By age 50, more than 40 percent of us notice more hair in the shower drain. Thinning hair is incredibly frustrating and can affect our self-confidence. Not to mention, the seasons’ shift in temperature and humidity can spark sudden shedding. Thankfully, breakthrough research proves you can restore and regrow dry, thinning locks easily and naturally. Check out a few natural solutions for hair loss below.
Shampoo with sandalwood.
The woodsy scent of sandalwood has a hidden talent: It boosts hair-growth hormones in follicles by 30 percent within a week, suggests British research. “Surprisingly, our hair follicles contain receptors similar to those found in our nose that help us smell — and when they are activated by sandalwood, they read it as a cue to extend hair’s growth phase”, explains Joshua Zeichner, MD, director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at New York’s Mount Sinai Hospital.
Try: Love Beauty and Planet Shea Butter & Sandalwood Shampoo ($9.99 for 2, Amazon).
Caffeinate your conditioner.
New German research finds that topical caffeine slashes the risk of hair loss by a whopping 83 percent within four weeks. “Caffeine acts like a roadblock that stops the body from converting the hormone testosterone into DHT, and high levels of DHT have been associated with thinning hair in women,” says Dr. Zeichner.
He also recommends a daily four-minute scalp massage. “This boosts blood flow, which feeds follicles the nutrients they need to grow healthy hair,” he explains. In fact, recent Japanese research showed that daily massage significantly increased the thickness of individual hairs.
Try: Marc Anthony Grow Long Strengthening Conditioner ($6.29, Amazon)
Try nature’s minoxidil.
Minoxidil has been doctors’ gold standard for treating hair loss in women, but recent research finds that all-natural peppermint oil actually performs better than the drug — without side effects. Study authors suspect compounds in peppermint improve circulation to follicles, allowing them to produce thicker, longer hairs.
To Do: Spritz scalp daily with 1 drop of peppermint essential oil in 1⁄4 cup of water.
Try: Nexon Botanics Organic Peppermint Essential Oil ($12.95, Amazon)
This article originally appeared in our print magazine.
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