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What Are the Different Alternative Treatments for Hair Loss?

By Andrea Cross
Updated May 17, 2024
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Hair loss is a common problem for many men and even women. Whether caused by bad genes, medical conditions, or even just the natural aging process, hair loss has prompted a number of treatments designed to both stop the occurrence and replace the hair that has been lost. These treatments range from transplant surgery to medications to beauty products. Some treatments are not viable options for many people, and others prefer to use more natural, alternative treatments. Different alternative treatments for hair loss include enhanced diet, vitamins, and herbs.

Dietary inclusions are popular alternative treatments for hair loss. Increasing the intake of certain foods does not cause extra hair to suddenly start growing, but it can make the hair a person has healthier and improve the condition of the scalp. The recommended diet has high protein levels but low amounts of carbohydrates and fat. Nuts and fish can increase a person's intake of essential fatty acids such as omega 3.

Some vitamins and minerals can be obtained from the diet, and some come in supplement form. Iron, for example, is found in green vegetables such as spinach, while vitamin B12 is in eggs and meat. Biotin, on the other hand, although present in foods such as liver and eggs, is available in such small amounts that a supplement form is the recommended source instead. Other minerals such as zinc and copper are essential but should not be taken in greater amounts than what normally is available in a multivitamin.

There are numerous plant and fruit extracts that may work as alternative treatments for hair loss. Green tea is thought to help treat hair loss due to its antioxidant properties and because it may inhibit the hormone activity that may trigger the problem. Aloe vera, with the gel of the plant rubbed directly onto the scalp, can stimulate hair growth. The flesh of red peppers works on the scalp too. It is believed to stimulate the cells of the scalp by acting as a skin irritant that subsequently prompts the immune system to initiate the release of histamines, the chemical involved in allergic responses.

This reaction of the immune system is thought to both draw nutrients to the scalp and improve circulation, encouraging hair growth. Other plants and fruits recommended as alternative treatments for hair loss include saw palmetto, taken in supplements or used in shampoo; apple cider vinegar, applied as a rinse; and ginger, taken in tea or used as a hair tonic. Licorice, horsetail, and nettle are other useful ingredients. Even though alternative treatments for hair loss come from natural sources, a doctor should still be consulted before any are used on a regular basis, especially if the patient is being treated with other forms of therapy.

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Discussion Comments

By irontoenail — On Nov 26, 2014

@KoiwiGal - I think the important thing here is to be aware of why a person is losing the hair in the first place. If they are losing it because of a skin disorder, then they should be treating the skin disorder. If they are losing it because of a hormonal imbalance, then they need to treat the imbalance.

Unfortunately, I think many alternative treatments are offered to people as though they will work for all causes. But I very much doubt that there is one treatment that will work equally well for every single person who is losing their hair.

Which is not to say that there aren't alternative treatments out there for different conditions that will actually work. But you have to do the research and also get expert advice on why you are losing your hair in the first place. Then you can figure out the right treatment for you.

By KoiwiGal — On Nov 26, 2014

@umbra21 - That might be true for some people, but there are definitely conditions where people might lose their hair, but can prevent it happening. Many women lose their hair because of PCOS, for example, which is when they have too much male hormones. Taking the right kind of medication, or otherwise reducing the hormones will stop the hair loss.

Other people might be losing hair for other reason, like from a skin disorder or from stress. In that case alternative treatments could work really well.

By umbra21 — On Nov 25, 2014

I've got to say that if there was a surefire way of keeping your hair I think we'd all know about it. I think, at the most, there are treatments that can slow down hair loss or maybe reduce it or make your existing hair seem healthier or have more volume, but hair loss is a natural process, governed by genetics and there's just no way to stop it from happening, like there's no way to make someone taller than what they are genetically prone to being.

Maybe one day we'll be able to alter the genes themselves but until then it's just a matter of making the most of what you've been given.

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