We all want to have a full head of hair. Some of us are lucky enough to have the genetics to have and maintain it with minimal fuss. On the flip side of the proverbial coin lie the rest of us where we hope and pine for the luscious locks that we gaze upon with envy on the silver screen. Before delving into any of the home remedies, we first need to understand how hair growth actually works.
The Hair Growth Cycle
The hair grows from the ‘root’, also known as the hair follicle that resides under our skin. Our blood vessels deposit nutrients to the root, which in turn nourishes our hair and helps it grow. The hair growth cycle consists of the following stages:
- Anagen: This is also known as the growing phase. It can last anywhere between two to seven years and it determines how long our hair is going to be.
- Catagen: This is also known as the transition phase. It typically lasts for only ten days, during which the hair follicle slowly detaches itself from the skin (dermal papilla).
- Telogen: Also known as the resting phase, it lasts for about three months. During this stage, the new hair starts growing under the old hair that is resting. Research shows that roughly anywhere between 10 – 15% of all the hair on our body is going through this phase.
- Exogen: Also called the new hair phase, the old hair is shed during this phase and is replaced with new hair. Losing anywhere between 100 to 150 strands of hair everyday is considered to be normal.
The loss of hair becomes visible when people enter the telogen phase a little too early, without allowing time for the new hair to grow in its place. This condition is usually attributed to genetic and environmental factors, which may also be exacerbated by advanced age.
If you are suffering from thinning hair, you are not alone as millions of people from around the world suffer from the same affliction. Do not worry as the following home remedies are known to help!
Home Remedies for Hair Growth
The internet is riddled with numerous effective and not so effective home remedies that is supposed to boost your hair growth. We have shortlisted twelve treatments that we believe to be most effective.
- Egg Yolk
Our hair is primarily made of protein. If an adequate amount of this nutrient fails to reach your hair follicles, you will start suffering from thinning hair. You can supply protein directly to the root of your hair with the help of an egg yolk hair mask. To create it, you will need the following ingredients:
- 2 eggs.
- Extra virgin olive oil.
You can now create the egg yolk hair mask with the help of the following steps:
- Crack an egg and separate the yolk from the whites. Pour the yolk in a bowl. Repeat this step with the other egg.
- Beat the yolks until they turn creamy (the exact same way you would whisk them if you were making scrambled eggs).
- Add two tablespoons of extra virgin olive and then beat them again so that the oil is evenly distributed in the yolk.
Your egg yolk mask is now ready to use! Following is how you would apply the treatment:
- Wash your hair with a mild shampoo. The shampoo needs to be mild because you will be using it again, very soon! Get rid of the excess water from your hair, but do not towel dry it. The hair needs to be wet for the treatment to be effective!
- Gently apply the mixture on your scalp and also cover all your hair strands from the root to the tip. Being “gentle” is the operative word here as being overly vigorous may further damage the strands that are already fragile.
- Cover your hair with a hair net and leave it on for about half an hour.
- Wash off the egg yolk with a mild shampoo.
For best results, this needs to be applied at least once a week. Although your hair will start shining right after the first application, it may take a few months before you notice any visible improvement in the volume of your hair.
If you are lacking Vitamins A, B and C, your hair will become dry and brittle, causing you to lose them at a rapid rate. This is where the humble potato can come to your rescue. Potatoes have been long-maligned as just a source of starch and nothing else. However, recent studies have proved conclusively that they are rich in vitamins as well. You can harness the power of potatoes to boost hair growth either by massaging your hair with potato juice, or via a potato hair mask.
Following is how you can rejuvenate thinning hair with the help of potato juice:
- Run four regular-sized potatoes through the food processor to extract their juice. Do not peel the skin before you put the potato in the processor as the skin is where most of the vitamins lie.
- Gently massage your scalp with the potato juice for about 15 minutes.
- Rinse your hair with water.
If your hair are extremely dry or brittle, then just a massage with potato juice will not be enough. You will need to create a potato juice hair pack and use that instead. To create it, you will need the following ingredients:
- Three regular-sized potatoes.
- One egg.
- Honey (1 tablespoon)
After you have gathered the ingredients, you can create the potato juice hair pack with the following steps:
- Extract the potato juice with the help of a food processor.
- Separate the yolk from the egg white and add it to the potato juice.
- Add the honey.
- Beat the mixture thoroughly till it is creamy. It will be a lot lighter than the egg yolk hair mask that was mentioned earlier.
Your potato juice hair mask is now ready to use! Apply and then wash your hair in exactly the same way you would do with an egg yolk hair mask.
For best results, this treatment needs to be applied once a week as well!
- Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)
Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is great for boosting hair growth because of the following:
- It is a cleansing and anti-microbial agent that will clear the dead skin cells that may be clogging your hair follicles.
- It lowers the pH level of your scalp, thus making it slightly acidic. This is ideal for boosting hair growth.
Following is how you would prepare the ACV treatment:
- Take a clean, empty one liter bottle and add 75 ml of ACV to it.
- Fill the rest of the bottle with tap water, close the lid and shake it vigorously for about 15 seconds.
Your ACV treatment is now ready. Simply use it as a final rinse after you shampoo your hair every day.
