Table of Contents
- 1 When Baldness Is Staring You In The Face!
- 2 What Are The Different Ways Those Hair Get Shed!
- 3 And What Actually Leads To Hair Loss? 8 Factors
- 4 What Are The Symptoms Of Alopecia?
- 5 Isn’t Some Amount Of Hair Loss Normal?
- 6 How Do Doctors Treat Alopecia?
- 7 Should You See Your Doctor About Your Hair Loss Problem?
- 8 Can Essential Oils Help To Control Hair Loss And Prevent Balding?
- 9 The Best 5 Essential Oils To Stop Hair Loss
- 10 7 Natural Recipes To Stop Hair Loss
- 11 Recommended Products For Hair Loss and Alopecia
- 12 And To Conclude…
When Baldness Is Staring You In The Face!
A big “Hello” to all my readers. For those of you who are new here, I am Olivia and you have just found my “Ultimate Guide to Using Essential Oils for Hair Loss”.
Did you know that Julius Caesar sported a comb over? I kid you not folks!
There is even some talk of his laurel wreath actually being a botanical hair accessory that would conveniently hold his comb over in place. If a towering personality like Caesar felt the need to hide his ever-growing bald patch, imagine how desperate the women of the time must have been to hold on to their lustrous locks.
The need to stop the follicular scourge was so maniacal that no potion was considered too crazy or too weird, and hair care professionals of the medieval ages were only too happy to oblige with formulations that contained horse urine, tar, animal fat, bird poop and more. Although we are not resorting to such yucky practices anymore, the need to stop hair loss remains as overwhelming as it was then, for both men and women.
I know some of you will argue that there are some dandy looking bald men out there. While fashionists the world over are urging men to flaunt their au-naturel, bald pate, women don’t get the same encouragement.
So girls, things haven’t changed all that much for us! And, this explains the $4 billion that we as a nation spend on anti-hair loss and anti-balding products each year.
Do You Know That Hair Loss And Baldness Are More Common Than You Think!
In the US, nearly 40 million men and 20 million women suffer from hair loss, while 80 million men have graduated to male pattern baldness.
The follicular carnage is not an age related problem, at least not for men. Almost 25% report the start of significant hair loss in their twenties. The figure grows exponentially to reach almost 50% for men closing in on their forties. More than half of all men in their fifties and sixties report significant hair loss to the point of baldness.
With women, pattern hair loss is more of a midlife issue. So, only about 40% ladies sport a full head of hair on or after their sixtieth birthday. At least when it comes to baldness, Mother Nature has been kinder to us gals than the boys. While ladies do suffer from significant hair loss, baldness is not as common in women as it is in men.
But those are not tears of vanity that I shed for my hair!
However as far as general perception goes, boys do have it easier when they have to sport a bald brain box. Those aren’t just my thoughts; a study conducted by the Wharton School of Business proved this. The researchers concluded that bald men, particularly those with a buzz cut or a shaved head are perceived to be taller, more masculine and more dominant.
Actually, we did not need the study to confirm this; simply think Vin Diesel, Jason Statham or Bruce Willis and you’ll know what I am talking about.
Do you think the society would be as accepting of a bald Demi Moore? Considering that her stubbled dome in GI Jane raised quite a few eyebrows, I think not.
But despite greater acceptance from the society, hair loss is no less distressing for men than it is for women. In fact, even the medical community now agrees that hair loss, hair thinning and eventual baldness is not just a cosmetic issue. The psychological ramifications of alopecia are devastating and are directly proportionate to the extent of hair loss.
Anxiety, depression and social phobia are common place among men and women who suffer from noticeable hair thinning. The psychological distress caused by the prospect of facing the world with a bald pate impacts every facet of a person’s life, leading to marital and professional issues.
For women, hair and identity are linked. So, the loss of their tresses is bound to create body image issues. In fact, so significant is the impact of baldness and the fear of it that it can be equated to the intensity of grieving after bereavement.
