It's reported that roughly 5 million people in the United States alone suffer from alopecia, a medical term meaning "hair loss." The most familiar is "alopecia areata," which is believed to be caused by an autoimmune disorder resulting in excessive hair loss, especially from the scalp.
While there are many nationally-advertised and pharmaceutical remedies that claim to either remedy or cure alopecia (the latter being false, as there is no actual cure), there are also many natural remedies that are available to arrest this malady.
At times, there are medical factors that can be an underlying cause of alopecia. These include certain medications, diabetes, thyroid problems, lupus, radiation therapy and chemotherapy. Hormonal changes that accompany pregnancy and menopause and scalp infections can also cause hair loss.
In these instances, consulting your doctor can be instrumental in regaining your hair without jeopardizing your medical condition.
If there is no underlying medical condition causing the hair loss, the first thing one can do to promote hair regrowth is to maintain a healthy and steady diet. Foods that are high in protein, low in carbohydrates and have a reduced fat content are as beneficial to the scalp as they are to the body as a whole. Also, iron-rich foods (like broccoli and brewers' yeast) and B-12 vitamins are essential as they not only build up the body's red blood cells but also may actually help reverse some forms of hair loss.
Aloe vera is a popular, natural formula that boosts the immune system and promotes healthy organ functioning. It not only protects the skin from infections but also promotes hair growth on the scalp. Rub into your scalp and hair each night.
Ginkgo biloba, a natural remedy from the Orient that's known to improve short-term memory and blood flow to the brain and skin, brings nutrients to the follicles that are necessary for hair growth. It also promotes proper blood circulation, which is vital to healthy hair. The recommended daily dosage is 120 mg to 160 mg spread among three doses.
Onion juice, according to a study published in the Journal of Dermatology, can begin to spawn hair regrowth after just two weeks' treatment. The juice is applied to the scalp twice daily for two months.
Hypnosis has been proven to be beneficial in treatment of alopecia. In a study that involved 28 people with various forms of alopecia and who did not respond to other conventional treatments, hair regrowth of 75 to 100 percent was seen in 12 of these subjects after only three to eight hypnotherapeutic sessions. Total regrowth occurred in nine of these twelve.
- Onion juice (Allium cepa L.), a new topical treatment for alopecia areata
- Hypnotherapeutic management of alopecia areata
- Michael Reed, MD, New York University Medical Center, New York City, NY
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