How to prevent hair fall, naturally!
Long or short, straight or curly, frizzy or oily – whatever your hair type may be, the problem of hair fall troubles all. And it can be downright devastating for both men and women. What makes the problem of hair fall peculiar is the fact that the more you stress about it, the more frustrating it gets. The best way to prevent hair fall is to stop stress less and act more. By action we mean – try to find the cause of the hair fall and accordingly devise an action plan.
The common causes of hair fall are some certain ailments such as typhoid, jaundice, and tuberculosis, etc., medication, genetics, and aging. However, over the years, an unhealthy lifestyle has emerged as one of the most common triggers behind hair loss. Lifestyle factors such as smoking, fad diets that lack nutrition, obesity, hormonal imbalance, excessive use of styling products, and stress also adversely affecting hair health. Also, environmental factors such as dust and pollution also add to the problem.
A loss of 50 and 100 hair strands a day is considered to be normal. With about 100,000 hair strands on your head, that small loss seems noticeable. New hair normally replaces the lost hair, but this doesn’t always happen. Hair loss can develop gradually over years or happen abruptly. Hair loss can be permanent or temporary.
COMMON CAUSES OF HAIR FALL
· Family history/ Heredity: The most common cause of hair loss is a hereditary condition that happens with aging.
· Hormonal changes and medical conditions: A variety of conditions can cause permanent or temporary hair loss, including hormonal changes due to pregnancy, childbirth, menopause and thyroid problems.
· Medications and supplements: Hair loss can be a side effect of certain drugs, such as those used for cancer, arthritis, depression, heart problems, gout, and high blood pressure.
· Radiation therapy: The hair may not grow back the same as it was before.
· A very stressful event: Many people experience a general thinning of hair several months after a physical or emotional shock. This type of hair loss is temporary.
· Hairstyles and treatments: Excessive hairstyling or hairstyles that pull your hair tight, such as pigtails or cornrows, can cause a type of hair loss called traction alopecia. Hot-oil hair treatments and permanents also can cause hair to fall out.
The first and foremost step towards healthy hair or to prevent hair fall is a healthy diet. When you fix your diet along with your lifestyle half of the battle against hair fall is won. You need plenty of nutrients, iron, and protein in particular, to boost your hair health from inside.
A balanced diet is as good for your hair as it is for your skin. It enhances the shine and texture of your hair, making them smooth and silky.
An ideal diet to prevent hair fall must include:
Vitamin A is required for hair to stay moisturized and grow naturally.
Food sources: Sweet potato, pumpkin, cantaloupe, mango.
B-vitamins help carry oxygen and nutrients to the scalp. It helps prevent hair fall. In fact, B-vitamins deficiency can actually cause dandruff.
Food sources: Whole grains
Vitamin C is required to make collagen. It can also, help prevent hair from aging.
Foodsources: Citrus fruits
Vitamin D's role in hair growth is often ignored or not understood properly. Recent researches have linked hair loss to Vitamin D deficiency. It is essential for the health and maintenance of hair follicle and hair growth.
Food sources: Mushroom, eggs
Vitamin E helps prevent oxidative stress and boosts hair growth.
Food sources: Almonds, seeds, spinach, pumpkin
Iron deficiency is a major cause of hair loss, especially in women.
Food sources: Beans, peas, legumes
Zinc can improve dandruff & hair growth in people who are deficient in it.
Food sources: Legumes, nuts, seeds, whole grains
Protein is important for hair growth.
Food sources: Legumes, dairy, egg
Biotin has been linked to keratin production and improving dandruff condition.
Food sources: Egg yolks, organ meats, nuts, seeds, mushrooms, avocados, sweet potatoes, and yeast.
HEALTHY FOODS FOR HAIR LOSS CONTROL
Lentils: These are a good source of folic acid, -- an essential nutrient for the formation of red blood cells in the body, which carry oxygen to cells for repair and growth. Folic acid helps strengthen and nourish hair follicles and bring shine and volume to your hair. Thus, lentils are prefect food for hair loss control.