So, don’t let those hair go down the drain along with your mental health, your happiness and your way of living, because it is possible to stop hair thinning and baldness before they run over your life. And, I am going to show you how to do just that.
Today, we are going to talk about garnering help from Mama Nature to beat impending baldness instead of opting for chemical products and surgical interventions that cause side effects. As always, we’ll start by discussing the cause of the problem.
What Are The Different Ways Those Hair Get Shed!
Yes folks, there is a method to this madness, different methods in fact. Because learning about the different types of hair loss helps to treat the condition more effectively, it’s worth spending a few minutes to read this section.
Both male and female pattern baldness are attributed to the androgen 5 alpha dihydrotestosterone or DHT. While the detrimental effects of this potent male hormone is clearly understood in male pattern baldness, the precise mechanism by which it leads to hair loss and hair thinning in women remains a bit of a mystery.
What we currently know is that DHT and testosterone both bind to the androgenic receptors, leading to the induction of androgen sensitive genes in the dermal papillae (think of this as the feeding tube of the hair follicle).
This leads to acute oxidative stress and the miniaturization of the follicles, which causes significant hair loss, slows down hair growth and turns terminal hair into vellus hair (peach fuzz), eventually resulting in baldness. This is the most common cause of hair loss and there is a hereditary link to it.
Telogen effluvium (TE)
This condition occurs when the balance between the anagen and the telogen phases is disturbed. TE is more common in women than in men and is marked by the gradual thinning of hair in one area or all over the scalp. It seldom causes a receding hair line.
Stress in general, be it physical, mental or nutritional, leads to the onset of TE. Hair loss after pregnancy is usually attributed to this condition. The good news is that it is one of the easiest forms of hair loss to treat and if controlled in time, it is possible to make a complete recovery from it.
Anagen effluvium (AE)
Call this is a cousin of Telogen Effluvium, which is brought on by the use of drugs that impact cellular regeneration. In this condition, the anagen phase takes a direct hit as cellular proliferation is stopped due to drug therapy.
Chemotherapy causes AE and leads to hair shedding in clumps and quick baldness. AE is a reversible condition and usually the cells go back to regenerating at their original rate once cancer treatment is completed/stopped. Recent research has revealed that the use of a hypothermic helmet can help to reduce hair loss due to chemotherapy.
This comes in 3 forms of which, universalis and totalis are very hard to treat because the former causes loss of hair all over the body, while totalis leads to hair loss and eventual baldness involving the entire scalp area.
A third form, alopecia areata, involves patchy hair loss from the scalp, beard and other parts of the body that have hair on them. In alopecia areata, the bald patches are usually oval or circular with distinct edges. Not only adults but also children can suffer from this condition, which is caused by a faulty immune response of the body.
In all form of autoimmune alopecia, the immune system attacks the hair follicles, leading to inflammation and miniaturization of the follicles. The individual strands are no longer held as tightly as they should be in the hair follicles. So, the least amount of pulling causes hair loss in swatches. Because inflammation is involved in this condition, the scalp may get painful but there is no scarring of the skin. Autoimmune alopecia is often a hereditary issue or is linked to other autoimmune disorders.
And What Actually Leads To Hair Loss? 8 Factors
1. It all boils down to hormones
Well, I have already told you about the role of DHT in hair loss. But removing it from the body or its precursor, testosterone is simply not an option, neither for men nor women because the hormone plays several important roles in the body. The only thing that can be done is to prevent the transformation of testosterone to DHT.
This change only occurs in the presence of 5- alpha reductase, a steroid enzyme that binds with testosterone to form DHT. Any health issue that increases the levels of testosterone in the body is likely to cause androgenic alopecia. For instance, PCOS, tumors on the ovaries and low TSH levels are all known causes of androgenic hair loss.
2. Thank you mommy and daddy
Androgenic and autoimmune alopecia have a strong genetic element to them. For instance, men with a female line history of PCOS in the family are more susceptible to androgenic alopecia. Similarly, guys have a greater risk of suffering from male pattern baldness if it prevailed in their masculine lineage and women have a higher possibility of suffering from hair loss if their female ancestors were afflicted by a similar condition.
