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Hair loss is something no one wants to face. While the cause can sometimes be simply a fact of aging, most often it can be combatted by making certain changes in your diet. It has long been reported that certain herbs have the potential to stimulate hair growth. With that in mind, can they also aid in preventing hair loss?

While there are studies showing that herbs can help hair to generate new growth, it depends on which ones are being used since some are better for this purpose than others. For example, while oregano is great for flavor, you are better off using rosemary to stop hair loss. Herbs can help stimulate the blood flow, increase circulation, support the follicle, and create a healthy environment that encourages growth. Certain herbs can also balance out irregularities with DHT, the hormone that causes hair loss, to help with this area of hair health. Herbs can also help with premature graying for an added bonus! Here are the top 8 herbs that are great for combatting hair loss.

1. Gingko Biloba

This herb helps improve circulation, block DHT levels, and helps with nutritional deficiencies that affect the follicle. It can be used topically but is more commonly used as a tea. It can also be taken as a supplement in pill form.

2. Stinging Nettle

A powerhouse herb for hair loss, this herb helps block the overproduction of DHT. As anyone suffering from hair loss knows, an overabundance of DHT is what leads to hair loss. Stinging nettle helps to restore the hormonal balance to stop hair loss by regulating DHT levels. This versatile herb can be taken as a supplement or as a tea, but can also be applied directly to the scalp as an oil.

3. Green Tea

Used either topically or as a drink, green tea is rich in polyphenol and antioxidant properties. It can help with circulation, as well as block DHT from overproducing. It also contains high levels of carotenoids, tocopherol, Vitamin C, zinc, selenium, manganese and chromium. All of these can aid in hair growth and preventing hair loss. There are also plenty of hairlines that use green tea in their ingredients, like Briogio Be Gentle Be Kind Green Tea Shampoo.

4. Bhringraj

A lesser known herb, this herb has been touted as a hair loss remedy. It has unique properties that help stimulate hair follicles for new growth, as well as helping to retain the active state of hair. It can be added to food as a spice.

5. Peppermint

Peppermint helps to heal the scalp to generate new growth, but it is also helpful for preventing hair loss. This herb not only stimulates the hair follicle while soothing an irritated scalp, but it is also super moisturizing. As a powerhouse that keeps the scalp healthy, it can help prevent hair loss due to follicle damage or scalp irritation. Remember, a healthy scalp is the key to not only hair growth but also preventing hair loss. Peppermint can be taken as a tea or applied directly to the scalp in the form of an oil and is used in hair products as well, like EDEN Bodyworks Peppermint Tea Tree conditioner.

6. Chamomile

This herb features a hard to find compound called blue chamazulene. This little-known compound can help with tissue regeneration which helps stop hair loss. It can be used as a drink, a supplement, or a rinse. There are also hair products that incorporate this into their formula, such as hair loss shampoos. The best results for this herb will occur when applied topically instead of ingested.

7. Horsetail

This is an herb often seen in hair products, but it can also be taken alone. It has high levels of a compound called silica which is proven to help strengthen hair and bones. More importantly for those suffering from hair loss, horsetail can also make the follicle less brittle so more hair is retained instead of lost. While you can find tons of shampoos with horsetail in the ingredients, you can also take it as a supplement.

8. Burdock

Perfect for healing an irritated scalp to help retain hair, this herb is loaded with necessary components such as essential fatty acids and phytosterol compounds. Since it is great for restoring scalp health, which is a key element of reversing the effects of hair loss, this herb can be found in a range of hair care products. It can also be taken as a supplement and is found in the many scalp products like the Alikay Naturals Blended Therapy Hot Oil Treatment.

It is also important to note that you get the most results from ingesting them as opposed to applying herbs directly to the hair or scalp. Not to say you won't get results from applying them topically, but since it is easier for the body to get nutrients through the use of natural digestion, adding them to your diet may be your best bet.

If you plan on applying herbs directly to your hair and scalp, and there is nothing saying you can't, it is best to opt for herbs in their oil form such as essential oils. If you are adding herbs to your hair in oil form, make sure it is pure since some oils may be mixed with other additives that may irritate your skin.

If you are looking to add any type of herbs to your diet as a regular supplement, you should first check with your doctor to make sure there won't be any interactions with any medications you may be taking. Adding herbs into your weekly cooking regimen is a pretty easy edition to your diet. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, "You may use herbs as dried extracts (capsules, powders, teas), glycerites (glycerine extracts), or tinctures (alcohol extracts). Unless otherwise indicated, make teas with 1 teaspoon herb per cup of hot water. Steep covered 5-10 minutes for leaf or flowers, and 10-20 minutes for roots. Drink 2-4 cups per day. You may use tinctures alone or in combination as noted."

When looking for a way to stimulate the scalp to promote the retention of hair, while encouraging new growth, herbs are a great solution. Add some to your routine and see for yourself!

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