In this article you’ll learn the truth about using Caboki, and why it might be a good short term ‘cover-up’ but in the long term it probably isn’t your best option for getting the hair you really want.
This article will include a look at what it is and how it works. I’ll then explain what users think of the product, as well as how to use it and side effects to be aware of.
Lastly, I’ll share with you a natural alternative to scalp concealers and natural ways to thicken, strengthen and ultimately regrow your real hair.
Quick note: If you’d like to learn more about the cause of your hair loss and what you can do about it, stick around until the end. There, you’ll find a six-question hair loss quiz. The results will enable you to take control of your hair loss and your life.
Unlike other products I’ve mentioned here – including minoxidil and finasteride – Caboki isn’t actually a product that regrows hair. Instead, it’s one that claims to cover up areas of thinning and loss by making the hair appear thicker.
The product is made of natural plant fibers from the Moroccan Gossypium Herbaceum. This is a type of cotton (Levant) that grows only in arid regions of Morocco.
While most other concealers contain keratin (such as Toppik), Caboki uses plant fibers. However, the company claims it sticks to the hair strands just as keratin would.
Essentially, Caboki and other such concealers use static charge to ensure the fibers stick to the hair. When applied, the fibers cling to the hair strands and can only be removed in the shower.
Caboki, then, ‘bulks’ up the strands and makes it appear as if you have more hair. This covers balding spots, and it prevents your scalp from peeking through in thinning areas.
Of course, this only works if you have hair to work with.
Caboki contains just two ingredients: Gossyplum Herbaceous (levant cotton) fiber and mineral-based colorants (iron oxide). This makes it one of the more natural hair building fiber products on the market.
In addition to what it does have, Caboki is also sure to state what it doesn’t have. The website claims the product is free of:
As such, it appears that this would be a good alternative product for anyone who has had reactions to other hair building fiber products.
The big question is, does Caboki actually work?
For those with mild hair loss and thinning, yes.
However, it doesn’t treat hair loss and only covers up the issue. This can mean that, over time, Caboki may stop working for you as your hair loss progresses.
One of the best ways to determine how a product works is to find out what real users have to say. This gives you a clear idea of the benefits and drawbacks so you can make an informed decision.
In the majority of instances, users seem to have a positive take on the product. Many customers even claim they wouldn’t leave their home without Caboki, and the product works wonders on their thinning hair.
However, common complaints include rubbing off, streaking, and messy application. This may cause reluctance for many would-be users, as you don’t want it to be obvious that you’re wearing such a product.
As with any product, there were also some less than happy customers. Many of these customers complain that the product is hard to apply, it doesn’t blend well, or it looks unnatural.
The only way to truly understand how the product works is to try it yourself. In fact, Caboki offers a free sample which you can order on their website.
Before purchasing a product, or deciding it’s right for you, it helps to see how others have fared. Of course, before and afters only show the best results, but they still offer a glimpse into a possible reality. Let’s take a look at a few Caboki before and afters.
Caboki is easy to use, even if you’re new to hair concealers. All you need to do is sprinkle the product over thinning areas of the scalp, and the fibers will cling.
This process can be a bit messy, but users have come up with their own way to apply. The process involves sprinkling Caboki on a comb and brushing into the hair. This reduces product waste and makes it possible to direct the product more accurately.
To improve the effectiveness of application and use, here are a few tips to keep in mind.
Less is more. When using hair building fibers, less really is more. This means you should apply as little as possible, and build up until you have the required amount. Doing so will prevent caking and unnatural clumping.
Set with hairspray. Some users of hair building fibers, including Caboki, complain of run off and flaking throughout the day. One way to combat this is by setting the powder with hairspray. Apply the powder as you usually would, and use your fingers (or a comb) to style your hair.
Wait a few minutes, and then spritz hairspray to lock the powder in place.
Rinse daily. The long-term use of any product, including hair building fibers, can cause issues for your scalp. It’s crucial that you remove the product at the end of each day, and only wear as necessary.
This enables your scalp to ‘breathe’, which is especially important if you hope to regrow your hair.
Discover The 4 Scalp Secrets You Need To Grow Back Your Hair...
The product is available online, both on the official website and elsewhere (such as Amazon). It comes in 14 different colors and three sizes – 6 grams, 16 grams, and 30 grams.
The 6 gram product is estimated to last 8-14 days, while the 16 grams and 30 grams is estimated to last 25-40 days and 50-90 days, respectively.
The cost for the 30 gram product on the Caboki website is $50, but it can also be found on Amazon (for $39.95).
For many users of Caboki, the product turned out too good to be true. This is due, in large part, to the side effects suffered by many.
Foremost, scalp irritation and rash are common among long-term users of the product. This could be an allergy to the main ingredient (cotton).
Other side effects include itching, redness, and development of red bumps. These may be signs of an allergy reaction, which means you should stop using the product immediately. If you begin to experience worsening symptoms, or symptoms of anaphylaxis, seek medical attention right away.
Some users have also reported color flaking and rub off.
One thing to consider before purchasing the product is the amount of balding that you have to over up. Caboki works in mild cases of thinning and balding, but it may struggle to cover moderate cases. It cannot be used unless hair is present.
There are many reasons an individual may be looking for a temporary solution to cover their hair loss. So, who are the ‘ideal’ candidates for this hair loss concealer?
Anyone with mild to moderate hair loss will likely benefit from the product, but only temporarily.
Caboki is a temporary solution to what may be a permanent problem. If you suffer from Male-Pattern Baldness (MPB) or other permanent types of alopecia, the caboki will only work as long as you still have enough hair.
As such, if you choose to use this or another concealer, I recommend you do so while also seeking out treatment. Otherwise, you’d be wasting precious time while your hair loss continues to worsen.
For as long as hair loss has existed, sufferers have been trying to cover it up. However, are there any natural ways to cover up your hair loss?
But, even better than covering the loss, you may be able to reverse it.
In most instances, hair loss doesn’t have to be permanent. This is especially true when the hair loss is relatively recent, or when it has a known cause (such as male-pattern baldness).
So, how can you begin?
The best way is to stimulate blood flow to the scalp. You can do this in numerous ways, but here are the most effective.
Many causes of hair loss lead to a process known as miniaturization. When the hair follicle is irritated and inflamed, the follicle begins to miniaturize. This leads to hair strands that become thinner and shorter until, eventually, they no longer reach the scalp.
One side effect of this process is a decrease in blood flow to the follicles. This reduces the oxygen and nutrients received by the follicle and hair strand.
One way to combat this is to naturally increase blood flow to the follicles. While this won’t treat the main cause of your hair loss, it makes it easier for your follicles and hair to survive in a hostile environment.
You can do this with both scalp massages and exercises.
Place your thumb, index finger, and middle finger on each side of your head. They should be just above your ears.
Begin by applying gentle pressure to your scalp, and moving your fingers in a circular motion. Gently vary the levels of pressure you apply as you slowly work your way from the sides of your head to the top of the scalp.
Continue massaging the top of your scalp and use each hand to focus on different areas. As you do so, you can trace back to previous areas and then backtrack to your current position. Focus on this area for 2-3 minutes, and then slowly make your way towards the temples and hairline.
Begin at the temples, slowly working your hands towards each other at the center of the hairline. Trace back to areas of the scalp with pronounced thinning or loss, and then continue your journey towards the middle.
Finally, work your way back towards the temples and the sides of the scalp. You’ll now go to the base of the scalp, and massage gently applying varying levels of pressure. Continue for 2 minutes.
This process should take about 10 minutes, and it should be repeated at least once per day.
As with scalp massages, you’ll be using your fingers to stimulate the scalp. However, scalp exercises also require you to use major muscles in the area. Here’s how to do them:
To improve the effectiveness of these exercises, you can also use your fingertips. To do so, place your index and middle fingers firmly on your scalp. Use the pressure to ‘pull’ the skin of the scalp to one side (without pinching or digging).
You can then redo in each direction and in any area with noticeable thinning or hair loss.
A more ‘intense’ way to stimulate blood flow to the scalp is with the use of microneedling. Microneedling is a process that uses tiny needles to create micro wounds. As these wounds heal, your scalp will experience three distinct steps:
These steps help you to reduce the damage caused by hair miniaturization and create healthier follicles.
While it may seem counterproductive to wound yourself, microneedling has actually been proven to induce hair growth in men and women with hair loss. In fact, it’s even been shown to be more effective than Minoxidil:
One of the great things about microneedling is that it can be done at home. Two tools – the dermaroller and dermastamp – make this possible.
But which tool should you use?
I’ve recommended the dermaroller in the past, but my own research has guided me towards the dermastamp. This is because the dermastamp has less potential to cause damage to the scalp, and it’s also easier to target.
The dermastamp is a stamp-like device with tiny needles attached. You simply place it over the area of hair thinning and press down to ‘stamp’ the scalp.
However, there’s more to using the dermastamp than that. Here’s a look at the three steps I recommend you follow:
These steps will ensure you’re getting the most from your microneedling and improve the results you see.
To learn more about the scalp cleanse and hair growth tonic, take a look at this post.
To use the dermastamp is simple. First, select your size. I recommend anywhere from 0.5 mm to 1.0 mm, but you can experiment yourself. Next, place the stamp against your scalp in the area you’d like to target. Gently press down on the stamp, and hold in place for 2-3 seconds.
While this may be uncomfortable, it should not be painful. If it is, reduce the size of your dermastamp and try again.
Caboki and similar products are intriguing indeed, but are they something I would recommend? No, but that doesn’t mean you won’t find them useful.
However, whether you choose to use it or not, I urge you to strongly consider taking a natural approach to hair regrowth. Caboki can only cover up the problem for so long and, in many cases, hair loss can be reversed.
Are you ready to learn more? You can start by taking the one-minute hair loss quiz below. The results provided will give you insight into the possible cause of your hair loss, as well as what you can do to reverse it.
Feature image credit: Caboki.
Is Your Hair Loss Reversible?
Thinning and hair loss – in Asia and around the world – can cause considerable suffering to both men and women. And while the percentage of hair loss in non-Asian countries remains consistent, did you know that hair loss in Asia is on the rise?
In this post, I’ll discuss the pattern of Asian hair loss (including how it may differ from other ethnicities). I’ll then explain why hair loss in Asian men and women seems to be on the rise, and how you can treat it naturally.
NOTE: If you’re just beginning on your hair regrowth journey, I recommend you take the one-minute hair loss quiz at the end of this article. Your results will teach you more about your hair loss, including possible causes and treatments.
