Hair loss is one of those things, those things that you don’t pay attention to unless it’s happening to you. Did you know that we shed our hair twice yearly? Well indeed we do, just like animals. Dogs are a great example – dogs shed seasonally, summer and winter to prepare for the climate changes that they need to address to ensure their bodily heat is controlled.
Humans as a species also shed hair. We on average will shed between 50-100 hairs per day. This is a normal occurrence and nothing to be alarmed about. You probably notice it when you brush your hair, or in the shower as it proceeds to block your plug hole. Fun times.
There are however additional causes to hair loss in the winter time, some that can be controlled, others that can not. Some that you will be aware of and others that you will not.
Hair loss in winter is very common, even on a slightly larger scale than 50-100 hairs a day, this is not something to be concerned about.
Main causes for the hair loss can be attributed mostly to the climate. Not so much the cold, but the dryness. Arid air is very dry, it assists in taking moisture from your scalp and dries it up.
What do we know about dry scalps? Well dry scalps cause dandruff (proof of an insufficiently moisturize scalp) and that causes dry hair. Dry hair results in breakages and loss of hair.
Home heating systems are a large contributor to dry scalp and hair loss. You increase the heat in your home, to stay warm of course, but do you increase your level of moisturisation? Do you change the level of moisturizer, ingredients or the thickness that you use perhaps? Of course not. But you should.
Stress can often cause this shedding to fluctuate ever so slightly, but once the stress maker is removed then the process will return to normal. Are you stressed and losing hair as a result?
Here are some more home remedies to help you prevent hair loss and hair fall during the season of winter,
So what can we do ourselves, at home? Remember, this isn’t severe hair loss or male pattern baldness we are talking about here. This is winter shedding, a process that we all go through whether we notice it or not – so these remedies are helpful in restoration and preservation of hair.
- Hot oil massages – I am talking about your scalp and hair here. Just as relaxing as a hot oil body massage but with very little mess. You can buy hair oil pretty much anywhere and pre warm it in water before use. The best sort of oil are the almond or olive oils, providing vitamins and fatty acids to moisturize both the hair and scalp.
- Oil massage – Oil massages play vital part in winter season. Almond oil and olive oil are healthy oils that provide skin and hair with vitamins and fatty acids.
- Jojoba oil – Sebum is the oil produced by your body acts as natural moisturizer. Jojoba oil is similar to sebum and easily absorbed by serum and scalp.
- Wheat germ oil – Wheat germ oil is rich in various vitamins. Vitamin E is essential for healthy hair.
- Essential oil treatment – Treatment with essential oils can also be a great way to control hair fall during winter. Mix 30 drops of evening prime rose carrier oil with 10 drops of rosemary essential oil. Massage this mixture to your scalp and hairs. Leave overnight and in the morning wash off with a mild cleanser. With regular use this treatment can cure dandruff and ensure the best health of your hairs.
Hair packs to control winter hair fall
- Curd and Lemon Mask – This is a natural conditioner against hair fall. With only a few drops of lemon mixed in with the curd, then applied as a mask to the scalp and hair. Once the mask is dried, rinse with warm water.
- Neem and Coconut oil – A source of anti-fungal oil, aids in protecting against any fungal infections to the scalp. Neem and coconut together make an antiseptic. It is the antiseptic that works against the dandruff and scalp irritation.
- Neem paste and curd – Neem leaf paste and curd when applied to the scalp, not only reduces the hair fall, it also prevents greys and boosts growth. If you haven’t heard of Neem (honestly i hadn’t either), it’s very easily sourced on the internet and readily available to purchase. It is also very good for the skin if you are into your beauty stuff.
- Banana with honey – This hair pack can be very effective when your hair is suffering from extreme dryness and hair fall due to winter. Smash one over ripe banana to make a smooth paste and mix this paste with two spoons of honey. Apply this paste to your hairs, leave on for 1 hour and wash off with a mild cleanser. This will take care off any dryness of your hairs and make them healthy.
- Avocado mask – Avocados are rich in vitamins and minerals that nourish the hair strands deeply and help to prevent dryness and hair fall. A mask made of mashed avocados should be applied on the hair. Leave it for about 45 minutes before washing. Repeat this treatment weekly.
- Coconut – Coconut is rich in a variety of nutrients that condition the hair naturally and promote hair growth. It is loaded with proteins, essential fats and potassium. The milk from the coconut can be extracted by grating and squeezing the milk out. Apply this milk into the scalp and hair. Let it remain the scalp overnight and then wash in the morning.
