Hair is the crowning glory of your face! Every woman longs for lustrous hair. A beautiful hairstyle can make or break your look. Yet, hair is always a matter of concern. Even if you lose a few strands of hair, you get a lot of worry about the hair loss. Thinning hair is a terrible condition. Hair loss isn’t a major problem, but hair thinning is!
Thinning hair means your hair loses its strength and you suffer from an intolerable and uncontrollable loss of hair. It is almost like buying a big pack of potato chips. When you cut open the pack after a few days, what you see is half packet filled with emptiness! When you just ignore the hair fall, it may gradually lead to thinning hair. Thinning hair is not something you can take very lightly. It can affect you emotionally.
Before we dig deeply about how to treat hair thinning, learn what hair thinning is.
Thinning Hair Vs Hair Fall Vs Hair Loss
Thinning hair differs a lot with hair fall and hair loss.
Hair loss and hair fall happen every day. Every time you comb your hair you lose a few strands of hair. Also, even if you don’t comb your hair, it will happen daily. You lose hair when you brush, when you wash your hair and even when hair is exposed to dust, etc. Losing a few strands of hair is very natural and there is nothing to worry about it. This condition is termed as hair fall.
Too much hair fall leads to hair loss. If you lose more than a few strands of hair every day, you lose lot of hair. When you feel the volume of the hair is reduced due to hair loss, it is termed hair thinning.
According to Mayo Clinic, it is very normal to lose around 100 strands of hair! So don’t turn on panic mode when you find a few strands on your pillow when you wake up! The loss of hair is compensated by regular hair growth.
To put in a simpler term, thinning hair is uncontrollable hair fall that reduces the volume of your hair; When your hair starts thinning down, the hairline recedes and makes your scalp more visible.
Thinning Hair in Men
Thinning hair in men is too common and very apparent. Receding hairline at the temples and baldness at the crown of the hair are obviously associated with thinning hair. Besides, male pattern baldness and hair loss in patches are also counted as hair thinning.
Thinning Hair in Women
Thinning hair in women is completely a different story when compared with men. Thinning hair generally reduces the volume of the locks. When you put ponytail or plaits, you can easily notice the difference. Besides, thinning hair increases the width of the hair parting. If you have the habit of centre parting your hair, you can find the parting gradually getting wider. Receding hairline rarely happens in women.
So, when it comes to women, thinning hair is all about low volume of hair, literally thin hair.
What is the mystery behind thinning hair?
What leads to hair thinning? The common causes of hair loss attribute to thinning hair, when the hair loss is ignored! Hair thinning is triggered by medical conditions and lifestyle factors. These two reasons accounts for around 70 % of the cases of thinning hair. However, sometimes no apparent cause is found.
Causes for Thinning Hair
There are some key elements that trigger hair loss and lead to thinning hair.
- Problems with natural hair cycle and poor hair care
- Infection on the scalp / dandruff
- Iron Deficiency
- An inheritance
- Pregnancy, child birth, menopause and other conditions that is associated with raging hormones
- Using a lot of hair styling products
- Sudden weight loss and crash diet
- Wrong choice of hair care products
- Exposure to too much heat
- Too much stress
Aging and Hair Thinning
It is natural for both, men and women, to experience hair thinning with aging. Due to hormonal changes, for example, menopausal women can observe a lot of uncommon hair growth patterns. They may have hair thinning and hair loss at a faster rate, simultaneously. In fact, in some of their body parts, they experience more hair growth like upper lip or chin. This is due to hormonal changes. As far as hair thinning is concerned, both aging men and women face this problem because their hair follicles get smaller day by day. As such, the hair produced cannot be even seen. These finest hair make men look bald. Sometimes, it happens in women too which is termed as female pattern balding.
How to Control Thinning Hair
Thinning hair can be a sign of an underlying medical condition or an indication of poor lifestyle. There are effective natural remedies that you can try to address hair thinning. Generally, natural remedies for thinning hair focus on controlling hair loss, strengthening the hair and stimulating hair growth. When the first two parts are achieved, it obviously eliminates hair thinning.
