Alopecia areata, sometimes referred to as spot baldness, is a medical condition that causes the loss of hair on different parts of the body, but most notably on the scalp. The key symptom in this form of alopecia is the loss of hair in patches, usually as a result of diseases affecting the immune system. While the precise cause that triggers this autoimmune response remains largely unknown, other risk factors for alopecia areta have been identified. These include excessive styling, the use of certain medication as well as a genetic predisposition to the condition.
There is a wide range of symptoms associated with alopecia areata, but as expected, the key symptom is the sudden and extreme loss of hair. For many of those affected, other symptoms include balding, the formation of smooth, round and bald patches, an extremely sore scalp as well as weak, dry and brittle hair. Depending on the severity of the condition, people suffering from alopecia areata may be able to grow back their hair. The time, however, varies from one person to another.
There is no overnight treatment for alopecia, but there are natural home remedies that help treat and manage alopecia. Regular use of these remedies not only restores the growth of the hair, it also makes the process a lot less painful. Remember, that it is important to get a proper diagnosis from your doctor as well as to check the progress of remedy us
1. Hot Oil Scalp Massage:
Time Required: 1 Hr
What You Need: A hair massager, oil (such as coconut or almond oil), a double boiler, a comb, a shower cap/warm towel ans warm water to rinse.
The essence of massaging your scalp is to make sure that you improve blood circulation. This not only helps restore the growth of hair, it also provides a soothing sensation that is an excellent way to decompress from stress. Incidentally, stress is one of the major contributors of severe alopecia areata. In addition to massaging the scalp, it helps to add hot oil treatment. Use coconut or almond oil for this purpose. Heat is infused in the remedy because it aids in the absorption of the oil, and helps reduce the pain and inflammation that sometimes accompanies alopecia areata. Be careful however, to ensure that you do not burn the skin from excessive heating of the oil. Follow the directions outlined below to get the most out of this remedy when treating the condition.
- Use a head massager to gently massage the scalp, making sure you focus on the scalp patches where hair loss is pronounced.
- After this, add some hot oil treatment to get the best of both worlds. You will need to heat the oil using a double boiler. This boiler is preferred because it prevents direct heating which destroys the structure of the oil and makes it less effective.
- Once the oil is hot (just moderately hot so that it can be applied on the scalp), Apply a generous amount of it on the hair loss patches.
- Remember to place the oil on the comb and comb through so that there is even distribution of the hot oil on all the hair strands.
- Wear a shower cap over the oily scalp and hair. This retains the heat and ensures maximum absorption. You may also wrap a warm towel over your head for the same purpose.
- After 30 minutes, remove the shower cap/towel and proceed with your normal hair care routine.
- Shampoo and rinse the hair using your preferred hair care products (that is those without ingredients that strip the hair of moisture).
2. Castor Oil:
Time Required: 1 Hr
What You Need: Castor oil, Base oil to mix with, hair shampoo and warm water.
Castor oil is one of the best home remedies for varied hair conditions. The simple reason for this is that the oil is rich in Vitamin E, one of the key ingredients for hair growth. Additionally, castor oil also has a high concentration of omega fatty acids that steer the proper growth of hair. For this reason, it is beneficial for people suffering from alopecia areata. Other benefits of using castor oil include its ability to moisturize hair, thanks to its viscosity as well as the prevention of scalp infections.
NOTE that for this remedy, the amounts of oil used will vary from one person to another simply because the severity of alopecia areata differs significantly among populations. Secondly, it is important to add what is here-in referred to as a base oil. A base oil is a mild oil whose addition is intended to help with the consistency of castor oil and make it more manageable in terms of application. Base oils may include any of the following: olive, coconut or almond oils
- Mix the castor oil with your preferred base oil in the ratio 1:1, that is, equal amounts of both oils.
- Castor oil is pretty viscous, so make sure you mix the two evenly for ease of application.
- Massage your scalp using the resulting oil and leave in for half an hour or so.
- Rinse the oil off using warm water and proceed to shampoo as usual.
3. Aloe Vera Gel:
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: Freshly chopped aloe vera leaf.
