1. Lavender Essential Oil
Studies have shown that lavender oil possesses hair growth-promoting effects. In a 2016 animal study, topical application of lavender oil proved to significantly increase the number of hair follicles in female mice. Lavender oil was also able to deepen the depth of hair follicles and thicken the thermal layer. (1)
Lavender oil has antimicrobial properties, and it can be used to combat bacterial and fungal disorders. Some other lavender oil benefits are its ability to soothe the scalp and heal dry skin and hair. Plus, because emotional stress is a factor that can contribute to thinning hair, lavender oil can be used to create a tranquil and stress-free environment.
2. Cedarwood Essential Oil
Cedarwood is used to help stimulate the hair follicles by increasing circulation to the scalp. It can promote hair growth and slow hair loss; it can also treat thinning hair and various types of alopecia.
A study conducted in Scotland involved 86 patients who were randomized into two groups — one group massaged a combination of cedarwood, thyme, rosemary and lavender oils in a mixture of jojoba and grapeseed carrier oils into their scalps daily. The control group used only carrier oils daily. After 7 months, 44 percent of patients in the essential oil group showed improvement of alopecia symptoms, while only 15 percent of the control group showed improvements. (4)
Cedarwood essential oil can also help to reduce skin irritations and repel bugs, which can be beneficial on summer nights when you’re spending time outdoors.
Cedarwood can be applied topically to the scalp and hair. It mixes well with gentle oils like lavender and carrier oils like coconut oil. You can also add 2–3 drops of cedarwood oil to your homemade conditioner.
3. Rosemary Essential Oil
Rosemary oil is one of the top essential oils for hair thickness and growth. It is used to increase cellular metabolism, which stimulates hair growth and promotes healing. Research even shows that rosemary oil appears to work as well as minoxidil, a conventional topical hair loss treatment. (2) When it comes to boosting your hair health, the benefits of rosemary oil also include preventing baldness, slowing the graying process and treating dandruff and dry scalp.
To use rosemary oil for your hair, take 3–5 drops and mix it with equal parts olive oil, and then massage the mixture into your scalp for about two minutes. Leave it in your hair for 3 to 4 hours, and then wash your hair as usual.
4. Peppermint Essential Oil
Peppermint oil helps to stimulate the scalp, and it can treat dandruff and even lice due to its powerful antiseptic properties. Research shows that peppermint oil promotes hair growth, too. In a 2014 animal study, topical application of peppermint oil for four weeks showed prominent hair growth effects, increasing dermal thickness, follicle number and follicle depth. (7)
Peppermint has a pleasant cooling sensation when applied topically, and it helps calming effects help to reduce skin inflammation. In addition to these peppermint oil uses, it also works to energize your mind, boost your mood and relieve tension or headaches.
Add 2–3 drops of peppermint to your shampoo or conditioner for a quick wake-me-up during your morning shower.
5. Clary Sage Essential Oil
An important ester in clary sage oil called linalyl acetate reduces skin inflammation and regulates the production of oil on the skin. Clary sage also works as a natural remedy for rashes, and it works as an antibacterial agent. But maybe most importantly, clary sage can be used to help you relieve stress and balance hormones. Three types of hair loss can be associated with high stress levels: telogen effluvium, trichotillomania (hair pulling) and alopecia areata. Because clary sage can be used to help relieve stress and reduce cortisol levels in the body, it works as a natural remedy for stress-induced hair loss. (5)
Clary sage works well with jojoba oil; the two can help to regulate oil production on the skin, helping you to avoid scaly or flaky patches that lead to dandruff. To ease stress, which is associated with hair loss, you can diffuse clary sage oil at home or apply a few drops to your wrists, temples and bottoms of your feet.
1. Fish Oil For Hair Growth
Oils rich in different fatty acid species have been used extensively in both animal and human studies to evaluate the effects on skin and hair health. Omega-3 fats nourish the hair, support hair thickening and reduce inflammation that can lead to hair loss, which is why fish oil benefits hair and is one of the top six vitamins for hair growth.
A 2015 study published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology evaluated the effects of a six-month supplementation with omega-3, omega-6 and antioxidants on hair loss. In the randomized, comparative study, 120 healthy female subjects with female pattern hair loss participated. The primary endpoint was the change in hair density evaluated on standardized photographs, and the secondary endpoint included changes in active hair follicle percentage and diameter distribution of hair growth.