Instead of going for styling equipment, cosmetic treatments and hair loss treatments, you can try simple natural remedies for thinning hair.
Sometimes, natural or home remedies may not be effective in controlling hair loss or hair thinning. There are certain instances where the hair loss is triggered by medical conditions. Only when you take appropriate medications to treat the problems, you can control hair thinning in such cases.
In most cases, except for some chronic condition that leads to thinning hair, you can control the hair loss and stimulate hair growth with natural remedies at home. Let us see in detail about natural remedies for thinning hair.
Natural Remedies for Thinning Hair
A lot of natural ingredients at your home sometimes bring miraculous results! Try these home remedies to control thinning hair and stop hair fall.
Home Remedies for Thinning Hair
1. Warm Oil Massage
Oil massage was a mandatory routine in the ancient days. There are many benefits of oil massage when it comes to hair problems.
Applying oil to the hair locks protect the hair from sun damages and keep it moistened. Dry locks are prone to split.
Each hair follicle grows a hair strand. When the hair follicles become weak, you don’t grow hair. Gradually, it spread to other parts. Massaging scalp with oil stimulates the hair follicles and improves the blood circulation in the scalp.
This logic (in fact the science) behind is simple! When you have proper blood circulation in the body, you feel good. When you lack blood supply or poor circulation, you end up developing swelling, getting darker skin (especially on the foot), etc. The same applies to hair. When the scalp is malnourished of blood supply, it cannot hold the hair strong. The root becomes weak and gradually, it sheds from your scalp. This particular issue can be easily addressed by frequent or regular oil massage.
- It strengthens the hair root
- Rejuvenate the scalp, the base of your hair
- Improves blood circulation which controls hair fall
The type of oil you choose also help you control the hair loss.
Hair oils you can use to massage your scalp to stop thinning of hair
- Coconut Oil
- Sesame Oil
- Olive Oil
- Almond Oil
You can also add a few drops of lavender oil to any hair oil you use. Make sure you don’t heat the lavender essential oil. Just add a few drops of it after the carrier oil turns warm. Lavender oil has good blood simulation properties. It enhances the blood circulation in the scalp, just an added bonus to your oil massage for thinning hair problem. Its aroma also provides relief from stress.
Benefits of using these oils for various types of hair
For Dry Hair
Coconut Oil: Coconut oil is the elixir of the skin and hair. It has deep nourishing properties and protects hair from sun damage. It has amazing moisturizing properties and prevents the dryness of the skin. Coconut oil also contains the Essential Fatty Acids, an important nutrient for healthy hair and skin.
Sesame Oil: If there is oil that is used for centuries to nourish the whole body, it is nothing but sesame oil. In ancient days, people used to cook only with sesame oil. It was the staple oil for everything from oil bath to preparation of home medicines. Sesame oil contains amazing cooling properties. It is a good moisturizer. It removes the body heat and helps retain the ideal body temperature. From kids to elders, almost twice a week, ancient people followed the habit of oil bathing with sesame oil. Hair thinning that is caused due to excessive heat, both from internally and externally can be reduced with sesame oil. Besides, it aids in hair growth.
For Oily Hair
Olive Oil: This is non-sticky hair oil that contains loads of healing and nourishing properties. If your hair is oily yet thinning, you can use olive oil. Olive oil contains hair friendly nutrients that replenish the scalp. This is best suited for oily hair. Since olive oil is light, it penetrates the shafts of hair deeper than other oils.
Almond Oil: This oil is rich in Vitamin E, a hair nourishing vitamin. It provides all essential nutrients that stimulate hair growth.
Both olive oil and almond oil are rich in antioxidants that are essential for the age related hair thinning.
For Normal Hair
You can use all types of oil mentioned above. If you don’t want your hair to carry the greasiness, just go with olive oil.
How to massage your scalp with oil to stop hair thinning?
The quantity of oil you need depends upon the length and volume of your hair. Remember, you should not just apply the oil to the scalp, but also across the length of the hair.
