Unlike other forms of hair loss, traction alopecia is a condition caused by external pressure and strain on the hair, rather than hormonal or dietary reasons. This is one of the reasons why many sufferers prefer to use herbal treatments, rather than opt for chemically-derived ones, which can seem a bit extreme at this stage.
Although minoxidil, a chemical treatment, is the only FDA approved drug for treating hair loss, there are many traditional, natural treatments for hair loss that have significant anecdotal evidence behind them. Some natural treatments are currently being tested for effectiveness with increasingly positive results.
Natural treatments are gentler on the hair and scalp, less likely to produce negative side effects and have fewer contraindications. It’s important to remember, though, that natural medicine is medicine nonetheless and the more potent a treatment is, the more likely it is to produce adverse side effects in some people. Always read the instructions in full and consult a medical practitioner if in doubt.
Here are a few natural hair loss treatments in use today:
Using caffeine topically (rather than drinking it!) has been shown in a clinical study to stimulate the follicles to produce new hairs and reduce the effect of testosterone on the follicles (testosterone is the cause of hair loss in male pattern baldness). Although further study is needed to fully assess the effect of caffeine on hair loss, there are already several products on the market that contain caffeine.
Rosemary essential oil
Rosemary is a stimulating essential oil that has been used for hundreds of years in the treatment of hair loss. It’s meant to work by increasing circulation to the treated area, thus stimulating the follicles and aiding with the delivery of nutrients.
This stimulating, hormonally balancing plant extract is used in several hair loss products and has been clinically proven to increase hair growth in men. Supporters claim it may actually be proven to be more potent than minoxidil, and while the jury’s still out pending further research, it is certainly gaining popularity as a hair loss tonic.
Copper peptides / amino acids
Nourishing the hair follicles is just as important as increasing circulation when treating hair loss and there are several companies that make hair loss treatments infused with copper-derived amino acids and peptides such as Tricomin. They claim these give the follicles what they need to start producing new hairs after lying dormant.
A tropical plant heavily used in the Indian Ayurveda system of traditional medicine. Used both topically and internally, it is said to promote thick, lustrous, healthy hair growth and prevent premature balding. Having been in use for thousands of years, it is now gaining popularity as a hair tonic in the west as well and recent clinical studies have shown it may actually be as effective as traditional medicine claims. This is another natural hair loss cure that’s said to be “more powerful than 2% minoxidil” and if recent evidence can be duplicated, this grand claim may prove to be at least somewhat accurate.
Read more about the best herbal and organic shampoos for hair loss.