Some people may be allergic or overtly sensitive to ACV. To find out if you are one of them, simply soak a cotton ball in the diluted ACV and apply it on your elbow. You may feel a minor stinging sensation, which should disappear after a few seconds. However, if you feel a burning sensation, you may be allergic to ACV and this treatment is not right for you!
For best results, use organic ACV that has the “mother of vinegar” still in it!
- Fenugreek Seeds
Fenugreek seeds, more popularly known as methi in the Indian subcontinent is another source of protein that you can apply topically on your hair and scalp to stimulate hair growth. There are a couple of ways you can do that.
- Using a fenugreek rinse: You can create and apply this treatment via the following steps:
- Take a large pan and fill it with water. Add three tablespoons of fenugreek seeds to it and let it sit for at least 24 hours. Strain the water after that.
- Rinse your hair with this water. Gently towel dry your hair but do not yet take a shower for at least three hours.
Applying this rinse daily will visibly increase the volume of your hair in about 30 days.
- Via a fenugreek hair mask: To create the fenugreek hair mask, you will need the following ingredients:
- 1 tablespoon of fenugreek seeds.
- ¼ to ½ cup of coconut milk (depending upon the length of your hair)
Following is how you prepare the fenugreek hair mask:
- Use a tablespoon of fenugreek seeds and add a tablespoon of water to it. Grind them together using a pestle and mortar to create a smooth paste.
- Add the resultant paste to coconut milk and mix it thoroughly.
Your fenugreek hair mask is now ready. You can apply this treatment via the exact same way that the other hair masks have been applied earlier in the article. For best results, do not use a pre-packed coconut milk, but rather extract it yourself. We will explain how to do that later in this article.
- Cayenne Pepper
Cayenne pepper contains capsaicin, which stimulates your nerve endings. This increases the blood-flow in your scalp, thus nutrients get delivered more efficiently to the hair follicles. Provided you are getting adequate amounts of proteins, Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids and vitamins, cayenne pepper will stop you from losing your hair strands before its due time, increasing the volume of your hair in the process. Following is how you would apply the treatment.
- Mix 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper in 2 teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil.
- Apply it on your scalp.
- Wash it off with cold water.
You should apply this treatment at least once every day. Make sure that none of the cayenne pepper enters your eyes for obvious reasons.
- Fish oil supplements
Fish oil supplements are rich in Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, which go a long way in strengthening your hair from its roots. Simply take the recommended dosage of fish oil supplements (it is mentioned on the packaging) daily and your hair should gain volume in about a month.
- Coconut milk
Besides making the fenugreek treatment more robust, coconut milk can boost hair growth on its own. This is because it is rich in Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, while also being rich in iron and potassium. For best results, stay away from pre-packed coconut milk. You can easily extract the coconut milk yourself.
- Take half a coconut kernel and grate the fleshy part. Please note that you need a specialized coconut grater to get this done. Do not worry as they are relatively inexpensive and can be ordered online. You need about 1 ½ cup of this grated coconut.
- Put the grated coconut in a blender and turn it on for a few seconds. Add a cup of warm water (hotter than lukewarm, but nowhere close to boiling hot) in the blender and turn it on again for about 20 seconds.
- Use cheesecloth or a metallic strainer and strain the mixture.
Your coconut milk is now ready to use! You can simply massage your scalp with this coconut milk, leave it on for about 30 minutes and then wash your hair with a mild shampoo. You can squeeze half a lemon and add four drops of lavender essential oil to make this treatment even more effective.
For best results, massage your hair with coconut milk every day before your morning shower.
You can also use coconut milk to create a hair pack to boost hair growth. You will need the following ingredients:
- A regular sized ripe banana.
- Coconut milk (2 tablespoons).
- Coconut oil (2 tablespoons).
- Honey (2 tablespoons).
The following steps will help you create the hair pack:
- Remove the skin of the banana and chop it up in small slices. Put them in a blender.
- Add two tablespoons each of coconut milk, coconut oil and honey in the blender.
- Turn on the blender for about 60 seconds. This will turn the banana into a smooth paste and will also thoroughly mix the ingredients.
- Make sure that there are no banana chunks. If there are any, you may need to turn on the blender again for a few more seconds.
Your coconut milk and banana hair pack is now ready for use! Following is how you would apply it:
- Wash your hair with water and a mild shampoo.
- Gently towel-dry your hair, so that it is still damp, without the excess water.
- Apply the hair pack and then wash your hair, exactly the same way you would do with any of the other hair packs mentioned earlier in this article.
For best results, apply the banana and coconut hair pack at least once a week!
The banana and coconut hair pack will make your hair feel really sticky on application. If you are not thrilled about that, or simply cannot stand the smell of bananas, then you can create an alternate hair pack by combining a quarter cup each of coconut milk, wheat germ oil and aloe vera gel. Apply it the same way you would apply any other hair pack. This should also be applied once a week.
To achieve best results with the coconut milk, wheat germ oil and aloe vera hair pack, one should source the aloe vera gel directly from the leaves of the aloe vera plant. Simple pluck a few leaves, chop off the rinds, take the leaf apart and scrape the gel. If you cannot get hold of an aloe vera plant, then visit your local drugstore and procure a bottle of organic aloe vera gel.