You can heat all oils mentioned above except almond oil. If you choose almond oil to massage your head, just apply it directly. You shouldn’t heat almond oil.
- Heat the oil in a pan but don’t boil it (don’t heat almond oil)
- Let it cool down for a couple of minutes. Remember, the oil should be warm when you apply it on the scalp.
- Gently apply the oil on scalp and run your fingers with intense pressure on the scalp.
- You can also massage the scalp in circular motion.
- An oil massage to the scalp is best done when you take help of others.
- Apply the oil across the length of the hair
Let the oil stay on hair for a couple of hours. Then wash your hair with mild shampoo and rinse thoroughly.
Do this oil massage at least once a week. The warm oil massage controls the hair loss and strengthens the root and scalp.
Oil Massage – An alternative way
There is another way you can massage your scalp and apply oil. If you are not comfortable with self hair massage, you can try this method.
The above process of heating and warming the oil remains the same.
Things you need:
- A bowl with the warm oil
- A few cotton balls
How to apply?
Soak the cotton ball and make sure the ball absorbs the oil.
- Split your hair in many parts and just dab the cotton ball.
- Apply the cotton ball all over the scalp.
- For the second run, press the cotton balls intensely and run on your scalp. Just like you run your fingers.
- Comb your hair (don’t brush) gently.
- Leave it for one or two hours and wash your hair.
It doesn’t make your hair frizzy or twist your locks. Especially, when you already suffer from thinning hair, frizzled hair makes it worse.
This is an easy way to massage your hair and it works great for dry scalp and hair.
2. Neem Oil – A Multi-faceted Herb for Thinning Hair
This is one of the relatively inexpensive home remedy for thinning hair. Neem oil has some wondrous healing powers.
If you have already tried many solutions to control thinning hair and couldn’t find any improvement, just go for neem oil. You will find the improvement in a few days. It definitely makes big difference and completely controls your hair loss.
Neem oil is very powerful oil and generally it is available as neem infused hair oil. Neem with its strong medicinal properties heals itchiness, dandruff, scalp problems, etc. Simply it enhances the texture of your hair and makes it glossy! Using neem oil gives you double benefits! You gain the benefit of applying oil as well the benefits of neem! If you didn’t know this, Neem is the other name for Margosa and is a widely used herb in India for many diseases including hair and scalp issues.
It eliminates all issues associated with scalp and strengthens the hair roots. Within a few days, the hair loss will be controlled.
How to apply neem oil to cure thinning hair?
You can buy the neem oil available in the stores. If you feel the oil is overpowering (due to the odd smell), just mix it with almond oil. Apply the oil on the scalp. You can also leave it overnight and wash the hair the next morning.
Instead of using neem oil, you can also use neem leaves to control hair thinning.
How to use neem leaves?
Using neem leaves with oil: (Coconut oil recommended for infusing neem leaves)
- Boil neem leaves in oil, extract the oil and apply it on your scalp.
- Grind the neem leaves and add the paste into oil when you heat the oil. Use it regularly.
Using neem leaves with water:
- Boil a handful of neem leaves in water.
- Add a few drops of essential oil to the water and extract the leaves.
- Apply the water all over the scalp and rinse it after a couple of hours.
Using neem leaves paste:
- Grind the neem leaves into a fine paste and apply it on your scalp!
- Rinse your hair thoroughly after one hour.
You can also add the neem leaves paste to the shampoo. Measure the quantity as 1:4 (1 part neem leaves with 4 parts of shampoo). This is perhaps the easiest remedy for thinning hair, and effective one too!
3. Aloe Vera Gel to Control Thinning Hair
Aloe vera is a natural wonder. It is loaded with anti-oxidants. Nothing moisturizes and retains the moisture on your scalp and hair better than aloe vera gel. Regular application as well intake of aloe vera nourishes your hair.
Things you need:
- All you need is some fresh aloe vera gel.
