Most cases of thinning hair are treatable at home. Consider the following 12 options, and talk to your doctor before taking any supplements.
1. Scalp massage
Perhaps the cheapest method of getting thicker hair is a scalp massage. It doesn’t cost anything, and there are no side effects.
When you wash your hair, gently apply pressure with your fingertips around your scalp to encourage blood flow. For even more benefits, you can try a handheld scalp massager to also remove dead skin cells.
2. Essential oils
Essential oils are liquids derived from certain plants, and they’re primarily used in aromatherapy and other types of alternative medicine. According to the Mayo Clinic, lavender oil has been used with success by some people with pattern baldness. The oil is often combined with other types, such as those made from rosemary and thyme.
Still, there’s not enough evidence that essential oils can treat baldness or thinning hair. If you do decide to give this treatment a go, make sure you test a small amount of the oil on your arm and wait 24 hours to see if any reaction develops. Redness, hives, or a rash could indicate an allergic reaction.
3. Hair thinning shampoo
Hair thinning shampoo works in two ways. First, such products provide volume for your hair, so it looks thicker. This can be helpful for people who have thinning or naturally fine hair.
Shampoos for thinning hair or hair loss also contain vitamins and amino acids that promise a healthier scalp to generate more hair over time. To get the best results, use products every day. You can also ask your healthcare provider about a prescription-strength version of the shampoo.
Healthy hair is dependent on your overall good health. In cases of malnourishment, or with certain eating disorders, new hair may fail to generate from follicles. A blood test from your healthcare provider can help determine if you’re deficient in any nutrients.
If you are low in several key areas, your healthcare provider might recommend a daily multivitamin. Healthy hair needs iron, folic acid, and zinc to keep growing thick and strong.
However, the Mayo Clinic advises against taking any extra vitamins if you’re already getting the nutrients you need. This is because there isn’t any evidence that doing so will reverse thinning hair. Furthermore, getting too much of certain nutrients may actually do more harm than good.
5. Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids
Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are called essential fatty acids. This is because they can’t be made by the human body. Omega-3 helps your body fight inflammation, an underlying cause of numerous conditions. Premature hair loss may also be related to inflammation. Omega-6, on the other hand, is important for overall skin health, which might benefit the scalp.
Plant-based oils are primary sources of omega-6, while omega-3 fatty acids are found in fish. If you don’t normally consume such foods, talk to your doctor about using a supplement.
Biotin, or vitamin B-7, is a water-soluble nutrient that’s naturally found in foods such as nuts, lentils, and liver. If you eat a balanced diet, it’s unlikely that you’re low in biotin. However, supplemental forms of biotin have been on the rise in recent years, thanks in part to marketers promising more energy and better hair growth with such products.
While biotin helps break down enzymes in your body, there’s little evidence that it can help with thinning hair.
You shouldn’t take biotin if you take vitamin B-5 supplements — when taken together, these can reduce the efficacy of one another.