants in India and has been a staple ingredient in most Ayurvedic remedies for hair loss. Neem is used to provide relief from a variety of hair and scalp conditions, including dandruff, dryness, and lice infestations.
As has become apparent from research, neem is most valuable as a natural hair loss remedy against hair fall caused as a result of fungal or parasitic infections. Topical applications like neem oil can help to strengthen the hair roots and improve blood flow to the scalp.
How to prevent hair fall with neem
Option 1: Boil a handful of neem leaves in a saucer containing a few cups of clean water. Allow it to boil for 10 minutes, then cover and set aside. In the mean time, you can wash your hair with a mild shampoo and rinse it thoroughly. Once the solution has cooled down, use it for the final rinse.
Option 2: Warm 2 tablespoons of olive oil, mixed with ½ a teaspoon of organic neem oil. Apply the solution onto your scalp while slightly warm, massaging it gently into the scalp. After an hour or so, wash your hair thoroughly with a mild shampoo.
The Final Word
No matter your age, hair loss can be pretty distressing, but it’s even harder to deal with when it occurs prematurely. Fortunately, hair loss, though not entirely preventable, can be restricted and sometimes reversed. Ayurveda can help by providing you with simple natural solutions that get to the root of the problem. Remember that in addition to using Ayurvedic remedies for hair growth, you also need to eat healthy, keeping an eye on balanced nutrition to provide you with all the essential hair nutrients. Most importantly, natural hair growth remedies are not fast-acting and will require consistent use and a great deal of patience. Just keep at it and you’ll eventually reap the rewards!
- Guo, E. L., & Katta, R. (2017). Diet and hair loss: effects of nutrient deficiency and supplement use. Dermatology Practical & Conceptual, 7(1), 1–10. http://doi.org/10.5826/dpc.0701a01
- Datta K., Singh A.T., Mukherjee A., Bhat B., Ramesh B., Burman A.C. (2009). Eclipta alba extract with potential for hair growth promoting activity. Journal of ethnopharmacology. Jul 30;124(3):450-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2009.05.023.
- Anjum, F., Bukhari, S. A., Shahid, M., Bokhari, T. H., & Talpur, M. M. A. (2014). Exploration of Nutraceutical Potential of Herbal Oil Formulated from Parasitic Plant. African Journal of Traditional, Complementary, and Alternative Medicines, 11(1), 78–86.