how to prevent hair loss
  1. Hair care
  2. Diet
  3. Medications
  4. Supplements
  5. Medical treatments
  6. Lifestyle tips
  7. Causes of hair loss

Hair loss is incredibly common, with androgenic alopecia (pattern baldness) affecting around 50% of men and women over 50 and 65 years of age, respectively. But various conditions, bodily changes, and events can trigger hair loss.

In some cases, the issue could solve itself and your hair growth might return to normal, such as when stress or pregnancy are the catalyst. But in others, hair loss won’t resolve naturally. And that’s when medical or cosmetic treatments may help.

A healthcare provider or a hair loss specialist (such a trichologist) should be able to diagnose the reason for your hair loss after an examination. The root cause could be scalp infection, thyroid problems, or genetics.

Regardless of the reason for your hair loss, you may be able to slow its progression or prevent it completely.

In this post, we’ll explore 24 tips to help you keep your hair healthy and strong. And we’ve separated them into categories to keep it simple: hair care routine, food, medications, supplements, treatments, and lifestyle tips.

Hair care routine

Wash your hair on a regular basis

This is an obvious point, but people may underestimate just how valuable regular washing is to maintain healthy hair. Otherwise, dirt, pollution, sebum, and styling products may build up around the follicles over time.

A quality shampoo with natural ingredients and no harsh chemicals will help to keep your scalp strong. Shop for shampoos and conditioners that suit your hair type (e.g. oily, dry), and experiment to find the one that leaves your hair looking its best.

washing hair

Style with care

You could exacerbate the rate at which you shed hair if you wear it in an excessively tight style, like a ponytail or braids. These pull on the hair constantly and can cause damage to the root.

Try to reduce your heat styling too. Straighteners and curling tongs can lead to dryness and breakage.

Smooth coconut oil into your locks

Coconut oil may help to protect hair from damage caused by sunlight and over-styling. It’s believed that coconut oil helps to bind protein in strands and reduce the risk of breakage. Massage it into the scalp regularly for best results.

Be aware of risky dyes and treatments

If you colour your hair often or love to experiment with treatments, be aware that products containing harsh chemicals may damage your hair over time. Discuss your options with your stylist carefully to find more hair-friendly products, such as those without problematic ingredients like peroxide.

Condition with olive oil

You can condition your hair with olive oil, a staple of the Mediterranean diet (see below), to resist dryness and potential breakage.

Use two tablespoons of oil and run it through your hair gently. Leave it to settle into your strands and roots for around half an hour before washing it out.

Foods to keep hair healthy

Get more protein

Keratin, a protein, is one of the major building blocks of the hair follicles. Research shows that nutritional deficiencies can play a key part in hair loss, specifically a lack of amino acids — essential for protein.

It’s possible that consuming more protein may help you fight hair loss or at least slow your shedding. You can find protein in nuts, beans, eggs, and lean meats.

foods for your hair

Add more vitamin A to your diet

Retinoids are a major element of vitamin A, and it’s believed that they can encourage hair to grow faster. Vitamin A can also promote production of sebum oil to maintain scalp health and hair retention.

You can find vitamin A in supplements or in foods, with such delicious sources as spinach and sweet potatoes.

Eat Mediterranean foods

The Mediterranean diet is packed with delicious, healthy foods and olive oil, including fresh herbs and vegetables. Eating foods common to the Mediterranean diet may help to prevent pattern baldness from developing.

Hair loss medications

Phenylephrine

This topical treatment can encourage contraction of the follicular muscles in the scalp, which makes them more resistant to pulling and damage.

Finasteride can slow shedding

Finasteride is an oral medication designed to slow the development of hair loss and stimulate growth. However, you would need to keep taking this to maintain successful results.

Minoxidil may encourage growth

Minoxidil is a topical agent applied directly to the scalp. It can help to stimulate growth, but you would have to use it on a permanent basis to maintain results.

how does dht cause hair loss

Hair loss supplements

Vitamin D

Hair loss has been associated with vitamin D deficiency, and vitamin D replacement therapy can encourage regrowth.