The hairline is a distinguishable line of hair follicles that runs from temple to temple along the forehead.
In regards to Androgenetic Alopecia (AGA), the hairline is where hair loss is most typically noticed first. In fact, even those without AGA will likely see a regression in their hairline at some point or another.
This is because the hairline of most individuals contains DHT-sensitive follicles. When exposed to DHT, the follicles begin to miniaturize and thinning occurs.
Without treatment, the follicles will continue to miniaturize. Eventually, this can lead to permanent hair loss.
The Norwood-Hamilton scale for hair loss is commonly used when discussing the progression of AGA. However, it’s not one that can be used to appropriately describe Asian hair loss.
In fact, one study found that 11.1% of Korean men diagnosed with AGA showed patterns more commonly associated with Female Pattern Hair Loss (FPHL).
Similarly, a Chinese study found 12% of women who participated in the study showed a loss pattern associated with Male Pattern Hair Loss (MPHL).
Additionally, an Indian study found that 18% of participants didn’t fall into one of the Norwood-Hamilton classifications.
This complicates matters when it comes to diagnosis, and it can lead to confusion and disappointment for Asian sufferers of AGA.
But why is there a variation? There are no solid answers to this question. Though, there are a few theories.
First, consider the fact that regions of follicle sensitivity may vary from ethnicity to ethnicity.
This would explain why many Asian men experience hair loss first on the vertex (or even on the sides), while Caucasian men tend to experience on the hairline.
Second, hair growth patterns do vary by ethnicity. This means that while hair loss may begin similarly across the board, it may take awhile to see differences based on hair density.
Last, Asian hair (and hair follicles) has a lower density than Caucasian hair and it’s also thicker per strand. This has to do with the number of cuticle layers that make up the structure of Asian hair.
For reference, a hair strand is made of many layers but the outermost layer is known as the sheath. The sheath consists of cuticles, which are made up of tightly-packed dead skin cells.
There are various layers of cuticles, but Asian hair has been shown to have the most when compared to African and Caucasian cross sections.
What does this mean for hair loss?
In essence, Asian hair is more difficult to break down. It is effected by DHT and miniaturization at the same rate as Caucasian hair, but its effects aren’t as obvious as quickly.
Essentially, the cuticles must be “chipped away” over a longer period of time for actual thinning and hair loss to be noticeable.
Interestingly, we know that scalp tension plays a large role in pattern baldness.
In the diagram below we can see the variation in skull structure across ethnicities and how this may affect scalp tension which could subsequently lead to baldness:
While previous studies have shown the incidence of hair loss in the Asian population to be lower than that of their non-Asian peers, there is a marked increase over time. The main reason for this is believed to be diet.
The modern Western diet is one that’s been linked to hair loss in previous years. This is due to its high acidity levels. And, while it wasn’t much of an issue in Asia in previous years, globalization has led to an increase in consumption.
Prior to globalization, the Asian diet was full of alkaline-rich foods. For example, dark green vegetables, nuts, and legumes. However, a move has been made to acidic foods (including soft drinks, dairy, red meats, and grains).
Discover The 4 Scalp Secrets You Need To Grow Back Your Hair...
Whether your hair loss began at the hairline, or you’re dealing with an atypical pattern, there are steps you can take to combat it.
While there are things you can do to stop hair loss temporarily, only when you know the cause can you find a more permanent solution.
For men and women with AGA, the cause is a sensitivity to DHT. Of course, other conditions (including stress, illness, and medications) can increase the rate at which hair is lost, but DHT is the main culprit and must be confronted accordingly.
So, how can you know for sure that AGA is the reason for your balding?
Even if your hair loss isn’t the typical pattern associated with AGA, there are other signs to be aware of. These include:
If you’re still not sure about the cause of your hair loss, I recommend taking the six-question quiz at the end of this article.
With the cause now understood, it’s time to take an effective approach to hair loss. This approach will vary by cause, but here’s what I recommend.
First, you’ll want to stop the hair loss as quickly as possible. Initially, you can do this by removing DHT from the scalp.
To do this, I recommend you cleanse the scalp and then follow up with a dermarolling session.
While this shouldn’t be done frequently, a scalp peel can remove layers of build up – including oil, dirt, hair product, and even DHT. To learn more about performing the peel, check out this post.
With your scalp prepared, you can now begin dermarolling. This stimulates hair growth by 1) increasing blood circulation; and 2) promoting regeneration of the hair follicles.
Second, it’s time to create a healthy environment for further hair growth. One way to do this is by increasing blood flow to the scalp and hair follicles.
There are a few ways to do this, though the three most common (and effective) are:
When used together, you can boost circulation and bring your scalp back to its former health.
Last, I recommend preventing DHT buildup from reoccurring in the future. You can do this with the use of internal DHT blockers, but they have many side effects. Instead, a better solution is an alkaline-rich diet.
As mentioned, alkaline foods were the majority of the Eastern diet for centuries. Only with globalization were more acidic foods introduced.
Of course, that’s not to say that acidic foods were never present in the East. But, they weren’t as prevalent or as frequently consumed as they are today.
While a complete change in your diet would be most effective, I realize this isn’t always easy. Instead, you can begin to make smaller changes that will add up overtime.
For example, replace your sugary breakfast cereals with a delicious breakfast smoothie, or change from carbonated beverages to fresh, homemade juices.
While Asian hair loss doesn’t always follow the typical pattern, this doesn’t mean it cannot be treated. However, the earlier you begin treatment the better.
Are you concerned that you’re in the beginning stages of hair loss but aren’t sure of the cause? Take the hair loss quiz below! The results will help you to better understand the cause of your loss, while also providing you with all-natural treatment methods.
Is Your Hair Loss Reversible?
Although the most common form of hair loss is Androgenetic Alopecia (AGA), also known as Male-Pattern Baldness (MPB) there’s a much more severe form of hair loss that can result in complete loss of hair on the scalp and face.
This is known as Alopecia Totalis (AT), and in this post I’ll teach you everything you need to know about this condition. This includes:
In addition, I’ll offer up two of my own recommended treatments along with detailed instructions for performing them.
NOTE: To learn more about hair loss, including the common causes and treatment methods, be sure to take the six-question quiz at the end of this article.
There are various hair loss conditions, and some of them are even connected. In regards to alopecia totalis, there are two other conditions that may be confused with it.
Let’s take a closer look at each, so you can gain a better understanding of the differences and similarities.
Alopecia Areata (AA) is a form of hair loss that results in patchy, balding areas. The cause is believed to be autoimmune, which means the body attacks the hair follicles as if they were foreign invaders.
It’s unknown why only certain follicles are attacked while others are left intact.
This is a severe form of hair loss. It’s characterized by complete loss of hair on the scalp, and it’s an advanced form of AA.
As it’s a form of AA, the condition is believed to be autoimmune in nature. However, those with AT have a
It’s also important to distinguish AT from Alopecia Universalis (AU). AT is a complete lack of hair on the scalp and face. AU, though, is a complete lack of hair anywhere on the body. In most cases, AU isn’t autoimmune but, instead, cause by a chromosomal mutation.
Unlike AA and AT, Androgenetic Alopecia (AGA) is not an autoimmune condition. Instead, it is a hormonal condition believed to be caused by sensitivity to DHT.
DHT is a natural hormone. It’s commonly found in and near the prostate, but it can also be found in other areas of the body in both men and women.
This hormone is created when testosterone (the male sex hormone) comes into contact with 5AR (an enzyme). The more 5AR present within the body, the more DHT produced.
For sensitive individuals, a process known as miniaturization occurs when DHT attaches to the follicles. This miniaturization leads to the production of thinner, weaker hairs and eventually leads to baldness if not treated.
You can learn more about miniaturization, and the role in plays in hair loss, in this post.
As AT is an advanced form of AA, you’ll notice symptoms prior to complete and total hair loss. So, let’s take a look at exactly what those symptoms are.
While not all individuals will experience this symptom, it typically occurs prior to noticeable hair loss begins.
You may notice a small patch of itching and/or burning on the scalp, and you may also experience throbbing and other discomfort. It’s best to avoid scratching the area to prevent even further irritation and thinning.
The tell-tale sign of AA is patchy hair loss. For the majority of AT patients, this is how balding begins.
These patches are circular in shape, and they’re typically a few centimeters in size or smaller. Commonly, the hair is lost in clumps.
For example, you may notice clumps on your pillow or in the shower drain, and the patch will slowly grow in size as the thinning continues.
An interesting characteristic of AA and AT is narrowing hairs, sometimes referred to as “exclamation point” hairs. Essentially, the hairs narrow to a thin point, just as an exclamation point.
These types of hairs are commonly found in close proximity to the bald patches.
The reason for these hairs is miniaturization, which is a result of inflammation. As the follicles inflame, the hairs become narrower and narrower. Eventually, this can lead to complete hair loss in certain follicles.
However, other follicles (such as the ones around the perimeter of the patch) may remain intact enough to continue to produce such hairs.
Interestingly, it’s not uncommon for sufferers of AA to also experience nail problems. This is because nails are similarly made of keratin, and are treated that same by antibodies as your hair.
However, their thicker nature means the damage is less severe (i.e. not total nail loss).
These signs of damage include pitting, dents, and discoloration. You may notice flaking on the top-most layer of the nail, too.
There is still much that is unknown about autoimmune conditions, including AA and AT. Though, there are some factors that may increase your risk for developing AA/AT.
With a family history of alopecia being seen in 10% to 25% of AA patients, it’s believed there is a significant genetic component involved in the development of AA and AT.
That’s not to say that you will develop AT if a family member has been diagnosed, but it’s something to be aware of.
While stress itself can lead to increased shedding and hair loss, it can also trigger an exaggerated autoimmune response.
With autoimmune disorders, your body is already on high alert. When faced with the additional chemicals associated with stress, your body will be even more ready to attack any potential threats.
Unfortunately, this can mean hair follicles for those with AA or AT.
During periods of a weakened immune system, it’s not uncommon for autoimmune disorders to rear their heads. In essence, your body is more sensitive to any “foreign invaders” during this time, and this can lead to attacks on the follicles.
There are a number of reasons your immune system may be weakened. For example, illnesses or medications (such as chemotherapy). Even stress and lack of sleep can cause a weakened immune system.
For men and women with AT, hair regrowth can happen. Typically, this is spontaneous, However, as more is understood about the condition more intentional regrowth may be possible.
