Ask Nia: How to Stimulate Hair Growth with Alopecia and Hair Loss

Angela asked on Facebook "Help any ideas on how to stimulate hair growth when struggling with alopecia?...I'm really looking to find out about a natural regimen?"

Thank you for your question Angela and apologies for such a late response,

Alopecia is basically baldness or hair loss/shedding which can happen any part of the body that has hair. Hair loss and shedding in normal however alopecia is when the hair sheds excessively leaving patches of baldness and really thin patches of hair.

There are many types of alopecia, an increasingly common type of Alopecia in the black community is Traction Alopecia which is caused by excessive stress and pulling on the hair by hair ties, braids and hair weaves etc. Other types of Alopecia may be caused by autoimmune conditions, a trigger event like giving birth, stress, exposure to toxins, hormones, bacterial/fungal infections, genetics etc.

Holistically looking at hair loss
  • Make sure you have a good diet including lot of fruits, vegetables and water / consider taking vitamin supplements;
"Many different nutrient deficiencies result in hair loss, including deficiencies of vitamins A, B6, B12, folic acid, biotin, vitamin C, copper, iron, and zinc. Hair loss can be a sign of vitamin A toxicity as well as deficiency. Vitamins B6, B12, folic acid, copper, and iron are necessary for the normal formation of red blood cells that supply oxygen to the hair shaft. Copper also functions in the formation of hair pigmentation, so copper deficiency can also cause color changes in the hair. With vitamin-C deficiency, the hair splits and breaks easily, resulting in dry, kinky, tangled hair. Silica also is important for hair growth and strength. Vitamin E is also necessary for good scalp and hair follicle health." (Source)
  • Make sure you are getting enough sleep which will improve your general health and reduce stress
  • Try cutting down on sugar, alcohol and junk food as poor nutrition can slow down hair growth
  • Exercise to improve overall health and reduce stress
  • Reduce stress in your life
  • Daily intakes of rosemary tea to improve circulation
  • Eat hormone balancing foods such as coconut oil

Remedies for Alopecia and Hair Loss

  • Jojoba oil has be known as a  great remedy for hair loss for thousands of years. It has scalp cleansing properties this means it help deal with excess sebum which can be a cause of hair loss. Apply Jojoba oil by applying it to the scalp.
  • Emu oil is recommended as a moisturizer and hair-root stimulant to promote hair growth. This also can be applied to the scalp.
  • Rosemary oil can also be used a treatment for hair loss as it help blood circulation in the scalp and removes bacteria which clog hair follicle - "Add one part rosemary oil to two parts almond oil and massage the mixture into your scalp for twenty minutes a day."
  • Use some Sage & Liquorice extract and add it to your normal shampoo treament. Sage is great for scalp and hair renewal process. It's also great for the helping blood circulation around the scalp which promotes hair growth. 
  • Safflower oil is great for nourishing the roots and scalp which can promote hair growth. Use safflower by appling it to the scalp.
  • Rinsing the hair with nettle vinegar is said to lessen hair loss
  • Castor oil is widely use to regrow damaged hair lines and stimulate hair growth. Apply it the scalp for best results.
  • Improve your hair practices; be gentle with you hair. If you are using a fine tooth comb get rid of it, use your fingers instead to comb through hair. Also avoid doing tight hairstyle as these will just exasperate the problem. Avoid using heat appliances or chemically processing your hair.

For a regime, I would advise;
1. Shampooing or clarify the scalp and hair between every one and two weeks. You want to be using something very gentle for your hair and scalp; nothing that contains SLS, sulphate or soap. You could also try dilute your shampoo with water to make it milder on the hair. If you can loosely braid your hair before you wash it and then apply your shampoo mixture to your scalp and braids. This braiding technique is good for prevent hair loss whilst getting the hair clean.
2. Deep condition you hair afterwards. You can add a little oil (an oil mention above) to your deep condition to make it more moisturising. Apply the deep conditioner in sections and braid the sections back. Let the deep conditioner penetrate your hair for 15 minutes to an hour and then rinse and unravel your braids.
3. After you wash you hair apply a water based moisturiser to the hair. Seal the moisturiser into the ends of the hair with an oil or butter (Jojoba oil , Emu oil, Castor oil etc.). Also massage the oil into your scalp concentrating on areas of hair loss.
4. In term of styling you want to keep  your hair styles pretty low manipulation and low maintenance hair styles. So no tight ponytail or heavy extensions. Styles like twists and puffs would be ideal.
5. Moisturise regularly your hair when it gets dry by misting it with water, applying your water based moisturiser, sealing and massaging the scalp with oil. You can do this everyday if necessary but make sure you are not over moisturising.

I hope this information helps you with dealing with alopecia and hair loss. If you are really concerned with alopecia and hair loss please consult your Doctor or hair specialist.

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