You can get vitamin D from brief but regular exposure to UV rays, and from foods like cheese and egg yolks. Alternatively, you may choose to consume vitamin D in supplement form for a quicker, easier solution.

Saw palmetto

Saw palmetto is taken from American dwarf pine tree fruits, and it can contribute to healthy testosterone levels in men. One study found that more than half of test subjects experienced better hair growth after taking saw palmetto each day.

Ginseng

Ginseng’s hair growth properties are still undergoing research, but it’s believed its phytochemicals could stimulate hair growth. You may try ginseng as a topical product or a supplement. 

hair loss solutions

Biotin

Biotin (vitamin B7 or H) is essential for the synthesis of fatty acids, which maintains the natural hair growth cycle. Hair loss can be a risk if you’re deficient in biotin, but supplementation may help prevent shedding.

Multivitamins

Multivitamins are rich in your daily recommended amount of essential vitamins and minerals (e.g. iron, zinc). These can all contribute to healthy hair growth, and multivitamins are widely available.

Treatments

Hair transplants

Hair transplantation has become a mainstream solution for people affected by different types of hair loss, from pattern baldness to maturing hairlines. Surgeons transplant healthy follicles from the back or sides of the head into balding areas. This promotes new growth that blends naturally with existing hair.

You can choose from two main types of hair transplant: Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT) and Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE). The latter is the most popular of the two, as it leads to less visible scarring.

advantages of hair transplantation

Stem cell hair transplants

This hair restoration procedure is still undergoing research, but some clinics may offer their own version of it. Surgeons will take stem cells from a sample of your tissue, and inject them into target areas on the scalp to generate new hair follicles and, over time, new hair.

Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy

PRP therapy involves taking a sample of your blood and running it through a centrifuge. This process separates the platelets (cells that prevent bleeding) from the rest of the blood. Those platelets are injected into the scalp to encourage new growth and prevent further hair loss.

Low-level laser therapy

Low-level laser therapy (AKA red light therapy) stimulates epidermal stem cells to help generate new hair formation and improve density. Weak cells in the scalp absorb photons from the laser, which promotes growth. Results may take several weeks to appear.

Lifestyle tips

Stop smoking

Smoking can cause cancer, emphysema, and numerous other health problems. But it can also force hair cells to age prematurely, leading follicles to weaken and making hair more prone to breakage. Your doctor can advise you on helpful techniques if you want to quit.

Practice yoga

Stress is a common cause of temporary hair loss. If you believe stress is causing your hair to fall out, practicing yoga may help you unwind and prevent further shedding.

You’ll find a plethora of tutorials on YouTube and many other websites. Consider complementary stress-relieving techniques, too, such as walking and meditation.

yoga to prevent hair loss

Try regular scalp massages

Regular scalp massages have been shown to help increase hair density, as gentle, controlled massage encourages better circulation. This ensures a healthy blood supply to the hair follicles.

You can try massaging your scalp when applying shampoo and conditioner, or visit a professional massage therapist.

Apply essential oils to your scalp

Essential oils like peppermint and Chinese hibiscus may help to increase hair growth and keep hair healthy. You can mix these with almond oil or other carrier oils to develop a homemade growth stimulant.

What causes hair to shed?

It’s natural to lose between 50 and 100 hairs per day, but if you notice more shedding than usual, speak to your doctor. Various factors and health conditions can lead to excessive hair loss, including:

  • Hormonal changes triggered by menopause, thyroid problems, and pregnancy.
  • Physical or emotional stress (related to injury, family troubles, or overwork).
  • Excessive styling, such as wearing your hair in tight braids.
  • Medications, including those prescribed for arthritis or high blood pressure.
  • Medical issues such as scalp infections or alopecia areata.

Your doctor should be able to help you identify the cause of your hair loss, or refer you to a specialist if necessary. One or more treatments may help you prevent further hair loss and restore growth. But research your options carefully to make a fully informed decision.