woman's hair blowing in the wind

A healthy head of hair is important to many people. It can be distressing if it begins to thin or fall out. There are a number of things you can do to prevent hair loss.

The best way to slow or stop hair loss is to address the underlying cause. Sometimes, hair loss is temporary (telogen effluvium). It can be caused by childbirth, surgery, or another major stressor.

Hair grows back after an event. The cause is more complicated in some cases.

It is normal to lose 100 hairs a day. If you are losing more, talk to your doctor to rule out any underlying medical conditions and discuss your options.

We will break down 22 tips to stop hair loss and explore some frequently asked questions.

Language matters

“We use the term male and female to refer to someone’s sex as determined by their chromosomes, and men and women to refer to their gender, unless we quote from nonspecific language.”

Sex and gender can be different between time periods and cultures. Both aspects are acknowledged to exist on a spectrum.

Sex and gender are different.

1. Mediterranean diet

A 2018 study revealed that a diet containing raw vegetables and fresh herbs, like the Mediterranean diet, may reduce the risk of androgenic alopecia (female pattern baldness or male pattern baldness) or slow its onset.

When participants consumed high amounts of these foods more than 3 days a week, the best results were observed.

2. Protein

Hair follicles are made mostly of a protein called keratin. One 2017 study of 100 people with hair loss noted several nutritional deficiencies in participants, including amino acids that serve as the building blocks of protein.

While researchers note that more studies are needed, eating a diet rich in protein may help prevent hair loss. Healthy choices include foods like:

  • Eggs.
  • There are nuts.
  • There are beans and peas.
  • fish
  • low-fat dairy products.
  • chicken
  • turkey

3. Vitamin A

Vitamin A is partly made up of retinoids, which support healthy hair growth and influence the hair cycle. But it’s dose-dependent, meaning that too much — or too little — can damage your hair.

It is unlikely that you will get too much vitamins from diet. Sweet potatoes, sweet peppers, and other foods are rich in vitamins A and C.

There are 14 best foods for hair growth.

4. Multivitamin

Scientists have determined that the following vitamins and minerals are important to the hair growth and retention processes, specifically with cell turnover:

  • vitamins A, B, C, and D
  • Iron.
  • The substance of selenium.
  • zinc

You can get daily vitamins at most grocery stores or ask your doctor to prescribe them.

5. Vitamin D

One 2018 study noted that vitamin D is associated with nonscarring alopecia. Treating deficiencies may help with regrowth.

6. Biotin

Biotin — vitamin H or B7— is involved in fatty acid synthesis in the body. This process is essential to the hair life cycle and you may experience hair loss if you have a deficiency.

7. Saw palmetto

Derived from the fruit of American dwarf pine trees, this herb may help men maintain their testosterone levels.

A 2020 review of seven studies found that saw palmetto doses of 100–320 mg could help hair quality, hair count, and hair density.

The authors concluded that saw palmetto may help people with hair loss.

8. Ginseng

Ginseng contains certain phytochemicals that may promote hair growth on the scalp. Further study is needed to recommend specific dosages.

Before adding ginseng supplements to your diet, speak with your doctor.

9. Regular washing

It is possible to protect against hair loss by washing your hair daily. Mild hair wash is the key. Hair loss can be caused by harsher formulas that dry hair.

10. Coconut oil

According to a 2018 review of studies, researchers believe that coconut oil may help prevent hair damage from grooming and ultraviolet (UV) light exposure.

Lauric acid found in coconut oil helps bind protein in hair, protecting it from breakage at the root and strand. Massaging coconut oil into the scalp may promote better blood flow and help with regrowth.

11. Olive oil

Olive oil can be used to deep condition hair, protecting it from dryness and associated breakage. Olive oil is also a central ingredient in the Mediterranean diet, which may help slow genetic hair loss.

If you apply a couple of ounces of olive oil to the hair, it will sit for 30 minutes before it is washed out.

12. Gentle styling

Skip tight braids or ponytails that may pull on hair at the root and potentially lead to excessive shedding.

While you’re at it, let your hair air dry to avoid irritating your scalp. If you can, avoid heat stylers, like curling or straightening Iron.s, which may also damage or break the hair shaft.

13. Hair processing

Chemical treatments can damage hair and the skin.

“Ask your hair colorist about alternatives that don’t contain ammonia, peroxide, or para-phenylenediamine.”

14. Laser therapy

Low-level lasers may help improve hair density for people with genetic hair loss and loss due to chemotherapy. This option is also called red light therapy, and it may work by stimulating epidermal stem cells.

Home laser devices are available on the market. You may need to use the device regularly to see the results.

15. Platelet-rich plasma

Injecting platelet-rich plasma (PRP) into the scalp helps stimulate growth in areas already impacted by hair loss. Blood is run through a centrifuge to separate out the platelets and then injected into the scalp.

In one 2014 study, 11 participants saw 30% more growth in thinning areas after four sessions. Pricing ranges from $1,500 to $3,500 for your first three treatments, and it’s unlikely to be covered by insurance.

16. Minoxidil

Otherwise known as Rogaine, this over-the-counter (OTC) drug is known to help with hair loss.

You can apply the liquid or foam to your head. There are side effects at the site of application. There are rare side effects like irregular heartbeat and blurred vision.

17. Finasteride

Otherwise known as Propecia, this prescription pill may help slow hair loss and even promote new growth.

You may need to use the medication for a long time to see results. It has various side effects, including loss of libido and ED.

People who are pregnant should not take this medication.