In fact, this goes against what was previously believed about the hair follicle because much research on hair loss is performed on those with AGA.
In AGA patients, long-term baldness can lead to follicle death. At this point, hair regrowth is either impossible, or difficult to achieve.
This is because the hair follicle isn’t necessarily destroyed in patients with AA and AT. Instead, it’s inflamed to the point of non-functioning. If the inflammation can be gotten under control, then hair growth should occur.
While AA and AT aren’t officially classified as autoimmune disorders, many aspects of these conditions point to this end. One such aspect is remission – a period of relief from symptoms.
For patients with AA and AT, remission is possible. This means hair begins to regrow, and balding patches aren’t present. However, it’s also possible to relapse and experience a reemergence of past symptoms.
Unfortunately, doctors aren’t exactly sure why remission happens. This is why it’s frequently called spontaneous remission.
In fact, the majority of patients who experience spontaneous remission will likely also experience relapse. This may occur on a cycle (for example, a few months of symptoms followed by a few months of relief), or it may be triggered by major life events.
In recent years, there have been a few treatment breakthroughs that may provide hope to sufferers of alopecia totalis. Some of these have even been scientifically tested. Let’s take a look.
As a condition known to cause widespread inflammation, the use of corticosteroids makes sense. After all, both topically and orally they can reduce inflammation which is the likeliest cause of hair loss.
However, this is not a recommend long-term treatment course, and it has numerous side effects. It’s also only known to be effective in certain populations, including:
Also, while corticosteroids may treat the most currently inflamed follicles, they don’t stop future hair loss. This means you may need to rely on them indefinitely.
Minoxidil (branded as Rogaine) is a topical medication approved by the FDA in the treatment of hair loss. It works by increasing blood flow to the scalp and widening the follicles. This allows thicker hairs to grow.
While this may be effective short-term, it’s something you’ll have to use for your entire life to avoid relapse. This is because minoxidil just covers the problem, but it doesn’t treat it.
Though, you could also experience unexplained weight gain, swelling of the hands/feet, dizziness, and chest pain.
In more recent years, light-based therapies have also been indicated as possible treatments for AA and AT. There are two major methods used:
Over a period of sessions, patients will be exposed to varying levels of lights. However, the above-mentioned treatments differ in other ways.
With LLLT, only lasers are used. It may be in the form of a helmet, a wand, or a hair brush. PUVASOL, on the other hand, uses both a topical application and sunlight.
While there is still much research that needs to be done on this method, the results do look promising. Let’s look at the results of two patients in particular.
Patient 1 was a 41-year old woman who presented with AT since 12 months. Her diagnosis was confirmed by biopsy. Prior to PUVASOL, she was treated with 10% minoxidil and 4 mg of betamethasone twice weekly for six months with no result:
Next, she was treated with PUVASOL which involved application of 1 ml of 8-methoxypsoralen (8-MOP) 1% diluted in 2 l of water. The application was applied with a cotton cloth, which was soaked in the solution for 30 minutes and then wrapped around her scalp.
The cloth was left in place for 5 minutes, removed, and the process repeated an additional four times.
After this process, the patient was exposed to sunlight for 5 minutes. This time was gradually increased to 15 minutes over a period of sessions.
The treatment was carried out three times per week, and by month 2 the growth of vellus hairs was noticeable. By month 4, the regrowth was significant and by month 6, these were the results
Patient 2 was an 8-year old boy who presented with AT since 20 months. For one year, he was treated with 2 mg of betamethasone twice weekly and minoxidil 5% twice daily with no significant results.
The patient was then treated with PUVASOL similar to the patient above. Vellus hairs were noticed at 2 months, while almost complete regrowth was seen by 6 months.
The exact way in which PUVASOL works to treat AA is unknown. However, researchers believe it inhibits an autoimmune pathway which triggers the condition.
Discover The 4 Scalp Secrets You Need To Grow Back Your Hair...
As the exact cause of AT is unknown, there’s a lot of trial and error when it comes to discovering new treatment methods. This can be said for the ones mentioned above, but also any natural methods you may consider.
However, given what we do know about the condition, there may be some natural methods that are helpful.
It’s known for certain that individuals with AA and AT suffer from hair follicle miniaturization. This cause blood flow to be cut off from the follicle, which further results in its death.
With this in mind, it makes sense to practice methods which increase blood flow to the scalp.
As mentioned above, minoxidil is one such treatment. However, it’s not very effective for AA patients, and the side effects aren’t commonly worthwhile. Instead, I recommend scalp massages and exercises.
Scalp massages and exercises can be performed anywhere, at anytime. You can do them yourself (using your fingers or a massaging device), or with someone else’s help (professional or not).
Essentially, they work by stimulating the scalp. As more blood flows to the area, the follicles will receive more oxygen and nutrients. It can also help the follicles to cycle through the hair growth cycle, and produce healthier, thicker hairs.
Using either your fingers or a head massager, start at the sides of your head just above your ears. Massage in a circular motion, and apply varying levels of pressure as you massage.
Slowly work your way up to the top of your scalp, continuing your circular motions. Work on this area for about 2 minutes, and then slowly move towards the hairline and temples.
Begin at the middle of the hairline, and work your way towards the sides. Do this for about 2 minutes, and slowly move back to the base of your skull.
At any point during this session, you can backtrack to previous areas.
In total, you should spend about 10 – 15 minutes per day massaging your scalp. You can use an oil to assist you, but it’s not necessary.
A bit like massage, scalp exercises involve the manipulation of your scalp’s skin. However, with scalp exercises you use your muscles to assist.
The two most common exercises are these:
You can then hold your muscles in each position for 1-2 minutes, and slowly return to a relaxed position. Additionally, you can alternate positions (going directly from deep to high, or vice versa) without stopping in the relaxed position.
Other scalp exercises involve gentle pulling of the skin. This is similar to a massage, except you focus on one area only. Place your fingers on your scalp, and push in one direction. Your fingers shouldn’t move, but you’ll feel slight pressure on the area.
Similar to scalp massages/exercises, microneedling increases blood circulation. Though, it also have some other benefits.
Namely, microneedling (with a dermaroller or dermastamp) initiates a process that includes:
As this process takes place, the hair follicles are remodeled/healed.
While this may seem counterproductive, there is scientific proof that AA/AT patients respond positively to treatment.
One particular study followed two patients – one male and one female – as they received microneedling therapy. Prior to microneedling, both patients were treated with intralesional injections of triamcinolone acetonide, topical steroid creams, and even minoxidil.
However, no improvement was noted.
Patient 1 was a male who presented with AA for 1 year. He received three microneedling sessions at 3 week intervals, and also received a topical application of triamcinolone acetonide both before and after the session:
The procedure involved a dermaroller being rolled of the bald patch 4 to 5 times in each direction (diagonal, vertical, and horizontal). After all three sessions were completed, significant regrowth was noted at 9 weeks:
Patient 2 was a female who presented with AA for 6 months:
Her procedure was exactly the same as outlined above. She, too, saw positive hair growth results with each session:
Researchers followed up with both patients every month for 3 months after the trial’s completion. No signs of recurrence were seen.
Microneedling – whether using a dermaroller or dermastamp – can be performed at home or by a professional. I personally recommend the use of a dermastamp.
While the dermaroller is effective, it can cause more damage than the dermastamp. This is because your present hairs can be easily pulled by the roller. Additionally, the dermaroller is more difficult to focus on a specific area of the scalp.
With the dermastamp, you get a much more precise application. You can easily avoid pulling/straining your hair, and you can target the areas in need of treatment.
To use the dermastamp, first cleanse your scalp. I don’t just mean shampoo, though. I also mean removing any layer of buildup. You can do this with a salicylic acid peel.
Once that’s done, you can apply the dermastamp to the area of hair loss and press done. Repeat the pressing about 4 to 5 times on each section.
Of course, if you’re dealing with full scalp baldness, the dermaroller will be better. As such, you can roll the stamp diagonally, vertically, and horizontally. Repeat each direction 4 to 5 times.
If you suffer from alopecia totalis, there is hope. It’s possible to regrow your hair – either spontaneously or with treatment – and continued treatment may even prevent hair loss from recurring.
However, it’s best to focus on natural treatment methods if you want the lowest risk of side effects and the highest odds of success. These methods – including scalp massages, exercises, and microneedling – can all be done at home, and only take a small bit of time.
To learn more about your hair loss, as well as other treatment methods I recommend, take the hair loss quiz below.
Is Your Hair Loss Reversible?
In this in-depth article I’m going to reveal the truth about gabapentin and hair loss. So if you’re someone who takes this drug and are worried about your hair, this is an article you must read.
Drug-induced hair loss is actually quite a common side effect of many medications. In this article, we’ll only be discussing gabapentin. This will include a look at how it works, why hair loss may occur, and what you can do to reverse it.
Not sure if medication is the cause of your hair thinning and loss? Be sure to take the quiz at the end of the article. The results will help you to pinpoint the cause of your hair loss and show you natural methods you can use to treat it.
Gabapentin, more commonly known by the brand name Neurontin, is a medication used to treat various neurological conditions. These include epilepsy, neuropathic pain, restless legs syndrome, and hot flashes.
This medication was first approved for use in 1993 under the trade name Neurontin. In 2004, the generic version (gabapentin) was finally available.
Depending on the condition being treated, gabapentin works in different ways.
Foremost, the drug works by reducing abnormal excitement in the brain. This is common in seizure disorders – such as epilepsy – and restless legs syndrome.
In short, the neurons in the brains of affected individuals are overstimulated. They can act erratically, which triggers unpredictable bodily movements.
For neuropathic pain, gabapentin works by changing the way the body interprets pain.
On a more chemical level, the drug works by blocking different calcium channels. More specifically, it targets the α2 δ‐1 calcium channel.
This channel is known to play a role in neuropathic pain. By blocking this channel, gabapentin is able to block any pain signals it delivers.
As a neuropathic drug, gabapentin has some serious side effects associated with it. The most common (and troubling) include:
In recent years, researchers have also found that gabapentin is at risk of being abused. The drug is known to cause a euphoric high, and this can lead to misuse and overuse.
Some less serious (but still troubling) side effects include:
And yes, even hair loss.
While not mentioned explicitly by the drug’s manufacturers, numerous journals have made mention of hair loss associated with gabapentin use.
Anticonvulsants drugs have been long known to cause multiple side effects, including alopecia. This is known as drug-induced alopecia, and it’s a common issue among individuals on certain medications.