3. Age sure has a role to play
Nobody is sure how age works itself into the equation of hair loss, but one thing is for sure; advancing years lead to an advance in the extent of hair loss and thinning.
4. Nutrition matters
Shunning a particular nutritional group to shed pounds or overdoing your supplements can both cause trouble for your hair line. For instance, the deficiency of iron, protein and vitamin B12, B6 causes hair loss, but did you know that too much vitamin A can lead to similar consequences?
5. Stress creates trouble
Any occurrence that causes physical trauma, be it an illness or an accident or the sudden amp up of your workout routine can all shock your hair follicles into the telogen phase. Along the same lines, stress, depression, burnout, death of a loved one and any other mentally taxing situation can lead to the early onset of the telogen phase. Similarly, drastic weight loss and severe nutritional restrictions too can make your hair lose their will to grow.
6. Some meds can make a mess
Hair loss is a side effect of medications used to treat high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, blood thinners, beta blockers, drugs used to treat rheumatic arthritis, some antidepressants, lithium (used to treat bipolar disease), anabolic steroids and NSAIDs.
7. The underlying ailments
8. Rough handling does no good
Over styling, extensive use of hair styling gadgets, harsh chemical treatments can not only lead to hair loss but also damage the texture of existing hair strands and cause hair breakage. So, if you are into tight braids, corn rows or hair weaves, you should consider a style change in the interest of your tresses.
What Are The Symptoms Of Alopecia?
Depending on the causes of alopecia and the type that you are suffering from, the symptoms can vary in terms of the amount of hair loss and the area of hair thinning.
In some cases, hair loss is both sudden and significant, while in others, it involves a gradual thinning out. You may experience one or more of the symptoms described:
Hair loss from the crown or top of the head
Starting at the hairline and moving towards to the center of the skull is the area most prone to hair loss in both men and women. In men, the hair loss leads to a receding hair line with the bald patch eventually growing to cover the entire crown area and forming an “m” shape.
In women, the thinning occurs around the parting and moves sideways, widening the part of forming a patchy area with light hair cover on it.
Circular bald patches all over the scalp
These are coin sized, see through nor completely bald spots that are common in auto-immune alopecia. Mostly, the hair loss is restricted to the scalp, but in some cases it may also be seen on the face (beard) and the eyebrows. The smooth and shiny, bald spot may become itchy and painful before the loss of hair.
Sudden loss of anchoring
This type of hair loss is linked to physical stress and sometimes to emotional stress. Strands are lost by the handfuls while washing or combing.
Patchiness and/or scaling
Isn’t Some Amount Of Hair Loss Normal?
Yes, it is. At any given time, about 10% of your hair are in the telogen phase, which means they are on their way out. So, losing about 50-100 hair strands per day or more on shampoo days is normal.
You don’t have to actually count all of the hair strands that fall off through the day. Here is a simple hack. Run your fingers through your hair, capturing 2-3 locks or about 60 strands in between your fingers and give them a gentle tug. Do this in 3-4 different areas of the scalp. Each time, your digits should come back with no more than 5-10 hair strands on them.
If you have more than 15 strands, you are losing more than the average number of hair, which means that more than 10% of your hair are in the telogen phase, and that is a cause for concern. If you have a magnifying glass at home, take a look at the quality of the strands as well.
At the end of the strand, you should see a white, hardened bulb, which indicates that it is a telogen phase hair. If you don’t see this white bulb and if the strand is shorter than the average length of hair, it means that you have a problem with hair breakage.
How Do Doctors Treat Alopecia?
You get to choose between drug therapy and surgical interventions. Both have side effects and there is a huge difference in the cost and the effects. Your options include:
An interesting tidbit about minoxidil is that it was an accidental discovery made when trying to find a drug for hypertension.