- Spoon to scrape the gel and a bowl to collect it
How to scrape the gel:
This isn’t a rocket science. Almost everyone knows how to extract the gel from fresh aloe leaf. This has something extra for you!
- Cut the leaves in the middle
- Take a spoon and scrape the gel
- Don’t just scrape the gel part.
- Also try to collect the extracts of the leave to accompany the gel.
- Get the mix of gel along with aloe vera skin (internal skin)
The internal skin of aloe leaves are more nutritious and provide more benefits than gel itself.
How to apply:
- Just scoop out the gel from the leaf before you use.
- Add around 10 to 20 drops of vitamin E oil to the gel and blend it nicely. You can get Vitamin E oil from Vitamin E capsules too.
- Apply the paste on the scalp and rinse it off after 2 or 3 hours.
There are different varieties of aloe vera plant available. A few variations are quite strong and you may need a carrier. So, it is recommended to mix vitamin E oil or a carrier oil before you apply aloe vera gel directly to your scalp and hair.
This makes an excellent remedy to control hair thinning. The amazing cooling property of aloe vera reduces the body heat and strengthens the hair follicles.
However, if you have a cold body (the tendency to catch cold easily), you better avoid applying aloe vera gel on your scalp.
4. Herbal Rinses for Thinning Hair
There are a lot of herbs that can help you control thinning hair and stimulate hair growth. The basic recipe for herbal rinse is given below after the list of herbs that you can use to make these herbal rinses to stop hair thinning.
List of herbs to make herbal rinse to stop hair thinning
It is one of the most powerful Ayurvedic herbs for hair control and hair growth. It revitalizes even the dormant hair follicles and stimulates the hair growth very quickly. It is not easy to find the fresh Bhringraj leaves, yet you can buy the powdered or dried form and make the rinse as mentioned later. You can also infuse Bhringraj in the coconut oil or any other oil you use daily.
The holy herb grown in majority of Indian households for its purity and divinity is Tulsi. Also called as Basil, Tulsi has some amazing healing properties. It has anti-inflammatory properties and addresses all scalp related problems.
It is one of the oxygen rich herbs. This is major reason Tulsi is grown in households to get the fresh oxygen! It nourishes the scalp feeding the much needed oxygen mixed along with micro nutrients. Simultaneously, it improves the blood circulation and aids in controlling the hair loss.
Nettle isn’t a popular herb when it comes to treating hair problems. Yet it has an amazing property to prohibit a chemical compound that leads to baldness and receding hairline. DHT is the hormone that triggers the uncontrollable hair loss. Nettle controls secretion of DHT, which in turn controls thinning hair and leads to hair growth!
Okay, this isn’t an herb! Licorice is an aromatic spice used both sparingly in cooking. But it is widely accepted as spice herb. It is one of the very rare ingredients that holds a lot of natural chemical compounds, quite beneficial for damaged and thinning hair. In fact, these chemical compounds reverse the chemical damages caused to the hair and treats all infections of the scalp.
You can follow the below mentioned recipe to make an herbal rinse with licorice root or licorice powder. However, you should let the licorice steep in water for a minimum of 3 hours for getting the best results.
Better, you do it at night and get the rinse the next day.
How to make herbal rinse for thinning hair
- Add fresh herbs in to water and boil it.
- Alternatively, you can chop the herbs into fine pieces and add to the water.
- You can also grind the herbs and boil in water.
- Close the vessel when it boils. You can retain the fragrance too!
- Make sure the quantity of the water is sufficient to wet your scalp and length of the hair
- Too much makes the herbal rinse diluted and less powerful
- Filter the water and apply it when it cools down
If you don’t get the fresh herbs, you can buy the dried form in natural or herbal shop.
How to apply herbal rinse
- This is not something you should rinse your hair with. Rather, let it stay on your scalp and hair for a while.
- Gently wet your hair with herbal rinse. You can also use cotton balls to apply the herbal water as mentioned above.
- Don’t pour the herbal rise on your hair. Apply it gradually and gently.
- Massage the scalp and hair roots.