- Green tea – It prevents hair fall and promoted hair growth with the help of antioxidants in it. Blend green tea in water and apply it on the scalp. Wash the hair after about half an hour.
- Apple cider vinegar – It cleanses the scalp and maintains the pH balance of the hair. It has to be used after diluting it with warm filtered water. This can be used as the last rinse after a proper shampoo. This provides shine to the hair, prevents hair loss and promotes hair growth.
- Licorice root – You can now get a great combination of hair fall remedy with the licorice root and saffron. For this hair fall remedy, you need to take the licorice root, 1 cup of milk and 1 tbsp of saffron and mix them well. Now locate the place where you have bald appearance of hair or hair fall. Now apply the pack on your hair. Now keep the pack for 20 minutes time. Now you can wash with plain water.
- Egg white and curd paste
Eggs, Shikakai powder and Fresh curd
1. Take egg white of three eggs in a bowl. Add 2 table spoons of fresh curd.
2. Mix them and then add shikakai powder.
3. Apply generously on scalp. Leave it 30 min
4. Wash off. Repeat it once in a week.
- Cinnamon powder and olive oil
Olive oil, Honey and Cinnamon powder
1. Add two table spoons of olive oil and two table spoons of honey in a bowl.
2. Mix the mixture. Add cinnamon powder of one table spoon. Mix the paste till it gets smooth.
3. Apply on scalp and hair. Leave it for 20-30 min.
4. Wash off. For better results use these remedies once in a week.
- Onion and honey
Onion and Honey
1. Take a onion and cut into two pieces. Take one part of onion make into smooth paste.
2. Add two tablespoons of honey to onion paste. Apply on scalp.
3. Leave it for 15 min. Wash off with warm water.
4. Use this process regularly for twice a week to prevent hair loss.
Leave to moisture your scalp
- Coriander – Coriander is also found to be beneficial for hair loss as it stimulates hair growth. Prepare a paste with fresh coriander leaves and water. Apply on the head and wash after half an hour.
- Curry leaves – This can be used as a hair tonic by boiling them in hair oil. Massage the head for 15 minutes with this tonic to stimulate hair growth.
- Beetroot leaves and henna – In order to go ahead with this treatment, It is required to boil the some beet root leaves. Try boiling it till the water quantity becomes half and the color of leaves changes. Make a paste with the beetroot and 1 teaspoon of henna leaves. Once the paste is done apply over your hair. You must keep it at least for 20 minutes. Once you can see it is dry, wash it with the cold water.
- Jojoba with honey – Collect 20 numbers of jojoba flowers or leaves and smash them in a mixer. Add 2-3 table spoons of honey to it and apply this mixture to your scalp and hairs. This will cure any scalp problem and will also nourish your hairs.You need to use this treatment at least twice a week to control hair fall during winter.
- Neem leaves juice
Neem leaves and Water
1. Boil fresh neem leaves in water. Until it reduces half in its quantity.
2. Wash your hair and scalp with this water mixture.
3. Repeat this process once or twice a week regularly to prevent hair loss.
- Aloe vera juice and neem paste
Aloe Vera, Neem leaf powder and Amla oil
1. Extract juice from the aloe Vera. Add neem leaf powder to this juice.
2. Mix it well. Add few drops of amla oil to the mixture.
3. Apply on scalp and hair. Leave it for 30 min.
4. Wash off. Repeat twice a week for lustrous hair.
Herbs for hair growth
- Hibiscus – Hibiscus combined with coconut oil can provide thick healthy hair. This is due to the properties in hibiscus which nourish the hair, prevent premature graying and hair fall. Prepare a fine paste with hibiscus flowers and coconut oil. Apply it on the hair and leave for a couple of hours before rinsing it.
- Henna – Henna plays an essential role in strengthening the hair. Its effectiveness can be increased by mixing mustard oil in it. It can be prepared by boiling dried henna leaves in mustard oil. Strain it with a cloth and store it in a jar. Massage the hair regularly with this oil. Alternatively a pack can be made by mixing henna and curd. Apply it on the hair and leave it to dry. Wash the hair using a mild shampoo.
- Ginger juice – Dandruff work as one of the primary reasons of hair fall during winters and one of the best home remedies of dandruff is ginger. Just grate some ginger and squeeze out the juice. Apply this juice onto your scalp thoroughly. Leave on for 1 hour and wash off with plain water. Follow this treatment twice a week and your hair fall is most expected to reduce.
- Fenugreek seeds with curry leaves and basil – Soak 1/2 cup of fenugreek seeds overnight in clean and fresh water. In the morning grind the seeds in a mixer along with 10 curry leaves and 10 basil leaves. Now apply this paste to your scalp and hairs thoroughly. Leave on for 1 hour and wash off with water. This treatment can cure any kind of scalp infection and irritation and will also strengthen your hair roots.
