I wrote this ‘ultimate guide’ with one thing in mind…
To show you how to cure your hair loss forever.Below this you’ll see the sections for 15 different methods, broken up into 3 different parts:-
The conventional methods
The breakthrough methods
The proven natural methods
But Firstly, Is There Really A Cure?
People have been claiming a ‘cure for hair loss’ will be available in ‘5 year’s time’ for as long as anyone can remember.
So the question is: “Does a cure really exist?”
In this in-depth article I’m going to show you every single treatment that is even worth considering as a cure and I’m going to rank them in order of how highly I rank them.
I’ve been researching and writing about hair loss for more than 5 years now and I’ve seen treatments come and go, but these are the ones that have stuck around.
It’s important to note that using the word ‘cure’ is not really an accurate description of how hair loss works.
Male and female pattern baldness (also known in scientific jargon as androgenetic alopecia) is not a disease, and therefore asking for a ‘cure’ is not really the best way to think about it.
But I understand what you’re looking for.
You’re worried about losing your hair, and you want a simple and straightforward way to stop, or even reverse your hair loss with 100% certainty and success rate.
That’s exactly what I wanted, and towards the end of this article I’ll explain a little more about the closest thing that I’ve found to that.
(Although I still definitely wouldn’t call it a ‘cure’ it’s about as close as you can get!)
Before we dive into some of the specific treatments I first want to explain a little more about hair loss (pattern baldness) what it is, and why it takes place.
I’ll also reveal why it’s becoming more common, and starting at a younger and younger age for many people.
The Truth About Pattern Hair Loss
Hair loss is becoming more common and is occurring for many men at a younger age.
It’s also clear that male pattern baldness is a lot more common in Western countries such as the US, UK, Europe, Canada and Australia. It is less common (though rising) in Asia, Africa and Central and South America.
What is also interesting is that pattern baldness is practically non-existent in stable indigenous populations.
Even more interesting is, when people from these areas move to countries like the US their likelihood of going bald also increases up to the national average.
This would suggest that, far from being entirely determined by your genes, your environment plays a crucial role in whether lose your hair.
Yes, genes are involved. (You’re more likely to go bald if you father and your mother’s father etc. are also bald.) But what is important here is that it is a ‘genetic predisposition.’
This mean that you have genes that under a certain environment are more susceptible to hair loss.
And that is GREAT NEWS…
Because it means that your environment (diet, lifestyle etc) triggers baldness, and as humans we have a unique advantage in that we can always change our environment.
In fact, even small (but very specific) changes to your diet and lifestyle can have a BIG effect on whether or not you continue to lose hair.
This is about as close as you can get to a real ‘cure’.
However there are some ‘unnatural’ ways you can deal with baldness. Maybe you already know about them (Propecia and Rogaine) and I’m going to discuss them too in this article.
What Really Causes Hair Loss
To understand how to ‘cure hair loss’, we first need to understand what is the real cause of it in the first place.
The conventional dogma is that a hormone called DHT attacks the hair follicles, slowly causing them to wither and die, through a process known as hair follicle miniaturization.
When the follicle gets too small it eventually falls out and doesn’t grow back.
The idea that DHT causes hair loss is simple at first glance.
Men born with low levels of DHT never go bald.
The problem is, DHT is a natural, normal and healthy hormone that we all need and is actually created from testosterone via an enzyme called 5-alpha-reductase.
As you’ll find out later, there are ways to block DHT, by essentially stopping the enzyme 5-alpha-reductase.
And this can and does have a proven effect on the hair, but it’s actually not the best answer.
Whether you block DHT using a powerful pharmaceutical (finasteride) or with a natural plant-base blocker like pumpkin seed oil and ecklonia cava you are still not fixing (curing) the root problem.
Anyway, blocking DHT with either pharmaceuticals or neutraceuticals will have side-effects.
However, I have listed some of the most effective natural blockers towards the end of this guide if you decide to go down that route.
Firstly, let’s take a look at some of the ‘unnatural’ cures.
These definitely aren’t what I recommend and should be considered ‘the lazy option.’
Put it this way: hair loss is an unnatural phenomenon. In stable, well nourished indigenous populations pattern baldness basically doesn’t occur.
So trying to fix the problem with drugs is just like trying to mask the symptoms, and your body will pay the price for it later.
After the ‘unnatural’ section I’m going to show you the most effective way to regrow hair, completely naturally by healing your body and optimising your diet, lifestyle and environment for healthy hair growth.
Conventional Hair Loss Cures
Below are 3 conventional methods.It’s strange to think that Rogaine and Propecia are two of the most popular hair loss treatments in the world, yet there are even better natural alternatives that don’t come with the side effects.
This is the result of multi-million dollar marketing campaigns which persuade people to use treatments which are not in their best long-term interests.Later on in this article I’ll show you the more effective and completely natural alternatives.
Remember, hair loss is a symptom of a bigger health problem. Covering up the symptom does not fix the real problem.It’s much more effective to fix the real problem behind hair loss (the root cause) instead of just masking the symptoms.Anyway, let’s have a look at these 3.
Minoxidil (aka Rogaine)
Minoxidil is a popular over-the-counter hair loss treatment that takes around 4-6 months to start seeing results.However, one thing to keep in mind is that once the treatment has ceased, so too do the results.No one is entirely sure of the exact mechanism through mix minoxidil helps hair to grow. But we do know that it reverses the process of hair follicle miniaturization.
As such a popular treatment method, numerous studies have been conducted over the years. A recent study, published in 2014 by Aldhalimi et. al., studied the effects of Minoxidil on mice. The mice (of which there were 20 in total) were shaved and their dorsal skin dyed to better examine hair growth.
Then, the mice were split into four groups: Group I was the control group, and received only a vehicle solution (95%) of ethanol alcohol, 0.1 mL.
Group II received an application of Ketoconazole solution 2%, once daily for three weeks.
Group III received Minoxidil solution 5%, once daily for three weeks.
Group IV received equal amounts of Minoxidil solution 5% + Tretinoin 0.1%, once daily for three weeks.
At the end of the three-week study, the four methods of treatment were compared.
