Although minoxidil is widely available for treatment of hair loss in both men and women, many women prefer to begin treating their hair loss condition with natural alternatives. Natural treatments are more gentle on the hair and scalp and in less severe cases of hair loss can be just as effective. Also, depending on the cause of hair loss, natural alternatives to topical treatments can help treat the source of hair loss, rather than the symptom of losing hair.
Hormonal factors are known to be the cause of hair loss for many women. It’s widely known that so-called “female pattern baldness” affects the majority of post-menopausal women, but around 13% of pre-menopausal women also suffer from it. The female body is prone to many hormonal changes throughout life, with pregnancy and childbirth, the monthly cycle and various medical conditions and stress factors affecting hormone levels resulting in both gradual and sudden hair loss. Sometimes, the best way to treat these hormonal changes is by finding a way to rebalance the hormones, removing the cause of hair loss at its source.
In some cases, taking supplements daily can help slow down and stop hair loss, as sometimes a nutrient deficiency is to blame for the hormonal imbalance. Other times a more specific treatment is needed. There are a good number of products on the market said to provide the right combination of nutrients to aid with balancing the hormones and stimulating new hair growth in women. Biotin is useful for prolonging the anagen (growth phase) of hair and zinc is necessary for maintaining a healthy scalp. Other herbal supplements for hair loss are saw palmetto which has been proven to be an effective DHT blocker, as well as herbs traditionally used to treat female hormonal imbalances such as black cohosh, dong quai and chaste berry.
Topical herbal treatments and shampoos
There are many herbal treatment options on the market for various types of hair loss including traction alopecia. Stimulating and balancing essential oils such as rosemary, lavender and geranium can be used topically to treat the hair follicles and protect them from the effect of testosterone, known to inhibit hair growth. Other scalp stimulants are naturally-derived caffeine and plant extracts such as white lupine and false daisy (eclipta alba), used in traditional eastern medicine as a hair regrowth tonic.
Many of these compounds can be used topically as a home remedy or are incorporated into over the counter herbal products such as serums, ointments and daily use shampoos.
Used to boost circulation to the hair follicles, gentle scalp massage is often used as part of the treatment regime for hair loss. Daily scalp massage helps stimulate the follicles and is the best way to ensure the nutrients and minerals in the various hair products used reach their target – the hair follicles – in order to produce results. Although not an effective treatment method on its own, it’s an integral part of any traction alopecia, hair thinning or hair loss treatment strategy and should be incorporated into your daily routine. A few minutes a couple of times a day can make a whole load of difference.