Best Natural Remedies For Hairloss During Pregnancy
Dr. Hamza A. Khan – MBBS
Pregnancy is a mixed experience that, at one time, can be an overwhelming and joyful adventure and, at other, a scary journey full of physical changes and mental stress. Amongst the many challenges it brings are the changes in the hair. While most women experience thick, luscious hair during pregnancy and lose it after delivery, many also lose hair during pregnancy.
Hairfall can have many causes, including hormonal changes, deficiencies of nutrients like iron, conditions like hypothyroidism, and genetics (female pattern baldness) (1). Inflammation of the hair follicles, reduced blood flow, and a high level of stress are often the common precipitating factors (2) (3) (4). However, the good news is that you can prevent or slow down hair loss without taking medications.
This article takes a deep dive into the best natural remedies for hair loss during pregnancy.
1. Start With Omega-3 Fats
Omega 3 fatty acids are well-known for their anti-inflammatory and other numerous health benefits (5). While most research has focused on their benefits on the heart and other body organs, initial research on their anti-hair loss properties is also promising.
In a 2015 study of 120 females, the study group received omega-three supplements while the control group did not. After six months, nearly 90 percent of the females in the study group reported a reduction in hair loss, with 86 percent reporting increased hair diameter and 87 percent reporting increased density (6).
According to research, omega-3 fats, especially mackerel-derived fermented fish oil, show these benefits by promoting cell growth in the hair follicle (7).
2. Add Ginseng Supplements To Your Diet
Ginseng — a herbal supplement used in Chinese medicine — also has promising benefits for hair loss. The ginsenosides — the active compound in ginseng — are thought to have positive effects of ginseng on hair.
A 2018 review of the literature showed that ginseng promotes hair growth by preventing the death of cells under the hair follicles (8). Laboratory studies have shown that it stimulates hair follicles and promotes hair growth in mice (9). However, more research is needed.
3. Apply Coconut Oil
Coconut oil offers many health benefits, and promoting hair growth is just one of them. One study found that coconut oil improves the scalp microbiome — such as bacteria, viruses, and fungi. The microbiome, in turn, makes the hair healthier and promotes its growth (10).
Furthermore, a 2003 study suggested that coconut oil contains a fatty acid called lauric acid, which has a high affinity for hair protein and reduces protein loss from the hair (11). Coconut oil can be used as both pre and post-wash grooming product.
4. Massage Your Scalp Daily
Massaging your scalp not only promotes relaxation of the scalp and blood flow to the hair follicles but also reduces stress. A 2016 Japanese study found that standard scalp massage increases hair thickness and improves hair health (12).
Similarly, a 2019 survey reported that people attempting standard scalp massage had noticed hair loss stabilization and even regrowth of their hair (13). While the research is inconclusive, indulging in a scalp massage for a few minutes daily is no harm.
5. Take Biotin Supplements
Biotin is one of the B complex vitamins that has gained wide popularity for promoting hair and nail growth. While most claims about biotin use are not true, many are not completely false either (14).
First, biotin deficiency is a well-known risk factor for hair loss (15). In addition, some research suggests biotin supplements may promote significant hair growth in women undergoing temporary hair loss, like during pregnancy (16).
6. Use Aloe Vera
Humans have historically used aloe Vera for skin conditions like Acne (17). Plenty of research shows it may also benefit the hair. It contains many vitamins and has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties, making it useful in hair loss (18).
To get the benefits, you can apply aloe vera gel a few times a week, use shampoo or conditioner containing the aloe vera or take an aloe vera supplement.
7. Try Out Pumpkin Seed Oil
While pumpkin seeds are rich in many vitamins and minerals, pumpkin seed oil has the added benefits of promoting hair growth. In one study, men in the study group saw a 40 percent increase in their hair count after using pumpkin seed oil for 24 weeks, compared to a 10 percent increase in the placebo group (19).
