If you notice more hair on your hairbrush or on your pillow, you may think of hair loss. However, in reality, it could be due to hair fall and not hair loss. So before we start with natural solutions for hair fall, you need to understand the difference between hair fall and hair loss.
Hair fall and hair loss — what is it?
According to the American Association of Dermatology, for any person, it is normal to shed around 100 strands of hair a day. However, if a person sheds more than the usual number on a daily basis, then it is a sign of hair fall. Technically, excessive shedding of hair or hair fall is known as telogen effluvium. It is mostly caused due to a stressor. It is a temporary condition in which hair shedding stops on its own. Hence, hair can regrow after 6 to 9 months.
Hair loss and hair thinning or balding has many causes. It could be due to heredity, medicines, underlying health conditions etc. In most such cases, you may need to undergo hair loss treatments or hair transplant for hair growth.
As far as home remedies for hair loss are concerned, it usually works for hair fall and not hair loss.
Natural hair fall solutions
When suffering from hair fall, the primary treatment option starts at home. Most people tend to swear by home remedies to prevent hair fall and aid hair growth. But do these natural solutions for hair fall really work? Well, here is what research has to say about common hair fall remedies.
1. Onion juice to prevent hair loss
Onion juice is one of the common home remedies for hair fall. Many people believe it is effective for hair problems such as thinning hair, grey hair, and dry or brittle hair. Research studies have indicated that onion juice can help treat hair fall. Onions contain sulphur, which is needed for the production of amino acids, proteins and collagen, which in turn are needed for hair growth and prevent hair loss.
Applying onion juice on the scalp is known to increase blood supply to hair follicles and thus, prevent hair fall due to hair thinning and promote hair growth. It doesn’t act as a cure for hair loss or baldness (alopecia). Also, there is no standard reference on how to use onion juice for hair fall.
2. Hibiscus for hair fall
Hibiscus is one of the most commonly used traditional remedies for hair fall. People claim that it is used to treat grey hair, promote hair growth and prevent hair fall. According to a study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, the extract of hibiscus leaves and flowers help treat hair loss as it contains compounds that stimulate hair follicles, increase follicle size and increase hair growth. However, these studies were done on rats. There are no research studies done on the effectiveness of hibiscus for hair growth in humans by using it as a paste or by adding the leaves or flowers to coconut oil like people usually do.
3. Eggs to promote hair growth
Many Indian households use egg white or egg yolk to improve the thickness of the hair and improve the texture. Most people believe that the high protein of egg whites alone can make hair stronger. There is no scientific evidence to support that topical application of egg whites on the scalp prevents hair fall.
But there are several studies which shed light on the fact that eating eggs can be beneficial for hair growth and prevent hair loss. This is because, eggs are loaded with nutrients like biotin, vitamin A, vitamin E and folate, which are proved to aid in hair growth and prevent hair loss caused due to nutritional deficiency.
4. Aloe vera as a hair fall remedy
Aloe vera is also one of the commonly used natural hair fall solutions which is been used for many years. This traditional home remedy is known to soothe the scalp, condition dry hair, and reduce dandruff along with nourishing the hair follicles and improve overall hair health when rubbed over the scalp and length of the hair.
However, there is no known research study that proves the beneficial effects of aloe vera for hair growth and preventing hair loss.
5. Coconut oil to prevent hair loss and improve hair care
Coconut oil forms an integral part of hair care routine in almost every household in India. But does it have an impact on preventing hair loss? Well, research studies say NO. There is no evidence which shows that coconut oil promotes hair growth.
However, there are studies that have shown the oil to improve hair health and lustre. This is because, it contains lauric acid, which penetrates easily into the hair shaft and thus, reduces protein loss from both damaged and undamaged hair when used as a pre and post wash treatment.
6. Green tea as a natural hair fall solution
It is a known fact that drinking green tea is good for the health thanks to the antioxidants. However, it also believed that green tea can help improve hair growth and prevent hair fall.
But before you start using green tea for hair care, you should know that these studies are done on mice. A study done in the year 2005 on mice revealed that the presence of polyphenolic compounds in green tea show promise as a herbal remedy for hair loss. Research studies on humans are yet to be done to confirm these effects and also to know how much of green tea to use and which type of hair fall does it treat.
7. Fenugreek seeds to promote hair growth
Fenugreek seeds contain phytoestrogens (plants hormones) which were believed to enhance hair growth.
In 2006, a research study published in the International journal of Current Research proved that 10% of fenugreek seed extract can improve hair volume and thickness of hair in both men and women suffering from moderate hair loss. The activity was the same as that observed after using 2% minoxidil hair tonic. However, there is no clear understanding about how to use fenugreek seeds for hair growth.
8. Ginger for hair loss
Ginger is also used as a traditional natural remedy for hair loss and stimulate hair growth. In fact, there are numerous products available that contain ginger extracts and claim to possess anti-hair loss properties. However, there is no scientific evidence to back it up.