The results compared include number of hair follicles and mean diameter of hair follicles.I wrote about 5% minoxidil vs. 10% and which one is better here.
As shown below, the Minoxidil-treated group had a higher number of hair follicles than the other three treatment methods.
Of course, visual results could also be seen quite clearly. Let’s take a look.
On the left, we see the control group after 3 weeks of non-treated hair growth. On the right, we see the Minoxidil group after 3 weeks of treatment.
Of course, studies have also been performed in human patients.
One particular study, performed by researchers from Duke University, followed 31 men with diagnosed AGA. These men underwent Minoxidil treatment (at 2% or 3%) for 4.5 to 5 years. While regrowth seemed to peak by year one, and slowly declined ever year afterward, according to study findings, “maintenance of nonvellus hairs beyond that seen at baseline was still evident”.
Before utilizing Minoxidil, though, consider that positive results will cease shortly after use ends. This is because Minoxidil works to only treat the symptoms; it doesn’t treat the actual cause. In addition, you may experience a number of side effects, including:
- Change in hair colour
- Edema (due to increased water & salt retention)
- Bullet Point 2
- Heart rhythm changes
- Increased skin ageing
- Dark circles/ bags under eyes
While the majority of the above changes aren’t life threatening (except heart rhythm changes, which can go unnoticed), they can be bothersome and may lead you to feel the side effects aren’t worth the results.
Finasteride (aka Propecia)
Similar to Minoxidil, Finasteride works to improve hair growth. However, Finasteride works by inhibiting 5-alpha-reductase (and DHT as a result) and, just like with Minoxdil, results cease as soon as treatment does.
But, what are these results I speak of?
In 2005, Prasad et. al. studied the effects of Finasteride in an 80-man randomized study. The men were treated over a period of one year and were split into two groups:
Group 1: Received 1mg, finasteride, orally for a period of 1 year;
Group 2: Received a placebo for 1 year.
According to the study, there were four methods used to determine treatment results. They are:
- Scalp hair count in a 2cm diameter
- Comparing pre-treatment & post treatment photographs
- The patients self-assessment by means of a questionnaire
- Clinical assessment by assessing changes in the scalp and hair
As the study’s results show, an increase in hair counts was seen at 3, 6, 9, and 12 months in the group that received finasteride treatment. Progressive hair loss was seen in the placebo group, however, over that same time period.
At month 12, 87.5% of placebo patients has decreased hair counts; in comparison, only 21.74% of the finasteride-treated patients had decreased hair counts.
Further studies have shown that, while positive results are seen in dosages as little as 0.2 mg/day, the most effective dosage is 1mg/day.
While results are certainly positive, there are a few reasons that I recommend against the use of Finasteride. For example:
- Hair growth only remains for as long as treatment continues. Once treatment has ceased, not only does hair growth stop, but you’re also likely to lose the hair grown during the treatment period.
- The treatment has a number of unpleasant (and, sometimes, irreversible) side effects. These include sexual dysfunction (loss of libido, inability to obtain/maintain an erection), anxiety and depression, and fatigue.
- The drug can cause birth defects in developing fetuses. While use is not recommended in women who are pregnant (or hoping to become pregnant), there is still much that’s not known about its ability to pass through semen.
- Synthetic chemicals speed up the process of aging. This may mean an increase in hair loss once treatment has ended, as well as older looking and less elastic skin.
The number one reason I recommend against Finasteride’s use, however, is that there are non-chemical options that are just as (sometimes even more) effective at stopping hair loss and inducing hair growth. Even further, many of these methods can be used indefinitely, and some may even cure the cause of your hair loss (as opposed to only treating the symptoms).
A surgical method of hair loss treatment, hair transplants are a popular option for a number of individuals suffering from AGA or other hair loss types. Whether this treatment is right for you will depend on a number of factors.
Before we get into that, however, let’s get a better understanding of the procedure.
The transplant process can be broken into two steps. First, hair-bearing skin is removed from an area of the scalp known as the ‘donor site’. Second, the donor skin and hair is then grafted onto the ‘recipient site’.
The main thing to point out about this treatment method is that it’s not a cure for hair loss. While the procedure can cover areas of the scalp that have been effected by hair loss, they can not stop the reason for said hair loss.
Does this mean that a hair loss transplant isn’t worth it?
Not necessarily. While I urge you to consider natural methods first, a hair transplant can be combined with non-chemical methods to boost results.
Prior to undergoing a hair transplant, you’ll need to ask yourself a few questions. These include:
- Am I expecting this surgery to cure my hair loss?
- Do I expect to have a full head of hair following the transplant?
- Do I expect instant results
- Am I expecting this to be an easy procedure?
If you’ve answered any of the above questions with a yes, then I strongly urge you to perform further research. While hair transplantion can provide an aesthetic boost, it’s not the answer to your hair loss woes. You’ll still need to work to treat the root cause (such as DHT sensitivity, in the case of AGA).
Even further, consider that any surgical produces comes with risk and potential side effects. In cases of hair transplant, you may experience:
- Post surgical swelling
- Sterile folliculitis
- Hair thinning
While I list out this information for your benefit, none of this is meant to scare you. Instead, it’s meant to urge you to consider alternative (i.e. natural) treatment options, and perform further research before moving forward.
Breakthrough Hair Loss Cures
RU58841 is a non-steroid, synthesized compound with anti-androgen properties. While not available on the market, researchers have been studying this experimental compound in the treatment of AGA for years.
One of the original studies looked at the impact of RU58841 on follicular regrowth in macaques (monkeys).
Of the 20 monkeys studies, 10 received a combination of finasteride and placebo, while the other 10 received a topical application of RU58841.
Skin biopsies were taken at 0 months and 6 months for the finasteride group, while biopsies were taken at 0 months and 4 months for the RU group. The biopsies were examined for population of anagen follicles. The finasteride group saw an 88% increase in size; the RU58841 group, however, showed an 103% increase!
According to researchers, “RU (5%) induced the most growth after only 2 months of treatment”. This is believed to be related to its anti-androgen properties which inhibits the androgen receptors at the hair follicles. Since DHT is not directly inhibited, this means that testosterone and DHT levels in the body are left unaffected.