18. Phenylephrine

Topical phenylephrine may help with hair loss due to styling by stimulating the follicle muscles to contract. This makes it harder to pull out hairs during brushing, for example.

Unfortunately, topical phenylephrine isn’t publicly available yet. Scientists have developed a specific formula called AB‐102, but it has not been released.

19. Essential oils

Essential oils may help reduce hair loss.

A 2020 review noted that various essential oils, including chamomile oil, thyme oil, tea tree oil, and others, could improve conditions like alopecia areata, androgenetic alopecia, and psoriatic alopecia.

lavender, lemongrass, and peppermint are essential oils. Try mixing a couple drops of any of these oils with a couple of carrier oil. Before washing, apply to the scalp.

But make sure to test any essential oils before trying the above. It’s possible to be allergic to essential oils.

20. Onion juice

People with a hair loss may see regrowth after applying onion juice to their hair.

While research on this treatment is limited, the juice did appear to promote growth in nearly 87% of participants in a small 2014 study. Scientists believe that hair-growing properties may have to do with the onion’s sulfur content.

21. Massage

Can a massage like the scalp massage help grow your hair? Maybe.

One small 2016 study showed participants seeing results with as little as 4 minutes of massage a day over the course of 24 weeks.

22. Yoga

Hair loss caused by stress may respond well to yoga. Try these stress-relieving yoga poses to prevent and slow hair loss:

  • The dog is facing downward.
  • The forward bend is forward.
  • The camel is posing.
  • shoulderstand
  • fish pose
  • kneeling pose

Learn how yoga can help hair growth.

The hair on your head goes through a life cycle that involves growth, resting, and shedding. It’s common for people to lose around 100 hairs a day.

If you experience more sudden loss, you may want to see your doctor.

Some shed is temporary and may respond well to changes in diet, treatments or lifestyle. It is possible that hair loss will not stop until an underlying condition is treated.

Around 50% of men and 15% of women experience hair loss due to hereditary conditions like androgenic alopecia (male and female pattern baldness). These stats are based on research that uses terms like “men” and “women” to categorize study participants, and your gender identity may not line up with the terms it uses to describe your experience.

Other causes of hair loss are not limited to hair loss.

  • Medical conditions: alopecia areata, scalp infections, or trichotillomania (hair-pulling disorder)
  • Hormonal changes: from pregnancy, childbirth, menopause, or thyroid issues
  • Medications or supplements: those used for cancer, high blood pressure, depression, or arthritis
  • Radiation treatment: for conditions like cancer
  • Stress: physical or emotional
  • Styling practices: wearing tight ponytails or cornrows, etc.

Is hair loss permanent?

Some causes of hair loss can be reversed.

Permanent hair loss is caused by damage to the hair follicle, which is the structure in the skin that houses and grows hair.

Conditions that may cause permanent hair loss include:

  • When inflammation destroys hair follicles, it can lead to scarring or cicatricial alopecia.
  • An irresistible urge to pull out hair is called trichotillomania.
  • When hair is pulled on too tightly, traction alopecia can occur.

Do hot showers cause hair loss?

Hot showers do not cause hair loss. The hot water can damage the hair. It may also take away the natural oils that keep your hair and skin healthy.

If your hair is damaged or dry, washing it in hot water can make it break.

To avoid damage, use water that islukewarm, avoid brushing and stretching your hair while wet, and use a deep, hydrating conditioner.

Does caffeine stop hair loss?

There’s some research that caffeine may help hair growth and slow loss.

An older 2007 study found that caffeine blocked the effects of dihydrotestosterone (DHT) in male hair follicles. DHT is a hormone that’s linked to hair loss in all genders.

The growth phase of hair was increased by the use of the caffeine. It had a growth-promoting effect when tested on female hair follicles.

Coffee is a vasodilator, so it may help improve blood flow to the hair.

You can buy a coffee rinse or a hair product.

Can stress cause hair loss?

Hair loss can be caused by stress. It can cause a sensation.

  • Alopecia areata: This autoimmune disease develops when the immune system attacks the hair follicles. Alopecia areata causes hair loss on the scalp. A more severe form, known as alopecia universalis, causes hair loss over the entire body.
  • Telogen effluvium: This condition changes the number of hair follicles that are actively growing hair.
  • Trichotillomania: This is also known as a hair-pulling disorder.

Do hair transplants help hair loss?

Hair transplants involve taking hair from one area of the body and moving it to another area.

Some people may be able to get hair transplants if they have hair loss. You will need to wait several months for your hair to grow back, and you will need enough hair to donate to the transplant.

You can expect 10% to 80% of transplanted hair to grow back in 3 to 4 months. Talk with a dermatologist or hair restoration specialist to see if a hair transplant is right for you.

Does smoking cause hair loss?

Smoking can cause hair loss, but it can also cause serious health problems.

Smoking damages the hair follicle and reduces healthy blood flow. A 2020 study found that 425 out of 500 smokers had some degree of hair loss, compared to only 200 of 500 nonsmokers.

Nicotine and other chemicals could accelerate hair loss, but more research is needed to confirm that.

Smoking also increases free radical production. These molecules react with others and can harm cellular DNA, which is known as oxidative stress. A 2018 review found that cells in the hair follicles of scalps with hair loss are extremely sensitive to oxidative stress.

If you are concerned about hair loss, talk to your doctor. They can help diagnose and develop a treatment plan for any health conditions that may be contributing.

There are often simple solutions to hair loss. It is possible to stop or prevent hair loss by addressing the underlying cause and making lifestyle changes.