My story: Born with beautiful hair- soft, dense and lustrous. In my late teens, I started coloring my hair as I wanted a model look-alike, inspired by glamorous adverts. I used top brands, thinking these won’t harm my hair.
Fast forward –>> After 6 – 7 years my hair gave in to this chemical abuse. I started losing lots of hair. Plus, my once smooth and soft hair was rough and lusterless. And I was left grieving along with my hair.
After regaining my senses I reverted back to my roots – started oil massaging, applying hair packs, using an herbal hair rinse instead of the store-bought conditioner – and the good news is that my hair fall has stopped and I have recovered all my lost hair and texture.
Now, my hair is soft, smooth, and shiny, and probably denser than it use to be in my teens. And I want to share with you all the things that I did to regrow my lost hair and hope these will help you too.
12 Things I Did To Regrow My Lost Hair
1. Give yourself a Head Massage
Because head massage is really really good for your hair. Okay, that was a short explanation.
Here’s the detailed one:
When you head massage, it stimulates the scalp circulation and brings with it more oxygen and nutrients for your hair follicles. More nourishment means your hair will grow healthier and stronger.
Another question that arises is should you use oil? Well, it’s not necessary, it’s your choice. You can massage with or without oil. But if you choose to use oil, make sure you use cold pressed oils like coconut, castor, almond or olive oil.
How to massage? Apply oil (of your choice) on your scalp and massage gently for 5 minutes or so. Let the oil soak in for an hour before washing, or you can also keep it overnight for better conditioning. For healthier and stronger hair, head massage at least once a week.
2. Ditch Store-bought Conditioners
I tend to stay away from conditioners as they are one of the culprits of my hair loss.
When you apply conditioner, you are putting more chemicals on your scalp and hair. And since they are heavy and thick, they can clog your hair follicles and halt growth.
So what do you do?
Keep your hair care as simple as possible. You can pre-condition your hair with coconut or almond oil and then shampoo. Plus, you can replace the conditioner with plant infusion or hair rinse (see the next point).
And if your hair dry hair, frizzy with flyaways there’s a natural way to calm them down — use a leave-in conditioner. You don’t need any fancy brands. Again, oils like coconut and almond make an excellent leave-in conditioner. To use: Take a few drops of oil and rub it between your palms and apply to damp or dry hair (avoiding the roots) and leave in.
3. Use Herbal Rinse
I absolutely love hair rinses. They are so nourishing to hair follicles that they stimulate new hair growth. So if you are desperately trying to grow your hair, you have to start using hair rinses.
When do you use hair rinse? Use after you wash your hair, to condition, rejuvenate and kick-start hair growth.
Making a hair rinse is as simple as making a herbal tea. Add hot water to the herb of your choice, let it steep, covered until it cools down, then use. My favorite hair rinse is the first one on the list. But you can create your own depending on your hair’s need. Choose one or more hair nourishing herbs such as: chamomile, hibiscus, rosemary, fenugreek (methi),lemon, orange, amla, sage, marshmallow, nettle and mint.
4. Use a Wide-Tooth Wood Comb
A fine comb can hurt the delicate new growth and cause abrasions on your scalp. Whereas wide-tooth wood comb is more gentle (compared to the plastic ones) on your hair and scalp. Wide tooth comb also provides massaging effect and help distribute sebum (natural oils) from the scalp to hair.
If you have been using fine/sharp tooth plastic combs may be it’s time to reconsider a wooden option. And well-done if you have already done it
5. Fingernail Rubbing
This is an ancient technique and works similar to reflexology—through energy channels.
When you rub fingernails briskly against each other, for about 10 minutes every day, it stimulates hair growth and makes your hair healthy and strong.
You will find anecdotal claims to support the benefits, and there are many proponents and followers of this ancient practice. Some have even claimed hair re-growth on bald areas.
6. Speak with Love and Care
Every time I lose hair -while oiling or combing- I affirm that a new and healthy hair will grow in its place.
Hair affirmation is a powerful tool that helps you worry less and care better for your hair. You can create your own affirmation and visualize yourself receiving it. Some examples of hair affirmations are: my hair is healthy and growing fast, my hair cells are rejuvenating, I take good care of my hair.
