Thinning hair is a sad reality for many people—especially women. Although hair thinning occurs gradually over time and usually doesn’t cause baldness, it can be quite noticeable. When hair begins to thin, it can be distressing and can alter how you see yourself or hamper your self-esteem.
Fortunately, while there is no tried-and-true “cure” for thinning hair, there are some things you can try to slow it down and make your hair look thicker, fuller and healthier for longer. Check out some of these home remedies for thinning hair.
Why does hair start to thin?
Hair thinning is not the same as hair loss, but it can have some of the same causes.
Lifestyle habits can cause thinning, including using damaging or drying hair products, pulling hair tight into ponytails or buns and neglecting to fuel hair growth with the proper nutrients. Typically, hair thinning caused by these problems can be reversed when the poor lifestyle habits are changed.
Chronic stress can also cause hair thinning. Experiencing periods of high stress can alter your hormone levels and even “shock” your hair into its final phase, causing it to fall out sooner than it normally would. This results in thinner patches of hair until the hair grows back out.
Both bad lifestyle habits and chronic stress can cause the appearance of thinning hair, either by reducing the number of strands on your head at a given time or by making the strands look and feel thin, lifeless and brittle. However, it’s also possible for your strands to literally become thinner because the follicles themselves shrink.
Changes in hormone levels over time can cause hair follicles to shrink and hair to look and feel thinner, both on an individual strand level and all over your scalp. This can happen during and after pregnancy, during menopause or during other periods of hormonal change. As you age, some follicles might stop producing hair entirely, adding to the appearance of thinner hair.
Natural ways to fight thinning hair
Restoring hair to its former thickness may not always be possible. However, there are some popular home remedies that may help slow or mask the appearance of thinning hair, improve hair texture and bolster scalp health.
- Healthy lifestyle: Poor diet, nutritional deficiencies and stress can all lead to hair loss or hair thinning problems. Start at the source and ensure you’re getting all the necessary vitamins and minerals you need to stay healthy both inside and out. Adding a “beauty supplement” to your daily routine may also help ensure you’re getting all the nutrients your hair follicles and strands need to stay healthy.
- Proper hair care: Of course, taking care of your hair itself will also ensure that your stands are not breaking off or falling out prematurely. Avoid applying harsh chemicals or products, over-washing your hair, using hot tools or pulling on hair too much when styling.
- Scalp massage: Massaging the scalp daily may promote blood flow to the hair follicles, stimulating new hair growth. Lightly massage your scalp during a shower, before bed or whenever you desire—plus, it feels great!
- Increased protein: Protein is one of the major components of healthy hair, and you need a consistent dose of protein each day to maintain overall health and wellness. If your protein consumption is lacking, your follicles may be suffering. Add more meat, fish, eggs or nuts to your diet.
- Coconut oil: Applying coconut oil masks to your hair once a week may help improve strand thickness by reducing protein loss within the hair shaft. Coconut oil has a unique ability to penetrate deep in the strand and leave your hair stronger and more hydrated.
- Omega-3 fatty acids: Supplementing with omega-3 fatty acids may help improve hair density and strand size, as well as prevent hair loss. Additionally, omega-3s are great for reducing inflammation, which is known to contribute to hair thinning and loss.
- Essential oils: Some essential oils may help stimulate new hair growth and promote a healthy scalp when they are applied as a mask or in shampoo. Rosemary oil and peppermint oil are popular because they are believed to increase blood flow to the scalp and stimulate new hair growth. Geranium oil is also believed to help stimulate hair growth and strengthen strands. When using essential oils, always dilute them in a carrier oil before applying or mix them into shampoo, then rinse them out.
- Aloe vera: The gel from the aloe vera plant contains proteolytic enzymes that stimulate hair growth from dormant hair follicles and repair damaged cells. Applying it to your scalp may help combat hair thinning. It is also known to soothe itchy or inflamed skin, which could pose problems for hair follicles, as well.
If you’re experiencing hair thinning, try incorporating one or a few of these home remedies into your routine. They may not improve hair thickness immediately, but they may help improve it enough over time to help you feel good about your hair.