The exact cause isn’t known. In fact, the cause is likely different for each medication, as each has a different mechanism. However, hair loss is caused by either one of two things: Telogen Effluvium (TE), or Anagen Effluvium (AE).
Essentially, drug-induced hair loss occurs when the hair cycle is interrupted either at the end (telogen phase) or beginning (anagen phase).
There are three main phases of the hair growth cycle:
When the hair cycle is interrupted during telogen phase, premature and excessive shedding takes place. You’ll know you’re experiencing telogen effluvium when you see a white bulb at the end of most shed hair strands.
This is the most common form of drug-induced alopecia, and also the least severe of the two forms. Those with telogen effluvium may see a 30% to 70% increase in shedding from their usual 100 to 150 strands per day.
For those with telogen effluvium, it’s likely that excessive shedding won’t begin until two to three months after your first dose.
Anagen effluvium occurs when the hair cycle is interrupted during anagen, the phase of active growth. In AE, the cells within the follicle are unable to divide properly, which results in baldness.
This can occur within days of your first dose of medication, and it’s most commonly associated with chemotherapy. It’s also the more severe form of effluvium, and can result in body-wide hair loss.
The exact severity will depend on medication, dosage, and your body’s sensitivity to the drug.
So, does gabapentin cause TE or AE? Unfortunately, there’s not enough research on the subject to be sure. The likeliest form is TE, simply because it’s most common.
As you know, gabapentin treats many serious illnesses. As such, it’s not a drug that can be discontinued suddenly. It may also be the only drug that your doctor believes works best for you.
So, what can you do?
If you’re unable to switch to another medication (under the guidance of your doctor), you may want to consider a lower dose. Even if only temporarily, some side effects (including hair loss) can be mitigated by slowly increasing the dose of a medication.
This helps the body to build tolerance to the drug, and it may result in less severe side effects.
If this isn’t a possibility (as might be the case in uncontrolled epilepsy), you’ll have to work to grow your hair despite the medication. This isn’t always possible, but it’s worth a shot for many patients.
Hair loss caused by medication, including gabapentin, can be reversed in most cases. While stopping the medication altogether would make your odds of success more likely, this isn’t always possible.
However, let’s look at a few techniques for reversing gabapentin-induced alopecia.
When a patient presents with drug-induced hair loss, one of the most common recommendations by doctors is minoxidil and/or finasteride. These are popular medications that are popularly used to treat and prevent hair loss.
Minoxidil, also known as Rogaine, is perhaps the more popular of the two. It’s a liquid or foam formula that is applied directly to the scalp on a daily basis. It works by increasing circulation to the scalp, as well as opening the potassium channels.
The side effects associated with minoxidil are more bothersome than serious. They include irritation and itching at site of application. Other side effects – including heart palpitations and dizziness – are less common, but do occur.
Learn more about minoxidil here.
Finasteride, also known as Propecia, is an oral medication that’s taken once per day. It works by decreasing DHT levels within the body. As DHT is believed to be the cause of balding in Androgenetic Alopecia (AGA), it’s commonly used to treat Male-Pattern Baldness (MPB).
Finasteride has the more severe side effects of the two medications. These include loss of libido and sexual dysfunction (such as inability to ejaculate). Even worse, these side effects can be permanent.
There’s no doubt that both medications, used either separately or together, can provide excellent hair growth. However, neither is a route that I would recommend. Why?
Foremost, neither of these drugs will treat the problem at its source. Instead, it covers up the issue and treats the symptoms. This can be good in the short term, but hair loss will only return (sometimes even worse) once the medications are stopped.
The side effects can also be more trouble than they’re worth. This is especially true with finasteride, and it’s something to seriously consider before starting on either drug.
Discover The 4 Scalp Secrets You Need To Grow Back Your Hair...
Perhaps one of the easiest ways to treat thinning and loss is by increasing circulation to the scalp. You can do this in various ways, including with minoxidil as mentioned above. However, I recommend scalp massages and exercises as they’re easy and effective.
Why does this work?
As I mentioned above, hair loss caused by gabapentin is most likely to be telogen effluvium. This form of loss causes a process known as hair miniaturization.
As the follicles are interrupted, they begin to inflame. This causes the hairs to miniaturize (as there is less room for them to grow) and, eventually, disappear altogether.
One side effect (and possible contributor to) of hair miniaturization is a decrease in blood flow to the affected follicles. This occurs as the follicle become inflamed and have trouble staying fully connected to the vessels.
By increasing blood circulation, you can increase the nutrients that make their way to the follicle. You can also help to remove buildup (including CO2).
How to Perform Scalp Massage
A scalp massage can be performed with your fingers or with a scalp massager.
Begin on the sides of the scalp, just above the ears. Using your fingertips, gently massage in a circular motion. Apply varying levels of pressure, and slowly work your way up the sides of the scalp to the top.
Continue with the circular motions at the top of the scalp, and stay here for 2-3 minutes. You can retrace your steps at any point – slowly going back down to the sides and returning to the top.
Next, move to the front of the scalp. Pay particular attention to the hairline and temples, and trace along the hairline thoroughly with your fingertips.
Remain here for 2-3 minutes, and then slowly work your way from your temples to the sides of your scalp and, finally, to the back.
Massage the entire back of the scalp, from the top to the base. Continue with the varying levels of pressure, and return to any areas you feel you may have overlooked.
This should take about 10-15 minutes per day, and it’s one of the easiest (and most effective) ways to boost blood circulation to the scalp.
How to Perform Scalp Exercises
There are two main methods used during scalp exercises. The first focuses just on the muscles of the scalp. To use this method:
The above steps are especially helpful for those with a receding hairline. However, you can also perform scalp exercises on other areas of the scalp with your fingers.
Using your index, middle, and ring fingers, place them firmly on the area of the scalp you would like to target. While applying pressure, gently pull your three fingers in one direction.
This will slightly shift the skin. Hold for 10 seconds, and return to the initial position. You can continue in all other directions, and work on other areas of the scalp, too.
A relatively new technique, scalp hypothermia is a therapy that uses cooling caps. The caps are placed on the scalp during treatment.
While not entirely backed by research (yet), it’s believed this works by constricting the blood vessels connected to the hair follicles. This reduces the amount of medication delivered to the follicles.
Will cooling caps work to reverse gabapentin-induced hair loss? I’m not sure.
There is still much research needed on scalp hypothermia, as well as the effects of gabapentin on the follicles.
Additionally, this would be difficult to do with gabapentin, as it’s taken daily (sometimes multiple times), and not administered in a session like chemotherapy.
However, this is certainly a therapy to keep an eye on in the future.
While drug-induced alopecia is common, it isn’t something you have to live with. In fact, there are many natural methods you can use to improve your scalp’s health, and regrow your lost hair.
Of course, you should always speak with your doctor if you experience any side effects (including hair loss) from gabapentin or any other medications.
Do you want to learn more about hair loss, including the cause and methods of treatment? Take the six-question hair loss quiz below! The results will get you started on the path to regrowing a healthy head full of hair.
Is Your Hair Loss Reversible?
Hair transplants are a popular hair treatment method, but they’re also one of the most expensive. In this article, I’m going to discuss the cost of transplants (including the factors that contribute, such as location and method).
I’ll also highlight some of the more general transplant information (such as who qualifies and the risks involved). In addition, I’ll share with you three less expensive methods that you may find more appealing.
BONUS: At the end of this article is a free, one-minute hair loss quiz. The results (which appear on a new page) will help you to better understand the cause of your hair loss and whether a hair transplant is right for you.
Simply put, a hair transplant is a surgical procedure that involves the removal of hair from one area of the scalp (the donor site) and transplantation onto another (the recipient site). This is performed by a hair restoration surgeon, and it’s one of the most well-known hair loss “cures” on the market.
Of course, a hair transplant isn’t actually a cure. Instead, it’s a technique that aims to reduce the appearance of balding and reactive hair growth. However, reactivation isn’t always possible, and it’s best to go into the procedure with this in mind.
While FUT and FUE are the most commonly used methods today (more on that below), there are other methods (though outdated) that may be available.
With the use of 4mm ‘punch’, a cylinder of hair-bearing skin is removed from the donor site. This cylinder typically contains 12 – 30 individual strands of hair, and it was placed into the recipient site.
The punch graft was the most popular method of transplantation for over 20 years. However, it did have an unnatural and ‘pluggy’ look. This is where the term ‘hair plug’ originates.
It’s safe to say that the majority of surgeons no longer use this method.
Mini and micro are transplant methods that involve the removal of thin strips of hair-bearing skin from the donor site. The area is then stitched, and this leaves a thin scar.
To transplant, a scalpel is used to make small slits in the recipient area. The graft is then placed.
As you might imagine, this is also a bit of an unnatural look. Additionally, the long scar can be a deterrent for many. As such, both mini and micro grafts are rare in transplantation (though, they may still be used for particular cases).
Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT) is a more modern method of hair transplant, though it is related to the mini/micro methods.
In this method, a strip of hair (from 1.5cm to 30cm in length) is removed from the donor area. The site is then sutured or glued.
Next, the strip is placed under a microscope. The surgeon then works to extract individual follicular units from the graft, and these individual units are then placed in the recipient area.
Unlike mini/micro grafts, slits are not necessary in the recipient area. Instead, small punctures are made where the individual grafts will be placed.
Alongside FUT, Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) is another modern hair transplant method. However, FUE offers many more benefits (including minimized scarring and quicker recovery).
With FUE, the units of hair are placed within the recipient area just as they are in FUT. However, instead of removing a strip of hair-bearing skin, the follicular units are removed one by one.
This takes considerable time (which means it costs the most), but it also delivers the most natural results.
Candidacy for hair transplant will depend on the surgeon. However, there are some general candidacy guidelines to give you an idea of who qualifies.
If you’ve been diagnosed with Male-Pattern Baldness (MPB), you are probably familiar with the Norwood scale for hair loss. In short, it’s a diagnostic scale used to determine how far MPB has progressed:
While hair loss caused by MPB does begin to become noticeable during Norwood 2, many surgeons will only perform a transplant on patients diagnosed with Norwood 3 and above.
In addition to a Norwood 3 diagnosis, hair transplants are best performed on men with stable hair loss. But what does this mean?
Hair loss caused by MPB is caused by the hormone DHT. As DHT wreaks havoc on the hair follicles, hair loss will continue to occur. However, when you’ve finally got DHT under control, the hair loss can be classified as ‘stable’.