On the contrary, a 2013 study published in PLoS One revealed that 6-gingerol, which is an active ingredient in ginger has no effect on hair growth. Moreover, it was found to suppress hair growth due to its inhibitory activity and prolonging the telogen phase. However, these studies were done on mice.
9. Tea tree oil to treat hair fall
Tea tree oil is one of the very few essential oils which are known to prevent hair fall and promote hair growth. It is due to the powerful cleaning, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. When applied topically it can improve absorption of nutrients by the follicles and thus, enhance hair growth.
According to a 2013 study, tea tree oil (an anti-infective agent) when used in combination with minoxidil (dihydrotestosterone antagonist) and diclofenac (a non-steroidal anti inflammatory agent) for treating androgenic alopecia showed significant results than using minoxidil alone. However, the role of tea tree oil alone to treat hair fall is not proved scientifically.
10. Bhringraj as a natural remedy for hair fall
Eclipta alba (bhringraj) is one of the most popular and widely used traditional home remedies for hair fall. It is used to treat baldness and hair loss in East Asia. It is one of the main ingredients listed in common natural hair fall solutions available across the country.
But the surprising part of it is the fact that there are only animal trials to prove the efficacy of Bhringraj on hair growth. A 2009 study in Ethnopharmacology concluded that methanolic extract of E.alba in water can promote hair growth by increasing the anagen-phase (the active growth phase of hair follicles).
11. Peppermint oil for hair growth
Peppermint oil is known to improve circulation and cause a soothing sensation when applied on the skin. The same holds true, when it comes to using it as a natural hair fall solution. The oil is believed to promote hair growth by acting on the anagen or the growing phase of the hair follicles.
However, the research is not on humans but mice. A study found that peppermint oil can enhance hair growth by increasing the quantity of the hair follicles and its depth.
Not just this, other essential oils such as (thyme, rosemary, lavender, and cedarwood) when used in combination with carrier oils such as jojoba and grapeseed oil and massaged onto the scalp daily proved to be a safe and effective treatment for alopecia areata.
In addition to these natural remedies, people also try various other home remedies like castor oil for hair regrowth which they claim works for them and the list goes on.
Bottomline: Most studies for natural remedies have been conducted using the extracts of these ingredients and most people using the ingredients in raw form. Whichever natural hair fall solution you intend to try, it would help to know exactly how to use it and for how long. If it doesn’t seem to work consult a hair specialist or a dermatologist to find out what is causing your hair fall before it is too late.
Click here for our range of hair care products.
1. R.A. Hajare1, A.G.Tated. Onion juice: An effective home remedy for combating alopecia.IJPRD, 2013; Vol 4(11): (093 – 097).
2. Adhirajan N, Ravi Kumar T, Shanmugasundaram N, Babu M. In vivo and in vitro evaluation of hair growth potential of Hibiscus rosa-sinensis Linn. J Ethnopharmacol. 2003 Oct;88(2-3):235-9.
3. Guo EL, Katta R. Diet and hair loss: effects of nutrient deficiency and supplement use. Dermatol Pract Concept. 2017 Jan 31;7(1):1-10.
4. Rele AS, Mohile RB. Effect of mineral oil, sunflower oil, and coconut oil on prevention of hair damage. J Cosmet Sci. 2003 Mar-Apr;54(2):175-92.
5. Esfandiari A, Kelley P. The effects of tea polyphenolic compounds on hair loss among rodents. J Natl Med Assoc.
6. Wong HW, Mun’im A, Djajadisastra J. Effectiveness test of fenugreek seeds (Trigonella foenum-graecum L.) extract hair tonic in hair growth activity. J Curr Res. Nov 13 ;. Vol 5 (11) 3453-3460.
7. Miao Y, Sun Y, Wang W, Du B, Xiao SE, Hu Y, Hu Z. 6-Gingerol inhibits hair shaft growth in cultured human hair follicles and modulates hair growth in mice. PLoS One. 2013;8(2):e57226.
8. Sakr FM, Gado AM, Mohammed HR, Adam AN. Preparation and evaluation of a multimodal minoxidil microemulsion versus minoxidil alone in the treatment of androgenic alopecia of mixed etiology: a pilot study. Drug Des Devel Ther. 2013 May 30;7:413-23.
9. Datta K, Singh AT, Mukherjee A, Bhat B, Ramesh B, Burman AC. Eclipta alba extract with potential for hair growth promoting activity. J Ethnopharmacol. 2009 Jul 30;124(3):450-6.
10. Oh JY, Park MA, Kim YC. Peppermint Oil Promotes Hair Growth without Toxic Signs. Toxicol Res. 2014 Dec;30(4):297-304.
11. Hay IC, Jamieson M, Ormerod AD. Randomized trial of aromatherapy. Successful treatment for alopecia areata. Arch Dermatol. 1998 Nov;134(11):1349-52.