Now, further than just testing the effectiveness of RU on hair growth, researchers were also interested in understanding the best dosage, both in terms of results and safety.
To do so, they split the macaques into five groups. They consisted of 1) control2) 5% RU3) 3% RU 4) 1% RU5) 0.5% RUThe first part of the study took place for 6 months, where a topical application was performed once per day.
The second part of the study looked at long-term effects. Three macaques were chosen from each of the 5%, 0.5% and placebo groups, and the treatment continued for 12 to 24 months.
Looking at density, thickness, and length of hair, the 5% RU solution proved to be the most effective; in fact, full results were seen in as little as 3 months!
After five months, even an increase of follicles in anagen phase was present.
Unfortunately, it appears that RU58841 experimentation has ceased for the foreseeable future due to property rights transfer. It remains to be seen whether further studies (especially in humans) will be performed.
Platelet Rich Plasma
Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) is an experimental method that’s currently being tested for use in the treatment of AGA.
PRP is a concentrate of platelet-rich plasma protein; in current research, PRP has been shown to induce the growth of hair in individuals with AGA when injected into the affected area of the scalp. Let’s take a closer look at the results.
An Indian study performed in 2015 tested the method on 10 patients (8 male and 2 female) with AGA. The patients were injected with PRP every 2-3 weeks for a duration of 3 months. There was a control group of 10 individuals, as well.
According to the study, “hair growth was seen in six patients after 7 days and in four patients after 15 days. By the end of 3 months, all ten patients had good hair growth”.
Aside from visual results, however, researchers also utilized a “hair pull” test. The amount of hair “pulled” from the scalp when gently disturbed was compared from the beginning of the study to the end. In the treatment group, these were the results:
Aside from one individual (who saw a 60% reduction in hair pulled from the beginning of the study to the end), all subjects saw at least a 70% reduction in hair pulled. In fact, six out of 10 patients saw a 100% reduction!
What does this mean for the future of platelet-rich plasma treatment in the fight against hair loss?
While there’s certainly no doubt that the results are promising, the use of PRP for AGA is still in its earliest stages. However, as an option with minimal side effects, it’s safe to say that studies will continue to be performed to further test this method.
As a hair loss treatment method that seems straight out of science fiction, laser therapy also known as Low-Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) is still in its earliest stages of study and use.
In 2007, the first laser treatment for hair loss was approved by the FDA. One particular product is The Hairmax Lasercomb, and it utilizes low-level light to:
- Stimulate anagen re-entry in telogen hair follicles
- Prolong duration of anagen phase
- Increase rates of proliferation in active anagen hair follicles
- To prevent premature catagen development
The mechanism by which lasers work – while described in detail above – be can more easily explained. LASER is actually an acronym that means light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation. Through the use of concentrated light beam, lasers can penetrate the hair follicles.
They do this by targeting specific cells present within the follicles, known as chromophores. These are color-loving cells and, as such, absorb colored light. When the laser hits these cells, the cells are then able to turn it into energy.
With this energy, the cells can then activate and perform a number of hair growth processes.
Amazingly, lasers can also target vellus hairs. This means that it’s possible to stop hair follicles that are in the midst of miniaturization, and reverse the effects. In the end, this means that vellus hairs are transformed into terminal hairs, and further hair growth is seen.
While a few studies have been performed previously – including two in vitro, seven animal, and 12 clinical – there is still much to be done to further the use of LLLT as an effective hair loss treatment method.
In simplest terms, hair cloning involves the extraction of a healthy hair follicle from a patient’s scalp. The follicle is then isolated and cultivated, and the newly-multiplied number of follicles are then injected back into the patient’s scalp.
Trials are still underway – and they likely will be for quite some time before hair cloning becomes a viable hair loss treatment. This is due to the advanced nature of the science behind hair cloning, and there are still a variety of bumps that need to be worked out along the way.
A few developments surrounding hair cloning include:
- A clinical trial that will study a particular hair cloning treatment method, known as RCH-01.
- A clinical trial, to be performed in Mexico, that will study the HSC treatment method which is a proposed method that utilize stem cells and their injection in the affected areas.
- Further development of a transplant/cloning crossover that aims to transplant stem cells from donor hair to the transplant patient in order to naturally grow hair follicles.
- Further studies of the HASCI method that involves extraction of part of the hair follicles and stem cells in order to cultivate and transplant into an area of the scalp affected by hair loss.
While this experimental treatment method is not yet widely available, it is possible to undergo in London, Cannes, Maastricht, and Jakarta. As further study continues, and as more researchers get involved in this astonishing new treatment, availability is expected to increase.
And, with costs comparable to those of a hair transplant, hair cloning may become a top option for those individuals who are looking for a procedural treatment option.
SM04554 is an experimental drug that’s currently being tested by researchers as a hair loss treatment. The researchers claim that this “miracle cure” works by regulating the Wnt pathway, which is a protein pathway believed to have certain effects on hair growth.
Researchers have made two specific claims about SM04554’s effect on the Wnt pathway, and they are:
- SM04554 stimulates hair follicle regeneration by upregulating the activity of the progenitor cells.
- SM04554 inhibits the DKK-1 protein, a protein that regulates cell overproduction in the Wnt pathway.
The scientists behind this testing are currently pushing for phase three studies on the drug, though results from phase two were certainly promising.
The first part of phase two involved 49 subjects who ranged from a 4 to a 6 on the Norwood hair loss scale. These subjects were split into three groups: Group 1 received 0.15% SM04554; Group 2 received 0.25% SM04554; and Group 3 received vehicle (control).
Throughout the study, results such as hair follicle count and anagen follicle count were collected:
As shown above, both SM04554 performed significantly better than the vehicle. In fact, the positive results even continued past the duration of the 90-day study.
The second part of phase two testing involved 300 men total, all with a score of 4 to 6 on the Norwood hair loss scale.
At this point in the study, researchers were more interested in learning which of the doses (0.15% or 0.25%) were more effective at treating hair loss.
The study tracked results such as hair count and hair density, and here they are:
As shown above, the results above show an improvement in both hair count and hair density in both the 0.15% and 0.25% SM04554 solutions. And, similar to the study above, these results continued even after application of the solutions had ceased.
