If you wish your hair looked as thick as it did when you were a teen (and two in three of us do!), then you need to know about these natural hair-loss remedies. It turns out the secret to turning back the clock — and trading in thin locks for a healthier, more lush head of hair — is possible with items you already own! Below we break down common concerns when it comes to hair loss and simple ways to reverse them.
Sparse all over?
Give a gentle tug: Gently “pull” on your hair for four minutes daily and your locks could look noticeably thicker in four months, report Japanese researchers. Tugging on your scalp activates genes that encourage the growth of stronger, less breakable hair strands, explains study co-author Taro Koyama, MD.
Thinning on top?
Nosh on pumpkin seeds: If your part line is getting wider, blame DHT, a form of testosterone that damages follicles, often on the top of the head. Luckily, Korean research suggests snacking on 2 1/2 cups of pumpkin seeds weekly can halt this shedding, plus prompt a 15-percent increase in new hair growth. That’s because pumpkin seeds contain zinc and copper, minerals essential for hair growth, plus coat follicles so DHT can’t latch on to them.
Wash with this: Hats trap in heat, providing a breeding ground for dandruff-causing yeast that leads to itching and shedding. But research shows using a shampoo infused with piroctone olamine twice a week decreased dandruff by 87 percent, reduced hair loss by 17 percent, and increased hair diameter by eight percent. Try Dove DermaCare Scalp Anti-Dandruff Shampoo ($4.88, Walmart).
Another at-home option to treat an inflamed, itchy scalp is an emu oil massage. Emu oil ($8.95, Amazon) is rich in fatty acids and calms the scalp so follicles produce thicker hair. A study found emu oil stimulated growth in 80 percent of dormant follicles! To try, massage the oil into your scalp, let sit for 20 minutes, then rinse out.
Try fish oil: Taking 2,000 milligrams to 2,400 milligrams of fish oil daily halts hair loss for 89 percent of women studied — and it helps 86 percent of them grow noticeably thicker, shinier hair in six months. That’s the word from French researchers, who say fish oil’s omega-3 fats boost the flow of nutrient-rich blood to scalp tissues — plus they prod hair-follicle growth. Note: Check with your doctor before supplementing.
Stress-related hair loss?
Go ahead and enjoy some "me time": Stress hormones prematurely age follicles, tripling hair loss during hectic times. All the more reason to take 30 minutes daily for a study-proven de-stressor like a warm bath. Belgian researchers say staying zen revs hair growth — in some cases, by 75 percent! — for 57 percent of women studied.
This article originally appeared in our print magazine.
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