It has always been this way
In the world of hair loss the huge array of potential reasons are way outnumbered by the cures on offer, some credible but some completely outlandish. It has always been this way – The Greek credited with being the father of western medicine, Hippocrates b: 460BC, had his own cure that involved opium and pigeon droppings. To be fair he also noted that eunuchs never lost the hair on their head… there are no records showing that anyone opted for this extreme solution but it was eventually proved to be effective by researchers, but not until 1995.
The latest oldest newest most ancient cure is here!
Every day into my inbox there lands at least one or two new herbal remedies which variously claim to either halt hair loss or return you to a full head of hair too thick for a comb. Naturally the vast majority get treated with the contempt they deserve, given that they are the usually the product of a teenage journalist desperately seeking copy ahead of a deadline. Written without any serious expectation of ever being read in all probability, simply created to carry an advert.
So why is this list different?
I am sharing this list then because, although no-ones idea of a hippy, I believe there is something in ancient herbal remedies. In many cases their efficacy has been proven by modern science capable of describing precisely how they work… though often incapable of synthesizing anything as potent. This list stood out for two reasons, first that it is well researched. But also that it comes from India, where a herbal approach to medicine is truly ancient… I suspect we still have a great deal to learn from them.
The fact is that nothing on this list will cost you very much, nothing in some cases (should you already be a green tea drinker for example). More importantly nothing here requires an FDA approval, they will do you no harm, quite the opposite.
1: Onion Juice:
Method: Mash or grate the juice from a few slices of onion, rub into scalp and leave for 10 or 15 minutes. rinse off with a mild shampoo.. the smell goes with it.
How does it work: It is believed that the sulphur in the onion boosts collagen production.
2: Indian Gooseberry:
Method: Mix 2 teaspoons of the juice with an equal amount of lime juice. Rub it into the scalp and leave to dry ahead of rinsing off with warm water.
How does it work: The Gooseberry contains a potent mix of nutrients as well as being rich in Vitamin C.
3: Green Tea:
Method: Make and drink a cup of green tea. Take the used teabag, once it has cooled to a comfortable temperature, and squeeze so that the tea can be rubbed into the scalp. Leave it for one hour before washing off with cool water.
How does it work: Green Tea is rich in powerful antioxidants.
Method: Grind a tablespoon of this herb with a little water, add some coconut milk and rub it into hair and scalp. Leave for 30 minutes and use a mild shampoo to rinse off.
How does it work: One of those ancient remedies that turned out to have remarkable properties when studied with proteins and nicotinic acid present. Protein rich diets have, apparently, been associated with hair growth.
5: Egg Mask:
Method: Add some honey and a teaspoon of olive oil to an egg white. Apply the paste all over the hair and scalp. After 20 minutes rinse it off with cool water.
How does it work: Eggs… proteins of course, but also zinc, sulphur, iron, selenium, phosphorous and iodine. Oh, and honey. All very good stuff.
6: Apple Cider Vinegar:
Method: Add 3 teaspoons to a cup of water and use as a final rinse after washing your hair.
How does it work: By cleansing the scalp and maintaining the ph balance… claimed to promote hair growth.
7: Coconut Milk:
Method: You will need a fresh coconut and some time on your hands… recommendation is not to use prepackaged coconut milk. Carefully take out the milk from the coconut, add to it a squeeze of lemon and 4 drops of essential lavender oil. Rub into scalp and leave on for 4 or 5 hours, then rinse off.
How does it work: It is thought that the iron potassium and essential fats promote hair growth.
Is it for me?
My feeling is that anyone would benefit from adding some or all of these into their day. Who knows, maybe some combination of them will work for you. Bear in mind that even the most advanced of modern medicines are only ever effective for a section of the population, sometimes a worryingly small section. Your own genetic make-up will dictate exactly what does work, but nothing ventured nothing gained.
Of course, unlike Hippocrates, you have HIS Hair Clinic to fall back on.