- Make sure herbal rinse is applied all over your scalp and hair shafts.
- Soak a towel in warm water and tie your hair.
- Let it stay for around one or two hours.
- Rinse the hair with warm or room temperature water.
5. Dietary Recommendations for Thinning Hair
Sometimes, topical remedies aren’t sufficient to control thinning hair, especially when it is caused by hormonal fluctuations. So you need to change your dietary habits and focus on eating nutritious and nourishing food.
Foods that control hair loss and thinning hair
There are certain foods that contain dense nutrients and helps control hair thinning. In fact, the hair cells grow faster than other cells in the body. So, it needs nutrients. However, often hair is considered secondary by the brain. So, in case if you suffer from lack of nutrition, your hair suffers first! Following is the list of foods you should eat to stimulate hair growth and control hair loss.
Protein Foods- Pump up protein consumption
Hair is made of protein. Low protein intake is linked with uncontrolled hair loss. Even you see the hair care products advertising protein as their major ingredient. Protein is abundantly found in animal sources. But it is also found in many vegetarian foods.
Foods rich in protein include,
Add these foods to your daily diet to control hair thinning.
Iron Foods- Boost your iron intake to control thinning hair
Iron is one of the major nutrients for skin and hair health. Iron deficiency is very common in women. If you check the hemoglobin levels in those who suffer from thinning hair, in most of the cases you will find low level iron in the body. When there is low iron, there is low and poor blood supply in the body. Boost your hemoglobin level and increase the iron consumption, you can easily grow locks.
Foods rich in iron include,
- Dry grapes aka raisins and
- All dark colored veggies, fruits, grains and pulses.
Sip a glass of fresh beetroot juice in the morning along with or after breakfast. Your iron level will shoot quickly!
Antioxidant rich Foods- EAT antioxidants to transform thinning hair into thickened and luscious hair
Next to iron, antioxidants stay put the hair locks in place! When the body lacks in anti-oxidants, you develop free radicals and it leads to slow growth cells, accumulation of dead cells, weakening of cells and tissues, etc. All these apply to scalp too. You need a lot of antioxidants to keep yourself braced from free radicals. Besides, it is quite essential to delay and combat aging signs.
Foods rich in antioxidants include,
- Citrus fruits
- Green tea
- Fresh herbs
- Dark chocolate (what a delicious way to control thinning hair)
Develop the habit of eating at least one whole fruit a day (that need not be jackfruit!) and two or three cups of green tea!
Vitamin B Foods- Do you get enough Biotin!
Biotin is a form of B vitamin responsible for healthy skin, hair and nails! If something is wrong with your hair health, probably biotin may be the culprit. Unfortunately, it is a vitamin sourced majorly from animals. Liver is the richest source of biotin and it is also found more in meat proteins. Obviously vegetarians and vegans lack biotin. Well, here is the list of good food sources for the non-meat eaters.
Some of the vegan source of biotin includes,
- Dark greens
Omega 3 Fatty Acid
This is the hair growth nutrient. Omega 3 actually, is responsible for many vital functions in the body. In fact, it creates new hair. So, adding plenty of omega 3 fatty acid not only control the hair fall, but stimulates healthy hair growth and help you get rid of hair thinning problem.. As you know, omega 3 is abundantly found in sea foods!
Foods that are rich in Omega 3 include,
- Essentially, a major of walnut contains this EFA!
- Brazil nuts
Drink lots of Water and Sleep tight to control hair thinning
Whatever might have gone wrong, these two elements can fix at least 40 % and help you combat the problem of hair thinning. Drink enough water and have a good night’s sleep. Water regulates your body functions and prevents dryness as well as dehydration which is essential for scalp and hair. Similarly, loss of sleep or inadequate sleep is also associated with hair loss. Poor sleep is a trigger for hair loss! If you can’t sleep well or take medicines for sleeping, know about the ways to sleep better without sleeping pills.
What not to do when you suffer from Thinning Hair
Sometimes, not doing something means a lot! Even if you can’t help, don’t ruin it! When you suffer from thinning hair, there is a lot you shouldn’t do to control the trigger and not to make it worse.