After six months of treatment, photograph assessment demonstrated a superior improvement in the supplemented group. Hair growth increased compared to the control group, and 89.9 percent of the participants reported a reduction in hair loss, as well as an improvement in hair diameter (86 percent) and hair density (87 percent). (1)
Eat omega-3 foods like salmon, mackerel, tuna, white fish, sardines, egg yolks, walnuts, hemp seeds and natto to reduce inflammation and balance hormones. If you don’t eat enough omega-3 foods, take one to two capsules or one tablespoon of a top-notch fish oil supplement to help reduce inflammation that causes hair disorders. If you already take blood-thinning medications, including aspirin, speak to your health care provider before using fish oil because it may increase bleeding.
2. Zinc For Hair Growth
Oral zinc compounds have been used for decades for treating disorders such as telogen effluvium and alopecia areata, forms of hair loss, because zinc benefits hair follicle health. Zinc is an essential co-factor for multiple enzymes and is involved with important functional activities in the hair follicle. Zinc is also a potent inhibitor of hair follicle regression, and it accelerates hair follicle recovery. Studies suggest that some alopecia areata patients have zinc deficiency, and oral zinc sulfate therapy serves as an effective treatment.
In a 2013 study, researchers evaluated the role of zinc status in each of the four types of hair loss, including alopecia areata, male pattern hair loss, female pattern hair loss and telogen effluvium. In all of the hair loss patients, the mean serum zinc was significantly lower than the control group. The analysis of each group showed that all groups of hair loss had statistically lower zinc concentration, especially the alopecia areata group. The data led to the hypothesis of zinc metabolism disturbances playing a key role in hair loss. (2)
A 2009 study published in Annals of Dermatology evaluated the therapeutic effects of oral zinc supplementation for 12 weeks in 15 alopecia areata patients who had low serum zinc levels. Oral zinc gluconate (50 milligrams) supplementation was given to alopecia areata patients without any other treatment. The serum zinc levels were measured before and after zinc supplementation, and then a four-point scale of hair regrowth was used to evaluate the therapeutic effect.
After the therapy, the serum zinc levels increased significantly, and positive therapeutic effects were observed for nine out of 15 patients (66.7 percent). The researchers concluded that zinc supplementation needs to be given to the alopecia areata patients who have a low serum zinc level, and it could even become an adjuvant therapy for patients who didn’t experience results when using traditional therapeutic methods, which is why zinc is one of the most important vitamins for hair growth. (3)
3. B-Complex Vitamin (Biotin & B5) For Hair Growth
Biotin and pantothenic acid (vitamin B5) have been used as alternative treatments for hair loss. Biotin benefits your hair by rebuilding hair shingles that have been damaged from over-shampooing, exposure to the sun, blow-drying and ironing. Vitamin B5 supports the adrenal glands, which helps stimulate hair growth.
A 2011 study published in the British Journal of Dermatology examined the ability of a leave-on combination including panthenol, the alcohol analog of pantothenic acid, to affect the diameter and behavior of individual terminal scalp hair fibers. The treatment significantly increased the diameter of individual, existing terminal scalp fibers. It also thickened hair fibers and increased the pliability, giving the hairs better ability to withstand force without breaking. (4)
A major sign of a biotin deficiency is hair loss. A deficiency can be caused by smoking, impaired liver function or even pregnancy. Research suggests that a substantial number of women develop a biotin deficiency during normal pregnancy because the rapidly dividing cells of the developing fetus require biotin for synthesis of essential carboxylases and histone biotinylation. Researchers conclude that signifiant alternations in markers of biotin metabolism during pregnancy and breast-feeding suggest that biotin intakes exceed current recommendations in order to meet the demands of these reproductive states. (5)
To reverse hair loss and increase hair strength, take one B-complex vitamin tablet daily or take biotin and vitamin B5 separately. Eating biotin and vitamin B5 foods, such as eggs, beef, chicken, avocado, legumes, nuts and potatoes, also helps you to avoid a deficiency and aid hair growth.
4. Vitamin C For Hair Growth
Experimental evidence suggests that oxidative stress plays a major role in the aging process. Reactive oxygen species or free radicals are highly reactive molecules that can directly damage cellular structural membranes, lipids, proteins and DNA.