Although the patent has expired, we still know this drug by its commercial name – Rogaine. Offered in the form of a liquid or foam, minoxidil has to be applied to the scalp twice a day. It’s a non-prescription product that is approved by the FDA for treating alopecia areata and male pattern baldness.
The drug impacts the anagen-telogen phase of the strands and is more effective at reducing hair loss than it is at growing new hair or even boosting hair growth. The effectiveness of minoxidil largely depends on the extent and duration of hair loss. If you have sported a bald pate for long, don’t expect miracles.
Even when minoxidil does work, the effect only remain till you continue using the product. The side effects of this drug include scalp irritation, allergic contact dermatitis and unwanted androgenic hair growth on the face, chest and other areas of the body.
So, while it does help against hair loss, it is certainly not recommended for those who suffer from blood pressure and cardiac issues. Minoxidil can also be used by women but should not be used when pregnant or breast feeding. Generally, if you suffer from a chronic ailment of any kind, it would be best to clear the use of minoxidil from your doctor.
Finasteride and Spironolactone
These drugs act as androgen blockers and have to be taken orally. Like minoxidil, these drugs help to prevent hair loss but do little to boost the rate of hair growth. Also, the effects of these drugs disappear when usage is stopped.
Anti-androgens are not recommended for women and certainly should not be used by pregnant ladies. However, some doctors do prescribe them for female pattern baldness although there is limited evidence to prove that they are effective against the condition.
Side effects of anti-androgenic drugs in men include erectile and ejaculatory dysfunction and loss of libido. In women, the drug can lead to hot flashes, loss of sex drive, breast tenderness, menstrual irregularities, spotting in between periods, fatigue and increased risk of birth defects.
This is a pure anti-androgenic drug that only works when hair loss is attributed to hyperandrogenemia.
In men, it can cause gynecmastia, loss of libido and erectile issues. Side effects in women include dizziness, gastrointestinal problems, decrease in muscle and bone mass, weight gain and depression.
This form of treatment is exclusively used to treat alopecia areata. The injections are administered once every month, but in case of extensive hair loss, oral steroid are also prescribed along with the monthly injection.
Corticosteroids used for any reason and in any form have serious side effects such as weight gain, skin thinning, hypertension, diabetes, osteoporosis, immunological problems, eye disorders and others.
A procedure that is performed under local anesthesia, hair transplant involves transferring hair plugs from other parts of the scalp to the bald areas. You may need more than one sitting based on the size of the bald patch, and each session takes about 4-8 hours.
The side effects of the procedure include follicular inflammation, which has to be treated with antibiotics and shock hair fall, in which the hair in the treated area fall off. This is a temporary problem as the hair grows back in time.
The biggest issue with this procedure is the cost, which can go up to $10,000 or more. Unfortunately, insurance does not usually cover hair transplant.
As the name suggests, this procedure involves reducing the area of the bald patch. The skin from the bald patch is literally cut out and the patch of skin that has hair on it is stretched to cover the bald area.
Scalp reduction is usually performed in combination with hair transplant, particularly in men. Inflammation and infection are two of the side effects associated with this procedure.
Platelet rich plasma (PRP)
In the past, this procedure was used to speed up healing after a joint surgery but now, it is also recommended for hair loss.
PRP involves injecting your own plasma into the bald patch. The platelet rich plasma helps to repair the blood vessels and increases cellular regeneration in the treated area. Side effects include inflammation and pain at the site of the injection.
Should You See Your Doctor About Your Hair Loss Problem?
Yes, you definitely should. The one thing to understand is that health problems usually announce their presence and progress in the extremities of the body and through parts that are often ignored, like your hair and nails.
Although alopecia in itself is not physically harmful, it could be a side effect of a dangerous health problem and that is why you should have it examined.
For instance, in women, androgenic hair loss may be a sign of hormonal abnormalities that can also cause fertility issues. PCOS and hypothyroidism both of which lead to hair loss are best diagnosed and treated in the early stages.
