By the time many men – and women, too – hit middle age, their hair has begun to thin out. For some men, it’s no big deal. For others, it’s a serious worry. But for women, thinning hair can be traumatic.
In many cultures, a woman’s hair is her “crowning glory.” Thinning hair can make you feel like less of a woman… even unattractive. You may find yourself going out less, or hiding under a hat. Your quality of life suffers.
That’s why there’s a thriving industry centered around hair re-growth, wigs, plugs and weaves. But before you invest a small fortune in cover-ups of chemicals, here are three natural alternatives you can try.
Back in the late 1990’s, a team tested an unusual theory on 86 people with thinning hair. They divided the group in half. One half applied a mix of jojoba oil and grape seed oil to their scalp daily. The other half used the same mixture, with thyme, rosemary, lavender and cedarwood essential oils added.
They took detailed photos of the subjects’ heads periodically, and then submitted the photo sequences to dermatologists who didn’t know which subjects had received which mixture.
The dermatologists found that 44% of the essential oil group showed measurable hair re-growth. But only 15% of the other group made any gains.1
Essential oils are inexpensive and easy to find. If your hair is thinning, they may be worth a try.
Another herb that may help is Panax ginseng. Ginseng is best known as an adaptogen – an herb that supports your ability to deal with stress. But animal studies over the last 15 years suggest it may support fuller, thicker hair, too.
Back in 1998, South Korean researchers discovered that P. ginseng supports the ability of animals’ hair follicles to recover from damage.2 Since follicles are responsible for hair growth, this was significant.
Like essential oils, Panax ginseng is inexpensive. And you can find it at most health food stores.
Finally, there’s an herb that’s been used to promote hair growth for centuries. It’s called fo ti root, and it has an interesting story.
In China, fo ti is called “He Shou Wu,” which roughly translates as “Black-haired Mr. He.” According to the story, Mr. He was an old man who got lost in the forest. He survived by eating the roots of a vine he found there.
When some villagers came across Mr. He years later, they hardly recognized him. His white hair had turned jet black. Ever since, fo ti has been used by Chinese herbalists for its anti-aging properties – including promoting thicker, darker hair.
There isn’t much research on fo ti. But two university researchers in China reviewed nearly 20 years of records. They determined that most of the traditional anti-aging uses for fo ti root are backed by solid science.5
Each of these natural solutions appears to work through different pathways. So there’s a good chance that at least one of them may work for you. Best of all, you may be able to enjoy thicker, fuller hair and save hundreds – or thousands – of dollars to boot.
Best Life Herbals Wellness Team
Best Life Herbals
1 Hay, I.C., et al, “Randomized Trial of Aromatherapy: Successful Treatment for Alopecia Areata,” Arch Dermatol. 1998;134:1349-1352.
2 Kim, S.H., et al, “Panax ginseng prevents apoptosis in hair follicles and accelerates recovery of hair medullary cells in irradiated mice,” In Vivo. Mar-Apr 1998;12(2):219-222.