Surprisingly, the 0.15% solution of SM04554 had better results than the 0.25% solution. This is known as the “goldilocks effect”, and it simply means that SM04554 has a specific threshold in which is works more effectively.
While there is still much research to be done, what do these results tell us?
While it may not block DHT (at least, this has yet to be studied), the role it plays in the regulation of the Wnt pathway is not one to be downplayed. This means that SM04554 may be a possible treatment in the future.
Of course, further research is necessary. Such questions, including how long results last after treatment, are still unanswered and would be helpful in determining how good of a treatment this drug is.
Interestingly, this same pathway also plays a role in hair loss.
The Wnt signaling pathway is responsible for cell differentiation. In other words, it helps to distinguish cells from one another so they can function properly.
Cell differentiation occurs during the hair growth process at the base of the hair follicle (within the Dermal Papilla (DP)).
During this process, various proteins are produced (which play a critical role in the hair growth cycle). However, the overexpression of certain proteins – including SFRP1 – can cause the cycle to occur too quickly. This leads to structural damage of the hair strand, and eventual shortening.
If this continues uninterrupted, this can lead to miniaturization of the hair follicle.
This occurs as part of the Wnt signaling pathway and, in individuals with hair loss disorders, it can lead to balding.
Since WAY regulates this pathway, it’s believed that it can slow down the protein over-expression and lead to regular hair growth and development.
But how did researchers discover this link between the Wnt signaling pathway and hair loss?
Through the testing of another drug, Cyclosporine A (CsA).
CsA is a heavy-duty immunosuppressant, and it’s commonly used to prevent rejection in transplant patients. One of its side effects is hair growth, but its other side effects (including nausea, vomiting, and seizures) means it’s not the ideal drug for AGA treatment.
However, by studying CsA and discovering its interaction with the Wnt signaling pathway, researchers were able to determine why it induces hair growth.
Hair follicles were treated with CsA for six hours, and a microarray analysis was taken. These were the results:
The Wnt inhibitor, SFRP1, was seen to have the largest decrease following treatment with CsA.
Next, researchers wanted to confirm their findings. They again treated hair follicles with either control or CsA, and compared their hair growth cycles.
It was shown that those treated with CsA were in anagen phase at a higher rate, both at 4 days and 6 days.
As SFRP1 induces catagen phase much sooner than normal, this shows that CsA is an effective inhibitor of the protein.
Finally, researchers wanted to know whether stimulating the Wnt signaling pathway prematurely would stimulate hair growth. And the answer?
When hair follicles were treated with WAY-316606 over six days, hair shaft production was shown to increase significantly:
And what’s more? It did it more effectively than CsA!
So, what does this mean for hair loss sufferers?
While further research is necessary, it seems WAY-316606 may be a promising alternative to minoxidil and finasteride.
(You can learn more about WAY, and its implications for hair loss sufferers, here.)
Proven Natural Hair Loss Cures
As much as possible I’ve tried to make the following sections about natural options and methods based on clinical studies.
However, in some cases there aren’t case studies to back up the treatments, but in these cases this is something we have tried, tested and approved for use ourselves.In general, I recommend the following natural methods more than the conventional and breakthrough cures.
After all, my philosophy is that hair loss is unnatural (indigenous people don’t suffer from male pattern baldness) so the ‘cure’ must be something natural.
Mesotherapy (aka Microneedling/Dermarolling)
More commonly referred to as microneedling, mesotherapy is a drug-free hair loss treatment that involves the use of tiny needles.
One study, performed in 2013, compared two groups of men.
The first group received a combination of Minoxidil (5%) lotion and and a once weekly microneedling treatment.
The second group received only the Minoxidil lotion.
To ensure best results, all the participants’ scalps was shaved at the beginning of the study. Now, let’s take a look at the results over a 12-week time period.
“The present 12-week study showed that dermaroller along with Minoxidil treated group was statistically superior to Minoxidil treated group in promoting hair growth in men with AGA for all 3 primary efficacy measures of hair count and patient/investigator assessment of hair growth/scalp coverage.”
But what is the mechanism through which microneedling works to induce hair growth?
This treatment method works by creating tiny puncture wounds in the treated area. When done correctly, the wounds should cause no pain or scarring; however, they still initiate the healing process.
This process involves three steps:
- Maturation (remodeling).
As the healing process above takes place, this stimulates collagen production. This then leads to the production of new skin cells which contain new and (in most cases) healthy hair follicles.
If mesotherapy seems like the treatment method for you, I do recommend that you apply a hair growth elixir after.
Here’s one that I recommend:
What You’ll Need:
- Emu oil
- Saw palmetto
- Hyuluronic acid
- Apple polyphenol
- Magnesium oil
Combine the ingredients in the container of your choice. I recommend you start with the hyaluronic acid and emu oil first, and then adding the saw palmetto in a 6:1 ratio (hyaluronic acid/emu oil:saw palmetto).
Add the apple polyphenol last, at a ratio of 1 apple polyphenol: 6 parts mixture.
To apply, first use the dermaroller. Then, apply to your clean fingertips, and massage the mixture into the affected areas of the scalp. Ensure that the elixir is applied evenly, and then leave on overnight for best results. Rinse in the morning.
Hair Growth Shampoos
Shop-bought shampoos contain numerous chemicals and preservatives making them a bad choice for those with hair loss. Shampoos that are homemade, however, can be one of the best things you can do for growing your hair.
When switching from shop-bought shampoos to homemade, it helps to think of it as food for your hair. After all, you wouldn’t expect chemical- and preservative-laden food products to do your body good. So, why should your hair be any different?
With homemade shampoos, then, you’re able to “feed” your hair the nutrients and minerals it requires. It addition, you provide a clean, healthy environment for strong, thick hair to grow.
One of the best things about hair growth shampoos is the ability to tailor them to fit your exact needs. So, whether your scalp is oily, dry, or a combination, you can experiment to find out what works best.
To get you started, let’s take a closer look at one of my favorite DIY shampoos.