Similarly in men, pattern baldness can be a result of circulatory problems, which can be a precursor to heart issues. Also, excessive levels of androgenic hormones can increase the risk of prostate cancer. So, even if you consider bald to be beautiful, do get the cause of your hair loss investigated. And with that, we come to the most important question of the day.
Can Essential Oils Help To Control Hair Loss And Prevent Balding?
One thing is clear – Both DHT and inflammation play a role in androgenic hair loss. However, experts haven’t yet reached a consensus on which comes first. Talk about the classic chicken and egg conundrum here!
Yes, higher levels of DHT are associated with hair loss and balding, but does this DHT appear out of nowhere for no apparent reason? Well, new studies have pointed to the possible role of chronic inflammation in this sequence of events. And it makes sense!
You know how dermal inflammation raises your risk of suffering from an allergic reaction to products and ingredients that you have safely used before?
This could very well be a similar equation. Even if you were to discount this theory, we do know that inflammation does step in at some point, whether it is the cause of DHT or its effect. We also know that inflammation is what ultimately leads to follicular damage and hair loss.
Come on now, say it already – “Ah ha and nothing works better on inflammation than essential oils!”
But, this is just the indirect way in which essential oils and herbs work to inhibit DHT and inflammation. These natural substances also have a direct mechanism in which they influence the release of 5 alpha reductase.
This enzyme only gets formed in the presence of a co-factor: nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH). Natural ingredients work by reducing the amount of this co-enzyme.
In contrast, steroidal antiandrogenic agents like finasteride change the chemical composition of the co-enzyme by binding to it. Although the end result is the same, the mechanism through which it is achieved makes all the difference.
This explains why chemical antiandrogenic agents lead to sexual dysfunction while natural ingredients have limited or no side effects. Also, let us not forget that unlike their chemical counterparts, natural antiandrogenic substances are used topically, so their inhibitory activity is localized.
The third and the most important point is that the results you get from essential oils and herbs last even after you stop using them. As you know, chemical agents fail miserably on this front. So, in the long run, the side effects mount along with the cost.
In addition to all of the above, essential oils also help with scalp infections that can lead to hair loss, oxidative damage that causes inflammation, follicular blockages, circulatory issues and disruption in the anagen and telogen ratio.
To cut a long story short, essential oils protect you from nearly all the causes of hair loss and balding. I say you cannot possibly get a better deal elsewhere, correct me if I am wrong. And if you agree with me, let’s start talking about the essential oils and herbs that can make your follicular concerns a thing of the past.
The Best 5 Essential Oils To Stop Hair Loss
This one is an all-rounder when it comes to tackling hair loss, balding and all their causes. If you have some experience with essential oil blending, you may already know that rosemary oil is a potent antioxidant that protects the bioactives from oxidation. Well, it does the same for your scalp and the hair follicles. But, that’s not all!
Despite the fact that it is derived from a humble kitchen herb, its ability to keep 5 alpha reductase levels in check are at par with finasteride and other anti-androgenic drugs. However, rosemary oil does all of this without any side effects. Moreover, the oil does a fantastic job of reining in inflammation and improving scalp health.
Put all of these benefits together and it comes as no surprise that a comparison study in which 1% rosemary oil was pitted against 2% minoxidil resulted in a win for the aromatic extract. The subjects not only reported significant decrease in hair loss but also experienced greater hair growth.
In another study that predated this one, rosemary essential oil was used to successfully treat alopecia areata. Now, we already know that the aromatic extract has the ability to improve circulation. So, there simply isn’t a cause in the book that rosemary EO does not handle.
2. Calamus oil (Acorus calamus L. var. americanus)
Also known as sweet flag, the root from which this oil is distilled has long been used in Japan as a cure for alopecia.
The extract is a rich source of acorenone, a bioactive compound known to significantly boost hair growth, control inflammation caused by faulty immune responses and improve blood circulation to the treated area. Furthermore, this oil is a potent antibacterial agent that can improve both scalp and hair health.
3. Ginger oil
The pungent oil helps to control both extrinsic and intrinsic free radicals. Oxidative stress plays a large role in the inflammation of the hair follicles and the skin of the scalp, which ultimately leads to the damage that results in hair loss.
