How do you know what’s truly best for your hair?
Hair growth tips abound on the internet, from beauty bloggers to Pinterest hair hacks. But, how do you decipher the truth from gimmicks?
We all wish that a magic potion existed. If only there were some elixir that could transform your thinning hair to Rapunzel-esque locks overnight. Some people will resort to less than healthy, perhaps even harmful hair loss remedies that promise lush hair.
However, these “solutions” may be doing damage to your follicles and your overall health. How to stop hair loss and regrow hair naturally involves knowing what to do, as well as knowing what NOT to do.
Let’s shed some light on popular hair growth myths and misconceptions so you can make informed, sensible choices about your hair health.
And, it begins with FDA-approved Minoxidil, the patented ingredient in many hair growth products today…
How NOT to Regrow Your Hair
If you’ve ever researched hair loss remedies, it’s highly probable you’ve come across the word “Minoxidil.” The name sounds like something you use to clean the grout in your shower, not an active ingredient used in hair growth products like Rogaine.
Minoxidil has been proven to slow or stop hair loss in both men and women. It was first developed in the 1950’s to treat ulcers and later found to help treat high blood pressure. When scientist noticed an unexpected increase in hair growth in patients, the drug was patented then re-marketed for hair growth.
The chemical Minoxidil increases blood flow to the follicle while also enlarging the diameter of the hair shaft. However, scientists are still unsure exactly how or why Minoxidil works.
The positive effects of Minoxidil vary from person to person, and so do the side effects. When adding any medical-grade chemical to your hair routine, it’s important to understand the risks. As a result, you alter your body’s chemical makeup, which is dangerous.
So, here are some things to take into consideration before using Minoxidil:
The Side Effects
Some tests have shown that Minoxidil can irritate your skin at the application sight. Redness and flaking may also occur. More serious, less common side effects include: tiredness, dizziness, drowsiness, nausea, breast pain or tenderness, vomiting and temporary edema (swelling).
To maintain hair growth you must use Minoxidil indefinitely. That means for the rest of your life. Most Minoxidil-based products need to be applied twice a day, without fail, for desired affect. So, if you plan on keeping that newly grown hair for the next 30 years, that’s 21,900 applications. If it takes 5 minutes to apply, that’s 1,825 hours, or 76 days of your life spent applying Minoxidil to your hair. That’s exorbitant in terms of time, energy, and money spent.
Unwanted Hair Growth
Tests have shown that some women who use Minoxidil have experienced facial hair growth. This may be the result of medication dripping down onto the face and/or is an expected side-effect of Minoxidil.
The Truth About Home Remedies For Hair Loss
In the beauty industry, there is a growing trend away from chemical-based products, including Minoxidil-based products. The side-effects are just too serious not to consider alternative remedies. And, these home remedies abound on a variety of social media, especially Pinterest.
Though some tips are helpful in promoting the overall health of your hair, many home remedies for hair loss don’t actually grow hair. These remedies may seem to work but they are actually doing something different to your hair.
So, what do these home remedies for hair loss actually do?
Taking Supplements for Hair Regrowth
Though hair growth supplements help control hair loss, they don’t actually stimulate hair growth. Hair loss can be caused by a vitamin or mineral deficiency, so taking the right supplements can help thin hair look fuller, if that is what you want. There is, however, no supplement that is a true hair loss cure, though they do strengthen the hair you already have.
Certain Foods Can Make Your Hair Grow
While good eating habits and a balanced diet provides your body with the right amount of protein and iron crucial to the health of your hair, there is no magic food that will make you grow more hair. Hair is made of proteins, so protein-rich foods (like meat, eggs and fish) help grow hair cells. High levels of iron can enhance your body’s ability to produce hair proteins. So, eating healthy is essential to good hair, but there is no one superfood to grow hair, yet.
Trimming Your Hair Makes It Grow Faster
Getting your hair regularly trimmed doesn’t make it grow faster, but it does stop split ends in their tracks. The longer you let split ends remain, the higher up the hair strand they travel, damaging your hair and making it appear thin and frizzy. This breakage can make your hair seem shorter than it actually is. Regular hair trims prevent split ends from getting out of control, rejuvenating the ends and strengthening your hair. Think of it as a hair length deception rather than a hair growth remedy.
Air Drying Is Better for Hair Growth Than Blow Drying
If you are trying to prevent hair loss, there isn’t a big difference between air drying and blow drying. However, using high heat to dry your hair can cause breakage. This breakage can make it seem like your hair isn’t growing.
Air-drying is a way to avoid excessive heat therefore prevent easy breakage. Lowering the temperature of your blow dryer and heat styling tools helps protect your hair from breakage, as well as using a protective heat-styling hair product. But, these are still not preventives to hair loss.
Extra Brushing Helps Hair Grow
No amount of brushing will actually make your hair grow more. Brushing your hair helps evenly distribute natural oils from your scalp down the hair shaft, nourishing your hair and preventing breakage. But, too much brushing actually removes these oils, resulting in frizzy, dry hair.
Always avoid yanking and pulling on your hair with your brush, comb or styling tool. Using a moisturizing conditioner to eliminate stubborn tangles helps prevent tugging and inevitable breakage. Being gentle with your strands and scalp adds to the overall health of your hair. But again, it doesn’t assist in hair growth.
Shampooing Every Day Causes Hair Loss
It’s common for people to lose hair in the shower. So, shampooing has become associated with hair loss. This is a myth. Actually cutting back on washing your hair can stunt its growth. Oil and debris can buildup on your scalp, clogging the follicle, which leads to scalp inflammation.
All shampooing does is clean dirt, oil and grime from your hair, while exfoliating your scalp. Washing your hair actually provides a clean, fresh environment for your hair to grow.
How to Regrow Hair Naturally
Though there is no instant cure for hair loss, there are ways to make your hair grow healthier. True hair rejuvenation is an act of self-love. It begins with caring for the body in terms of what you eat and what you put on it.
Give your body the best nature has to offer and your hair will thank you! Using all natural products that are good for the body will automatically lead to great hair, because your body always understands a good thing.