It can be daunting to comb your hair in the morning and find hair falling to the floor. While some shedding—between 50 and 100 hairs a day—is normal, any more than that could mean you suffer from hair loss.
If your hair loss is not too severe you can consider trying some natural remedies. You may also use them together with anti-hair loss treatments recommended by a hair growth specialist in Singapore.
In this article, you will learn about various remedies available at home and at a clinic.
Before we get into the details of the available options for natural hair growth remedies, let’s look at what causes hair loss, the different types of hair loss and some of the personal and social effects it can have.
Causes Of Hair Loss
Several reasons may be behind your hair loss:
Genes play a critical factor in how much hair loss one experiences as one grows older. This applies to both sexes.
A 2004 study on family history and the risk of hair loss found that men whose fathers had hair loss were 2.5 times as likely to have had some level of hair loss compared to men whose fathers had no hair loss. A similar finding was reached more than a decade later in research on female hair loss, when a link was shown between mothers, daughters, and grandparents.
2. Hormonal Changes
As we mature, we are not immune to hormonal changes and imbalances. In males, elevated levels of androgens, a male sex hormone that shrinks hair follicles, can lead to baldness. The same hormone appears in females, too, during menopause. Increased androgen levels are accompanied by lower levels of progesterone and oestrogen, both of which promote hair growth.
3. Medical Conditions And Medications
Hormonal imbalance is one of the effects of certain disorders, such as thyroid or polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). This imbalance may accelerate hair loss. Some thyroid medications, like methimazole and propylthiouracil (PTU), list hair loss as a side effect.
You can also lose hair after going through chemotherapy for cancer.
4. Poor Nutrition
Who does not love fast food? As its name implies, preparing or purchasing food over the counter is convenient, saving time for a busy mother or a working professional. However, such food can cause the depletion of hair follicle stem cells and accelerate hair thinning. It can also increase the level of dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which causes hair loss.
Another danger is consuming refined carbohydrates such as pizza and cakes. While the sugary high may feel good, it has long-lasting implications for your overall health and hair, as sugar affects your blood circulation. Too much sugar makes it difficult for blood and nutrients to reach your hair follicles, reducing the amount of nutrients absorbed by them.
Stress is a known effect of living in a fast-paced work environment and this can cause hair loss, too. In a 2021 study, Dr. Ya-Chieh Hsu found that stress increased corticosterone levels, which reduced hair growth.
Common Types of Hair Loss
1. Telogen Effluvium
Did your hair shed excessively during the COVID-19 pandemic? One reason could be the increased stress level from adapting to social isolation and remote working. When significant physical and emotional stress takes a toll, your hair follicles will enter the telogen or resting phase, meaning your hair begins to fall out without growing new ones.
2. Alopecia Areata
Alopecia is a general term for conditions characterised by hair loss. Alopecia areata is one of them. This is an autoimmune disorder where one’s immune system attacks healthy tissues in the body, including hair follicles. This causes hair to fall out and prevents new hair growth. It is estimated that 147 million people worldwide suffer from or will suffer from this condition at some point in their lives.
3. Androgenetic Alopecia
As its name suggests, androgenetic alopecia is hereditary. It is more commonly known as male/female pattern hair loss. It is the most common type of hair loss, affecting about 50 per cent of males and females.
In males, hair loss usually starts above the temples and continues around the perimeter and the top of the head, often leaving a ring of hair along the bottom of the scalp. Meanwhile, female hair slowly thins all over the scalp, but the hairline usually does not recede.
4. Traction Alopecia
Like styling your hair in a ponytail, buns, or braids? While opting for these styles once in a while is trendy and fresh, repeated pulling or tightening of your hair in the same direction can damage hair strands and cause them to fall out, leading to bald spots and thinning.
5. Scarring Alopecia
This type of alopecia occurs when the skin is damaged by burns or infections that result in inflammation, destroying the hair follicles and causing scar tissue to appear in its place, stunting hair growth. Symptoms include itching, swelling, and red or white lesions on the scalp. These can occur at any age for both sexes.
6. Anagen Effluvium
This type of hair loss occurs when the active growth phase (anagen) is disrupted because of exposure to toxic chemicals, such as radiation and chemotherapy. Chemotherapy drugs target cancer and healthy cells in the body, including hair follicles. As a result, chemotherapy can cause hair loss on the scalp and other body parts like the eyebrows, eyelashes, and pubic hair.
7. Scalp Infection
Scalp infections like folliculitis, ringworm and seborrheic dermatitis can cause hair follicles to become inflamed, weakening your hair shaft and causing hair to fall out. Scalp infections can also cause hair loss when the accompanying itch leads to scratching of the scalp and further damage to your hair. You may need antibiotics or antifungal medication to clear the infection.
Impact Of Hair Loss
While hair loss is not a life-threatening condition, it can have profound impact on your physiological, personal and professional life.
Here are the effects hair loss has had on our patients:
1. Low Self-esteem
Hair is often seen as a crucial part of one’s identity and style. When someone begins to lose their hair, they may feel like they are losing part of who they are and struggle to find a new sense of style or identity. In a 2005 study, 62% of male respondents agreed that hair loss could affect self-esteem. The same is true for females.
