In this article I’m going to reveal five powerful (and natural) ways to quickly stimulate new hair growth.
After using these techniques your hair should also feel thicker, longer, and look healthier.
The key here is to be consistent. Hair loss takes place slowly over time, and hair growth also takes time. Your body won’t react immediately, even to these methods.
I recommend choosing your favorite two or three ways to stimulate hair growth from the list below and focusing on them. If you try to do all of these, you probably won’t be as consistent as you need to be.
Pick two or three methods and stick to them until they become a habit.
NOTE: There is no clear evidence that the natural ingredients outlined below causes hair regrowth in humans, more studies are needed in this area. This is unlikely to help. There is also more research required for the use of scalp massage and microneedling as a beneficial treatment. This is not an FDA approved treatment. Do see a doctor before you proceed.
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Should I Use Conventional Methods?
Hair loss is a problem that affects men and women of all ages and ethnicity. This means that over the years, an array of hair loss treatments have been tested (and some approved) to address the wide-scale issue (1).
The most common methods are topical solutions (such as Rogaine), oral drugs (including Propecia and dutasteride), and surgery.
So are these methods a good route if you’re facing hair loss?
They can be for some people, but there are a few things to keep in mind.
Foremost, the above techniques are often short-term solutions to a long-term problem.
There’s no doubt that users of Rogaine and Propecia see positive results, and this is often true for as long as they continue the medication (2, 3). But these treatments will often only cover up the issue instead of treating it as its source.
The same can be said for hair transplantation surgery. After all, if you don’t solve the underlying cause of your hair loss then the hairline recession will just return.
So, whether you intend to use the above treatments or not, I still recommend you give the below techniques your consideration. They can be a helpful addition to your current hair growth regimen, or a great place to start.
1. Use A Dermaroller
I’ve written an entire article about mesotherapy for hair loss here, so I’m just going to summarize the findings quickly in this article.
Body builders know that to grow your muscles you must first tear them down in order to trigger more growth. Within the tiny tears new cells are formed which increase the muscle’s size.
In mesotherapy, mechanical stimulation is used to slightly wound the skin causing it to create new cells. In the scalp this facilitates the production of collagen and elastin, increasing circulation and improving the elasticity which can help to grow more hairs (4, 5).
This is mesotherapy in a nutshell, and it has been used successfully to stimulate new hairs to grow quite successfully.
In fact, in a clinical study, using a dermaroller was proven to cause hair growth (6):
As you can see, using a dermaroller plus minoxidil versus minoxidil alone dramatically increased the mean hair count of patients after 12 weeks.
Minoxidil hair count went up by 17, whereas the dermaroller plus minoxidil group’s hair count went up by a whopping 91 points.
The same study shows the results in a different way below.
(FYI: Microneedling = dermaroller = mesotherapy)
We can also see from the before and after photos below just how effectively the microneedling process is at stimulating hair growth:
In fact, there is actually a better method than the one they used in the study.
They used a dermaroller. This is an easier method, and quicker, but it isn’t actually the most effective way.
The problem is, the dermaroller can get caught up in the hair, making it harder to do over thinning patches (as opposed to just doing it on the hairline.)
In addition, the dermaroller actually causes a bigger wound, which takes longer to heal. For this reason, I recommend you use what’s called a ‘dermastamp’ instead.
The stamp is better than the roller in my experience because it causes less unnecessary damage and can be applied all over the scalp (not just along the hairline).
To conclude this section of the article, start using a dermastamp to directly and very effectively encourage blood flow, reverse fibrosis and calcification, and initiate new hair growth.
Take note, it’s also very important to correctly clean the roller or stamp before use. It must be clean otherwise you increase the risk of infection.
I recommend cleaning with boiling hot water, then spraying with an antiseptic like Dettol, then rinsing again with boiling hot water. You must do this each time before you use it. Don’t ever share your micro-needling device.
I also recommend the 1mm sized needles.
You can do this treatment up to twice per week, over the entire scalp. I don’t recommend anymore than this, since the skin needs to properly heal in between.
1 x per week is also fine, and is probably a better frequency for a maintenance regime.
Now let’s look at one of my favorite (and downright effective) ways to further increase hair growth.
Ready? Okay let’s jump in…
2. Massage & Scalp Exercises
Circulation in the scalp is vitally important for hair growth. Without blood reaching the hair follicles, they quickly wither and die.
Conversely, when blood circulation is good, the hair follicles receive all of the oxygen, nutrients, and minerals that they need to grow – and they do just that.
So, the question is: how do we increase circulation, and hence blood flow, to the scalp?
The answer is scalp exercises and massages. Let’s look at both of these individually.
You can either give yourself a scalp/head massage, or get someone else to do it for you. The latter is obviously better, but doing it yourself works very well anyway.
Use your hands and rub in circular motions, first at the side (above the ears), then at the front, then at the back.