One of nature’s greatest natural remedies is aloe vera gel. This diverse home remedy is loved for its ability to treat a myriad of conditions with minimal side-effects. When it comes to the natural treatment of alopecia areata, aloe vera helps stimulate the growth of hair and stimulates increased blood flow to to the scalp. Over a period of time, this enhances the development of healthy follicles and overall restoration of the scalp’s natural texture. Other benefits of using aloe vera gel include hair moisturization and protection from damage. All you need for this remedy is freshly chopped aloe vera leaf and warm water.
- Slice the aloe vera leaf and collect the gel that oozes out.
- Once you have collected enough gel for use in this remedy, proceed to apply a generous amount of it on the scalp.
- Massage the scalp for maximum absorption and improved blood circulation.
- Rinse with warm water, or continue with your usual hair routine.
- Use this remedy regularly until you notice that the rate of hair loss is reduced significantly.
- Over a period of time, you should notice improved hair growth on the affected scalp patches.
Time Required: 30 Min
What You Need: 2 Drops of rosemary essential oil, 2 tablespoons of the base oil, hair shampoo and warm water.
Rosemary is an excellent herb that is not only effective in the culinary world, but one that has amazing benefits for the hair. It is recommended for the natural treatment of alopecia areata because it strengthens hair roots and this improves the growth and development of the hair strands. What’s more, rosemary is rich in sulfur which plays a key role in preventing further hair loss. The presence of silica in rosemary also slows down the process of hair loss, and this makes the herb a befitting home remedy. Add rosemary to your hair care routine to help prevent hair loss patches on the scalp.
NOTE: For this remedy, rosemary oil is recommended since it is not only easy to apply, it is also more effective. As aforementioned, base oil is used to provide a base for the remedy of interest. In this case, you may use olive, coconut, almond or jojoba oil as base oil. Alternatively, prepare rosemary water for hair rinse and enjoy the remedy’s benefits. Find below the two sets of directions for the use of the oil and rosemary water.
Using Rosemary Oil
- Mix the rosemary oil with your preferred base oil and stir well.
- Apply the oil mixture on your scalp and massage in gentle circular motions.
- Leave the remedy in for half an hour before continuing with your hair care routine.
- Shampoo, rinse and moisturize your hair for best results.
Using Rosemary Water
- Wash three sprigs of fresh rosemary and place in a pan containing water.
- Boil the mixture for a few minutes and then turn off the heat.
- Let the rosemary steep for five minutes as the solution cools down.
- Use the rosemary water to rinse your hair after shampooing.
- Repeat this procedure once weekly, making sure you moisturize the scalp after each rinsing session.
5. Increase Your Intake of High-Silicon Vegetables:
Time Required: Varies depending on the specific choice of food.
What You Need: High-silicon vegetables and cereals such as oats.
Silica is one of the most important compounds for all living creatures. So basic is this element that without it, the human bones would deteriorate, skin would remain wrinkled and nails and hair would be weak and damaged. interestingly, it is possible to have a deficiency when this is, in fact, one of the most abundant elements in the world. This occurs because just as with other mineral salts, absorption does not happen when the elements are in their inorganic form. For silica to be optimally absorbed by the body, it is important to make sure that it is pre-digested, This happens when the elements are absorbed by plants and converted to organic form.
Some of the richest sources of silica include horseradish, cucumbers, oats, peppers and potatoes. What happens with these foods is that they absorb silica from the earth and transform it to organic silica which is then absorbed by the body with relative ease. Constant supply of silica enhances hair growth and helps prevent the hair from becoming dry and brittle. Incorporate the aforementioned foods into your daily diet to help manage alopecia areata from the inside out.
- Add your preferred food to your daily diet to increase the amount of silica in the body for reduced hair loss and recovery of the scalp.
6. Lavender Oil:
Time Required: 30 Min
What You Need: 5 Drops of lavender oil, 3 drops of rosemary oil, 2 drops of cedarwood oil and choice carrier oil.
Studies show that one of the best solutions to the management of alopecia areata is the use of lavender oil. When massaged on the scalp, the oil not only encourages the pores to open up for maximum absorption, it also helps reduce the extent of the hair patches on the scalp. This helps reverse the symptoms of the condition. It is also known that lavender oil encourages the development of hair follicles, which in turn enhance the growth of hair in the affected spots. Rosemary oil is added to the remedy for its aforementioned benefits. Cedarwood compliments the functions of the two oils. Carrier oils helps provide a base for the remedy, and these may include avocado, jojoba or almond oil.
