Hair loss is something most people dread, and many end up experiencing in their lifetimes. It can happen gradually or suddenly, depending on the individual and the underlying cause. If your hairline seems to be creeping backward or you’ve noticed thinning areas on your scalp, it’s not the end of the world. Just because you’ve lost some hair doesn’t necessarily mean it’s gone for good.
Here are four techniques you can use to stimulate natural hair regrowth.
1. Get Hair Surgery
For many people, hair restoration seems like a last-ditch effort. But, in fact, the earlier you consider your options, the more options you’ll have. And there are multiple surgical options created specifically to combat hair loss and help regrow strands naturally. Hair regrowth surgery has come a long way since it was first invented. Nowadays, there are discreet options available that cause minimal scarring and deliver exceptional results for most people.
One popular hair surgery method is called follicular unit extraction (FUE). This method delivers some of the most natural-looking results possible and looks nothing like the obvious “hair plugs” of previous decades. FUE requires exceptional precision and takes longer to perform than less-precise hair transplant procedures. It involves removing individual follicles of hair from the scalp where hair is thick and healthy. Then, the surgeon moves those hairs to areas impacted by baldness or thinning.
Unlike the strip hair transplant method, FUE doesn’t cause a long, linear scar anywhere on the head. Since it involves removing individual follicles, it causes minimal to no visible scarring at all. Once the initial procedure is fully healed, no one should be able to tell you’ve had hair surgery. They’ll just notice that your hair looks much fuller and thicker than it used to. And since your own follicles are moved, your hair continues growing naturally after the procedure.
2. Take Hair Regrowth Medication
If you’d rather try less invasive options before jumping right into hair surgery, consider hair regrowth medication. There are many hair loss treatments that claim to restore luscious locks, but not all of them work for everyone. If you’re looking for optimal results, it’s best to go with products that have a long history of successful use. Products containing minoxidil and finasteride have a lot of science supporting them and work well for many people.
Minoxidil was first designed to lower high blood pressure. It’s a vasodilator that helps blood flow through the blood vessels. It helps stimulate hair regrowth by increasing the flow of blood to the hair follicles. As blood flow increases, it delivers more oxygen and nutrients to damaged follicles so they can start working again. Topical minoxidil is often used for both male and female pattern hair loss and is considered safe and effective.
Finasteride is another FDA-approved oral medication that can be used to treat male pattern hair loss. It helps to reduce overall hair thinning and stop receding hairlines. It works by blocking the body’s production of dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which is one of the primary hormones responsible for balding. However, finasteride is not recommended for women because it can cause birth defects, depression, weight gain, and other unwanted symptoms in females. As always, it’s wise to speak with a medical professional about what medication is best for you.
3. Adopt Proper Hair Care Practices
Pulling your hair back into tight cornrows, ponytails, or other restrictive styles could lead to hair loss. Hairstyles that put too much pressure on the follicles can lead to traction alopecia. Hair loss can also occur if you use harsh chemicals to color or treat your hair. The good news about this kind of hair loss is that it is reversible if you take prompt action. But if you wait too long to change the way you treat your hair, you could experience permanent hair loss.
To avoid hair loss from improper hair practices, try to wear your hair down at least once a week. If you do need to keep your hair out of your face, opt for a loose bun or ponytail. Never use rubber bands or elastic bands to pull your hair back. They can break your strands or pull them out at the root. Instead, wear thicker scrunchies, flexible spiral hair ties, or hair clips.
To avoid chemical-related hair loss, avoid purchasing at-home hair coloring products from your local drug or grocery store. These products may contain cheaper and harsher ingredients than their professional salon counterparts. Plus, if you’re inexperienced in applying hair coloring products, you could end up severely damaging your hair. Let the professionals handle your hair-care needs. On top of that, space hair-coloring appointments at least a few months apart to avoid over-treating your hair.
4. Implement Lifestyle Changes
Some lifestyle habits can lead to hair damage and thinning or balding. If you constantly eat highly processed foods and don’t get enough vitamins and minerals, your hair will suffer. Your body needs a variety of nutrients to create strong and healthy strands. Some of the top hair-supporting nutrients include zinc, vitamin A, and B vitamins. To ensure you’re getting enough of these nutrients, eat a diet with plenty of vegetables, whole grains, fruits, and protein.
Minimizing stress is another lifestyle change that will help your hair regrowth efforts. It’s natural to experience some degree of stress every once in a while. But if you’re living with chronic stress, your hair and your health will suffer. To encourage more relaxation in your life, consider meditating daily, exercising regularly, and spending time doing things you enjoy with people you love.
Hair loss can be an intimidating thing to experience. But don’t make the mistake of thinking you’re doomed to a life of baldness just because your hair is thinning. Follow the tips above to stimulate natural hair growth and get your beautiful locks back.