With age, the production of free radicals increases and the amount of antioxidative enzymes that defend the body decrease, leading to the damage of cellular structures and the aging of hair. By working as an antioxidant, vitamin C fights oxidative stress that contributes to hair graying and hair loss. (6)
To fight free radical damage and protect the hair from aging, fill up on vitamin C foods like oranges, red peppers, kale, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, strawberries, grapefruit and kiwi. If you need supplementation, take 500–1,000 milligrams of vitamin C twice daily as an antioxidant.
5. Iron Fro Hair Growth
Several studies have examined the relationship between iron deficiency and hair loss, and some suggest that iron deficiency may be related to alopecia areata, androgenetic alopecia, telogen effluvium and diffuse hair loss. (7)
Researchers at Tehran University of Medical Sciences in Iran studied the relationship between iron body status and different types of hair loss. They conducted an analytical case-control study to assess whether diffuse telogen hair loss in women between the ages of 15 and 45 is associated with iron deficiency — 30 women with documented telogen hair loss were compared with 30 women without hair loss.
The researchers found that of the nine patients with iron deficiency anemia, eight had telogen hair loss. The mean ferritin (a protein in the body that binds to iron) level was statistically significantly lower in patients with diffuse telogen hair loss than in subjects without hair loss. The study suggests that women with an iron deficiency are at a higher risk of hair loss, and serum ferritin levels below or equal to 30 milligrams/milliliter are strongly associated with telogen hair loss. (8)
To boost hair growth, add iron-rich foods into your diet every day. Eat plenty of spinach, Swiss chard, collard greens, egg yolks, beef steak, navy beans and black beans. Because an iron deficiency may lead to hair loss, ensure that you get your daily recommended amount by eating plenty of iron-rich foods and taking a daily multivitamin.
However, be wary of excessive iron supplementation. It can cause iron overload and should be avoided. Patients who don’t respond to iron replacement therapy should undergo additional testing to identify other underlying causes of iron deficiency and hair loss.
6. Vitamin D For Hair Growth
Hair follicles are highly sensitive to hormones, and vitamin D is a hormone that plays an important role in calcium homeostasis, immune regulation and cell growth differentiation. In the scientific world, it’s well-known that alopecia areata is commonly found in patients with vitamin D deficiency, vitamin D-resistant rickets or vitamin D receptor mutation. (9)
Research suggests that insufficient levels of vitamin D have been implicated in a variety of autoimmune diseases, including alopecia areata. A cross-sectional study involving 86 patients with alopecia areata, 44 patients with vitiligo and 58 healthy controls was conducted. Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin vitamin D levels in patients with alopecia areata were significantly lower than those of the patients with vitiligo and the healthy controls. Furthermore, a significant inverse correlation was found between disease severity and serum 25(OH)D levels in patients with alopecia.
Researchers concluded that screening patients with alopecia areata for vitamin D deficiencies seem to be of value for the possibility of supplementing these patients with vitamin D. (10)
Direct sun exposure is the best way to absorb vitamin D, plus you can detox your body with the sun. Sit in the sun for roughly 10–15 minutes to absorb about 10,000 units of natural vitamin D. Topical application of vitamin D might also play a role in the restoration of hair cycle dysfunction in patients with alopecia areata. To increase your vitamin D levels with food sources, eat vitamin D-rich foods like halibut, mackerel, eel, salmon, whitefish, swordfish, maitake mushrooms and portabella mushrooms.
1. Saw palmetto (320 milligram daily):
A natural DHT blocker that can greatly improve hair growth.
2. Pygeum (100 milligrams 2x daily):
Addresses the cause of hair loss by blocking DHT binding sites and improving prostate health.
3. Pumpkin seed oil (8 grams or 1 tablespoon daily):
Inhibits DHT formation throughout the body and contains fatty acids that support thick hair.
4. Ashwagandha (500 milligrams daily):
Adaptogen herbs like ashwagandha help your body adapt and deal with stress, balance hormones and reduce cortisol levels (also known as the aging hormone), which all help encourage healthy hair growth.
5. Rhodiola (500 milligrams daily):
Another awesome adaptogen herb to fend off stress and foster hair growth.
7. Stinging Nettle
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