- Liquid castile soap (1/2 cup)
- Maple syrup (1 tablespoon)
- Carrot seed essential oil (5-10 drops)
- Castor oil (10 drops)
Combine all ingredients in the container of your choice. Mix well, and be sure to mix thoroughly before each use.
When ready to use, pour over wet hair. Massage into scalp for 2-3 minutes, and then let sit for an addition 2-3 minutes. Rinse thoroughly with lukewarm (or, even better, cold) water.
While only four ingredients strong, this shampoo packs a powerful punch.
The liquid castile soap gently cleanses the scalp, removing harsh buildup. At the same time, the carrot seed essential oil purifies and detoxifies the scalp. Its vitamins and antifungal properties stimulate the scalp, as well, leading to healthier hair follicles.
Maple syrup, perhaps the unlikeliest shampoo ingredient, soothes and nourishes while it simultaneously handles bacterial buildup and overgrowth. Last, castor oil helps to deliver the carrot seed oil deep into the scalp, and also moisturizes and hydrates on its own.
Of course, you can feel free to experiment with any combination of essential oils, carrier oils, and cleansing agents to achieve the results you’re looking for.
Fortunately, it’s quite easy to incorporate this beneficial herb into your hair care routine.
All you need is:
- Liquid castile soap
- Thuja Orientalis hot water extract
- Rosemary essential oil
- Castor oil
Combine the ingredients as previously outlined, lather the mixture into your scalp and then massage for 2-3 minutes before rinsing.
As a recent health trend, many consider essential oils to be an overrated treatment. However, there are a variety of evidence-backed essential oils that can be an excellent addition to your hair care routine.
Some of the more effective essential oils for hair growth include:
- Peppermint essential oil
- Rosemary essential oil
- Blackcurrant essential oil
- Evening primrose essential oil
- Pumpkin seed oil
- Tea tree oil
But what makes them so effective? Well, let’s take a look at a few research studies to get a better idea.
This fragrant and cooling essential oil is used in a variety of treatments; however, research proves that peppermint oil is a promising treatment option for those with Androgenetic Alopecia (AGA).
In 2014, a group of researchers performed a study on peppermint oil’s effectiveness on hair growth in mice. The mice were split into four groups: saline (SA), jojoba oil (JO), minoxidil (MXD), and peppermint oil (PEO).
Shockingly, peppermint oil showed to be more effective than even Minoxidil for hair growth.
How? Researchers explained that “PEO induced very thick and long hair after 4-week topical application and promoted the elongation of hair follicles from the epidermis down to the subcutis in a vertical section”.
Pumpkin Seed Oil
A 2014 study tracked the results of a 24-week trial that included 76 men with mild to moderate AGA. Half of the participants were given a 400 mg capsule of Pumpkin Seed Oil (PSO) once per day; the other half received a placebo.
As shown below, participants who received the PSO supplement had an increased hair count and improved hair thickness over the placebo group.
According to researchers, the mechanism by which PSO works appears to be its “possible (effects) of 5-reductase inhibition”. While further research is needed to understand the exact mechanism better, PSO shows “positive anabolic (effect) on hair growth … in patients with mild to moderate male pattern hair loss”.
Rosemary oil is lightly pine-scented oil extracted from rosmarinus officinalis, the rosemary plant. It contains various components, including bitter principle, resin, tannic acid, volatile oils, and flavonoids.
Many of these constituents have been shown to have health benefits.
But what about its use as a hair loss treatment?
In 2015, researchers recruited 100 volunteers, all of which were diagnosed with AGA. They were split into two groups:
- Rosemary oil treatment; or
- Minoxidil 2% treatment.
Over the course of six months, the participants were instructed to apply their assigned treatment to their scalp daily. They visited the research facility at the beginning to establish baseline, and then at three months and six months for progress monitoring.
Neither group saw improvement at the three-month mark, but significant improvement was noted at six months.
Surprisingly, there was no significant difference between the two treatment groups. As such, researchers determined that rosemary oil may be a good natural alternative to Minoxidil 2% in the treatment of AGA.
One thing to keep in mind when using essential oils is to select a carrier oil that works well to deliver the essentials directly to the hair follicles. A few options include jojoba, coconut, olive, and almond oil. However, there are plenty more options to choose from that provide beneficial results of their own.
Natural DHT Blockers
I mentioned before that it’s possible to block DHT using natural compounds. I’ve actually written an in-depth article about the best ones here, however this isn’t something I actually recommend.
Blocking DHT is not the best answer. However I still want to summarise the most effective natural blockers quickly here.
Pumpkin Seed Oil
Pumpkin Seed Oil (PSO) is an extract from the pumpkin seed, and is a rich source of antioxidants and a variety of minerals. PSO provides a number of benefits – including the regulation of insulin levels and the treatment of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) – and its fatty acid content also makes it a healthy snack. As briefly discussed above, PSO is also believed to have a positive effect on the growth of hair.
A study performed in 2014 sought to determine whether PSO had an effect on AGA hair loss. And if so, how much?
To carry out this study, researchers recruited 76 male patients with mild to moderate AGA. They were split into two groups.
The first group received a daily supplement (which contained 400mg of PSO), while the second group received a placebo supplement.
The two groups were instructed to take their supplements daily, and researchers used phototrichography to track their progress.
Over the course of 24 weeks, analysis of the hair was performed. This included a look at hair count, as well as hair shaft thickness. These checks were made at the beginning (to establish baseline), at 12 weeks, and at 24 weeks. Here are the visible results:
Those in the PSO group saw a significant increase in hair count, though thickness of the air shaft was insignificant. The placebo group saw minimal, if any changes:
This is interesting and all, but what hope does this give to AGA sufferers?
The main mechanism behind PSO’s success is believed to be its inhibition of the enzyme 5AR. Through this, DHT is then blocked from being produced and, therefore, cannot wreak havoc on the hair follicles.
Pumpkin seed oil is one of the more effective DHT blockers, as it works best when taken internally. This means that it targets 5AR at the source, and prevents DHT buildup from even occurring on the scalp.
Ecklonia Cava is an edible alga native to the coasts of Japan and Korea. It has been shown to have a number of healthy qualities, including those that are anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, and has only recently begun to be studied for its use as a hair loss treatment.
