Wellness Lead, Dill Pickle Food Co-op
Hat season is just about behind us, meaning our tresses will be coming out to play during the longer, sunny days. Having long, thick and lustrous hair is desired by many and is a sign of good health. On the other hand, hair loss and thinning hair can be the result of nutritional deficiencies, hormone imbalance, stress, genetics, hairstyles, chemical products, and many other varying factors.
I myself have been the victim of thinning hair around my temples and for the past few months, I’ve been doing diligent research on natural remedies that have been thought to promote new hair growth.
And I’m excited to share the information I’ve discovered! While healthy hair inherently comes from a healthy diet and healthy lifestyle, supplementing with nutraceuticals, using non-toxic body care products, and receiving weekly scalp massages can all help one achieve a healthy mane of locks.
Here are four such remedies:
1. Biotin, also known as B-7 or Vitamin H, is apart of the B-Vitamin family. One symptom of a Biotin deficiency is thinning hair because Biotin plays a key role in producing amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein. Since our hair is made up primarily of protein – collagen and keratin, the more biotin you take, the stronger your hair will be and the less likely it is to split and break off. To counteract a Biotin deficiency, the Mayo Clinic recommends 30-100mcg/day (1).
2. Castor oil. Native to Eastern Africa and India, castor oil is derived from the castor tree seeds and is a centuries old remedy used to treat split ends and hair loss. It is rich in omega 6s and EFAs, which accelerate blood circulation to the scalp, and in turn promotes new hair growth. The anti-oxidants in castor oil support the keratin in hair and help make it stronger, less likely to fall out, and less frizzy in about a month or so (2). Because castor oil is so thick, I like to mix it with equal parts of a base oil, such as almond oil. Rub it on your scalp and massage it in for a few minutes. Let it sit on your scalp for 30-45 minutes, then wash it out with shampoo. Do this at least twice a week. If you have dry or high porosity hair like I do, you can leave it in until you’re ready to wash it out, as coarser hair tends to soak up oils a lot faster than low porosity hair does.
3. Rosemary oil is another age old remedy that has been used to stimulate hair growth. Considered sacred by ancient Egyptians, Romans and Greek, rosemary oil stimulates cell division and dilates blood vessels and as a result stimulates hair follicles into producing new hair growth. One study was done on men, where one group was given Rogaine for a period of four months and the other group was given rosemary oil. The men who applied Rosemary to their scalp saw the same amount of growth as the Rogaine group, suggesting that rosemary is an effective remedy against hair loss. It can also be used to treat dandruff and alopecia (3). To facilitate hair growth, mix two drops of rosemary essential oil in two tablespoons of a base oil, such as almond or coconut oil. You can even add castor oil to the mix. Apply it on your scalp and massage for about one minute. Leave it on for at least 30 minutes and then shampoo your hair as usual. This routine may be done several times a week for 3 months before results are seen.
4. Scalp Massage. Inadequate circulation is one of the main reasons behind hair loss. Scalp massages can improve circulation and stimulate new hair growth. To grow hair faster you can try a daily scalp massage. Using a circular motion, gently massage your scalp with your fingertips for 5 minutes each day. This kneading motion will help to open blood vessels and increase blood flow to the scalp – providing the area with more oxygen, which is essential for healthy hair (4).
Feel free to stop in to the store to ask me more about these remedies and more!
The content presented above is for informational purposes. Please consult with your doctor if you are interested in implementing any of these suggestions to ensure it is safe for your personal health care needs.