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3 Ways to Reverse Hair Loss and Relieve Stress

Women are experiencing more hair loss due to stressors, say dermatologists. These double-duty heroes tamp down stress and regrow hair better than meds

To thicken strands, nosh on walnuts.

French scientists found that 90 percent of women slowed their hair loss and 87 percent reported thicker, fuller hair within six months by boosting their intake of nutrients abundant in walnuts. “Omega-3s in walnuts decrease free radicals, lessening inflammation in the scalp and slowing hair loss,” says dermatologist Stephen Suah, M.D., of Foxhall Dermatology. His Rx: 7 walnuts a day.

Blood-pressure bonus: A Penn State study finds eating walnuts quells our physical response to stress so effectively, a daily handful lowers our resting blood pressure by three points — even when we’re stressed!

To boost regrowth, shampoo with sandalwood.

Hair loss typically occurs three months after stressful events — but British research suggests that the scent of sandalwood might block the process entirely by boosting hair-growth hormones in follicles 30 percent within a single week. “The scalp has scent receptors,” explains Dr. Suah, “and when they encounter sandalwood, they seem to interpret that as a cue to grow hair.”

Mind-calming bonus: Recent research confirms that sandalwood works in the same way as prescription sedatives at calming the brain, but without side effects.

To regrow patches, spritz on rosemary.

Rosemary stops stress hormones from attacking follicles even better than the drug minoxidil — and without side effects! Research shows that 44 percent of folks who try it saw their patchy hair loss regrow. Tip: Spritz a few drops of rosemary essential oil diluted in water over the scalp just before bed.

Stress-busting bonus: The scent of rosemary lowers the stress hormone cortisol by 23 percent within minutes!

This article originally appeared in our print magazine.

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