Aside from the above-mentioned properties, however, E. Cava is also believed to have inhibitory effects on the enzyme 5-alpha-reductase. This was proven in a 2012 study that compared a variety of E. Cava extracts to Finasteride.
As seen above, increased doses of the E. Cava extract were shown to inhibit 5AR; and, while not as effective as finasteride, the results are still promising.
Aside from its 5AR inhibitory effects, E. Cava has also been shown to increase the number of human Dermal Papilla Cells (DPCs) within the scalp. When hair follicles have been damaged by DHT – particularly through the process of miniaturization – it’s sometimes difficult to reverse the damage. When new cells are generated, however, the changes of new hair production significantly increase.
Saw palmetto (serenoa repens) is an herbal supplement that comes in a few different forms. These include dried whole berries, tablets, powder capsules, and even liquid extracts. While not many studies have been on the plant’s use – especially in patients with male-pattern hair loss – there have been a few which provide a glimpse at its effectiveness.
One of the first studies performed on the plant regarding hair growth was done in 1998. Participants were given either a placebo, a saw palmetto lotion, a saw palmetto oral supplement, or a combination of the two saw palmetto substances.
As is to be expected, the combination treatment proved to be the most effective at improving hair count, as well as hair mass (not shown in the above graph). Interestingly, the oral supplement proved to be slightly more effective than just the lotion alone, but both the oral supplement and the lotion were more effective than the placebo treatment.
According to the researchers, these findings further support the idea that saw palmetto is an effective inhibitor of 5-alpha-reductase. However, further studies would be beneficial, especially regarding recommended dosage and effects of long-term use.
Perhaps an unlikely DHT blocker, reishi mushroom (G. lucidum) is a fungi that’s popular in Asia for its extensive array of therapeutic uses. However, the the addition of reishi mushroom to your diet could also prove to be helpful in the growth of hair.
In 2005, Fujita et. al. studied the effects of 19 mushroom species on 5AR inhibition. The researchers utilized ethanol extracts of all 19 species, and then added them to a suspension of rat livers.
As seen above, reishi was the most effective mushroom species; it inhibited 5-alpha-reductase activity between 70% to 80%! The researchers weren’t done yet, though.
Next, the scientists wanted to see how the mushroom species would effect prostate size. This is because prostate size is directly related to testosterone levels.
As expected by scientists, reishi was shown to reduce the size of the rat prostate in both concentrations. Therefore, not only does reishi inhibit 5AR (and, as a result, DHT) but can also limit testosterone levels.
Tea Tree Oil
Last on our list (though, there are certainly many more options to choose from) is tea tree oil. This minty-scented oil is often found in aromatherapy blends and face washes, but it may also have a place in your hair care routine.
Has it been proven to block DHT and improve hair growth? Not directly, but there’s still some convincing evidence for its use.
Foremost, tea tree oil is antimicrobial and antiseptic, and it can be used to treat a variety of scalp conditions (such as dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis). This is helpful for those with fungal infections that may cause hair loss, including tinnea capitis.
This oil is also believed to antiandrogenic. But what does this have to do with DHT?
When testosterone and 5AR interact, they produce a by-product called DHT. This is an androgen hormone which, when it attaches to the follicles of men and women with AGA, triggers miniaturization and hair loss.
An antiandrogen, then, is something that combats the presence of DHT.
So, how did researchers reach this conclusion?
The first study on the topic was performed in 2007, and it shows that application of tea tree oil can lead to a side effect known as gynecomastia. This is a sign of antiandrogenic activities.
The second study, performed in 2013, was done on women with a condition called idiopathic hirsutism. This condition causes excessive hair growth on the face and/or bodies of women.
Idiopatchic hirsutism is believed to be triggered by the presence of androgens, and the application of tea tree oil was shown to significantly reduce the hair amounts seen on women.
As such, this suggests its antiandrogenic, though further studies do need to be carried out.
Scalp Massages & Exercises
As you can see from the diagram below, the hair follicle is supplied by blood which allow the strand of hair to grow.
There must be a good, strong supply of blood because blood contains the nutritive substances (nutrients, minerals, amino acids and most importantly oxygen) that are used in the process of keratinization.
This is the process of actually building the follicle from keratin.
With a low blood supply, the hair follicle itself will surely die eventually.
There’s also another reason why blood supply is so important for the health of the hair and preventing hair follicle miniaturisation.
I can’t go into all the details here, but I would like to give you a brief overview of this second reason.
At the end of this section I’ll show you why exercises and massages help to stimulate blood flow dramatically and thereby can help reverse (cure) hair loss.
To explain how massages and exercises help stop hair loss I’ll need to explain a bit more about how DHT works.
I believe that most of us have lost touch with what our bodies are telling us about the foods we’re eating, and as a consequence we often consume foods that cause significant damage to our health.
Delayed food allergies can be a significant cause of hair loss in men and women. The vast majority of people, however, are completely unaware that delayed allergic reactions from food even take place, let alone can cause and amplify hair loss.
Often people know about acute (or IgE) food allergies because the body’s response to the food takes place immediately and with obvious consequences that are easy to see.
Some foods that commonly elicit acute allergic reactions include peanuts and shellfish.
However these are the less insidious of the two types of allergic reactions. If you have an allergic reaction to peanuts you know you have to avoid that food for the rest of your life.
Delayed (or IgG) reactions are often more problematic because it is hard to make the connection between the food and the body’s negative response to it.
How Do Food Allergies Such As Gluten Intolerance Lead To Hair Loss?
Food allergies create, and then amplify, autoimmune responses in our bodies. They make our immune systems hypersensitive to anything it believes is foreign.
Delayed allergic reactions from food result in the body becoming ultra-sensitive to what it believes is a foreign invader, so it increases its effort to get rid of the invader, in this case the rate of hair follicle miniaturization increases.
There is also the secondary effect to consider. This is when the allergic reaction can lead directly to hair follicle miniaturization because it causes inflammation in the scalp which narrows the hole through which the strand of hair grows.
This means the hair falls out more easily, grows thinner, and the scalp can become so inflamed that the hair gives up and doesn’t grow at all.