Feel the scalp loosening and relaxing as you massage. You will actually get better at giving yourself head massages over time.
And best of all, studies have shown just how effective the massages are to regrow hair lost. In a study from the University of Hong Kong, researchers massaged participants scalps everyday for 20 minutes for a total of 300 days (8).
Just look at the percentage loss before and after the treatment (highlighted in yellow) below:
As you can see, in every single group, the percentage of hair lost (i.e. bald patches) was drastically reduced.
You can also improve circulation to the hair follicles with scalp exercises. This basically involves tensing and relaxing the muscles in your head, namely your forehead, to stretch and relax the skin.
If you stare at a computer all day long then you may have unnatural tension around your eyes and forehead.
It’s important to remove this tension each day with these simple exercises so that the scalp doesn’t become tight and restrict blood flow. The two most basic and effective exercises are:
- Raise your eyebrows as high up as they will go
- Lower your eyebrows (furrow) as far as they will go
These two exercises will relax the forehead and remove tension at the front of the head where hair recession is most likely to occur.
After all, it’s no coincidence that areas of mechanical tension correlate to pattern baldness (9).
So, are there more ways to stimulate the scalp so as to reduce tension? You bet!
3. Use A Rubber Scalp Massager
A rubber scalp massager is a simple, cheap, and effective way to increase the blood flow to the scalp – something you know by now will result in more hair growth.
There are a few different massagers, along with some different techniques, so I’ll let the video below give you a better idea of the best way to do it:
You can also use a metal head massager which also stimulates the scalp, but in a slightly different way. However the result is the same: increased blood flow.
These massagers are very cheap to buy, and easy to locally (at a beauty supply store) or online (at retailers such as Amazon).
A few minutes per day will have a positive effect on your scalp.
4. Boost Hair Growth From The Inside
When it comes to human health, our hair isn’t essential for survival. It is not a priority like, say, the heart or the brain. For this reason, our body will prioritize vital organs before the hair.
This is why it is so important to eat adequate amounts of healthy foods, because if you don’t your body will use the limited resources to repair and grow cells of your organs, not your hair.
The trick is to boost your hair growing nutrients, minerals, enzymes, and bacteria so that there is an excess of these that your body can use for hair growth (and other nonessential functions).
Nutrients and Minerals
Your hair follicles are made of keratin, a protein that is made up of smaller nutrients and trace minerals (10). As such, it makes sense that nutrient and mineral support are important for healthy hair growth.
But what vitamins and nutrients should you be incorporating into your diet?
Niacin (Vitamin B3)
When blood flow to the hair follicles is restricted, it can lead to weak, brittle hair. This is because the hair isn’t able to receive sufficient oxygen and nutrient supplies.
Biotin (Vitamin B7)
Found in many multivitamins, as well as those aimed at hair, skin, and nail health, biotin is one of the most important vitamins to add to your diet. Its main function is as a protein synthesizer, which means it turns fatty acids into proteins that the body can use. One of these proteins? Keratin.
Biotin is produced in healthy gut flora, but you can also find it many foods. For example:
Of course, you can also add a biotin supplement (or multivitamin) to your daily routine. Though, the absorption rate and true benefit of supplemental nutrients is hotly debated (15).
Zinc and Selenium
- Red meats
- Pumpkin seeds
- Wheat germ
- Egg yolks
- Soy products
Antioxidants are mentioned often when discussing hair health, and there’s a good reason. They protect against the breakdown of important organs, including hair follicles.
One of the best antioxidants found in nature is Vitamin E and, more specifically, tocotrienols (20).
These have been proven beneficial in hair growth, and an eight-month study even showed a hair count increase of 34.5 percent (21)!
You can take Vitamin E supplements, but it’s better absorbed through food consumption.
(You can learn more about vitamins, and the role they play in hair growth, here.)
Enzymes comes from raw (or fermented) foods and help digestion. They help make the nutrients and minerals more easy to absorb by your body. This is known as bioavailability and means your body can easily make use of the mineral (22).
Bacteria also play a part in hair growth. There are billions of bacteria inside the body, some of which are ‘good’ and others ‘bad’ (23). Some foods help promote healthy bacteria, and some foods kill the good bacteria and feed the bad ones.
Too much bad bacteria can mean your body finds it hard to absorb the nutrients and minerals from the food.
Instead of breaking down the food so that the nutrition can be easily absorbed into your blood, the bad bacteria actually feed on the food itself and release waste.
The result is that although you may eat a relatively healthy diet, you maybe under nourished resulting in hair loss.
This is a highly simplified version of things, but it’s important to know that having the correct gut bacteria will help to encourage new hair follicles, whilst having too many bad bacteria could cause weak hair growth. Eat food rich with probiotics, such as yogurt, pickles, or sauerkraut.
If you’ve ever taken a course of antibiotics or if you eat processed foods or foods with preservatives then there is a strong chance you could increase your hair growth by improving your bacterial balance. A healthy group of gut bacteria improves immune function and overall health.