Diet Fix: One bowl of dal every day at lunch or dinner. You can add dals in the form of idli or cheela or uttapam. For interesting dal recipes check out our recipe section.
DIY Hair Mask: 1 tbsp of masoor dal (soaked) + 1 tbsp curd + 1 tsp of castor oil. Churn all of them in a grinder and pour into a bowl. Apply the mask on the scalp and leave for half an hour.
Sweet Potatoes: A diet to prevent hair fall must include sweet potatoes. These are a rich source of beta-carotene, which isa precursor for Vitamin A. Vitamin A deficiency can lead to dull and dry hair and other hair problems like dandruff. (Try this spicy sweet potato chaat recipe)
Diet Fix: One medium-size bowl of sweet potato chaat is the ideal pick as an evening snack.
DIY Hair Mask: 1 tsp Sweet potato paste + 1 tsp raw honey + 2tsp curd. Mix these well and apply on the scalp for 25 minutes then rinse well.
Eggs: The easiest and excellent source of protein and biotin, eggs are important for hair health and growth. They are also a great source of zinc, selenium, and other hair-healthy nutrients. This makes them one of the best foods to consume to prevent hair fall.
Diet Fix: From boiled eggs to a fluffy omelet, there are so many recipes and ways of including egg in your daily diet. Check our recipe section for interesting egg recipes.
DIY Hair Mask: Take a whole egg and whisk it properly. Add 1 tsp of curd plus 1 tsp of coconut oil. Mix properly. Apply the mask on the scalp for 20 minutes.
Almond Oil: It makes hair stronger and also helps diminish split ends, which are responsible for slow hair growth and damage. It is rich in Vitamin E, which is a natural anti-oxidant plus other minerals that are essential for hair growth. A soothing head massage with Almond oil is a great stress buster and an excellent remedy for dry scalp.
Diet Fix: 1 tsp of Almond oil in a cup of milk before bedtime.
DIY Hair Mask: 1 tbsp Almond oil + 1 tsp castor oil. Mix well. Massage the scalp and leave overnight.
Aloe vera: It contains vitamins A (beta-carotene),C, and E, which are antioxidants that help neutralise free radicals. It also contains vitamin B12, folic acid, and choline. It contains 8 enzymes out of which one is Bradykinase, which helps reduce excessive inflammation when applied to the skin topically.
Diet Fix: 1 tsp of Aloe gel with a glass of water empty stomach on waking up.
DIY Hair Mask: Mix 1 tbsp aloe gel in coconut oil. Apply on the scalp for two hours and then wash your hair.
Curry Leaves: Curry leaves contain essential nutrients that help flush out the impurities from your scalp, improving the health of hair follicles. In addition, they also help prevent hair fall and greying.
Diet Fix: Curry leaves are the soul of our South Indian recipes.You can add these to coriander mint chutney as well.
DIY Hair Mask: 5 curry leaves paste + 1 tbsp of curd. Mix well. Apply on the scalp and leave for 30 minutes.
Amla Juice: Loaded with the goodness of vitamins, Amla juice has so many hair benefits. It not only prevents hair greying but also strengthens the follicles and helps prevent hair fall. It has anti-bacterial property, which helps fight dandruff formation as well as cures from dryness.
Diet Fix: 30 ml Amla juice with a cup of water empty stomach on waking up or in between the meals. Check out our recipe section for the delicious Amla Rice recipe.
DIY Hair Mask: Add 1tbsp of Amla juice to 1tbsp of yogurt. Apply on the scalp for 20 minutes.
Nuts: Packed with nutrients like vitamin E, B vitamins, and essential fatty acids, nuts are the ‘go-to’ food for hair fall control help promote hair growth and are linked to many other health benefits.
Diet fix: Have a fistful of soaked nuts in the morning
DIY Hair: Head massage with almond oil boosts blood circulation in the scalp and nourishes the hair roots.
Spinach: A nutrient rich food for hair loss prevention, it is loaded with folate, iron, and vitamins A and C, which may promote hair growth.
