This article will show you the seven most powerful ways to repair your damaged hair follicles and bring your hair back to health.
Follow these seven methods and you will have strong healthy hair that glows and has a deep, natural color. These techniques will also help reduce split ends and prevent breakage. For men, they will stop your hairline from receding and improve overall thickness.
Optimize Your Diet For Hair Growth
Just like with any organ, the health of your hair follicles is linked to your overall health. If you have vitamin or mineral deficiencies, these can show up as weak and lifeless hair.
One way to combat this is by eating a whole-food diet. This should be rich in lean meats, fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts, and whole grains.
When you eat a colorful diet, you maximize the uptake of the vitamins, nutrients, and minerals your body requires (1). For hair growth, in particular, these include iron, niacin, vitamins A, D, and E, zinc, and selenium.
By the way, we have made this video on repairing hair follicles so be sure to watch if you prefer that to reading:
Stop Hot Showers, Hair Dryers, Straighteners, and Dyes
Three of the most common but very damaging habits to follicle health are the following:
- Hot showers
- Hairdryers and straighteners
- Hair color dyes
Have you ever noticed how your skin can get dry after a really hot shower? Well, the same thing happens with your scalp. Not only can hot showers dry out your scalp, but they strip away natural oils that protect the hair. This can leave them dry, brittle, and susceptible to damage.
Our natural scalp oils protect our follicles, but under high temperatures water removes them. Compared to hot water, it is preferable to use lukewarm water to remove plaque and dirt buildup. Yet cool water is the gold standard when it comes to protecting your scalp.
Hairdryers and straighteners have a similar drying effect (2). They strip the natural oils and moisture from your hair in a very unnatural and unforgiving way. They can also irreversibly damage (“cook”). the hair shafts.
Let hair dry naturally. If you must, use a cool hair dryer that you hold a safe distance from your hair. Avoid straighteners wherever possible.
Hair color dyes use peroxide and other harsh chemicals that inevitably damage the hair even after a single application. Like with heat treatment, the damage is irreversible. You should avoid these altogether.
Make Your Own Shampoos At Home
Shampoo companies know that we choose our shampoo mostly by the smell, texture, and foaminess of each product. But sodium lauryl sulfate, which is the foamy ingredient in most shampoos, is also used at places like commercial car washes.
Sadly, the general public is not aware of the effect of all these chemicals on their scalps.
An easy way around this is by making your own shampoo at home. This ensures you have perfect control over the ingredients. It also allows you to experiment with different ingredients.
One simple recipe that you can tweak as necessary is below.
- Water (1/2 cup)
- Liquid castile soap (1/2 cup)
- Aloe vera gel (1/3 cup)
- Glycerin (1 teaspoon)
- Almond oil (2-3 teaspoons)
- Geranium essential oil (10 drops)
Mix all of the ingredients thoroughly by shaking them inside a container. When thoroughly mixed, lather onto wet hair. Massage into the scalp for two to five minutes before washing out thoroughly. Do not use if you are allergic or sensitive to any of these ingredients.
Clean Your Scalp to Remove Buildup
Sebum, dead cells, sweat, hair care products, and environmental debris can easily build up on the scalp. Together, these form a layer of plaque that gets thicker over time.
There are a few ways to combat this. Scrubs are particularly beneficial. One such scrub is made from bentonite clay.
Simply stir a heaped teaspoon of bentonite clay into a glass of water and pour it over your wet hair whilst showering. Make sure to rinse out thoroughly afterward.
The bentonite clay is a great way to remove DHT from the scalp. It also provides minerals that soothe and repair the scalp. It is a simple but effective way to give your hair every chance of repairing itself.
Use Massage To Increase Blood Circulation & Reduce DHT
Hair follicles thrive on strong blood circulation. After all, it is the blood that carries the oxygen, nutrients, and minerals that allow hair to grow. It is also the blood that carries away the metabolic waste and carbon dioxide that could damage the hair follicle.
For this reason, maximizing blood circulation to the scalp and follicles is one of the best ways to speed up hair growth and repair (3).
Increased circulation -> increased blood flow -> increased nutrition -> increased rate of repair.
One way to achieve this is with scalp massage and exercise. Here are just a few techniques.
Take both hands and place them at the back of the head. The palms should be in line with the back of your ears and the fingertips facing up towards the sky. Slowly and rhythmically squeeze both hands in and up and back down in circular motions. Do this for one minute.
Now, move your hands slightly upwards and forwards, so your palms are now above the top of your ears. Softly squeeze in with your palms and move in a circular motion. To make this even more effective, stand up and bend over so that your head is the same height as your waist. This will cause even more blood to rush into your scalp.
Now, take both palms and place them on the sides of your forehead. Squeeze softly against your forehead and move around in circular motions. You can increase the effectiveness of this exercise by raising, holding, and lowering your eyebrows at the same time.
Doing the exercises for just five to 10 minutes daily can make a remarkable difference to the elasticity of your scalp and subsequent blood flow.
Use A Head Massager To Stimulate Blood Flow To The Hair Follicles
Using the head massager is another great way to stimulate blood flow to the scalp and invigorate the hair follicles. It is also easy and pleasurable.
All you need is a simple head massage tool that you can buy off of Amazon for a few dollars.
Try using the head massager for five minutes per day. You can do it whilst watching TV or whenever you have a free hand. You might be surprised to find your scalp feels warm and tingly after just a few minutes. This is a sign of stimulation and increased blood flow to the scalp.
Incorporate Microneedling to Further Enhance Blood Flow
To further boost the benefits of scalp massage, you can add an additional treatment to your weekly hair care routine: microneedling.
Microneedling is a technique that uses small needles to penetrate the scalp. These needles cause minor wounds that are not large enough to cause scarring. As they heal, however, they stimulate the release of growth factors and ultimately benefit hair growth.
You can go to a dermatologist for microneedling treatments, or you can do it at home. At-home tools include the dermaroller and the dermastamp.
To start, it is recommended to use a microneedling tool with needles no longer than 1.0mm in length. Limit the frequency of sessions to no more than once per week. Once your scalp gets accustomed, you can increase the length of the needle to 1.5mm. Once-weekly treatments are generally enough for excellent results. There is no need to microneedle more frequently than this.
Bonus: Consider FDA-Approved Hair Loss Treatments
This isn’t a “natural” option, but it is one that many hair loss sufferers use with varying levels of success.
There are currently two treatments approved for hair loss by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA): finasteride and minoxidil (6).
Finasteride is a 5-alpha-reductase inhibitor. This enzyme is responsible for converting testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT). This is the primary molecule implicated in male pattern hair loss.
The exact mechanism of action of minoxidil is clear. It is possible that it promotes hair growth by increasing blood flow to the scalp.
If you are looking for natural hair loss treatments, these pharmaceutical options might not interest you. This does not mean you should not do your own research on the subject and consider all your options.
When You Should Visit a Doctor
Are you taking a natural approach to hair loss but not seeing results? Or are you unsure of the cause and are not sure where to start? You may want to visit a doctor.
Dermatologists can provide you with helpful insights and a definitive diagnosis. Their recommendations can lead you down the right path, be it natural or pharmaceutical.
You can also find a doctor who can give you more guidance on natural options.
Reactivating hair follicles takes time. You will not see success overnight. If you stick with the techniques discussed here and the other techniques you can read about on this blog, you are very likely to see fuller, healthier, and thicker hair.
As with most chronic conditions, the best strategy is to adopt a multifaceted approach. In other words, you can combine various treatments, be they natural or pharmaceutical. These can come amidst broader changes to your lifestyle and hair care routine.