You can remind yourself to say these affirmations whenever you are combing your hair or stroking it or massaging it. Send it love and speak with love and care and you will be surprised at how quickly you see the results. And please ‘Refrain’ from saying anything harsh to your hair, even if you may be tempted to do so. Or your hair will be doomed. No, I am joking, but you will push away your hair recovery, trust me on this one.
7. Eat Flaxseeds
Also known as linseed, alsi or jawas, flaxseeds are one of the richest plant sources of omega-3 fatty acids. These essential fats moisturise the scalp skin from within and help reduce dryness and flakiness. Thus, it can improve the symptoms of dandruff, eczema and acne.
The omega-3 fats benefit the hair by making it stronger, shinier and more flexible- so you will have less breakage.
Flaxseeds also contain several B vitamins, and minerals such as copper, manganese, magnesium and selenium. All help keep hair strong, healthy and, most importantly, out of the drain.
How to eat? Sprinkle some ground flaxseed on your salads, or add them to your smoothies, or when making bread/naan/rotis. You can also make delicious flaxseed chutney.
8. Get Active to Grow Thicker Hair
Simply sitting on your desk (read chair) all day is worse thing you can do to your hair.
When we exercise, it helps to reduce stress hormones — which are the bad boys that love to latch on to your hair follicles and damage them.
Okay, even if you are happy and nothing is stressing you out, still moving your booty can boost blood circulation of the body (including the scalp). And as we saw above, more blood flow means more oxygen and more nourishment for your hair.
So if you desire thick beautiful hair go for a walk, cycle, play sports, run, dance, do yoga, cardio or whatever you enjoy. Get up and get moving!
9. Wearing Tight Pony Tails is a No No
What would happen if you keep an elastic band stretched for hours? It will start to lose the stretch.
Similarly, if you wear tight styles every day, it will put a strain on your hair roots, causing hair loss in the long run.
Also, your hair may stop growing permanently from areas it is pulled most from, causing a bald patch. Once in a while is fine, but wearing tight styles every day is a big no-no. For daily wear opt for loose updos, ponytails or braids to keep hair tidy, but damage free.
10. Amla The Superfood for Hair
Amla is one of the Indian berries. But it needs a special mention because this berry is one of the highest sources of vitamin C (10 times more than an orange). And vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant, and it helps to get rid of hair damaging free radicals that are generated normally in our bodies. But as we age, their number keeps on increasing.
Besides, amla also contain other powerful antioxidants such as gallic acid, and ellagic acid. And with such a super combination of antioxidants, the free radicals do not stand a chance to destroy your hair.
Ways to use: You can use amla juice with coconut oil or amla oil for a head massage. You can also add some amla powder in a hair mask. But the most effective option is to eat fresh or dried amla every day. I have another good option – I take 1tsp amla powder or triphala with a glass of water every morning – It’s one of the best detox drink you can find.
11. Henna to Dye my Grey Hair
After the color tragedy, I stay far away from synthetic hair colors. I have very few grey hair, and I use henna to cover my greys. Surprisingly the number of white hair have also reduced in the last couple of years (I can’t point to one single thing that I do/did, perhaps little of everything has helped).
Why you should avoid hair dyes: Synthetic hair dyes contain harsh chemicals such as ammonia, hydrogen peroxide, p-phenylenediamine, which can irritate the scalp and cause strain on hair follicles. Repeated exposure can also damage the hair follicles, potentially resulting in thinning and hair loss. Plant-based dyes such as henna can produce gorgeous hair colors ranging from red to dark brown.
12. Lentils and Beans are My Friends
I am 95% vegetarian and occasionally eat some meat. So I get my quota of protein and iron from super healthy and super yummy lentil (dals) and beans, which I mostly sprout.
As we know hair is mainly composed of proteins, and lack of protein will slow the hair growth, and can even cause brittle hair. Iron is another important nutrient for healthy hair growth. It transports oxygen to our cells, including hair cells. And too little oxygen affects the hair growth. So make sure that you’re eating enough protein and iron in your diet.