There is no question that hair loss affects a large percentage of us. The Hair Loss Learning Center reports that 35 million men and 21 million women in the United States suffer from hair loss. In fact 40% of men will have noticeable hair loss by age 35 and 65% by age 60. Even though a genetic disposition to hair loss might make it difficult to prevent, non-genetic factors that contribute to hair loss are manageable. And for those that have begun to lose their hair, there are also natural approaches you can take, such as onion juice, to slow or prevent further hair loss.
As most people are aware, hair loss is primarily genetic and usually related to too much testosterone in the body (in both male and female cases). The issue of hair loss is more accurately related to DHT (dihydrotestosterone), a derivative of testosterone, which binds to the hair follicles and makes it impossible for the hair in that receptors to survive. However, there are some natural remedies that inhibit this enzymatic conversion process including Saw Palmetto, which is known as a natural DHT blocker that may stop hair loss and promote new growth.
It’s also important to know which non-genetic factors can contribute to hair loss so that if you are prone to early balding, you’ll have a higher chance of slowing the process. As is the case with all health conditions, diet is of utmost importance for preventing hair loss. Deficiencies in iron, zinc, protein, b vitamins and calcium have all been shown to contribute to hair loss as well as overall malnutrition. Other factors include early aging, overuse of hair chemicals, stress, hormonal changes (imbalances, thyroid issues, etc.), as well as some medical conditions.
One of the most interesting natural remedies discovered in a 2002 study published in the Journal of Dermatology is the liquid extract of onions. Onions have long been recognized for their medicinal value due to their active sulfur content. For this reason, onions help stimulate blood circulation, reduce inflammation and improve the development of collagen needed for healthy hair. The study indicated that hair regrowth could be fostered (in 73% of the study participants) by directly applying onion juice to the scalp, extracted by grating and then straining the juice.
In addition to onions, here are 4 other natural prevention and treatment recommendations for preventing or reversing hair loss.
Besides consuming a diet rich in plant foods such as vegetables, fruit, whole grains, beans, nuts and seeds, ensuring you are getting enough Omega-3 fatty acids is not only essential for hair growth, but also for anti-aging. Omega-3 oils are found in the hair shaft and cell membranes of the skin of the scalp.Since your body can’t make its own Omega 3, it’s important to find a good quality fish or plant source. Fish oil supplements are readily available and plant sources include walnuts and flax seed. Protein and iron are also extremely important for healthy hair, so make sure your diet includes either plant sources or organic, grass-fed/free range meat sources.
Although it’s rare to be deficient in biotin (one of the B vitamins), some say that biotin supplements can encourage hair regrowth and even reverse premature graying. Although there is no conclusive evidence to biotin’s effectiveness as a supplement, there aren’t any risks of biotin toxicity so this may be an option worth trying.
3. Peppermint Tea
Peppermint or Spearmint tea is said to reduce testosterone levels in the body, while also increasing estradiol, the female hormone that can treat hirsutis or abnormal facial and body hair on women.
4. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is another natural remedy that protects the hair by reducing protein loss as a pre-wash treatment. It will also make hair more lustrous acting as a natural conditioner, preventing hair damage and even curing head lice. Apply to the scalp and hair directly prior to washing. Leave in the hair for 20 minutes or more for best results.
 (n.d.) Retrieved from http://www.hairlosslearningcenter.org/
 (n.d.) Retrieved from http://www.americanhairloss.org/women_hair_loss/causes_of_hair_loss.asp
 Crawford, A. (2012, November 2). Regrow hair with this vegetable. Retrieved from http://www.myhealthwire.com/news/menshealth/219
 (n.d.) Retrieved from http://www.webmd.com/beauty/hair-styling/top-10-foods-for-healthy-hair?page=1
 (n.d.) Retrieved from http://www.hairloss-research.org/UpdatePeppermint6-08.html
 (2013, January 17). Coconut oil for hair growth: 6 reasons why your hair 100% deserves it. Retrieved from http://www.lucybee.co/news/coconut-oil-for-hair-growth-6-reasons-why-your-hair-100-deserves-it-(1)/