Diet Fix: Try this yummy spinach dip (check recipe here)
Berries: Naturally high in collagen-boosting vitamin C, berries aid iron absorption, which makes them perfect food for hair loss prevention. Vitamin C boosts scalp circulation, and its antioxidant action protects follicles from free-radical damage.
Diet fix: Throw in some berries in your smoothie or yogurt.
Fatty fish: It is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which have been linked to improved hair growth and density.
Diet fix: Grilled salmon for lunch or dinner with some veggies.
Avocados: Rich in vitamin E, an antioxidant, avocados may promote hair growth. Additionally, they are a great source of essential fatty acids, which make them a good food for hair fall control.
Diet fix: Avocado salad
Seeds (like sunflower, flax, chia) are rich in vitamin E and other nutrients that may promote hair growth. Some seeds also contain omega-3s, which have been linked to hair growth.
Diet fix: Add seeds to your bakery
HOW TO PREVENT HAIR FALL, NATURALLY
Here are a few natural ways to prevent hair loss:
· Avoid taking hot showers: A hot showers may feel soothing but it dehydrates strands(just like skin) and strips the scalp of its natural oils. The result is dry, brittle hair, which is more prone to breakage. Instead, opt for lukewarm water and try to rinse hair with the coolest temperature.
· Do not comb wet hair: Our strands are most fragile and prone to breakage when wet. So it’s important to use a wide-toothed comb or let your hair air-dry before styling them.
· No pulling & twisting: Tight hairstyles like braids, ponytails, or buns put too much pressure on the hair, and overtime, such styles can permanently damage your hair follicles.
· Eat a balanced diet: Your hair needs nutrient for healthy growth and shine. So the diet is really crucial. Make sure you eat a balanced diet that includes adequate amounts of iron and protein.
· Use a baby shampoo: If you are losing hair, use a gentle baby or medicated shampoo to wash your hair. Avoid washing your hair daily. Consider washing your hair only twice a week. Always pat the hair dry and avoid rubbing your hair.
· Limit the use of styling products: These are common culprits in hair loss. Some of the products or tools that can affect hair loss are blow dryers, hair straighteners, coloring products, perms, hot rollers, curling irons, etc.
· UV protection is a must: Protect your hair from sunlight and other sources of ultra violet light, which can damage the hair, especially the colored ones.
· Stop smoking: Several studies have shown an association between smoking and baldness in men.
· Regular Trims: Hair tends to be the most damaged near the tips. A good trim every six to eight weeks can help solve your woes. Damaged hair can be chopped off to remove split ends and promote hair growth.
· Stress: Stress is one of the root causes of a lot of health problems, including dandruff & hair loss. It can also disrupt the process of hair growth and lead to premature greying. Try meditation and yoga on a regular basis can prove to be a good stress buster.
DROP THESE FOODS FROM YOUR DIET TO PREVENT HAIR FALL
· Sugary foods/ High GI foods – Sweets or a high GI diet can cause blood sugar to spike. Besides pumping insulin in response to the rise in blood sugar, the body also raises levels of androgen, a male hormone that can make the hair follicle shrink in both women and men and can also, cause dandruff.
· Greasy foods clog the arteries, can exacerbate dandruff, and also cause greasy skin on the scalp. This often results in hair follicle miniaturisation, restricted blood flow, and clogging of the sweat pores. Due to the clogged pores of the scalp, harmful hormones can get trapped, which can re-trigger hair fall and loss.
· Some fish contain high levels of mercury, which can lead to hair loss
· Dairy Products: Acidic foods can cause hair loss as they can trigger allergic reactions leading to a cascade of immune responses in which our body tends to destroy cells, tissues such as hair follicles in a process called inflammation. The result is a constricted blood flow, which leads to hair loss and hair thinning.