Ginger oil is a must have in any blend meant to control hair loss and balding because it stops this damaging cycle at the very beginning.
Moreover, the warming oil helps to improve blood circulation as well as lymphatic drainage. So, the hair follicles get all the nutrition they need and the toxic waste, which has the potential to cause trouble, gets cleared faster.
Another natural ingredient that is backed by the results of a study, cedarwood essential oil helps to keep the scalp free of dandruff and infections.
It regulates the secretion of sebum helping to simultaneously clean follicular blockages and keep the hair strands moisturized. The oil is also a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent. Plus, it is known to boost blood circulation.
5. Clary sage
This is another stimulating oil that helps to balance sebum levels. Clary sage EO conditions both the hair strands and the skin of the scalp.
Known for its estrogenic properties, the EO can neutralize the effects of too much testosterone. Furthermore, the extract is particularly effective in lowering stress levels, which can cause chronic inflammation all over the body.
Apart from these, we will also use the essential oils of lavender, geranium, turmeric, peppermint and basil. As far as carrier oils go, pumpkin seed oil and black currant seed oil are highly recommended because they both contain significant amounts of gamma and alpha linoleic acid.
Of all the unsaturated fatty acids and phytolipids in general, linoleic acid has the most significant 5 alpha reductase inhibitory effect. Additionally, we will also use macerated oils of brahmi (bacopa monnieri) and amla (Phyllanthus emblica or Indian gooseberry). Both the herbs have a long standing reputation in Ayurveda as effective treatments for increasing hair growth and preventing hair loss.
We will also use other ingredients such as green tea, melatonin (the supplement for sleep disorders), licorice root powder/extract and cilantro and dill (dry or fresh form). So, let’s start blending…
7 Natural Recipes To Stop Hair Loss
1. Thrice a week “before shower” treatment
This blend is easy to make and use and can literally work miracles against significant hair loss and slow hair growth. But, it won’t work on a bald pate that has been held for long.
However, you can use it to stop and reverse the effects of follicular damage, even if you are only left with a few strands. The recipe works for all types of alopecia and on both men and women. You will need:
- 1 cup coconut milk (without preservatives)
- 2 tsp matcha
- 2 tsp saw palmetto powder/extract
- 10 drops basil essential oil
- 15 drops peppermint essential oil
I like to call this one “hair milk” and you will have to keep it on your dome for no less than 1 hour. Warm the coconut milk (don’t bring it to a boil, just a gentle warm). Add the other ingredients to the milk and whisk. The mixture is supposed to be runny, so don’t worry too much about getting the consistency right.
Apply on your scalp as you would any hair oil or serum and leave it be for about 15 minutes. You are waiting for the moisture in the coconut milk to dry out a bit. In the meantime, you may have to deal with some runaway drops. Because we have used essential oils in the recipe, make sure you wipe them away before they get anywhere near your eyes.
At the 20 minute mark, wrap a warm towel around your head, covering your hair, bald patch and all. Get through your morning routine, giving the mixture about 40-60 minutes more. Wash with warm water and a gentle, non-drying shampoo.
Your hair may feel a bit oily after this treatment but there is really no need to scrub them clean. Only shampoo once because you certainly don’t want to add a dry scalp to your follicular woes. Treat your hair to this pampering blend at least 2-3 times a week. Results are usually seen within 3-4 months.
2. Weekly hot oil treatment
You just need one round of this every seven days to keep your hair and scalp in top shape. This is both a preventative measure and a treatment for hair loss.
The blend helps to enhance hair health and improves the hair growth rate. This is a unisex blend that works well on most types of hair loss but it is super-effective against alopecia areata. To make the oil, you will need:
- 30 ml Brahmi or Amla macerated oil (look online and you are likely to find a combination of both. This is a very popular blend)
- 5 drops peppermint
- 5 drops ginger
- 6 drops geranium
- 4 drops rosemary oil
Mix the oils together and store in a dark glass bottle. Warm the blend and apply to the scalp, covering the hair strands from root to tips.