All this means is that further hair loss is very unlikely, or that hair loss has slowed so significantly that gradual changes take place over a few years (instead of a few months).
The less likely future hair loss is to occur, the more likely that you’ll have success with the transplant.
Not all hair loss is caused by MPB. However, even some forms of non-MPB hair loss can be treated with a transplant.
One such form is trauma related, and it can occur as a result of burns, scars, or other physical traumas.
Men and women with trauma-related hair loss may be good candidates for hair transplant, assuming their injuries have fully healed.
As a surgical procedure, hair transplants come with a number of risks. In addition, patients may experience side effects (some permanent) as a result of the transplant.
In a 73-patient analysis, these were the risks found to be most common:
Other risks associated with the procedure include raised scar (8.22%), hiccups (4.11%), skin texture change (2.74%), itching (1.37%), and excessive bleeding (1.37%).
Keep in mind, costs will vary. However, we can get a general idea by looking to real transplant patients for their own experience.
According to RealSelf and reviews from real transplant patients, here’s a basic breakdown:
Vancouver, BC, Canada
New York, New York
Of course, keep in mind that these are only patient-submitted costs. This means that your costs won’t necessarily fall within the range of your area. To get the best idea of cost, we recommend you consult with at least three hair restoration surgeons in your area.
The cost of a transplant will depend on many factors, including geographic location, surgeon, and the severity of hair loss. As most procedures are performed ‘by the graft’, the more severe your hair loss, the more costly.
While the cost of a transplant may seem expensive, you have to consider the complexity of the procedure.
Transplantation methods are becoming more advanced, and this is great for results. However, the more advanced techniques (including Follicular unit transplantation (FUT) and Follicular unit extraction (FUE)) take a lot more time and expertise.
In fact, FUT can take anywhere from 5 – 7 hours for one session! And, longer times (as well as more sessions) can be expected for FUE.
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The answer to this question is, “it depends”.
For many hair loss sufferers, a hair transplant can provide them with confidence and higher self-esteem. However, there are risks associated with the procedure that may not be worth it to you.
A good surgeon will help you to weigh the risks and benefits, and determine if the procedure is right for you. In addition, a consultation with a good surgeon will help you to know your odds of success with the procedure.
Unfortunately, the costs of a transplant may not be within your reach. So, what other options do you have at your disposal?
Low-Light Laser Therapy (LLLT) is an experimental treatment that uses lasers to target areas of hair loss. This procedure can be performed by a dermatologist in-office, or at home with laser combs or helmets.
This method is believed to work in a number of ways. For example, LLLT can:
These results are believed to be caused by the lasers interaction with the hair follicles’ cells and (maybe) stimulation of the mitochondria.
Depending on whether you plan to seek out professional treatment, or perform LLLT at home, costs will vary wildly.
The cost of an LLLT comb or helmet typically ranges from $200 – $1,000. You can likely find ones for less, but of course you do get what you pay for.
In-office procedure costs will vary as well. For most hair loss sufferers, LLLT is an on-going treatment that’s completed over a number of sessions. As such, your costs can range from the mid-hundreds to a few thousand.
A treatment procedure that’s practiced as often at home as it is in-office, microneedling involves the use of tiny needles to create micro wounds in the scalp. These wounds then go through a three step process as they heal:
While injuring the scalp may seem counterintuitive to hair growth, the process actually stimulates the production of collagen, as well as new skin cells. These new cells can then generate healthy new hair strands.
As with LLLT, microneedling can be performed at home or in-office. This means the cost will vary widely.
One of the cheapest microneedling tools, the dermaroller, can be purchased for about $25. However, more advanced tools (including the dermastamp and dermapen) can cost anywhere from $30 to a few hundred.
In-office microneedling can cost anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand. These treatments will take place over a few sessions, and you may also be instructed to continue at home.
Just like LLLT, Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy is still in its earlier stages of uses. However, recent scientific studies have shown it to be a promising option for hair loss sufferers.
PRP involves the removal of blood from a patient’s body. The blood is then separated (using a centrifuge) into plasma and red blood cells. The plasma is extracted, and then injected directly into areas of hair loss.
This works surprisingly well, and here’s why:
Plasma is a blood product that contains numerous growth factors. These include Platelet-Derived Growth Factor (PDGF), Epidermal Growth Factor (EGF), and Insulin-Like Growth Factor (IGF).
These growth factors induce the proliferation of dermal papilla cells, which means more hair can then be produced in the area.
PRP – the only option in our alternatives list that cannot be performed at home – is also one of the more expensive options. However, it’s very likely that the cost of PRP will still be lower than that of a hair transplant.
According to real PRP patients on RealSelf, the average cost across all locations is $1,725 (ranging from $350 – $3,100). However, with a ‘worth it’ rating of 74%, it may be something you want to consider.
If a hair transplant is your treatment of choice, keep in mind that costs will vary. However, it is the most expensive option on the market, and you may find that the costs don’t justify the benefits.
Of course, there are many others methods to choose from, including both the three alternatives mentioned above and more natural methods. The choice you make is entirely personal, and it will depend on the severity of your hair loss and your goals.
Would you like to learn more about the hair loss treatment options available? First, I recommend you take the six-question hair loss quiz below. The results (seen on a new page) will help you to better understand the cause of your hair loss. As a result, you can then begin to look more into treatment methods that’re best for you.
Is Your Hair Loss Reversible?
For women, hair is their crowning glory. It signifies health and vitality, and it can be a way to express individuality. Unfortunately, hair thinning and loss can mean the need for synthetic alternatives.
In this guide, I’m going to discuss the history of hairpieces and wigs for women, as well as the variety of application techniques and materials.
I’ll introduce you to the various reasons women may find themselves using a hairpiece, and the treatment methods I recommend to avoid the need for one.
Are you suffering from hair loss, but you aren’t sure of the cause? Take the one-minute quiz at the very end of this post!
The use of hairpieces and wigs – for both men and women – has been around for almost as long as humans.
From Africa to Asia and beyond, wigs (and other hair topping alternatives) have been used for religious, traditional, cosmetic, entertainment, and hygienic reasons.
The style of hairpiece has changed, too.
From red, curled wigs (worn famously by Elizabeth I of England) to black, braided pieces (worn by Cleopatra), there have been hairpieces of all kinds making their appearance in world history.
Before we discuss the various hairpieces and wigs used by women, it’s important to understand what causes the need for such products.
Hormones are a common cause of hair loss in both men and women. The hormones responsible can vary by gender, though. So, what are the most common cause of these imbalances?
Whether you’re on the pill, patch, or implant, hormonal birth control can throw your hormones out of whack.
This can mean you have an unnatural level of hormones present in your body at anytime. As such, you may experience unpleasant symptoms (including hair loss).
The best way to combat this is to use non-hormonal birth control methods. If using hormonal birth control for a medical condition, consider speaking with your physician about low-dose forms.
Including Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) and hypothyroidism, undiagnosed hormonal conditions can wreak havoc on your body. This can mean various symptoms (hot flashes, weight loss/gain, and shedding).
Fortunately, these conditions can be screened for through blood draws and/or medical imaging. If you’re experienced unexplained hair loss, or you suspect a hormonal condition, speak with your physician about next steps.
While iron and calcium are essential additions to the human diet, many foods we consume that contain these nutrients can be even more harmful in the long run.
It’s no secret that the majority of animal products sold in grocery stores contain hormones and antibiotics. Of course, this doesn’t mean I recommend you remove animal products from your diet completely. So, what’s the answer?
Buying locally-sourced animal products whenever possible is your best bet. When animal products aren’t mass produced, it’s less likely for them to contain hormones or antibiotics. Find a local source you trust, and buy the majority of your products from them.
More than nutrition, the modern diet focuses on convenience. This can have negative effects for our bodies in the long run.
For women, this can be particularly damaging, as women tend to require more nutrients (such as iron and calcium) than men.
It is possible to eat a diet that meets your nutritional needs. It takes a bit more work on your part, but the results will be worth it. Of course, you can also incorporate supplements into your diet.
However, it’s best to speak with your doctor first before beginning any over-the-counter treatments.
Stress is a common cause of hair loss in both men and women, and it can come about physically (illness or injury), mentally, or emotionally. But why exactly does stress lead to thinning and loss?
I believe this is directly related to the breathing patterns frequently associated with times of stress. Have you ever held your breath during a tense moment?
During times of stress, our breathing tends to become shallow. Our lungs are not able to expand as far as they’re capable, and this reduces the available oxygen within our bodies. When this happens, the oxygen that’s present will be delivered to vital organs first. Only then will the scalp and hair receive the leftovers.
As the amounts of oxygen received by the scalp reduce, the follicle begins to restrict. This can lead to poor hair growth, as well as thinning and loss.
Whether you’re attempting to regrow your hair or style it in such a way as to hide signs of thinning, the products and treatments you’re using may be causing more harm.
Over-the-counter hair products – including shampoos, conditioners, and styling gels – contain various harmful ingredients. These include alcohol and SLS, just to name a few. All of these have been known to cause drying and irritation, and this can further damage the scalp and cause hair loss.
What you put in and on your body can play a major role in hair loss. That’s why the avoidance of knowingly harmful activities – including smoking and drinking – can be a great start to treating thinning/loss.
I mentioned the role that reduction in oxygen can play in hair loss, and this can certainly be caused by smoking. However, other chemicals within cigarettes can also be at fault for your hair issues.
In addition, alcohol can restrict the blood vessels and lead to poor delivery of oxygen and other nutrients to the hair follicles.
The way a hairpiece is placed on the scalp can determine how well it stays in place, and how long it’s worn.
One of the most harmful placement methods, semi-permanent attachment involves the use of an unnatural bonding chemical (such as glue). This method is used for longer-term wear (about 6 weeks), and it can only be professionally placed and removed for best results.
The stylist will use a liquid adhesive to stick the hairpiece directly to the scalp. This cannot be removed except with a special solution.
Aside from the use of chemicals, the adhesive can also cause clogging and stress on the hair follicles. In addition, the adhesive makes it difficult to properly cleanse the scalp.
This can lead to an accumulation of dirt, hair product, pollution, and hair-growth restricting hormones (such as DHT).
Temporary adhesive placement can be performed at home, and it uses double-sided tape to secure the hairpiece to the scalp. Tape is certainly less harmful than glue, but it can still leave behind sticky residue.