Similarly, in a 2021 study, the efficacy of pumpkin seed oil and minoxidil — a commonly prescribed powerful medication for hair loss — was compared. After three months of use, researchers saw an encouraging improvement in hair growth in the female group using pumpkin seed oil, though not as effective as the group using minoxidil (20).
8. Wash Hair With Onion Juice
Although the research is not conclusive yet, washing your hair with onion juice may also help. According to a study published in the Journal of Dermatology, the females who washed their hair with onion juice saw a significant hair growth than those who washed their hair with tap water (21).
These benefits of onion juice are attributed to its higher sulfur content — a mineral found in hair, skin, and nail (22). Blend a few onions, squeeze the juice, apply it to the scalp and hair and leave for ten minutes.
9. Give Geranium Oil A Shot
Geranium essential oil is another natural remedy that can prove beneficial for hair loss during pregnancy. According to a 2017 study, geranium oil promotes hair growth by increasing chemicals involved in the growth and proliferation of hair follicles (23).
To get the benefits, mix two drops of geranium essential oil with five or six drops of carrier oil or with your shampoo or conditioner.
10. Boost Your Hair Health With Rosemary Oil
In the end, rosemary oil is a very effective essential oil for treating hair loss. Surprisingly, one study suggests that rosemary oil might be as effective as minoxidil in promoting hair growth (24).
To use rosemary oil, mix a few drops of this oil in a carrier oil, shampoo, or conditioner and massage it into your scalp and hair three to four times a week.
References and Citations
- Gizlenti, S., & Ekmekci, T. R. (2014). The changes in the hair cycle during gestation and the postpartum period. Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology: JEADV, 28(7), 878–881. https://doi.org/10.1111/jdv.12188
- Magro, C. M., Rossi, A., Poe, J., Manhas-Bhutani, S., & Sadick, N. (2011). The role of inflammation and immunity in the pathogenesis of androgenetic alopecia. Journal of Drugs in Dermatology: JDD, 10(12), 1404–1411. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22134564/
- Kato, H., Kinoshita, K., Saito, N., Kanayama, K., Mori, M., Asahi, N., Sunaga, A., Yoshizato, K., Itami, S., & Yoshimura, K. (2020). The effects of ischemia and hyperoxygenation on hair growth and cycle. Organogenesis, 16(3), 83–94. https://doi.org/10.1080/15476278.2020.1794271
- York, J., Nicholson, T., Minors, P., & Duncan, D. F. (1998). Stressful life events and loss of hair among adult women, a case-control study. Psychological Reports, 82(3 Pt 1), 1044–1046. https://doi.org/10.2466/pr0.1922.214.171.1244
- Calder, P. C. (2017). Omega-3 fatty acids and inflammatory processes: from molecules to man. Biochemical Society Transactions, 45(5), 1105–1115. https://doi.org/10.1042/bst20160474
- Le Floc’h, C., Cheniti, A., Connétable, S., Piccardi, N., Vincenzi, C., & Tosti, A. (2015). Effect of a nutritional supplement on hair loss in women. Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, 14(1), 76–82. https://doi.org/10.1111/jocd.12127
- Kang, J.-I., Yoon, H.-S., Kim, S. M., Park, J. E., Hyun, Y. J., Ko, A., Ahn, Y.-S., Koh, Y. S., Hyun, J. W., Yoo, E.-S., & Kang, H.-K. (2018). Mackerel-derived fermented fish oil promotes hair growth by anagen-stimulating pathways. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 19(9). https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19092770
- (N.d.). Nih.gov. Retrieved August 17, 2022, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6163201/#:~:text=Ginseng%20exhibits%20therapeutic%20potential%20for,of%20dermal%20follicle%20papilla%20cells.
