By: Marlene Affeld ~
For centuries, thick, luxuriant hair has been symbolic of health, wealth, social status, and beauty. In today’s modern society, hair loss is considered one of the most common “tell tale” signs of premature aging. Many women, as well as men, suffer a loss of confidence and a reduction in self-esteem from a receding hairline, thinning of the hair, or baldness.
Regular use of harsh chemicals in treatments for hair straightening, coloring and curling, can lead to dry, damaged hair, breakage, and hair loss. However, there are many other contributing factors responsible for hair loss in humans. The American Academy of Dermatology notes that a nutritionally deficient diet, improper care of the hair, our genetic heritage, health issues such as anemia or alopecia, pregnancy, menopause, or the body’s response to certain medications or chemotherapy, can lead to hair loss.
It is important to have an appointment with your dermatologist to determine your own unique hair and scalp type and the underlying causes of your hair damage or hair loss.
While there is little we can do about genetics, we can take proper care of our hair, avoid damaging chemical treatments, and adopt a healthy diet and lifestyle to naturally care and protect the hair we’ve been given. Nutritionists suggest increasing protein intake, supplementing our diet with B-complex vitamins and adding more omega-3 fats to our diet to encourage healthy hair growth.
However, if you are still worried about a receding hairline or overall thinning of the hair and want to improve texture and thickness, as well as enhance the growth of your hair, there is good news! Medical research studies indicate that hair regrowth is possible and continued hair loss can be reversed. Mother Nature’s medicine chest offers a diverse array of herbs to help regrow strong and healthy hair the natural way.
Myrtle essential oil is a balancer of scalp oil and proves useful when over-production of sebum clogs pores and follicles of the scalp. Myrtle oil is a natural and gentle antiseptic with restorative and regenerative properties helpful in hair growth.
Rose Seed Oil
Long known for its deeply hydrating properties, restorative to skin and scalp, rose seed oil helps enhance renewed hair growth and youthful follicle activity.
A Chinese herb used in the treatment of a diverse array of medical conditions, Panax Ginseng, also known as Korean Red Ginseng (KRG), has proven efficacy in the treatment of hair loss. Look for organic tonics, shampoos and hair conditioners featuring this healing herb as a primary ingredient. If you suffer from Alopecia Areata (AA), talk to your healthcare provider. KRG has demonstrated value as a useful complimentary food or nutritional supplement in the treatment of AA.
Wide ranges of skin and scalp conditions are positively affected by essential fats, of which Evening Primrose is an optimum source. Ingestion and topical application of organic Evening Primrose oil has been the subject of multiple scientific research studies, which have shown outstanding results in its application to all kinds of skin conditions. When poor circulation is a contributory factor in thinning hair, Evening Primrose has demonstrated benefits in reducing inflammation and reversing hair loss.
Ylang Ylang Oil
With a pungent scent reminiscent of jasmine, Ylang Ylang essential oil helps moisturize and relieve tension of the scalp. Add this healing oil to your hair loss arsenal by adding a few drops to your shampoo or conditioner. Do not apply Ylang Ylang oil in its undiluted form. It is very potent and can cause irritation if applied directly to the skin. Always mix with carrier oil or add to other natural hair growth remedies. Ylang Ylang oil has been used for centuries to increase the thickness of the hair shaft and to grow thicker, abundant hair. The pungent oil helps balance scalp oil production, promotes darker hair and prevents split ends.
Burdock Root, also known as Arctium Lappa, is another plant-based remedy effective in the treatment of hair loss. Burdock stimulates blood circulation to the scalp and thereby improves blood flow to hair follicles. Burdock root is an ingredient in many natural hair products.
Don’t you just love the scent of lavender? Lavender exhibits balancing, healing, regenerative, and powerful antibacterial properties. Lavender soothes as well as heals scalp infections and irritations and has proven useful in the treatment of dandruff and an itchy, dry, and flaky scalp.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea Tree oil, another popular plant-based essential oil, is known for its stellar fungus-fighting properties. Often used to treat dandruff, eczema, or fungal infections, Tea Tree oil, like many essential oils, is quite potent and can cause irritation if applied in an undiluted form. Mix with carrier oil, such as almond or olive oil, and apply as a scalp massage, or add a few drops to your normal shampoo and conditioner.