I’ve found that eliminating foods that cause delayed allergic reactions is an easy thing you can do to cure hair loss and grow back lost hair.
I will explain here the exact procedure to pinpoint the food groups you might be allergic to and are causing and speeding up your hair loss.
The following foods have been known to cause hair loss through allergic reactions, they are:
- Gluten (wheat, rye, spelt, kamut, barley)
- Dairy (milk, cheese, butter, yogurt)
- Nightshades (tomatoes, potatoes, bell peppers, eggplant)
- Yeast (fermented products like vinegar, beer etc)
Identifying If You Are Allergic To Gluten & The Other Food Groups
The most effective way to tell if you are having a delayed allergic reaction to these food groups is to systematically eliminate, for two weeks, and then reintroduce each food in turn.
Don’t worry about looking at your hair line at this point as an indicator; simply observe the affect the foods have on your body as you reintroduce them.
Look out for fatigue, irritability, lethargy, weakness, vulnerability to disease, anxiety and lack of motivation as the key signs that the body isn’t responding well. The signs can be subtle at first attempt, so listen closely.
Remember that these are the first signs that your body doesn’t work well with these foods, hair loss is often a symptom that occurs further down the line, due to long-term autoimmune responses and inflammation.
People often have trouble distinguishing changes in mood due to consumption of food types, this is simply a consequence of being out of touch with the body and will improve as you implement more steps shown in our hair loss course.
These are the steps:
- Eliminate dairy completely from your diet for two weeks (this includes milk, cream, butter, yogurt)
- After two weeks go back to your normal diet, except double the amount of dairy you normally consume for three days. Remember not to change any other daily habits over this period so we can isolate the allergic reaction
- Listen to your body. Do you feel more stable energy, with consistent good moods? Can you focus better? Are you more motivated and can think clearer. Or are you more lethargic, more irritable, less motivated and have bigger mood swings?
- If your general energy and well-being decreased when you reintroduced the dairy products then it’s very likely your body isn’t responding well to this food group and it would be beneficial for your body and your hair to eliminate them as much as possible from your diet.
- If you don’t feel any changes to your energy and well-being, swap dairy for gluten and repeat the procedure, and so on.
In general, delayed allergic reactions tend to speed up the hair loss process, which is why it’s important to identify foods that are causing it, if you want to stop any further loss.
A Note On Dairy
Pasteurization is the main culprit for the allergic reactions many people experience with dairy.
Finding raw dairy products can be difficult, but can drastically reduce the chances of a delayed allergic reaction, whilst the nutrients, minerals and enzymes are much more bioavailable to your body.
In pasteurized dairy the enzyme that allows the human body to digest it has been completely destroyed by the pasteurization process so the nutrients, minerals and enzymes are not bioavailable.
A Note On Blood Tests
Blood tests can be another means to reveal IgG reactions but in my opinion the elimination/reintroduction two week test is the by far the best method.
There is no motivation quite as strong as going from feeling great, to sliding back into restless nights, lethargy, depression and irritability over the next few days. It is also an excellent way to create awareness about what the body is telling you.
What to do next…
- Follow the identification procedure for each of yeast, dairy and gluten, completely remove them from your diet for two weeks and then reintroduce them by eating double your normal amount. Listen closely to how your body responds over the next few days
- Adjust your diet accordingly by eliminating those food groups which made you feel groggy, lethargic, anxious, nervous, depressed or confused.
- Now you have a feel for how your body responds to different foods, try to listen carefully to which foods work best for your overall well-being. Everyone is ‘biochemically individual’ so they respond differently to foods.
Remember that this is only one of many ways to grow back lost hair. Some people find that they aren’t allergic to any certain food groups which is fine.
For others though eliminating a group can make an immediate difference. Everyone is different so there is no one size fits all approach unfortunately.
You’ve now read that there are pharmaceutical and plant-based compounds that can block DHT, but that I don’t actually recommend either of these because blocking DHT like this is still not completely ‘natural.’
After all, it wasn’t like humans had access to cold-pressed pumpkin seed oil for the majority of the human lifespan.
Whether blocking DHT with powerful (and nasty) chemicals or with derivatives from plants there can be side effects (as well as the method not being particularly effective.)
However, there is one way that I recommend above all else to reduce DHT in the body in a completely natural way. A way that 100% aligns with how our body has evolved.
Let me explain!
When we consume a food or drink, our body digests, absorbs and metabolises the substances.
After metabolism occurs there is a substance leftover, a bit like there is an ‘ash’ which is leftover once the fire has ‘metabolised (burnt through) the wood.
In some cases this ‘ash’ is slightly acidic, in other cases it is slightly alkaline.
This balance between acidity and alkalinity is known as pH. Very acidic is pH1, very alkaline is pH 14 and neutral is pH7 (the same as water.)
In order to be healthy, our body needs the right pH balance. As I’m sure you can imagine, if the pH is wrong (too acidic or too alkaline) then the body doesn’t really function very well.
Enzymes are one example of chemicals in the body that need a very precise pH to work correctly.
And when the pH is not balanced, the enzymes can start working in funny ways.
Still with me?
In fact, the optimum pH for humans is very slightly alkaline (7.3 – incidentally the pH of seawater.)
However, the problem becomes clear when we look at many of the foods in the typical modern diet.
As you can see, many of the foods in the typical diet contain foods that are weighted on the acidic side of the spectrum.
These are not necessarily foods that we’ve evolved eating, or that were readily available to consume everyday.
The overall effect of consuming this acidic-weighted diet over many years is that the body itself starts to become acidic.
So, how does this relate to a hair loss cure I can hear you asking!
It’s very closely related, because in xxxx a study showed that the enzyme type 2 5-alpha-reductase was inhibited in alkaline conditions:
So, to put this in a straightforward way, when your body is alkaline (it’s natural and optimum state) then the enzyme that produces DHT in the exact part of the scalp where male pattern baldness occurs is inhibited.
This mean lower levels of DHT and less/no hair loss.
But when you eat the typical diet with lots of grains, dairy and meat, the body becomes more and more acidic. The enzyme 5AR becomes more aggressive and DHT levels in the scalp go up leading to hair loss.
So, what’s the answer?