The main benefit to temporary adhesive is the ability to detach whenever you wish. You can remove each night, or whenever the hairpiece is not needed. This means you can properly access and cleanse your scalp and natural hair frequently.
The cons of tape adhesive is lack of security. If you perspire heavily or otherwise disturb the attachment, the hairpiece can detach easily.
A popular attachment method for extensions, clip attachments are metal pieces that are clipped to the underside of the hair. Clips tend to be a bit more secure than tape adhesive, but they’re just as easily removed.
This may be one of the “safer” placement methods, as it doesn’t involve any chemicals or residue. Of course, it does have its downsides.
Foremost, stress on the hair strands can lead to excessive shedding. If the clips are placed incorrectly, you may be unknowingly removing hair and permanently damaging the follicle. Even when placed properly, sudden movements can cause pulling on the strands.
A common choice for long wear pieces, a weave-in application involves braiding of the natural hair. The extensions are then weaved into the braids, and they can look as if they’re a natural part of your hair.
The weave-in application method isn’t good or bad; it can go either way, depending how they’re placed.
The good thing about weaves is they can be done without glue or other adhesives. Those that use adhesives are known as bonding weaves, and they should be avoided. If the natural hair is braided too tightly, though, this can cause strain on the follicles and lead to traction alopecia.
The “base” of your hairpiece will spend the most time in contact with your scalp. As such, it’s important to consider the fabric being used.
Offering a natural look, mesh fabrics (such as polyester and nylon) are a good choice for anyone looking for a shorter wear product.
Mesh is a breathable fabric. As such, it’s comfortable to wear.
Unfortunately, mesh is more expensive and less durable than the other commonly used fabric (polymer). You’ll have to replace your mesh hairpieces more frequently.
The most popularly-used fabric, polymers are relatively cheap and easy to attach. This fabric also tends to be more durable than mesh, which means it can be worn during various activities.
The major cons of polymer hairpieces are the discomfort and artificial appearance commonly associated with them. Polymers can be hot and uncomfortable to wear for extended lengths of time. This can cause issues for anyone sensitive to heat.
In addition, the hairline doesn’t lay as well as those made of mesh fabric. A lace hairline can be included, but this costs more.
In addition to the base (commonly either mesh or polymer), the hair material used is also important.
Synthetic hair can be made of various materials (including acrylic and polyester). It’s the easiest “hair” type to care for when it comes to wigs and hairpieces, but also the less versatile.
Synthetic hairpieces use “memory” fibers. This means they easily keep their shape, and don’t require much care. However, they also cannot be styled too much (even heat-resistant synthetic pieces), and they will need to be replaced more often.
These hairpieces are best for individuals who don’t have a lot of time for maintenance. It’s also a good choice for anyone who doesn’t need a long-term solution (such as chemotherapy patients).
The more natural looking hair product, human hair wigs consist of hair harvested from around the globe (though, the more common ones used come from Asia and Africa).
As such, it looks the most true to your natural hair, and it can be styled quite freely.
As you might guess, human hair pieces are more costly than synthetic pieces. However, they do last quite a bit longer, and they can be styled with heat and hair products.
While they do require more maintenance, this is a popular option for those who want a higher-quality, natural looking hairpiece.
Let’s look at a few pros and cons to help you better inform your decision.
Wigs are worn for a variety of reasons; perhaps the most common is cosmetic. For women dealing with hair thinning and loss, this can offer a confidence boost.
Hair loss can be devastating for men and women. However, women tend to associate beauty with their hair more frequently. As such, loss of hair can lead to poor self esteem and low self image.
With natural-looking hairpieces and wigs, women can regain their confidence and feel good as they go about their daily lives.
The use of hairpieces can be damaging from time to time. Though, with the right materials and placement methods, they can also be used to protect the scalp and hair from damage (such as sun rays, pollution, and styling products).
If you’re someone who frequently changes your hairstyle, wigs can offer an alternative to frequent hair dying, styling, and heat treatments.
For women with scalp conditions (such as psoriasis and seborrheic dermatitis), wigs can also prevent exposure to harmful conditions (including excessive cold or heat).
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While past hairpieces may have been a nightmare to care for, the newer pieces and wigs on the market have been created with easy maintenance in mind.
Human hair and synthetic wigs are the most common, and both are quite easy to care for. Both do require washings and general styling (human hair more than synthetic), but this can be done in very little time.
Additionally, the ability to style your own hair means you spend less time (and money) at the salon.
While this isn’t true for every woman who wears hairpieces or wigs, it’s a large enough issue that it must be addressed.
A hairpiece or wig can improve your look, and help you to feel more confident. However, as it’s easier than seeking out (or sticking with) treatment, it’s not uncommon for women to just resign themselves to wigs for the rest of their lives.
While I do believe hairpieces and wigs can be a good temporary solution, they shouldn’t be the only solution.
Unfortunately, the very thing that makes you feel more confident can also cause further damage to your hair and scalp.
Many hair placement methods (especially long-term ones) can cause excessive stress on the hair strands and follicles. This can result in excessive shedding, and perhaps even permanent balding (if allowed to continue).
Ultimately, the decision is yours to make. While not a permanent solution to hair loss, there’s no doubt hairpieces can be a useful tool as you find a treatment method that works for you.
I strongly recommend you seek out treatment methods before hair loss gets to a point where a hairpiece is needed.
However, this isn’t possible for women with advanced hair loss. If you do choose to wear a hairpiece, be sure to follow these guidelines to reduce damage:
As you can see, all of the above recommendations in one way or another are about ensuring your natural hair and scalp are kept safe. This will ensure a more pleasant hairpiece-wearing experience, but also makes it easier to regrow your hair should you go that route.
Whether you’ve chosen to forgo hairpieces altogether or only wear them until successful treatment, here are a few natural treatment methods to get you started.
Stimulation of the scalp is essential for increasing blood flow and improving the quality of hair follicles. It’s one of the most effective things you can do, and it only takes a few minutes per day!
Whether you’re trying to regrow your hair or just keep a healthy mane, a healthy level of blood flow is important. As mentioned above, many activities (such as stress and smoking) can decrease this flow.
With scalp massage and exercise, you can once again improve circulation to the scalp and reap the benefits.
Best of all, these methods can be incorporated into your day without any fuss. You can practice them at home, or on the go!
Using your finger tips, start on the sides of your scalp just above your ears. Move your fingers in a circular motion, applying gentle pressure as you go.
Slowly work your way up to the top of the scalp. Massage for 1-2 minutes, and then slowly move towards the hairline. As you move, continue working your fingers in a circular motion.
Finally, work your way to the back of your scalp.
As you move throughout your scalp, you can vary the levels of pressure you apply. However, be careful to avoid any pulling or straining of the hair strands to avoid further hair loss.
There are three main moves you can perform for five to 10 minutes per day.
In addition, you can gently pinch and squeeze areas of the scalp with pronounced hair loss.
All of these exercises, when performed regularly, can improve blood flow and play a major role in hair regrowth.
If you’d like to take your scalp exercises one step further, microneedling is a circulation-boosting activity you can also practice at home.
Simply put, microneedling involves the use of tiny needles to puncture the scalp. This creates micro “wounds”. As the wounds heal, a three-step process takes place:
As this progresses, the hair follicles are recovered and new hair growth can be seen.
While this may seem too good to be true, various studies on the subject have been completed.
The same healing process takes place whether male or female. As such, your hair follicles will respond similarly and regrowth is possible.
So, how can you get started?
The two most commonly used microneedling tools are the dermaroller and dermastamp. Both contain microneedles, but one is rolled across the scalp (dermaroller) while the other is more accurately placed (dermastamp).
There’s no doubt that the dermaroller can be effective. However, my own experience and research has shown the dermastamp to be even more so.
You can target the areas of hair loss, and prevent unnecessary pulling of already-present hairs.
I believe that manual stimulation of the scalp – including massage, exercises, and microneedling – is the best way to increase blood flow and regrow your hair. Though, this doesn’t mean that other methods are useless.
Topical applications – those applied directly to the scalp – can be a helpful way to treat various forms of hair loss. This is because they can:
Combined, the effects of this method can create a healthier environment for your hair to regrow.
Of course, not all topical applications are created equal. In fact, some of the more popular ones – including minoxidil and finasteride – can cause more harm than good. That’s because they cover up the issue instead of treating it.
Instead, I recommend you use natural topicals to stimulate hair growth and create a healthy scalp. My personal favorite is peppermint oil. Not only does it smell pleasant, but it’s also been proven to be more effective than minoxidil!
Alongside peppermint oil, rosemary oil extract can also be used to ‘block’ DHT and stimulate hair growth. And, just as peppermint oil is more effective than minoxidil, rosemary oil extract can be more effective than finasteride.
Both of the above topicals are essential oils. As such, applying them directly to the scalp can cause minor burns and irritation. To dilute these oils, then, I recommend a carrier oil that’s been shown to reduce calcification on the scalp: magnesium chloride.
By combining these three ingredients, you have a safe and effective alternative to over-the-counter hair treatment methods that you can apply each night.
You can make this on your own at home, or your can check out our own Scalp Elixir that has combined the ingredients for you (with two additions.)
The use of hairpieces and wigs has been present for centuries. Used for many reasons – including cosmetic, religious, and hygienic – there’s no doubt that hairpieces have shaped the way women feel about their hair.
Unfortunately, they can cause issues if worn for long periods of time (or if applied inaccurately). This can mean further hair loss issues for women, and a further dependence on them.
Of course, I personally recommend treating the issue at the source. While it’s best to avoid the use of unnatural materials if possible, I do understand that hairpieces can make the hair regrowth journey much more doable for women.
Do you want to begin hair regrowth today? Take the six-question quiz below!
Is Your Hair Loss Reversible?
Obvious changes in your hairline, such as recession or shedding, can cause worry. However, even natural changes such as cowlicks can leave you wondering whether you’re balding.
In this post, you’ll learn about the cowlick and whether it can be an early sign of balding. I’ll also teach you some of the more common signs of hair loss, as well as some popular hairstyles you can use to cover up your cowlick.
NOTE: If you’re unsure about the cause of your hair loss, take the six-question quiz at the bottom of this post. In addition to the most likely cause, you’ll also learn effective and all-natural methods for regrowth.
A cowlick is a hair growth pattern that results in the trademark swirl appearance. This is commonly seen on the crown, but it can also be found on the back or front (hairline) of the scalp.
The name for cowlick comes from the pattern seen on bovine calves after the mother has licked her young clean.