- Mix all the oils together before application.
- Section the hair in parts if need be.
- Apply a generous amount of the oils on the scalp.
- Massage in the oil for a few minutes.
- Use this remedy every couple of days to ward off infections and stimulate hair growth.
NOTE: This remedy must NOT be used internally as it causes severe toxicity. If you suffer an adverse reaction from any of the constituent oils, stop applying the remedy immediately. To help prevent such reactions, it helps to carry out a patch test first on a discreet part of the body and monitor the reaction.
7. Raw Onions:
Time Required: 45 Min
What You Need: Raw onions, a pestle and mortar as well as a clean cloth.
Raw onions are nature’s gift to a host of medical conditions, mainly because they are rich in antimicrobial properties that help keep infections at bay. The high concentration of sulfur in the onions plays a key role in reversing the effects of alopecia areata and stimulating the growth of hair through increased collagen production. This combination of healing factors makes raw onions a reliable home remedy. To maximize the healing benefits of onion, it is important to prepare the juice as indicated in the directions below.
- Peel the onion and clean it well.
- Chop the onion into thin slices. This increases the surface area for juice production.
- Crush the onion slices using a pestle and mortar until you have a paste-like substance.
- Place the crushed onion on the clean piece of cloth and tie opposite ends of the cloth.
- Tug at the cloth as tightly as you can to squeeze the onion juice.
- Apply this juice on the scalp and leave it for 15 minutes.
- Wash off the juice with mild hair shampoo for best results.
- Note that the onion’s pungent smell does not stick to the hair, and rinsing works just well to get rid of this smell. In any case, it is a small price to pay for the health benefits associated with onions.
8. Coconut Milk:
Time Required: 1 Hr
What You Need: 1 Fresh coconut, juice of half a lemon, 4 drops of lavender essential oil, warm water and hair shampoo.
Coconut milk is integral to the natural treatment of alopecia areata. One of the most popular natural remedies for hair conditions, the milk is rich in essential fats, potassium and iron – all of which are needed for proper gorwth of hair. When applied on the hair, the coconut milk stimulates the function of the hair follicles, which in turn enhances hair growth and keeps the scalp healthy. The best option for this remedy is coconut milk freshly obtained from the fruit. If, however, this is not possible, it helps to use coconut oil instead. You will need hair shampoo and warm water to rinse the hair after using the remedy.
- Break the coconut fruit and carefully collect the milk. Set aside.
- Roll one lemon on the kitchen working surface to stimulate juice production and then slice in half.
- Squeeze the juice of one half of the lemon into the coconut milk and stir.
- Follow this up with the addition of essential lavender oil for its benefits mentioned above.
- Mix all the ingredients thoroughly before applying on the scalp.
- Leave the remedy in the hair for at least an hour (or more if you have the time. A couple of hours will do just fine).
- Finish off by shampooing and rinsing the hair for best results.
9. Fenugreek Seeds:
Time Required: Overnight soaking, 1 Hr application.
What You Need: 1 cup of fenugreek seeds, 1 cup of water, pestle and mortar, coconut oil, water and hair shampoo.
Fenugreek seeds, also known as methi, are very popular in the natural treatment of alopecia areata. The seeds are extremely rich in proteins and studies indicate that fenugreek is also rich in proteins that help rebuild the structure of damaged hair follicles as is the case in alopecia disorders. In addition to this, the organic components present in the seeds help boost the immune system, which is key in alopecia areata. more notably, lecithin strengthens the hair strands and reduces the extent of hair loss.
- Soak the seeds in a cup of water overnight.
- Strain the seeds the next day and transfer to a mortar.
- Grind the wet seeds until you have a consistent paste.
- Apply this paste on the scalp and let it remain for an hour.
- Shampoo and rinse the hair as usual.
- Use this remedy at least once weekly.
Other handy remedies include Shea butter which stimulates hair growth, green tea used to rinse hair as well as Chinese hibiscus. Remember that for all these home remedies, consistent use is key for good results. Not all remedies work for everyone, and it is therefore important to find those that work for you. Consult a hair specialist whenever in doubt.