Whether you’ve had thin hair your entire life or you’re just starting to notice that your mane isn’t looking quite as full as it used to, chances are, you’ve sought solutions to thicken or regrow the strands on your scalp. If this is the case, you’re not alone – hair loss can and does happen to a lot of people. Visible hair loss tends to be more noticeable around certain parts of the scalp, like the top of the head or around the sides by the temples, but stimulating new growth can be attempted naturally at home and with just a few inexpensive items.
What is Hair Loss?
Known as alopecia, hair loss occurs when hair follicles, or pores, either die or become slow in their ability to produce and push a protein called keratin through the follicle and, eventually, outside the skin. This often occurs naturally with age, although certain factors such as genetics, thyroid or hormonal conditions, side effects of medications, or other illnesses can affect hair cell production and growth. This often begins to appear as overall thinning or patchiness of the hair, or a recession of the hairline, usually starting at or around the temples.
Topical chemical treatments are used by many to help stimulate regrowth, although some believe that blood flow and circulation to old or weak hair follicles can be stimulated with only the fingertips and some common vitamin-rich items. Popular remedies for encouraging new hair follicle growth include combining a rich carrier oil like jojoba, coconut or olive oil with agents like vitamin-dense or mineral-dense aloe vera gel, potato juice, cinnamon, neem leaves or certain essential oils.
How to Stimulate Growth
In order to stimulate new hair growth, one part of the body must be given special attention: the hair follicles. To encourage new hair growth topically, warm the carrier oil of your choosing with a dash of cinnamon and a spoonful of honey. Mix it well before massaging onto the temples and scalp. Allow the mixture to rest on the scalp for around 30 minutes before washing away. To utilize the benefits of a basic potato, which comes packed with several vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, simply add one for every cup of water, boil and set the liquid aside to cool. Rinse the solution through the hair after shampooing, massaging into the temples before washing away. Rubbing the essential oils of rosemary, peppermint or lemongrass into the scalp has also been thought to promote hair regeneration.
Another way to stimulate new follicle hair growth may be to work from within. If you’re looking for a systemic solution to improve the health and happiness of your hair follicles and the skin around them, adding certain vitamin- and mineral-rich foods to your diet is a great place to start. Vitamins and minerals can keep keratin levels healthy, as do proteins, fatty acids and omega-3s. Look to nuts, avocados, biotin-rich whole grains, citrus, orange vegetables such as carrots and leafy greens like spinach to keep your locks looking full and healthy.
Krissy Howard is a NY-based freelance writer who specializes in creating content regarding skin care, pet care, and original humor. Her work has been featured on Reader's Digest, Hello Giggles, Reductress, and The Hard Times.