The hair stands on your scalp will go in one of three directions: forwards, backwards, or sideways. A cowlick occurs when the hair gets “confused” as to which direction it should grow.
There are no boundaries on the scalp which tell hair follicles which way to produce hairs. As such, it’s common for an area or two to have a few confused follicles which result in a cowlicked appearance.
The short answer, no.
Hair follicles develop in utero. They first produce lanugo, which is later replaced by both vellus and terminal hairs. This means the direction of your hairs is in place since before birth, and there’s no way to “fix” this.
Instead, many people with prominent cowlicks will use strategic hairstyles to cover up the swirl.
While a cowlick can give an appearance of balding, there is one way to tell whether it’s a natural anomaly or an early sign of hair loss. In short, the answer is miniaturization.
Hair loss – whether caused by stress, DHT, or illness – can lead to a process known as hair miniaturization. This happens when the hair loss isn’t treated properly, and the follicle begins to lose its integrity.
As hair loss occurs, the hair growth cycle shortens. This results in shorter hairs being produced during anagen phase. Eventually, the hair strands can no longer penetrate the scalp and baldness occurs.
When miniaturization is allowed to continue, the follicle will soon die. Once this occurs, there is no hope of hair regrowth.
So what does this have to do with a cowlick?
As a natural phenomena, a cowlick does not cause follicle miniaturization. Therefore, if no miniaturization is present, then balding is not a current issue.
This doesn’t mean that balding cannot happen in the future. However, the lack of miniaturization indicates that at this time, no recession or hair loss is taking place.
Even though a cowlick isn’t a sign of early hair loss, it’s good to know what to look out for should your luck change. Here’s a brief look at some of the earliest signs.
While you may not notice balding spots in the beginning of hair loss, you’ll likely notice the texture of your hair changing. One change happens as your hair becomes thinner and less voluminous.
Losing 50 – 100 strands of hair per day is normal. It occurs as a result of the hair growth process, as your hair follicles go through telogen phase. However, excessive shedding can quickly become noticeable. It’s most often seen on the pillow upon waking, or in the drain after a shower.
You don’t necessarily need to count your hairs, but it helps to have a general idea of your daily hair loss volume. If you notice an increase in volume lost, it’s time to take measures to fight early loss.
One of the first signs of hair loss that men notice is a receding hairline. This occurs when the hairline begins to form into the stereotypical M-shaped pattern.
This is a common sign as many DHT-sensitive follicles reside in this area of the scalp.
While this can be a symptom of other common issues, such as dandruff and psoriasis, you may experience itching and flakes as a result of DHT sensitivity.
This will most commonly occur in one area of the scalp, and this area may be where you notice thinning/shedding first.
A history of hair loss in your family isn’t a sure sign that you will experience balding at some point in your lifetime. It does, though, mean you’re at an increased risk of Male-Pattern Baldness (MPB).
MPB, the most common cause of hair loss in men, is a condition that has been shown to be hereditary. It can pass from one generation to the next, or it can even skip generations.
If MPB runs in your family, it’s best to take a proactive approach to hair loss treatment. This means that even before you show signs of hair loss, you can practice hair growth techniques (such as scalp massage and exercises) to decrease your odds of thinning and loss.
While a bit of expert styling can cover up even the most noticeable cowlicks, you’ll need to choose a style that works with the location of it. Let’s take a look a popular hairstyles for different cowlick locations.
With such a prominent location, you may be unsure how to expertly cover up the cowlick without making your intentions obvious. One style for doing so is The Textured.
The textured look can be done on either long or short hair, and it can be combined with other styles (such as The Taper). However, the main goal of the style is to draw attention away from the cowlick by adding a messy, textured look.
You can do this by brushing your hair upwards or in the direction of the cowlick.
If you’d like to go for a much shorter look, the buzzcut is a good way to add intentional style while hiding the cowlick.
A buzzcut is a very short haircut, and it’s frequently associated with the military. There are varying levels of length associated with the buzzcut, though all are a variation of short and very close to the scalp. With a buzzcut, the cowlick will become unnoticeable as the hair cannot be ‘swirled’.
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Cowlicks at the crown are sometimes the most noticeable, but they’re also the easiest to hide. For this location, I recommend a longer style. However, if you’re looking for something a bit different than the standard trim, give The Undercut a look.
An undercut is just as it sounds. The hair on bottom is the shortest, and the length on top can be anywhere from medium to long. The long hair on top will weigh down the hair near the cowlick, as well as cover the area.
Also known as the Princeton or Harvard Clip, the Ivy League is a coiffed and professional cut with the possibility of becoming fun and casual.
The standard Ivy League is a tapered look with the hair on top brushed directly upwards or to the side. However, the Ivy League can also be combined with other styles, such as The Textured for a messier look.
Similar to The Taper, a Fade haircut starts longer on top and slowly tapers to a shorter look. Where the two cuts differ is in the technique. The Fade is much more detailed, and it aims to slowly fade your hairline into the skin.
This is why it’s such a great option for cowlicks at the nape of the neck. With The Fade, your cowlick will disappear as it does with a Buzzcut. But, you still have the length on top to style as you see fit.
The majority of people – both men and women – have a cowlick or two. As such, a cowlick isn’t a good indicator of early hair loss. Instead, there are more reliable signs to rely on, such as hairline recession and family history.
Are you still unsure as to whether balding is a problem? Take the one-minute hair loss quiz below! The results will give you a better idea of your hair’s condition, as well as tips you can use to prevent hair loss and regrow your hair.
Is Your Hair Loss Reversible?
In the early stages of hair loss, it can be difficult to determine whether hair loss is even occurring. However, there are a few signs to look for.
One early sign of hair loss is your hair looking thin when wet.
In this post, we’ll discuss why this is and the main causes of hair thinning. We’ll then outline three natural ways you can combat thinning and regrow a healthy, full head of hair.
BONUS: Do you want to learn more about the cause of your hair loss? Take the six-question quiz at the end of the article!
In the earliest stages of hair thinning and loss, the changes can easily go unnoticed. Perhaps you notice a bit of shedding here and there, or a general lackluster look, but your hair overall appears the same.
However, when your hair is wet, you can get a very clear picture of your hair loss situation.
Why is this?
When hair is wet, the strands clump together and the moisture weighs down the hair (making it flatter). Without the usual volume, you can get a good idea of how far your hair loss has really gone.
There are many causes of hair thinning and loss, but the most common is Androgenetic Alopecia (AGA), or Male-Pattern Baldness (MPB).
The actual cause of AGA is strongly indicated as DHT, a natural androgen that’s produced from the interaction between testosterone (a hormone) and 5-alpha-reductase (5AR) (an enzyme).
As DHT connects to the androgen receptors of sensitive hair follicles, a process known as hair miniaturization occurs.
The hair eventually becomes shorter and shorter (as the follicle miniaturizes) until it eventually can no longer make its way through the scalp.
Without treatment, this can lead to permanent baldness.
Other common causes of hair thinning and loss include:
Fortunately, just because you’re prone to hair loss doesn’t mean you have to live with it. In fact, there are plenty of effective and natural ways you can combat it.
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While diet isn’t the be-all-end-all of hair loss treatment, it’s one of the best places to start.
The Standard American Diet (SAD) is full of fatty, acidic foods (such as red meat, dairy, carbonated beverages, and alcohol). When metabolized, they can alter your blood stream’s pH from its usual alkaline to acidic.
Unfortunately, the enzyme believed to be most responsible for hair loss, 5AR, thrives in an acidic environment. This means that 5AR activity increases if you have an acidic blood stream, and this causes an increase in the production of free-flowing DHT.
To combat this, you can consume less acidic foods and increase your intake of alkaline foods. The foods I recommend include:
You can incorporate these into your typical meals, or combine in a morning smoothie.
Microneedling, also known as mesotherapy, is a treatment method that uses tiny needles to stimulate hair growth. This is done through 1) increased blood flow to the scalp; and 2) regeneration of the scalp’s skin cells.
There are two popular microneeding tools used in the treatment of hair loss: the dermaroller, and the dermastamp.
While I’ve previously recommending the dermaroller, current research supports the dermastamp as a superior choice. The dermastamp delivers a more targeted approach to regrowth, and it can also cause less scalp damage.
Without proper blood flow to the scalp, the hair follicles can become “ill” and even die. This is because blood delivers oxygen and vital nutrients, as well as removes CO2 and DHT.
One way to effectively (and easily!) increase blood circulation is scalp massage and exercises.
Both of these can be practiced anywhere, at anytime. They can fit into your schedule, and this makes it possible to perform them each day.
To begin, use your fingertips to massage in gentle circles just above the ears. Slowly work your way to the back of the scalp, then to the top of the scalp, and finally the hairline. You can perform this massage routine for 10 minutes each day for diffuse (all over) hair loss.
In addition, scalp exercises can be done each done in just 5 minutes. There are two basic movements you’ll use:
By alternating between these two exercises, you’ll stretch the scalp skin (especially on the hairline) and improve circulation.
The discovery of hair thinning can be devastating. However, early signs of hair loss (including your hair looking thin when wet) do not mean you’re doomed to be bald.
In fact, there are plenty of natural treatment methods you can try.
Are you ready to learn more about the cause of your hair loss, and the treatment methods I recommend? Take the one-minute quiz below!
Is Your Hair Loss Reversible?
The hair cycle is a three-phase process, one that takes place over a number of years. However, in this article I’m going to look more closely at the second phase, catagen.
First, I’ll outline the entire hair cycle, from anagen to catagen to telogen. This will provide you with the necessary background information. Then, I’ll discuss catagen hair loss (How common is it? What does it mean? Why does it happen?).
Are you struggling with hair loss? Take the free, one-minute quiz at the end of the article to gain a better understanding of the cause of your hair loss and what you can do to combat it.
In mammals, the process of hair growth is not something that takes place all at once. Instead, it happens over a longer period of time (a few years, at most) and takes place in three different stages.
This is the stage of the hair growth cycle that’s most commonly referred to when people speak of the growth process. Actually, this is the only phase where active growth takes place.
Anagen phase growth begins when a telogen phase hair strand is pushed from the hair follicle and completely detaches. There is now room for new hair to grow, so in comes the anagen phase hair strand.
However, before that hair strand takes root, there are a few steps that must occur first.
This stage of growth can last anywhere from two to six years.
Once the period of active growth has ceased, the transitional phase between anagen (active growth) and telogen (rest) takes place. This is known as catagen phase, and it can last from a few days to a few weeks.