- Park, G.-H., Park, K.-Y., Cho, H.-I., Lee, S.-M., Han, J. S., Won, C. H., Chang, S. E., Lee, M. W., Choi, J. H., Moon, K. C., Shin, H., Kang, Y. J., & Lee, D. H. (2015). Red ginseng extract promotes the hair growth in cultured human hair follicles. Journal of Medicinal Food, 18(3), 354–362. https://doi.org/10.1089/jmf.2013.3031
- Saxena, R., Mittal, P., Clavaud, C., Dhakan, D. B., Roy, N., Breton, L., Misra, N., & Sharma, V. K. (2021). Longitudinal study of the scalp microbiome suggests coconut oil to enrich healthy scalp commensals. Scientific Reports, 11(1), 7220. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-86454-1
- Rele, A. S., & Mohile, R. B. (2003). Effect of mineral oil, sunflower oil, and coconut oil on prevention of hair damage. Journal of Cosmetic Science, 54(2), 175–192. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12715094/
- Koyama, T., Kobayashi, K., Hama, T., Murakami, K., & Ogawa, R. (2016). Standardized scalp massage results in increased hair thickness by inducing stretching forces to dermal papilla cells in the subcutaneous tissue. Eplasty, 16, e8.
- English, R. S., Jr, & Barazesh, J. M. (2019). Self-assessments of standardized scalp massages for androgenic alopecia: Survey results. Dermatology and Therapy, 9(1), 167–178. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13555-019-0281-6
- Patel, D. P., Swink, S. M., & Castelo-Soccio, L. (2017). A review of the use of biotin for hair loss. Skin Appendage Disorders, 3(3), 166–169. https://doi.org/10.1159/000462981
- Trüeb, R. M. (2016). Serum biotin levels in women complaining of hair loss. International Journal of Trichology, 8(2), 73–77. https://doi.org/10.4103/0974-7753.188040
- Glynis, A. (2012). A double-blind, placebo-controlled study evaluating the efficacy of an oral supplement in women with self-perceived thinning hair. The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology, 5(11), 28–34.
- Aloe Vera. (n.d.). NCCIH. Retrieved August 17, 2022, from https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/aloe-vera
- (N.d.). Researchgate.net. Retrieved August 17, 2022, from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/342588964_A_Close_Look_at_Aloe_Vera_Barbadensis_and_It%27s_Effect_on_Hair_Health
- Cho, Y. H., Lee, S. Y., Jeong, D. W., Choi, E. J., Kim, Y. J., Lee, J. G., Yi, Y. H., & Cha, H. S. (2014). Effect of pumpkin seed oil on hair growth in men with androgenetic alopecia: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine: ECAM, 2014, 549721. https://doi.org/10.1155/2014/549721
- Ibrahim, I. M., Hasan, M. S., Elsabaa, K. I., & Elsaie, M. L. (2021). Pumpkin seed oil vs. minoxidil 5% topical foam for the treatment of female pattern hair loss: A randomized comparative trial. Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, 20(9), 2867–2873. https://doi.org/10.1111/jocd.13976
- Sharquie, K. E., & Al-Obaidi, H. K. (2002). Onion juice (Allium cepa L.), a new topical treatment for alopecia areata. The Journal of Dermatology, 29(6), 343–346. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1346-8138.2002.tb00277.x
- (N.d.). Researchgate.net. Retrieved August 17, 2022, from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/273758703_Onion_Juice_An_Effective_Home_Remedy_for_Combating_Alopecia
- Boisvert, W. A., Yu, M., Choi, Y., Jeong, G. H., Zhang, Y.-L., Cho, S., Choi, C., Lee, S., & Lee, B.-H. (2017). Hair growth-promoting effect of Geranium sibiricum extract in human dermal papilla cells and C57BL/6 mice. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 17(1), 109. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12906-017-1624-4
- Panahi, Y., Taghizadeh, M., Marzony, E. T., & Sahebkar, A. (2015). Rosemary oil vs minoxidil 2% for the treatment of androgenetic alopecia: a randomized comparative trial. Skinmed, 13(1), 15–21. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25842469/