There are many things you can do to slow or stop hair loss. But what to do depends on the reason why you’re losing your hair.
Some situations, like hair loss after pregnancy (telogen effluvium), may resolve on their own. And remember that everyone sheds hair daily, which is perfectly normal.
It’s when hair loss is persistent that you want to see your doctor. Your healthcare provider may be able to diagnose if your hair loss is caused by things like thyroid issues, stress, scalp infections, androgenic alopecia, or simply aging.
1. Mediterranean Diet
A 2018 study revealed that a diet containing raw vegetables and fresh herbs, like the Mediterranean diet, may reduce the risk of androgenic alopecia (female pattern baldness or male pattern baldness) or slow its onset.
Best results were observed when participants consumed high amounts of these foods — such as parsley, basil, salad greens — more than three days a week.
Hair follicles are made mostly of protein called keratin. One 2017 study of 100 people with hair loss noted several nutritional deficiencies in participants, including amino acids that serve as the building blocks of protein.
While researchers note that more studies are needed, eating a diet rich in protein may help prevent hair loss. Healthy choices include foods like eggs, nuts, beans and peas, fish, low-fat dairy products, chicken, and turkey.
3. Vitamin A
Vitamin A is composed in part of retinoids, which has been shown to increase the rate of hair growth. This vitamin may also help with sebum production, keeping the scalp healthier and able to retain more hairs.
Fill your plate with foods rich in vitamin A, such as sweet potatoes, sweet peppers, and spinach, just to name a few.
Scientists have determined that vitamins A, B, C, D, iron, selenium, and zinc are all important to the hair growth and retention processes, specifically with cell turnover. You can find daily multivitamins at most grocery stores or drugstores or ask your doctor to prescribe one to you.
5. Vitamin D
One 2018 study noted that vitamin D is associated with nonscarring alopecia. Treating deficiencies may help with regrowth. Speak with your doctor about taking 800 to 1000 IU daily.
Biotin — vitamin H or B7— is involved in fatty acid synthesis in the body. This process is essential to the hair life cycle and you may experience hair loss if you have a deficiency. Speak with your doctor about taking three to five milligrams daily.
7. Saw Palmetto
Derived from the fruit of American dwarf pine trees, this herb may help men maintain levels of testosterone. One 2004 journal article revealed that some 60 percent of participants taking saw palmetto experienced improved hair growth. The dosage in the study was 200 milligrams daily.
Ginseng contains certain phytochemicals that may promote hair growth on the scalp. Further study is needed to recommend specific dosages. In the meantime, speak with your doctor about taking ginseng supplements or consider trying topical solutions that contain this ingredient.
9. Regular Washing
Washing hair daily may protect against hair loss by keeping the scalp healthy and clean. The key is to use a mild shampoo. Harsher formulas may dry hair and cause it to break, leading to hair loss.
10. Coconut Oil
According to a 2018 review of studies, researchers believe that coconut oil may help prevent hair damage from grooming and ultraviolet (UV) light exposure.
Lauric acid found in coconut oil helps bind protein in hair, protecting it from breakage at the root and strand. Massaging coconut oil into the scalp may promote better blood flow and help with regrowth.
11. Olive Oil
Olive oil can be used to deep condition hair, protecting it from dryness and associated breakage. Olive oil is also a central ingredient to the Mediterranean diet, which may help slow genetic hair loss.
Consider applying a couple tablespoons of olive oil directly to hair and letting it sit for 30 minutes before washing out.
12. Gentle Styling
Skip tight braids or ponytails that may pull on hair at the root and potentially lead to excessive shedding. While you’re at it, let your hair air dry to avoid irritating your scalp. Heat stylers, like curling or straightening irons, may also damage or break the hair shaft.
13. Hair Processing
Chemical treatments, like perms or hair color, may also damage hair and scalp. Ask your stylist about alternatives, like organic hair dyes and others that don’t contain ammonia, peroxide, or para-phenylenediamine (PPD).