The exact mechanism through which anagen phase ceases is unknown. However, it’s known that this signal alerts the hair bulb to detach from the blood supply (courtesy of the dermal papilla) and move upwards from the base.
Interestingly, the hair follicle shrinks in order to more easily push the shaft from the scalp. This results in the bulb becoming club-shaped, and this is known in the hair loss community as club hair.
At this point, the hair strand is held in place by the follicle. However, normal activity can easily dislodge the strand naturally.
The last stage of the hair cycle, the telogen phase of “growth” finishes up what catagen phase began. This is known as keratinization, and it’s the process in which hair changes from “terminal” to “club”.
The beginning of anagen phase and the ending of telogen phase tend to coincide, and for good reason. As the hair follicle widens during anagen phase to enable new hair to grow, this also allows the keratinized hair strand to fully shed.
In fact, shedding during telogen phase is so common that each person loses about 100 telogen phase hairs per day.
How can you tell it’s a telogen hair? Look at the strand.
It’s at this point in the hair cycle that the bulb and the hair shaft have fully fused. As such, if there’s a white bulb at the very bottom, this is a telogen phase hair.
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For many, the difference between the catagen and telogen phases of hair growth seem miniscule. However, there’s quite a bit that takes place between these two stages.
The main difference is that the process of keratinization begins in catagen phase but is complete in telogen phase. Once the hair has fully keratinized and become a club hair, catagen phase is complete and telogen has begun.
There are two main categories of hair growth disorders. Those that occur during anagen phase, and those that occur during telogen phase. But, can hair loss take place during catagen?
The answer, of course, is yes.
Hair loss can take place at any time during the hair cycle. And, while there are no particular hair loss conditions associated with catagen phase, you can still experience some catagen hair loss.
In the majority of cases, this is nothing to be worried about.
As catagen phase hairs are only loosely held by the hair follicle, it’s not uncommon for them to come out. So, when should you worry?
There are a few signs of early balding, including:
Unlike anagen phase and telogen phase, catagen phase doesn’t have any particular hair loss conditions associated with. So, what’s the link between catagen phase and hair loss?
Hair loss can have a number of causes. However, the majority of individuals with hair loss suffer from a condition called Androgenetic Alopecia (AGA).
This is more commonly referred to as male-pattern baldness (or female-pattern baldness), and it affects over 80 million men and women in the United States alone.
While the exact mechanisms behind AGA aren’t known, it is known that DHT is a major trigger. This is a hormone – one that occurs naturally in both men and women – that is created through the interaction between testosterone and 5-alpha-reductase (an enzyme).
Unfortunately, some people are sensitive to this hormone, and this triggers irritation, hair miniaturization, and (eventually) baldness.
When miniaturization occurs, the hair follicle begins to spend less and less time in anagen phase. Instead, it transitions to catagen phase too quickly, and then enters telogen phase as a result.
In this way, catagen doesn’t play a direct role in hair loss, but it is part of the overall process.
Hair loss can happen at any stage in the hair cycle, though the two stages where hair loss is most likely to occur is catagen (the transitional phase) and telogen (the resting phase).
This is because the hair is less firmly held in place by the follicle, and instead the hair is beginning to keratinize.
Fortunately, you can protect your hair from loss and excessive shedding using a variety of natural treatment methods, including oils and extracts, massage, and microneedling. All of these methods combined can provide you with excellent results.
Are you not sure whether you’re suffering from excessive hair loss, or if the hair fall you’re experiencing is just a natural part of the hair cycle? Take the quiz below to find out!
Is Your Hair Loss Reversible?
Eclipta Alba has been used for centuries in the treatment of many minor ailments and disorders. However, more current research has also backed its use as a hair growth promoter.
In this post, I’ll introduce you to E. Alba. This includes its components and mechanisms. In addition, I’ll show you three ways to easily incorporate this herb into your hair care routine.
BONUS: At the end of the article is a hair loss quiz. The results will tell you more about your hair loss and whether it’s reversible, as well as offer tips for getting started on your hair growth journey.
Eclipta Alba, also known as Bhringaraj and False Daisy, is an ayurvedic herb found in India, China, Thailand, and Brazil.
The herb has been used for thousands of years as part of many cultural medicinal practices (including Ayurveda, Unani, and Siddha).
In India alone, E. Alba is used for gastrointestinal disorders, respiratory tract disorders, hair loss, liver disorders, and more.
Why is this herb so popular? Take a look at the herb’s constituents:
Including alkaloids, flavonoids, sterols, and phenolic acids, this herb has much to offer in health and nutritional support.
I’ve mentioned above that E. Alba has been used traditionally to treat hair loss. Let’s take a closer look at how the herb is effective in treating hair loss.
It was once believed that hair follicles – the structure which hair grows from – were unable to regenerate. However, decades of research have proved this theory otherwise.
Essentially, hair follicle neogenesis is the regeneration of previously ‘lost’ or dead hair follicles. Neogenesis can happen as a result of micro-injury (such as through microneedling) or through the use of a growth-maintaining culture.
Another way to regenerate hair follicles is through the use of natural supplements, including E. Alba.
When applied to the scalp, E. Alba can stimulate hair follicles. This was seen in a research study on nude mice (which we’ll get into below).
Within the hair follicle, three main phases of hair growth occur. They are:
Through this process (which typically takes a number of years to complete), the hair buds from the follicle, grows, and then sheds. Unfortunately, this shedding can sometimes take place prematurely, and this is known as telogen effluvium.
Telogen effluvium can occur as a result of stress, illness, or injury. It can also happen as a result of hair follicle miniaturization, wherein the follicles are too small to properly grow the hair strand.
According to a 2014 study performed by Begum et al., E. Alba and similar medicinal herbs can actually promote the transition from telogen phase to anagen. This is clearly seen when E. Alba treated mice are compared to the control group and the minoxidil-treated mice.
In fact, E. Alba promoted hair growth even better than minoxidil!
And, as mentioned above, this process also involved the generation of new hair follicles in the nude mice.
If you have Male-Pattern Baldness (MPB), you may already know the cause of your hair loss is DHT. However, it’s a bit more complicated than that.
DHT is a hormone that’s naturally produced when testosterone (the male sex hormone) and 5-alpha-reductase (5AR) (an enzyme), interact. This is a normal (and, actually, necessary) process within the body.
Unfortunately, those with MPB have hair follicles (typically on the hairline and crown) that are sensitive to DHT. This sensitivity leads to inflammation and, eventually hair miniaturization. As a result, hair loss occurs (and it can become permanent if not treated).
The blocking of DHT within the body can lead to some unpleasant side effects (including sexual dysfunction). So, instead, we can counteract the ill effects that DHT has on the follicles.
One way to do so is by treating the inflammation. This can prevent hair miniaturization from taking place, which will ensure the hair follicles stay healthy.
In 2005, researchers in India tested the anti-inflammatory properties of E. Alba against Indomethacin, a commonly used NSAID, in rat models. Inflammation was first induced through both histamine and seratonin (acute), as well as cotton pellets (chronic).
The rats, which were split into five groups of six, where then treated with different solutions. These included control (no solution), 50, 100, or 200 Mg/kg of E. Alba extract, or Indomethacin (10 mg/Kg).
In the treatment of acute inflammation, these were the results:
While not exactly as effective as Indomethacin (61.30%), the 200 mg/kg dose of E. Alba was highly effective (55.85%) in inhibiting inflammation. Similar results were seen in the treatment of chronic inflammation:
In this case, the 200 mg/kg actually was more effective (55.23%) at treating inflammation than Indomethacin (53.48%).
While not a common problem for those with MPB, bacterial and fungal infections can be another cause of hair loss altogether. This means their prompt treatment is crucial to protecting your locks.
Of course, for many infections, antibiotics are prescribed. However, frequent use of them can lead to its own set of issues (including antibiotic resistance and digestive upset). Instead, when possible, I recommend you take a more natural approach.
An effective one, as proven by a 2011 study on the topic, is E. Alba. In particular, it was most effective against the strains Klebsiella pneumonia, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Candida albicans.
The use of natural supplements – while better for your overall health – can sometimes come with side effects. These may be minor (rash at site of application) or more serious (hives, shortness of breath, etc.). If you experience a severe reaction, stop use immediately and seek medical help.
Prior to supplementation, you should speak with your physician to learn of any possible drug interactions or restrictions.
If nursing or pregnant, consult with your obstetrician prior to use.
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E. Alba is most commonly sold under the name Bhringraj. You can purchase capsules and tablets, and even the plant’s leaves online and at many health food stores.
For better deals and a larger variety, I also recommend you check out any health food stores or asian markets in your area.
Fortunately for you, E. Alba is really easy to incorporate into your regular routine. Let’s take a look at just three ways you can begin using it today.
For centuries, Ayurvedic herbs such as E. Alba have been added as a supplement to the diet. Typically, this was done by incorporating the herbs into meals and teas, but you can now do so with capsules and tablets.
As shown above, these supplements can easily be purchased online.
You can take in the morning with breakfast (this helps it to absorb more fully). Or, you can break the capsule and add it to a cup of water.
Perhaps the easiest way to add an herb to your regular hair care routine is by adding it into your homemade shampoo.
Here’s a simple recipe I recommend to get you started:
Combine the ingredients in the container of your choice, and mix well before use. Pour onto wet hair, and massage for 2-3 minutes. Leave in for an additional 2-3 minutes, and then rinse thoroughly with lukewarm water.
Of course, you can add E. Alba to just about any homemade shampoo recipe you create. Get creative!
If you’ve already got your shampoo routine down pat, or you’d just like to experience more direct results, I recommend applying the herb directly.
This can be done in a few ways.
Second, you can get your E. Alba leaves fresh. This will be difficult if you aren’t in a country where they grow. However, once obtained, you can then crush the leaves yourself (with a mortar and pestle) and apply as a paste.
Third, you can purchase E. Alba supplement capsules. You can then break open the capsules, and add them to oils or homemade scalp treatments.
E. Alba isn’t a magical cure for hair loss. However, it is an all-natural treatment method with a number of research-backed benefits.
Even if you determine E. Alba isn’t right for you, there are many more herbs and oils to supplement with. To begin, I first recommend you take the hair loss quiz below. The results (which appear on a new page) will give you a better understanding of why your hair loss occurs, as well as how to combat it.
Feature image: Copyright © 2008 J.M. Garg.
Is Your Hair Loss Reversible?