Shedding is never fun — just ask my vacuum cleaner. It’s even less fun when you realize the golf ball size bits of hair you’re tugging out of the roller came from your own head. Oh, the horror! As we get older (yes ladies, this is for you too) our once glorious crown of healthy hair can become brittle, or even worse, be genetically predisposed to jump ship, leaving our poor, bald heads to fend for themselves.
Below are a few secrets from Mother Nature, some preventative, and some for after the mutiny has begun.
You are what you eat – and that’s true for your hair as well. A diet containing mostly whole foods, especially the skin of plants such as cucumbers, potatoes, peppers, and even bean sprouts are rich in the mineral silica and contribute to hair strength. Foods like lean meats are high in iron and are essential to the protein-based, building blocks of hair growth.
Ginkgo Biloba - this well-known herb is believed to improve blood circulation to the brain and skin. Herbalists believe that the increased flow of blood to the scalp area promotes hair regrowth by delivering nutrients to the hair follicles.
Green Tea – it has been shown that natural chemicals (catechins) present in green tea inhibit the Type I 5-alpha-reductase enzyme which converts testosterone into the hair-murdering DHT. And that, in some expert opinions, could block the chain of hormonal activity initiating hair loss.
Stinging Nettle – Grandma’s secret gets a new life as modern herbalists believe drinking tea made from this plant will reduce hair loss. Much in the way the chemicals in green tea prevent testosterone from turning into DHT, stinging nettle is also said to fight that process and keep hair thick and healthy.
Red Pepper – used throughout the ages, this common skin irritant works to attract blood and nutrients to the scalp and also promotes the release of histamines that stimulate cell division and hair growth.
Onion - A study published in the Journal of Dermatology examined the results when onion juice was used in people with alopecia areata. Twenty-three people applied onion juice directly to the scalp twice daily for two months. Participants began to experience hair growth after just two weeks of treatment. At four weeks, hair regrowth was seen in 17 people and at six weeks, hair growth was apparent in 20 people.
By Veronica Peterson