Pamper yourself with relaxing massage that lasts for about 20 minutes but be gentle with your hair. You can also use a vibrating massager but don’t use the bristle head, which can pull hair out. Wrap your head with a warm towel and let the oils work on your hair for 2-3 hours and then use a non-drying shampoo to wash the blend off.
3. After shampoo, leave-in conditioner
This is one of the easiest blends that you will ever make and it’s very effective. It can be combined with any other form of hair loss treatment that you may be using.
The mixture works for both the sexes and helps to control androgenic as well as auto-immune alopecia. If you have a history of hair loss in your family, start using this blend as early as you can to delay and even prevent the inevitable. You will need:
- 20 ml pumpkin seed oil
- 10 ml black currant seed oil
- 10 ml evening primrose oil
- 8 drops each of turmeric, lavender and clary sage EOs
For this blend, the mixture of carrier oils is just as important as that of the essential oils. So, try not to change it. Blend the oils and store in a dark glass bottle. Once prepared, the blend stays good for 3-6 months.
To use, take 5-6 drops in the palm of your hands. Rub your palms together to naturally warm the lipids and then apply on your scalp and on the hair strands. Don’t use more than 10 drops or you will end up with oily hair.
4. Hair loss stop gel!
This is a quick fix gel that is exceptionally effective when used in the early stages of hair loss. A protective and soothing blend, it quickly neutralizes all factors that cause oxidative stress and inflammation. The gel can be used with other forms of hair loss treatment and for all types of hair loss. You will need:
- 1 cup aloe vera gel
- 2 tbsp chia and flax seed gel
- 2 tsp each of cilantro and dill juice
- 5 drops each of geranium and cedarwood EOs
- ½ tsp grapefruit seed extract
For the chia and flax gel, grind the seeds (1 tbsp of each) to the smallest particle size possible. Soak these for 5-6 hours in 1.5 cups of water. You will end up with a gelatinous mass. Put the turgid seeds in a small pan and add about a cup of water to them. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes.
Take the pan off the heat and use a very fine steel wire mesh or a stocking (I’d go with a new one for this). You can use a cheese cloth but chia seed are notoriously hard to work with, so it’s best to opt for a stocking.
Pour the mixture into the stocking with a bowl held below it to catch the droplets as they get filtered out. Tie up the open end of the stocking and start to squeeze the gel out. You will need to put in some amount of effort into this. The good news is that you only need about 2 tbsps of this gel.
For the herb juice, you can use a juicer or the mortar and pestle. But only use the juice of the herbs and not the fibrous pulp. You can also use dry herb powders but lower the quantity to ½ tsp of each. Once you have these ingredients ready, it is time to mix them together.
Start with gels and then add the powders/juices to them. Mix well and then pour in the essential oils and the grapefruit seed extract. At this point, you will need to use a whisk. A simple wire whisk will do. Mix well and store in a glass bottle/jar in the refrigerator.
The gel stays good for up to 4 weeks. It is quite sticky so you can use it to style your hair if needed. If not, simply use about a tsp of it all over your scalp and hair. If it is too sticky, spray some green tea/lavender hydrosol on your hair to reduce the stickiness. Wash your hair every alternate day if using this gel.
5. Hair pack for a full head of hair
This hair pack offers fantastic results when scalp inflammation is the main problem. As with the other recipes, you can use it in combination with other forms of hair loss treatment. You will need:
- 2 tbsp soy isoflavones
- 1 tbsp licorice root powder
- 1 tsp coffee
- 1 tsp melatonin
- ½ tsp ginseng
- 2 tbsp fractionated coconut oil or sesame seed oil
- Almond milk/lavender hydrosol as required
Put all the ingredients together in a medium sized bowl and whisk using a hand held blender. The mixture should have a syrup-like consistency. Apply all over your scalp and hair, covering them completely with the mixture. Keep the mask on for 45 minutes and then wash off with warm water.