- Amla and shikakkai – Take 2 green amla and 4-5 strands of shikakai. Remove the seeds and wash the fleshes clean. Now grind the two and make a paste by adding some water if required. Apply this paste onto your scalp and hairs. Leave on for 1 hour and wash off with plain water. Amla and Shikakai both are very nourishing for hairs; and they can strengthen your hair roots while moisturizing the hair shafts from the core. Use this pack at least twice a week for best results.
By far the most simple remedy but it helps regain moisture and strength. It allows the follicles to open up and absorb the nutrients.
Frequent shampooing should be reduced during winter. Use shampoo that is specifically meant for winter. Avoid shampoo that contains Sodium Lauryl Sulfate or Sodium Myreth Sulfate.
Pick any of the above mentioned home treatments and follow it religiously for at least two months to get long lasting results. However, the effects of the treatment are expected to start showing results within 2-3 weeks of use.
The Do’s & Don’ts
As you may have already suspected, a great deal of what you consume will affect the quality of your hair loss treatment.
Ensure that you maintain and source the correct vitamins for your hair and body.
- Vitamin A – This is all about the Sebum. Sebum is an oily attribute – which you remember is needed for a dry scalp nightmare. How do you get Vitamin A? That would be through carrots, sweet potatoes and mangoes.
- Biotin – Your fatty acids increase, Keratin is released which promotes healthy hair growth. You’ll need to eat eggs, salmon and avocados.
- Niacin/Vitamin B3 – This is water soluble, converting carbohydrates into energy. Allowing increased blood circulation, producing oxygen which flows to the hair follicles and aids growth. You’ll need a bit of tuna, beetroot and mushrooms for that.
- Folic acid – Responsible for cell repair and tissue growth, encouraging thick and shiny hair. Having your vegetables, papayas and shellfish is a must!
- Vitamin B12 – Ensuring great metabolism, aiding in cell growth, healthy tissue formation and a strong scalp. This vitamin also absorbs iron, which can actually prevent hair loss. Make sure you eat your eggs, cheese and milk.
A good tip is to look at what shampoos you are buying during the winter and make sure you opt for a rich in oil, vitamin or moisture type shampoo/conditioner.
There aren’t very many don’ts when it comes to this section, there are however some ‘don’t bothers’.
- Regain ultra – This over the counter minoxidil product is used just as an example. Minoxidil is used for hair regrowth yes, however only 38% of patients achieve successful regrowth however. Don’t waste your money.
- Hair loss brushes – designed to massage the scalp and encourage circulation and blood flow allowing the follicles to promote growth. There is no medical evidence or factual evidence to support these products.
- Do not ever expect dramatic results
When is it time to see the doctor?
Remember, shedding is normal. So no need for a call to the doctor, so when should you?
- Rash or pain – If you find that your scalp is painful or has a rash, you may indeed actually have an infection in your scalp, this will require medical attention.
- Abnormal hair loss/large amount – This is a noticable difference to ‘shedding’. Remember the 50-100 hairs a day and then a slight increase in winter, ok, so more than that.
- Sudden or unexpected – Has it come out of the blue? Is it something that has never happened to you before? Perhaps then its worth checking out.
- Hair loss combined with something else – Are you experiencing hair loss with other symptoms? Menstrual bleeding, are you experiencing fatigue or swollen lymph nodes? Hair loss in combination with something else is your body’s way of saying it needs attention!
- Medication – Are you on medication and losing hair as a result? Better check that one out with the doctor before you just put it down to a temporary side effect.
- Personalisation – Does the hair loss bother you. Does it bother you so much that it affects your ability to enjoy life, even relationships? Then yes, for your own personal well being you need to speak with your doctor.
Of course these are all extreme reactions resulting in the need for medical advice from a doctor. And again are not to be confused with the natural shedding during the winter period.
Remember many people will not notice a difference in hair shedding at all, and whilst reading this will have no idea that this is a process that happens for human beings. And adverse to that, there are those who will read this and know a great deal of the detail already.
I myself knowingly shed my head hair regularly, especially when combing in or after the shower. It is a healthy cycle that promotes regrowth. But i also always use oil based or high moisturizing shampoos and conditioners – so my scalp never dries out, unless experiencing sunburn. But that’s a whole other story!
Treat your hair like you would your skin. Moisturize and pamper it once in a while to see the best results. Whether you are male or female, the hair needs what the hair needs.