English: Bald head (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
A simple Internet search results in a long list of natural remedies for hair loss. Creams, tonics
and supplements abound to treat baldness and thinning hair. Do these products really work?
Dermatologists spend a lot of time and energy steering their patients away from these
products. Most commercial hair loss treatments are expensive, and they rarely provide
measurable benefits. A few, however, can help some men keep their thinning hair a little longer.
Hair Loss Causes
People see more hair on their combs or brushes for a number of different reasons. In women,
perimenopause and menopause are the common culprits. Thyroid problems and vitamin
deficiencies also affect hair growth and loss.
Men typically see four types of hair loss. Smooth, round bald patches usually signal alopecia
areata, a condition that stems from stress or genetics. Corticosteroid injections can ease scalp
inflammation and promote new hair growth.
A round and scaly, hairless patch may indicate tinea capitis, a fungal infection that is similar to
athlete’s foot. Antifungal creams or shampoos can kill the infection and encourage hair re-
growth. Dermatologists usually recommend over-the-counter solutions before prescribing
Sudden hair loss is often triggered by physical or emotional trauma. Shock can cause a
condition known as telogen effluvium, which suddenly halts hair growth. As the mind and body
recover from trauma, the hair will grow again naturally.
A steady and gradual hair loss usually stems from a man’s diet. Too little iron, zinc or biotin can
starve the hair follicles and stop the hair from growing. Nutrient-rich foods and supplements
feed the body and restore hair growth.
Natural Food Remedies
From a holistic perspective, as natural remedies treat a problem in the body, the hair naturally
takes care of itself. While some hair loss may require medical treatment, dermatologists usually
suggest natural methods first.
Nutrition is the first step to preventing hair loss and encouraging re-growth. The diet greatly
impacts the eyes, skin, nails and hair. Protein is the most important nutrient for strong, healthy
hair. Beans, dairy products and lean meats are good protein sources. Eggs, fish, nuts and seeds
provide omega-3 fatty acids that reduce scalp inflammation.
Nutritionists recommend eating a variety of foods to prevent hair loss. They advise two-to-
three servings of protein, six-to-ten servings of vegetables, two-to-four fruits and an
assortment of grains. A multivitamin helps men replenish lost or lacking nutrients.
Some dietary supplements interact with medications, so vitamins, minerals and herbal
remedies are best taken with a doctor’s approval. Iron supplements are recommended only for
hair loss caused by iron deficiency anemia. Men with metabolic disorders may benefit from zinc
and biotin supplements. Saw palmetto, an herbal remedy used for prostate and urinary
disorders, may also promote hair growth.
Using hair dyes and rubber bands can harm hair that is breaking or thinning. So can over-
washing, over-brushing and over-combing the hair. To minimize the appearance of hair loss,
men can use scalp coloring products or body-boosting shampoos and conditioners. Short
haircuts make hair appear thicker, and side parts take attention off the crown.
Hair loss can be stressful for men and women alike. Unfortunately, physical and emotional
stress can sometimes increase the problem. Alopecia areata, telogen effluvium and a condition
known as trichotillomania are associated with high levels of stress.
Stress management is a natural way to treat this kind of hair loss. In addition to nutritional
therapies, the best way to manage stress is to identify the triggers and find effective strategies
to deal with them.
Daily exercise is a good stress reduction technique; prayer and meditation are also effective
stress reducers. Yoga, tai chi and nature hikes are beneficial activities that combine the two. As
men learn to cope with life’s challenges, the chance is good that their hair will start growing
Lou Hobbs is a dedicated health and wellness researcher and author. With over 10 years of
experience Lou has made it his life goal to discover products that can improve the lives of other
When Lou is not researching new health related products like hair loss supplements, he enjoys spending time with his family in the Idaho wilderness.