You can use this mask in combination with the weekly hot oil treatment. Keep the oil on your hair overnight and apply the mask in the morning an hour before bath time.
6. “Move over minoxidil” blend
I suppose the name says it all for this one. This blend is meant to correct pattern baldness and I highly recommend that you use it even if you have a see through or a bald patch and have lost all hope.
It’s light, so you won’t have to worry about sporting a shiny pate. For best results, you can combine it with micro needling. Use the lipid mixture after micro needling if combining the two treatment modalities. You will need:
- Blend of 25 ml pumpkin Seed and 25 ml black currant seed oil
- 8 drops rosemary EO
- 5 drops clary sage EO
- 3 drops peppermint EO
- 5 drops each of ginger and sandalwood / lavender EOs (sandalwood for men and lavender for women)
Blending and storage instructions as above. Once prepared, the blend stays good for 6-12 months.
Apply, twice a day, massaging the blend into the scalp. Pay special attention to area with significant hair loss and the bald patches. Unlike the hair oil treatment, you don’t have to cover the hair strands with this.
So, remember to use only a few drops. Start with 3-4 drops for each area of the scalp. If your divide your scalp into four areas; that is the back, the front/crown and the two sides, you should need no more than 5-6 drops.
The idea is to cover the scalp completely not to walk about looking like a human fritter. If you are using this blend, you will need to shampoo your hair every alternate day.
Sorry guys; this one is for the ladies only owing to the strong estrogenic effect that these herbs exert. You can prepare it like any other infusion. You will need:
- 1 tsp spearmint tea (not peppermint)
- 1 tsp red clover tea
- A few slices of peeled ginger root
- Natural sweetener to taste (optional)
Use 1.5 cups of water to brew the tea. You will have to reduce it to 1 cup, so simmer the herbs and the slices of ginger root for about 5-10 minutes. Pour into a cup and enjoy with or without the sweetener. Limit your consumption of this tea to no more than 2-3 cups/day.
I know some of these recipes are a bit complex. But, who said you need to use all of them? The idea is to pick 3-4 formulations that will work for you, in terms of type of hair loss as well as the amount of time you can invest in hair care.
For instance, if you have pattern hair loss, recipes 1, 3 and 4 are very important for you. If you are suffering from inflammation related hair loss, be it due to an infection or poor scalp condition or stress, do include recipes 1 and 6 in your hair care regimen.
For those of you who have been spooked out of your reverie by the growing number of hair strands on your brush/comb, recipes 1 and 5 will help you to stop hair loss in its tracks and allow you to continue experimenting with your hair styles.
If you have menopause related hair loss, go for recipes 4, 6 and 7. Finally, if you have a problem with alopecia areata or genetic alopecia, combining recipes 1, 2 and 3 will yield fantastic results.
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2. Simply Hair Oil
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And To Conclude…
Alrighty, we are at the end of another journey folks and I leave you with all the information that you will ever need to control, treat and cure your hair loss problems.
But before I call it a day, I want to clarify one more thing. Yes, your family history does matter when you are evaluating your risk of hair loss. But, just because you have the hair loss gene, does not mean that you WILL go bald.
I am not denying that you are a high-risk candidate for hair loss. However, you can make your follicles behave themselves by using preventative measures. Like all things health related, alopecia too responds well to early treatment.
So, don’t wait for the hair loss to turn your scalp into an unwanted, shining full moon peeping out from under the dismal cover of your locks. Instead, act today. Hell, “act now”, I say, and I promise that you will be able to hold on to your tresses for as long as you want.
Also, don’t forget that stress relief in general plays a colossal role in the maintenance of health and wellbeing. Do not underestimate the power of stress relieving measures like meditation, yoga and tai chi. We don’t know if stress is the trigger that eventually leads to chronic inflammation of the scalp. But, what we do know is that keeping those cortisol levels in check can do a world of good for the mind, body and hair.
So, why not? And on that note, I wish you a full head of hair from now to your 90th birthday and the decade after!