Don’ts for Hair Thinning
Here is the list of don’ts:
Don’t use any styling equipments
Most of the styling equipments produce heat to change the hairstyle. This could be a possible reason that gradually leads to thinning hair. Especially, you shouldn’t use hair straightener, flat irons, etc.
If you are worried about you thin hair, make it a little bit curly to mimic that your hair is voluminous. Remember, you should curl the locks only at the ends, not from the root.
A Big NO to complicated hairstyles
We just love to sport different hairstyles. Yet, until you notice the reduction in hair fall and regrow your hair, stay with simple hairstyles.
- Put simple plaits and braids, don’t make it too complicated.
- Don’t seal your hair tightly
- Avoid using too much hair accessories
- Be gentle when you comb your hair
Don’t cut your hair
Cutting down your hair doesn’t make it grow. So, it makes no sense in cutting your hair just because your hair is thinning. Without addressing thinning hair, if you attempt to cut it, very soon you find your hair turning worse. Yet, you can trim off those split ends to avoid aggravation of split in the hair. Remember, split ends also damage your hair by making it split even more. So, trim your hair off regularly.
Don’t use hair dryer
You should not use hair dryer to get rid of the dampness! Although hair dryer comes handy and turns to be very useful, it further damages your hair. Try to dry the hair naturally and dry it under sunlight.
Daily hair wash – No-No
In fact, daily hair wash isn’t a necessity at all. Washing your hair twice or thrice a week is sufficient. Daily hair wash weakens the roots and aggravates hair thinning.
No Hot or No Cold Water
If your hair is thinning and you cannot control the hair fall, never wash your hair with cold water or hot water. Luke warm water or water with room temperature is recommended.
Stop taking oral contraceptives
If you have the habit of taking oral contraceptives, put an end immediately. Sometimes, this could be the sole reason for thinning of hair!
What to do when you suffer from thinning hair due to hormone or medical condition
When you don’t find any significant improvement after trying the natural remedies, you should check with a doctor. Because uncontrollable hair loss is often a sign of hormonal disturbance. Typically, a few tests will be sufficient to identify the underlying causes of thinning hair. Taking appropriate medications to address the disease automatically control hair thinning.
- Hypothyroidism is an alarming autoimmune disorder that leads to uncontrolled hair loss. When you take the medicine regularly, automatically it controls the hair loss and triggers hair growth.
- Eat ashwagandha, holy basil and cook with coconut oil to balance the hormonal fluctuations.
- As mentioned above, get omega 3 in your diet.
- Add a lot of herbs and spices in your diet. It balances your body equilibrium and revives your health.
- Eat a cup of pineapple a day – Pineapple, although is a hot fruit has numerous benefits to health. It keeps your gut healthy and provides a lot of enzymes to your body. When the gut lining is addressed with enzymes, it balances your hormones.
- Get spirulina! Spirulina is an edible alga. It grows near the sea on the rocks and holds more than 80 nutrients. This is one of the natural ways to treat hypothyroidism.
- Eliminate processed foods from your diet.
General Tips for Thinning Hair
- Don’t let your hair loose all the time.
- Try to part the hair in different ways to conceal the receding hairline.
- Wrap your hair with stole or shawl when you travel. It protects your hair from heat as well from dust.
- Don’t tie your hair tight upwards when you stay at home. Always remember to make your hair comfortable. Get loose plaits or a messy bun.
- Change your pillow cover at least once a week.
- When you wash your hair, don’t rub towel on your scalp. Try to remove the knotted hair with hands rather than brushing or combing.
These are some simple things you can do to control thinning hair and re-grow your hair. Remember, your hair doesn’t become thin in a day and you cannot expect any miracle to happen quickly with these natural remedies for thinning hair. It takes some time and you should try combination of remedies. If your hair care is not commendable, still you eat healthy, it makes no sense and vice versa. Beyond these things, you should also take proper medications to address the disease that cause thinning hair.