1. Find ways to chill out, man
Stress can be a leading factor in hair loss – that's something you probably already surmised from numerous pop culture references and/or anecdotal experience. But studies really do back the connection up, even if scientists are unsure of the reasons behind the link.
Regulating stress is a worthwhile aim on its own – the fact that there is genuine tenable evidence to suggest that increased levels can inhibit hair growth makes it an essential pursuit.
So, stress is bad for us – hardly front page news. What can we do about that? This might seem like an irritatingly obvious answer, but practising mindfulness can be hugely beneficial. The options are accessible and open to most people – meditation, journaling.
And if your immediate reaction was 'my brain is way too loud to meditate', we think there are non-traditional ways to achieve zen too. It doesn't have to involve sitting with crossed legs by a pond at the crack of dawn – meditative states can be induced when running, during yoga, even walking.
Speaking of yoga, it also has incredible potential to reduce stress levels, anxiety, and depression. These sound like simple things, and you might be sick of hearing them, but they’re ever-present for a reason. We can’t definitively state that less stress = less hair loss, but we can certainly say that you should absolutely be trying to manage it anyway.
2. Get nutrient-rich
Eating well is easier said than done. How often have you sworn blind at the start of the week that the upcoming five days would be filled with grains and pulses and this week’s superfood, only to find yourself Wednesday lunchtime tucking into a bagel erupting with cheese? Eating well is hard, and the oft-unsaid truth is that it’s also expensive. But if you're able to, transitioning to a healthier diet could pay dividends when it comes to hair retention.
Studies suggest that there could be a link between nutritional deficiency and both hair structure and hair growth. While there isn’t enough conclusive data to form an FDA approved nutritional treatment, there's obviously no harm in trying to ensure your body gets the nutrients it needs.
Iron deficiency has long been linked to hair loss, and so ensuring you get enough is vital. Zinc, Vitamin A, Vitamin D and folic acid are some of the suspected likely culprits too. How do you make sure you get all of that good stuff?
Getting enough greens, proteins, fibres and fruit is usually enough to ensure you get all of the above. Set on that front and still want a bit of extra help? We think the incredibly versatile Qi Bao Mei Ran Dan nutritional supplement could be a perfect dance partner to your well-balanced diet.
3. Keep it moving
Exercise is good for us, as the staggering pile of literature suggests. It helps our body, it helps our mind, and – drum roll please – it could help hair loss. Let's get the obvious out of the way: the healthier your body, the higher the chance it's going to be able to do what it needs to. Whether that's maintaining the strength of its immune system or successfully stoking hair follicles.
But to get more specific, there's evidence to suggest that increased blood flow may in turn promote thicker hair growth. Exercise can also reduce DHT – increased DHT levels are commonly associated with hair loss.
Admittedly, too much exercise, or exercise of the wrong kind, can actually increase DHT, and could speed up hair loss. Just in case things were getting a little too uncomplicated. The low down is that a decent amount of cardio will likely help, but moderation is key. A good general rule to live by.
4. Get a scalp massage (seriously!)
A scalp massage to boost hair growth might sound like the type of snake-oil sales pitch you'd expect from the 1920s; in fact, in one of our recent blogs analysing (read: laughing at) the lunacy of old-timey hair loss adverts, one company purported to do exactly that.
The key difference between this and the results from the 2016 study on the relationship between scalp massage and hair thickness? This one actually worked. Naturally, the outcome is less of a miracle, but the data is solid: 24 weeks of daily scalp massage produced increased hair thickness in all test subjects.
Echoing other studies, they speculate that increased blood flow as a result of the massage could be driving this increase. Or the direct stimulation of dermal papilla cells could be the hair follicle-thickening hero.
Whatever the answer ends up being, we would strongly suggest making use of our excellent Hair Loss Prevention Tonic Lotion when massaging the scalp. It's a fantastic little herbal potion designed to prevent further hair loss and strengthen the scalp; it could work in perfect harmony with this exciting, hands-on remedy.
5. Don't sleep on sleep
We've mentioned that one of the biggest drivers behind hair loss can be stress; what we didn't mention is one of the most reliable predictors of a stress-filled lifestyle is poor quality sleep. Again, apologies if it seems we're stating the obvious here, but the obvious is quite often overlooked.
According to a 2021 study, participants that got six hours or less per night were nearly three times as likely to experience 'frequent mental distress'. If one of the keys to maintaining a happy, healthy scalp is positive stress management, there aren't many more effective ways to scupper this than by not getting adequate sleep.
Luckily, many things on this list can help with getting those vital eight hours: correct nutrition, regular exercise, practising mindfulness. That's the great thing about this list, and about treating health holistically in general. If you're making changes to benefit your body and mind generally, you'll be surprised how often it treats specific issues.
If you do want some added help in the fight for hair growth, we've got a selection of specialised products that might help.