Having a low self-esteem due to hair loss can lead to self-isolation. Imagine entering a party where your thick and luscious hair is gone and replaced with bald spots.Chances are you will be self-conscious and embarrassed of your appearance. You may end up withdrawing from social events and gatherings altogether.
3. Limited Job Opportunities
Hair has long been associated with youth, vitality, and energy, which employers seek in employees. Those experiencing hair loss may encounter discrimination, as hair loss is a symptom of an illness or getting old.
Natural And Easy Home Remedies For Hair Growth
Now that you know the causes, types, and impacts of hair loss, how can you slow down its onset and stimulate hair growth? Here are some home remedies to get you started:
1. Massage Your Scalp With Essential Oils
The next time you go to the mall, purchase essential oil products like rosemary or peppermint oil. Mixing them with a carrier oil such as coconut or olive oil minimises the possibility of irritation. Afterwards, massage your scalp with the mixture to promote blood flow to the scalp and stimulate hair growth.
In a 2014 study investigating the effects of peppermint oil on hair growth, researchers found that mice applied with peppermint oil showed the most prominent growth compared to mice with solutions likejojoba oil, saline solution, and minoxidil. Another study on humans the following year showed that rosemary oils can promote hair growth, similar to the effect of minoxidil.
Other alternatives include onion juice and aloe vera. Onion juice is high in sulphur, which has been shown to stimulate collagen production and promote hair growth. Blend a few onions before applying the mixture to your scalp and massaging it for 30 minutes. Rinse your scalp with water afterward.
Aloe vera is a natural conditioner that can help strengthen hair. It contains enzymes that promote hair growth and helps soothe an itchy, irritated scalp. Apply and leave it on for 30 minutes on your scalp and hair before rinsing off with water.
As stated above, poor nutrition consisting mainly of fatty and sugary foods can harm your hair, so what foods should you consume instead? Incorporate foods high in biotin, a type of vitamin B complex that creates red blood cells that carry oxygen and nutrients to the scalp and hair follicles. Salmon, milk, and sweet potatoes contain biotin.
2. Eat A Balanced And Healthy Diet
Our hair is made up of a protein called keratin. Eating a diet rich in protein can help ensure that your hair gets the nutrients it needs to grow. Good protein sources include chicken, fish, eggs, nuts, beans, and tofu.
While vitamin C boosts our immune systems, it also impacts our hair! Vitamin C is essential for producing collagen, a protein that helps strengthen hair. Consuming fruits rich in vitamin C, including oranges, lemon juice, and leafy greens, increases blood circulation to your scalp, stimulating your hair follicles to grow.
One of the signs of hair loss is vitamin D deficiency. You can get this vitamin from the sun. Adequate exposure helps the body to naturally produce vitamin D, a crucial component for hair follicles to facilitate hair growth. Other sources of vitamin D include egg yolks and red meat.
Don’t forget to drink at least eight glasses of water a day to stay hydrated. This helps to moisturise your hair, minimising the possibility of breakage due to dryness. Water can also transport nutrients to the rest of the body, including the hair. Lastly, water helps remove toxins from the body, ensuring healthy hair growth.
3. Adopt A Healthy Lifestyle
Blood flow, as mentioned earlier, helps promote hair growth. One way to ensure this is by getting enough sleep. During sleep, your body produces hormones that are necessary for cell growth and repair for your hair and other parts of the body.
Getting enough sleep—seven to eight hours for most people—also minimises the possibility of stress. When stressed, your body produces cortisol, a hormone that can disrupt hair growth and cause hair to fall out.
Physical activity can also boost the production of endorphins, which are natural mood-enhancing chemicals in the body. This will reduce stress and prevent hair thinning. Additionally, exercising means your heart rate and blood circulation increase, helping your body carry oxygen and essential nutrients to the hair follicles.
4. Reduce The Use Of Hair Chemicals And Styling Tools
Hairstyles and colours are constantly evolving with fashion trends. While the urge to keep up is understandable, repeated exposure to hair dyes and heat can lead to hair damage because they contain harmful chemicals that make your hair dry and prone to breakage.
TrichoLab: A Hair Care Specialist Who Can Help You In Singapore
Hair loss remains prevalent worldwide, including Singapore. Yes, the home remedies listed above can help to mitigate the risk of hair loss and promote hair growth, but in some instances, they might not suffice. You might want a more permanent solution that can be achieved via a hair growth treatment in Singapore .
Our specialists can give you advice on which treatments are ideal for your hair condition.
Here are the four general stages of hair growth treatment at our clinic.
- Scalp analysis: A pre-treatment in-depth scan of your scalp to assess its condition and requirements.
- Anti-hair loss mask & shampoo: Using our series of specialised hair care solutions designed for boosting scalp circulation.
- Microneedling with hair growth formula: Our patented formula comprising of herbal and peptide complex plus growth factors is delivered into the hair follicles.
- Add-ons: From a multivitamin serum to an LED light therapy, we will give your treatment a boost, where necessary for better results.