Let’s take a look at the best way to maximize hair growth with nutrition.
Blenders & Bullets
Fruit and vegetable smoothies are one of the best ways to pack your diet with nutrition.
You can adjust your smoothies to contain all the healthy ingredients you need whilst also making them taste amazing and being easy to consume quickly and easily.
Instead of spending hours chewing through a load of fruit and veg you can put them all in a blender with water and drink down the precise amount of nutrition that your body needs.
It’s also easier to disguise the less tasty vegetables with the sweetness of the fruit.
Bullets are the same as blenders except they can cope with a few more ingredients because of the power and they are smaller. A good base recipe contains frozen berries, a banana and spinach.
From there you can add any number of fruits (like apple, pear, melon), vegetables (such as kale, broccoli, and cucumber), and plant-based proteins (like powdered hemp protein, powdered pea protein etc).
5. Use Inversion Therapy
Inversion therapy is an interesting way to create new hair growth, and yes, people may think you’re a bit crazy for doing it, but if it works, it works.
Inversion therapy is a fancy term for hanging upside down for a few minutes in order to increase blood flow to the scalp.
Just like you learnt in on of the earlier sections, blood circulation to the hair follicles is important for hair growth because the blood delivers the vital oxygen, minerals, and nutrients to the hair.
The more blood the better. Since your scalp is the highest point on your body, it can be hard for the blood to reach that high, but what if we could use gravity in our favor?
With inversion therapy you get your head below your body as far as possible so that the blood can make its way to the scalp.
You don’t want to do this for too long since the blood can pool in your head causing you to feel dizzy, but a few minutes a day can be beneficial to scalp blood flow.
To increase the amount of blood flow even more, and turbo charge hair growth, try some of the scalp massages and exercises whilst being inverted.
Bonus: Consider FDA-Approved Hair Loss Treatments
While I’m all in favor of less common treatment options, there is one treatment that you may want to consider if you want “fast” results: FDA-approved treatments like minoxidil and finasteride.
Minoxidil is a topical solution, and the first drug to be FDA-approved for the treatment of pattern baldness.
The drug was first produced as a anti-hypertensive. This means it combated high blood pressure by dilating the blood vessels. And while it’s still used as an anti-hypertensive today (under the brand name Loniten), it’s more commonly known for its hair growth promoting abilities.
But how does minoxidil work?
There are a few theories about minoxidil’s efficacy
The most common theory is that its vaso-dilating capabilities are a powerful blood flow promoter. When applied topically, then, the blood flow to the immediate area is increased.
This increase in blood flow ensures the proper delivery of oxygen and vital nutrients. And because it dilates the blood vessels, it can even deliver blood to hair follicles that have been miniaturized.
That’s not the only mechanism of minoxidil, though.
Perhaps an even more important mechanism is its proven ability to upregulate growth factors, namely Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF) (27). This growth factor plays an important role in hair growth, and minoxidil has been shown to upregulate it in dermal papilla cells.
One thing to keep in mind before you use minoxidil is that you’re likely to experience an initial period of shedding. This is known as “dread shed,” but it’s a normal part of the hair growth process.
Finasteride is the second (and last) drug to be approved by the FDA for the treatment of male-pattern baldness. It’s an oral drug which was initially developed for the treatment of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH). While the drug does work for its intended purpose, it was also shown to promote hair growth in men with pattern balding.
BPH is a medical condition that affects the prostate. The condition is believed to be caused by an excess presence of the androgen hormone Dihydrotestosterone (DHT). The same has been said of male-pattern baldness, though more theories on pattern baldness are coming to light.
If the DHT theory holds any truth to it, though, then it makes sense by finasteride works.
Contrary to popular belief, finasteride doesn’t block DHT. Instead, it inhibits 5-alpha-reductase, which is an enzyme that’s responsible for DHT’s production. As such, finasteride lowers the levels of DHT at the hair follicle (and throughout the body).
Do I recommend either of these drugs? Not particularly. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consider them for your own hair growth journey (even if to just give it a boost).
When to See a Doctor
Are you at a loss with your hair loss? Are you unsure of the cause? Then you may want to visit a doctor to learn more.
A dermatologist — particularly one that specializes in hair loss — can provide you with helpful information. They can perform blood tests, physical examinations, and even scalp biopsies to gain a clearer picture of your situation.
They may even be able to offer some advice when it comes to getting start on hair regrowth.
There are many ways – medicinal, surgical, and natural – to stimulate new hair growth. But if you want to produce long-lasting results, then natural just may be the way to go.
The thing with any regime to trigger new hairs to grow is that it takes time. Your hair doesn’t fall out all at once, so don’t expect it to regrow overnight.
Realistically, you need to stick with any regime for at least 8 weeks before you can accurately assess whether it is actually working or not. This is why I suggest you choose just two or three of the methods above, and stick with them consistently.