Hair loss and hair damage can occur due to improper combing practices, hormones (pregnancy and childbirth), medications (cancer medication), and other medical illnesses (stress, thyroid disease, or autoimmune diseases). If there is hair loss or hair damage associated with a deficiency of certain vitamins or minerals in the diet, hair growth supplements and natural remedies can help to repair hair damage, reduce breakage, and promote hair growth, making your mane lustrous.
It takes 4-6 months to see any effects from the hair treatments. After a few months, the oil glands on the scalp are reactivated, the dormant follicles are stimulated. The hair starts to appear shinier, moisturized, and healthier.
The most important tip to prevent hair breakage is never combing wet hair. Combing or blow-drying wet hair weakens the hair shaft and causes hair damage. Always use a wide-tooth wooden comb to ungently untangle the hair. Never use a towel to tie up wet hair.
Home remedies to stop hair from breaking off
Applying natural oils:
The massaging action of the hair oil stimulates the scalp and relaxes the body, reducing stress-induced hair loss. The constant use of curlers and hot iron dries up the hair shaft, damaging the hair. Oils can add a protective layer over the shaft to minimize further damage.
- Castor oil: Castor oil is rich in vitamin E that improves hair health. Applying castor oil evenly to the scalp and washing it off after 30 to 60 minutes once or twice a week can help.
- Olive oil: Olive oil is rich in omega-3 acids, which promote hair growth and make the hair stronger, smoother, and shinier. Applying olive oil evenly to the scalp and hair and washing it off after 30 to 60 minutes once or twice a week can help.
Both the oils may also be mixed with other oils, such as coconut oil, and almond oil, and applied together.
Homemade hair masks:
Eggs are rich in protein essential for healthy hair. A hair mask may be made by beating one or two eggs, which may be applied on the scalp of damped hair and left on for 30 minutes. The mask can be washed off with shampoo. Bananas are rich in minerals that help in building collagen and making the hair thicker, stronger, and softer. A mask can be made by mashing a ripe banana with 2 tablespoons of olive oil (egg may be added to this mixture as well) and applied all over the scalp and hair. The mask can be washed off with shampoo after 20 to 30 minutes.
Trimming the hair regularly:
Having frayed, split ends make the hair appear thin and unhealthy. This condition causes hair breakage and prevents the hair from growing past a point. Cutting off 0.8 to 1 inch of the hair regularly prevents or gets rid of split ends, helping the hair grow faster and appear healthy.
Nutrients for hair health:
- Vitamin A helps form sebum, which is required to keep the scalp and skin conditioned and healthy. A decrease in sebum due to Vitamin A deficiency makes the scalp dry, irritated, itchy, and flaky. It also causes the hair to become dry and brittle. Vitamin A is found in orange and yellow vegetables like carrots.
- Vitamin E nourishes the skin, nails, and hair and protects the skin and hair from sun damage. Vitamin E is rich in plant-based oils, seeds, nuts, fruits, and vegetables.
- Zinc can regulate the level of DHT (dihydrotestosterone) in the body, a hormone that can cause hair loss. A decrease in zinc levels causes an increase in DHT, which can cause hair loss. Sesame seeds, nuts, eggs, and fish are rich in zinc.
- Iron is essential for hair growth. Low iron levels lead to anemia. Low iron levels affect the hair follicles and disrupt the growth cycle of the hair, leading to hair loss. Iron is rich in lentils, red meat, spinach, or green vegetables.
- Vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps in the formation of collagen. Vitamin C also helps in iron absorption. Rich sources of Vitamin C are citrus fruits like oranges and kiwis, as well as vegetables like sweet potatoes.
- Vitamin D is important for healthy hair follicle production; therefore, it promotes hair growth. Vitamin D also helps reduce stress and depression. It is found in eggs, oily fish, and mushrooms.
- Amino acids are essential for healthy hair growth. Amino acids help produce keratin, which promotes hair growth and nourishes and improves hair texture. Amino acids are rich in protein-rich foods like dairy, meat, and eggs.
- Omega-3 fatty acids produce oils that keep the skin, nails, and scalp healthy and hydrated. Fish, avocado, and pumpkin seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
- Biotin is a water-soluble Vitamin B and called Vitamin H or coenzyme R. Biotin increases nail and hair strength and texture.
Always use the products that suit your hair and skin. Avoid frequent hair coloring and heat treatments. Never tie hair into tight buns or plaits; this causes hair loss due to traction.
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Almohanna HM, Ahmed AA, Tsatalis JP, et al. The Role of Vitamins and Minerals in Hair Loss: A Review. Dermatol Ther (Heidelb). 2019;9(1):51-70. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6380979/
WebMD. What Is Minoxidil and How Can It Help Thinning Hair? https://www.webmd.com/beauty/qa/what-is-minoxidil-and-how-can-it-help-thinning-hair