Ginkgo Biloba works by helping to increase blood flow to the scalp and has proven effective in correcting nutritional deficiencies of hair follicles.
Rosemary And More
Rosemary essential oil can be applied to the scalp in the same manner as suggested for lavender. Essential oils can be applied singularly or blended. Essential oils help cleanse the scalp to encourage hair follicle growth and are used as the active ingredients in many hair growth formulations.
Rosemary stimulates circulation to the scalp and helps with preventing pre-mature greying or loss of hair color. Rosemary also has proven useful in the treatment of dandruff and other scalp irritations.
Verbonone essential oil contains ketones specific to regeneration of follicles and dermis.
Equal amounts of verbonone, rosemary, lavender, thyme, cedarwood, Clary sage, and peppermint essential oils (approximately 10 drops each) combined with 2 tablespoons of organic almond, olive, jojoba, or olive oil provides a hair healing mask, useful in the repair of dry, damaged tresses.
Thyme presents a host of antibiotic, antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties and is most effective when applied in synergistic formulation with other essential oils. Clary Sage aids scar reduction and scalp skin regeneration by helping balance estrogen levels in the scalp. (Children, pregnant, or nursing women should not use Clary Sage essential oil.)
Hair Growth Blends And Recipes
Choose one or more essential oils to add to your favorite carrier oil to create your own special blend. Grapeseed oil is an ideal choice as carrier oil for persons with an excessively oily scalp. It is one of the lightest weight oils and provides a significant amount of antioxidant polyphenols. Grapeseed and Jojoba oils, tested as a 50-50 mixture, have demonstrated benefits in the treatment of alopecia areata.
Massage your own unique formulation into the scalp at least once a week. If feasible, wrap your head with a scarf or shower cap and leave the mixture on the hair overnight. (The fragrance is somewhat strong. You may want to apply it on a night you sleep alone.) Using a gentle, non-chemical based product, shampoo hair, rinse well with cool water, dry and style.
With a bit of help from nature, you can make wise choices for treating hair loss and growing luxuriant, thick and healthy hair. The suggestions provided are for basic hair care formulations, designed for regular daily application or as often as you feel beneficial. The mixtures should be stored in an airtight glass container away from heat and sunlight.
Apply a teaspoon of the formula to wet or dry hair and massage well into the scalp. Allow mixture to remain in place for at least 20 minutes. Shampoo, condition, rinse, and style as usual.
- Treating Hair Loss For Men – Blend 1oz each Evening Primrose, Coconut, Tea Tree oil, Orange, Rosehip Seed and Sesame oils. To this blend add 20 drops of carrot oil, 30 drops Rosemary Verbenone, 15-drops Helichrysum, 10-drops of Clove oil, 50-drops of German Chamomile, 50-drops Lavender, 20-drops of Cypress essential oil. Apply weekly as a mask or use a few drops daily as a hair conditioner and tonic.
- Treating Alopecia Areata – In 6-ozs of a 50/50 carrier base of Jojoba and Grapeseed oils, add 30-drops each of Lavender, Myrtle, Thyme, Lavender, Cedarwood, and Rosemary essential oils.
- For Thicker Hair – Blend 1-ounce Jojoba, 1-ounce Evening Primrose, 1-ounce hemp oil, and 1-ounce Rosehip Seed oil. Add 20-drops Lavender, 40-drops Rosemary/Verbenone, 10-drops of Sea Buckthorn oil, 10-drops thyme essential oil, and 20-drops Clary Sage essential oil.
- For Regenerative, Vigorous Hair Growth – Blend equal parts coconut oil and Jojoba oil with 20-drops rosemary, 10-drops lavender and 20-drops Clary Sage.
- For Dark & Thick Hair – In 4-ounces equal parts Jojoba, Coconut and Sesame, add 48-drops Lavender, 48-drops Rosemary Verbenone, and 48-drops Ylang Ylang essential oil.