Both aging and genetics can cause hair loss. The underlying cause of hair loss determines the most effective treatments. Hair loss is a concern for some people. Depending on the cause of hair loss, certain practices and treatments can help strengthen or regrow hair.
This article contains several tips to prevent hair loss and ways to regrow it.
Changing diet can have an effect on hair growth and health. Dietary changes may include:
Eat extra protein.
A 2017 study found that several participants with hair loss had low protein and amino acid intakes. Researchers need to conduct additional studies to examine whether nutritional deficiencies are indeed linked to hair loss.
Follow a Mediterranean diet
A 2017 study published in Archives of Dermatological Research linked the herbs and vegetables of the Mediterranean diet to a decreased risk of androgenetic alopecia, or male pattern baldness, in men.
Avoid crash diets
Very low-calorie diets can deprive the body of essential nutrients, including those needed for healthy hair, such as protein, fatty acids and zinc. Crash diets generally do not result in permanent weight loss. According to a 2019 literature review, hair loss can occur in people who lose body cell mass as a result of weight loss due to a calorie-restricted diet. This can lead to temporary hair loss.
Supplements and Medications
Certain supplements and treatments can help prevent or reduce hair loss.
Take multivitamin supplements
Studies dating back several years suggest that vitamins help prevent hair loss. A 2019 review in Dermatology and Therapy looked at the role of various vitamins and minerals in preventing hair loss. The role of vitamins and minerals in hair loss remains unclear.
However, vitamin deficiencies can be a risk factor for hair loss. Some of the vitamins and minerals that can help include:
Anyone considering taking a multivitamin supplement should talk to their doctor first. The best products contain all or most of the recommended daily amounts of each vitamin and mineral in a single dose.
Tips for healthier hair
Certain practices and products can contribute to healthier hair and prevent hair loss. These include in particular:
The scalp massage.
A small 2016 study of nine healthy men found that a daily 4-minute scalp massage stimulated hair growth. These results are promising. But researchers will need to study larger samples to determine if scalp massages are helpful for hair loss.
Try Low Intensity Laser Light Therapy
Low Intensity Laser Light Therapy (LLLT), also called red light therapy, is a treatment for skin problems that uses low wavelength red light to stimulate cell growth. According to a small 2020 controlled trial in Korea, after 16 weeks, LLLT significantly increased hair density and thickness in 48 people with androgenetic alopecia. Researchers need to conduct further research to determine the correct wavelengths and duration of treatment.
Using Coconut Oil for Damaged Hair
A 2018 study found that coconut oil can help prevent hair loss due to UV damage or grooming habits. However, more research is needed to confirm this. Applying coconut oil to the scalp could strengthen the hair and prevent loss due to damage.
Use of essential oils
Applying certain essential oils to the scalp could stimulate hair growth. A small 2021 study found that pumpkin seed oil, applied topically to the scalp for three months, significantly increased hair regrowth in people with female pattern baldness.
Use caffeine-infused products
Caffeine in opal formulations such as shampoo and conditioner may prevent hair loss, according to a 2020 review. Caffeine boosts metabolism and cell proliferation.
Apply antioxidants to the scalp
Using a shampoo or scalp treatment that contains antioxidants can decrease hair loss and improve scalp health. Women who used a shampoo or leave-in scalp treatment containing the antioxidant piroctone olamine for a period of 8 weeks saw increased hair growth and improved scalp condition than women who used placebo products, according to a 2021 clinical trial.
Protect hair while sleeping
A silk or satin pillowcase can help prevent hair breakage caused by friction, tangles and tugging. Lying down with wet hair can weaken strands and cause breakage. When hair is wet, it is in a vulnerable state.
Maintain good hair and scalp care
Taking care of your hair and scalp can help prevent hair loss. It can also improve hair growth. Keeping the scalp and hair clean can also prevent hair damage and hair loss.
Why does hair fall out?
Hair grows and eventually falls out as part of its normal cycle. They can accumulate on hairbrushes, pillows or shower drains. Most people do not notice the natural hair loss that occurs daily. Hair thickness and hairline usually stay the same. People are more likely to notice excessive hair loss, which may be due to an underlying condition. Symptoms of excessive hair loss can be:
sudden hair loss
loss of hair patches
Several factors can cause excessive hair loss.
One of the most common causes involves genetics. According to a 2019 study, pattern baldness affects up to 50% of both men and women.
Common baldness manifests slowly with aging. The more immediate causes of hair loss can be the following
chemotherapy or radiation therapy
hormonal changes, such as those caused by thyroid problems or menopause
emotional or physical stress
certain tight hairstyles, such as ponytails
medicines for blood pressure or cancer.
Can hair loss be reversed?
The return of hair growth depends on the cause of hair loss. A dermatologist can determine if a person’s hair can grow back on its own.
Hair loss can be temporary and reversed in the following cases:
If medication is the cause of hair loss, hair may begin to grow back as soon as the person stops taking the medication. Full regrowth can take up to 18 months.
During pregnancy, hair loss can occur due to the decrease in estrogen levels. Many people also experience temporary hair loss around 3 months after giving birth.
In mild cases of alopecia areata, an autoimmune disease, hair loss may be reversed after treatment.
Cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy or radiation, can cause hair loss that may reverse after treatment is finished.
People can experience severe hair loss due to stress for weeks or months.