Clearly eating more alkaline foods and less acidic ones will help to shift the body back into it’s natural alkaline state and protect the scalp from excess DHT.
Look around in the modern environment and one thing becomes apparent – hygiene products are everywhere. And not just hygiene products, but modern inventions designed to kill bacteria are everywhere.
Let’s take a look at these modern things that are designed to kill bacteria, and after that I’ll show you why this bacteria hold one of the most important keys to curing baldness.
Here we go:
- Chemicals (notably chlorine) in tap water
- Shower gels containing chemicals (almost all do)
- Shampoos containing chemicals (almost all do)
- Preservatives in foods
- Preservatives in drinks
- Sprays, waxes and other chemicals for improved food shelf life
- Air fresheners
- Pasteurized/irradiated foods and drinks
- Foods from animals raised on antibiotics
It’s clear that the list of bacteria killing modern inventions is long. It’s hard to do anything without running into something designed to kill bacteria in one form or another.
You may be thinking “Why does this matter? Bacteria cause disease, make foods turn bad, make things smell, so why does it matter if there’s less bacteria around?”
The problem is, the human body actually contains more bacterial cells than human.
And by killing the bacteria, we also harm the balance of bacteria in our body. And the thing is, when ‘good/healthy’ bacteria die they can be easily replaced by ‘bad/harmful’ bacteria which work against the body rather than with it.
The medical word for this happening is “gut dysbiosis” which means imbalance of gut bacteria with the bad bacteria predominating.
This collection of bacteria that make up the human body is called the microbiome and we are just finding out how important a healthy microbiome is for overall health (and hair health.)
Bad bacteria in the gut can release toxins themselves which increase inflammation throughout the whole body. In addition these bad bacteria compromise the gut wall allowing toxins and foreign proteins to leak through. When this happens it is called “leaky gut syndrome”
This leakage of foreign proteins can trigger autoimmune problems.
In fact an unhealthy microbiome can cause autoimmune problems and increase inflammation that increase hair follicle sensitivity to DHT.
To cure hair loss naturally you will need to stop triggering these autoimmune problems and decrease inflammation as much as possible, as you’ve learnt about in the section above.
This may be one of the reasons why the prevalence of pattern baldness in modernized countries is much higher than in developing countries where preservative filled foods, antibiotics, chlorine-ridden tap water etc are less common.
Hygiene standards, typically used as a yard-stick for development, may actually be one of the root causes for the rise of modern diseases (including hair loss) in the so-called ‘developed countries.’
Chronic inflammation and autoimmune problems will make the hair follicle more sensitive to DHT, causing it to miniaturize and eventually fall out.
If we’ve already killed all the healthy bacteria in our body and replaced them with bad bacteria then the body may be more sensitive to autoimmune problems.
It’s clear that we don’t know enough about this subject yet and more research is needed. But it is clear that healing your microbiome will certainly help your overall health and almost definitely help reduce your hair loss.
In fact, I would go so far as to say that it would be almost impossible to cure pattern baldness naturally without first healing the microbiome.
Firstly, look at the list of things above that I mentioned that can harm bacteria and try to minimize these in your life.
Especially, antibiotics, chlorine tap water and preservatives in food and drink.
Next, increase your intake of food and drinks that encourage healthy bacteria growth.
- A probiotic supplement
- High fiber diet
- Probiotic foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi & other fermented foods
- Probiotic drinks such as kombucha and kefir
- And (most importantly) eat more fresh and raw fruits and vegetables picked directly from the plant without any further processing. These contain bacteria on the outside of the plant that are the most powerful form of probiotic. This means at least going to a local farmer’s market, or even better picking your own and eating them straight away.
Over time, by removing the things that harm your bacteria and adding in things that promote healthy bacterial growth your microbiome will go back to its normal, healthy state providing your body with all of the associated health benefits.
If you are serious about healing your microbiome, and also want to kick-start the alkalisation process then I would highly recommend a vegetable juice fast detox.
This will get your body quickly alkalised, help remove harmful toxins from the blood and organs, help clear out the gastrointestinal tract making digestion more efficient and promote the growth of healthy bacteria.
If you’re looking for a magical ‘cure’ for your thinning, receding hair then you will be disappointed.
I remember how it feels. Feeling helpless that I was slowly going bald and there was nothing I could do about it.
However, you don’t need to feel this way because there is a lot you can do.
I have personally regrown my hair from thinning all along the temples and crown, and now to lovely thick full hair with no balding temples.
I’ve also taught hundreds of other men and women how to do the same using natural techniques alone.
In fact, now I see was predisposition towards genetic baldness as a blessing.
Because it meant I had to learn a lot about diet, nutrition, my lifestyle and environment.
Now, not only have I ‘cured’ pattern baldness, but I am healthier and more energetic than ever.
When you beat hair loss naturally, you’ll also boost your immune system, reach your ideal weight (whether you’re overweight or underweight currently.)
You’ll not only have thick, shiny hair that grow quickly, but you’ll also have glowing, radiant skin.
Hair loss is not natural – it is a result of an imbalance in your body.
It is your body saying to you – “something is not right and you need to fix it”
This is why covering up the symptom with powerful drugs like finasteride is such a bad choice.
Not only are you choosing a form of chemical castration, you’re also ignoring the warning signs coming from your body.
Your body is saying “I’m too acidic” “my microbiome has been damaged” “I’m allergic to gluten” but your just covering up the cries if you take a drug, or ignore it.
Although it may seem like a lot of information, or a lot of effort to do it all, once you get started the path gets easier.
Seeing new hairs grow naturally along your hairline, feeling the hair thicken, making up with just the occasional hair on the pillow are extremely motivating to continue.
But hair growth takes time.
A new born baby might need more than 1 year to grow full head of hair, because hair growth takes time.
You lose your hair over a period of man years, so don’t expect to see new hair within a few weeks.
At the 2 month point you might be able to see and feel a difference if you’ve followed my instructions correctly.
What I’ve written in this article to curing hair loss is just the beginning of your path to naturally regrowing your hair.
Please leave a comment below if you have any kind of question you would like me to answer.
*This article was reviewed by Dr. Anil Simhadri