DIET PLAN TO PREVENT HAIR FALL
On waking up: Coconut oil (1 tsp) + 2 glasses lukewarm water + almonds (7 soaked) + cashews (3 soaked)
Breakfast: Dal veggie Cheela/ Omelet
Mid-morning: Coconut water (1) + Chia seeds (2 tsp)
Lunch: Fish curry/ Rajma (1 bowl) + Rice (1bowl) + curd
Evening 4 pm: Berries/cherries + Flax seeds (1 tsp)
Evening 6 pm: https://www.nutritionbylovneet.com/recipies/spicy-sweet-potato-wedges (1 bowl)
Dinner: Vegetable (1 bowl) + roti (1)
Before Bedtime: Moon Mylk - 1 cup (check recipe here) OR 1 tsp Triphala with 1 glass of warm water
DIET FOR DANDRUFF FREE HAIR
Amla is a natural immunity booster and one of the most trusted ingredients for maintaining hair health. It is a rich source of essential fatty acids, which strengthen hair follicles, giving hair strength and luster, making it a good food for hair fall control.
The surplus of Vitamin C helps to halt premature greying as well as prevents hair fall. Amla’s high iron, potent antioxidants, gallic acid, and carotene content improve blood circulation around the scalp which stimulates hair growth and also provides relief to dry itchy scalp by reducing dandruff.
Shikakai & Reetha is the made-in-heaven combo to kill dandruff. Shikakai has fantastic hair-cleansing properties. It's often considered a natural alternative to shampoo. Rich in antioxidants and vitamins A, C, K, and D, Shikakai can keep hair nourished.
Reetha is a saponin that helps hair stay healthy. To make a shampoo, take several pieces of soap nuts and shikakai points & boil them in 500 liters of water. Leave the mixture overnight & strain it to use as a shampoo, which help prevent hair fall, naturally.
Coconut oil: Medium-chain fatty acids such as lauric and capric acid in coconut or coconut oil offer rich antimicrobial and anti-fungal properties, which are primarily required to prevent free radicals that act as a barrier against hair growth.
Gently massage coconut oil on the scalp. You can also add a few drops of lemon juice for better results, leave for a few hours and then rinse using a mild shampoo.
Aloe Vera is said to contain proteolytic enzymes that can repair damaged cells and improve follicle health. The anti-inflammatory properties of aloe vera can help reduce scalp irritation and prevent hair fall.Its anti-fungal properties work against dandruff.
Apply aloe vera gel directly on your scalp and leave for about half an hour. Later wash your hair with a mild shampoo. Try this Chilled Cucumber and Aloe Soup.
Fenugreek seeds are one of the most effective remedies against dandruff & hair loss. Fenugreek contains lecithin -- a substance that strengthens, hydrates and gives a nice shine to hair. A healthy food for hair fall control, you can use fenugreek seeds for tempering your veg curries.
Make a smooth paste by blending 2 spoonfuls of seeds that have been soaked for one night in cool water. A spoon of lemon juice or coconut mylk or curd can be added to it, and then applied for 20 minutes on the roots. Rinse with a mild shampoo.
Curd: A diet for dandruff free hair must include curd. It's packed with Vitamin B5 and Vitamin D are known to promote hair follicle health. It soothes an itchy scalp. Apply the curd on your hair, and let it rest for 15 minutes or so. Rinse with a mild shampoo. Yogurt is a treasure trove of friendly bacteria and thus helps to prevent flaking of the scalp area.
Neem leaves: Anti-fungal, anti-microbial, and anti-inflammatory properties of neem are the best answer to dandruff. For the hair mask, grind neem leaves into a paste, leave this paste on the scalp for 15 to 20 minutes, and then use a mild shampoo. You can also boil few neem leaves in water and use it to rinse your hair.
Triphala churna: The active formula of its ingredients like Haritaki has antibacterial and anti-fungal power, which acts on the scalp and keeps all kinds of infections and fungal activity at bay. You can either massage your hair with Triphala powder mixed with coconut oil, or make it apart of your daily diet.
In a nutshell:
A healthy diet plays a crucial role in preventing hair fall and promoting hair growth. However, if you are experiencing sudden and extreme hair loss, it is advisable to seek an expert’s help. Seeing a doctor will help you track down the exact causes of the hair loss and identify an effective line of treatment. A balanced diet may help you slow down or reverse hair loss. Hair is made of protein, and requires a nutrient-rich diet for healthy growth, volume and shine.