Hair loss, hair thinning, dandruff, and irritable scalp have become common problems now...and a cause of huge stress, which further affects one’s scalp health adversely. These conditions could be the result of certain deficiencies, seasonal change, etc., and in most cases can be cured with the help of a few natural ingredients. While the list is long, we thought we’d let you in on the seven best from the lot to keep your scalp healthy and locks lustrous.
Castor Oil: You might have heard your mom or grandmother speak about the many benefits of this oil. Castor oil is packed with proteins, Vitamin E, omega-6 fatty acids, among other nutrients that can *actually* penetrate your strands and help in retaining moisture. Not just that, massaging your scalp regularly with this oil will make it lap up all the nutrients, making the skin up there healthier. Also, it is loaded with antifungal and antibacterial properties that help combat scalp infections that could possibly be preventing your hair from growing. Pro tip: castor oil is pretty thick, so it’s always better to mix it with a lighter oil like coconut or olive before massaging onto the scalp and hair.
Biotin: It’s probably the first thing people recommend the moment you utter the words ‘hair loss’. Part of the Vitamin B family, biotin plays a big role in converting fats and carbs into usable energy. And it has been linked to hair growth, too—although there is no substantial scientific proof backing it, people who have used topical supplements, swear by it. It is found in a bunch of meats, eggs and even bananas, but if you really want to see results, take an oral supplement (anything between 300mg-1000mg a day) to see results in a few months.
Ashwagandha: This ayurvedic herb boasts many a quality, and one of them is improving scalp circulation, which strengthens hair and helps get rid of dandruff, too. Ashwagandha also stimulates the production of melanin, the pigment responsible for the colour of our hair, and may actually reverse greying.
Rosemary Oil: This fragrant herb has more talents up its sleeve than just making food smell good. If your hair’s thinning, infusing a few drops of rosemary oil in your hair-care products will help a great deal. Studies claim that it promotes hair growth as well as minoxidil (used to treat male-pattern baldness), minus any side effects.
Onion Juice: Okay, we know it’s not fun for anyone to smell like onions, but its benefits are totally worth it. Onion juice has shown results in treating alopecia as it improves circulation, which helps in promoting hair growth. And it’s super-easy to make—just blend a few onions and squeeze out the juice. Leave it on your scalp for 15 to 30 minutes and shampoo after to reveal shiny, healthy locks.
Folic Acid: Okay, so it doesn’t exactly lead to hair growth. But here’s the thing: balanced hormones are directly linked to hair growth. And folic acid promotes healthy cortisol levels (also known as the stress hormone!) levels by supporting hormone productions in your adrenal gland and also keeps our red blood cells circulating with follicle-nourishing compounds like vitamins and oxygen, which are required to support a healthy hair growth cycle. So, load up on foods like leafy greens, citrus fruits, beetroot, et al, or pop an over-the-counter supplement.