Ben Zoltak is an artist and author who looks at life through a unique and creative lens offering the world a new outlook.
Gimme a head with hair! Long beautiful hair!
A few years ago I went through some of the most stressful months of my life and yes, my hair started to fall out! I'm in my middle thirties so at first I thought maybe it was just that time. Most of my male relatives have kept their hair though, even into their sixties so I started to do some research to make sure I covered all the bases. My daughter got in on the game too, because girls being girls, they want to do everything they can to make their hair longer and their hair follicles stronger.
But enough about that, let's get to the list! Here are the twelve ways to decrease hair loss and strengthen hair that we discovered. I personally can vouch for seeing results and after just double checking with my daughter, she says she has seen strengthening results too.
Is it really possible to decrease hair loss and strengthen hair?
Let it fly in the breeze! Get caught in the trees! Grow it! Show it!
Gimme a head with hair! Long beautiful hair!
1. Eat some digestible protein consistently throughout the day. I found this out from a holistic purveyor on Chicago's West side. After I explained to her all the things I was trying to do to save my hair, she told me this was the number one thing people overlooked but worked the best. I have found that to be true. The key words are digestible and consistently. I am someone who has trouble digesting certain foods and if they go right through you your body doesn't benefit. Also the consistency element was something I had to work on as someone who used to regularly skip breakfast. Even a gulp of milk or a quarter cup three times a day will improve your intake, or beans, fish, eggs, anything with protein.
2. Find a way to reduce your stress. I know I know, just the thought of trying to find a way to reduce stess is stressing you out! I've been there, I know it can be difficult. But rest assured there are ways to decrease your stress. Meditation, prayer, or just going for a walk once or twice a day can do wonders. Lower the amount of caffeine you ingest or avoid people who tear at your insides. There are lots of ways to decrease stress, look it up on HubPages!
3. Gently massage your scalp. This works on two levels. Just as in number two above, it helps reduce your stress. But also, it stimulates your hair follicles. Similarly, wearing a hat for prolonged periods of time strains your hair follicles. This may seem like a minor detail, but trust me it works. My wife massages my "problem" areas, where my hair is receding the most. You can gently use your fingers (or your loved ones) and slightly massage the skin. Or if you have enough hair, you can even gently pull the hair. That's right, you read correctly. Gently pull the hair and this helps stimulate the follicles. Obviously too hard is too hard, if you start pulling out all your hair, you have gone too far and losing hair is the least of your worries, at this point you are going to want to hire a psychologist.
4. Eat your fruits and vegetables. Remember when you were at that family reunion a few years ago and you watched that old Aunt-what's-her-name with the hair down to her butt and the full beard gobbling up asparagus and rutabaga by the plateful! Coincidence? I don't think so. Also, eat a multivitamin at least once a week, every other day or every day. Better nutrition goes along way towards decreasing hair loss.
5. Don't brush your hair when it is wet. Your hair is extra weak when it is wet. You can use your hands, but don't use the fine comb until it dries.
6. Apply all natural, crushed aloe vera to your scalp. You can grow your own, buy a plant or two from just about any garden store or even a grocery store. Also, lots of good produce stores carry aloe vera and it is inexpensive. You can buy two giant leaves, and tear a small bit off every day and apply it to the problem areas. This has worked well for me. Beware, some aloe vera smells a bit like onions!
7. Eat soy. Soy isn't just for San Francisco feathered vegitarians anymore. It comes in various forms, and your bound to find one type that you will enjoy. It has nutrient and medicinal values that are good for strengthening your hair.
8. Don't over brush your hair. One thousand nine hundred ninetly nine, two thousand! OK seriously? That's too much. Your hair isn't made of metal, it's made of dead proteins, and as such, can only take so much abuse.
9. Blow dry your hair sparingly. If you don't have to, don't. If you must, blow dry your hair as little as required. The excessive heat will damage and weaken your hair.
10. After swimming in Chlorinated water, wash your hair. Of course most of us shower with chlorinated water so it's hard to avoid. But a lot of public pools really pour on the chemicals, rinse or wash them off when you get home.
11. Trim every month or two. Even if you're growing out your hair, you can still get it trimmed. The ends tend to get brittle over time, and that split can tear all the way up your hair until the entire hair is damaged.
12. Keep hydrated. You should do this anyway, for good health. But it also helps you keep your hair.
Once last note. With the combination of all these things I did witness my hair stopped falling out. Over a year I noticed that some of it even grew back. I've never tried Rogaine but I did try a few organic "hair regrowth" formulas and had some success. Although after trying those, I did get a circular patch of hair to grow on my back! Ha! So I don't use those products anymore, I just follow these twelve ways that my daughter and I came up with.Everyone is vulnerable to hair loss more or less depending on their environment and genetics. But you can do somethings to stave off the process and hedge your bet!
We hope you have some good results. Now where is that aloe vera plant? Hmmm.
Update November 2020 - Try an Organic Clarifier
It's been a long time since I've poured over this essay! Good stuff! I learned last year, from a kind hair stylist in Madison, Wisconsin...that sometimes decent organic scalp clarifiers can do wonders. This has been my experience, too. I was skeptical and pleasantly surprised. I tried a clarifying shampoo for a few months and I was surprised when hair started to regrow on the corners of my hairline. It wasn't %100, probably closer to %40 regrowth, still worthwhile and I'm still continuing that treatment. The idea is that if the hair follicle hasn't completely died, it may be buried beneath years of product, and a clarifier has the strength to remove old clogging product debris and help the hair follicle grow. Give it a try!
Find an Organic Clarifying Shampoo Below!
Update December 27, 2012
Well this essay, and collaboration with my daughter has turned out to be one of my most popular, who'da thunk it? There are two more items I would add to the list, of ways to decrease hair loss, and that would be, good conditioner to get rid of dandruff, and even more fatty food intake monitoring.
Sounds simple enough, I used to think it was only for vain types, or for those times when your hair was really matted or in bad shape. But what my experience has been is, that in the winter especially, I used to get terrible dandruff right in the two spots where I lose the most hair. I've tried many, many dandruff shampoos only to find out, years later, that using some decent conditioner regularly helps control dandruff in my case, and using any normal hair shampoo. It may be my skin type or hair type I don't know, but it has brought me great relief, and has slowed or stopped the hair loss in those spots.
Also recently, I heard a news story (sorry I have no reference) that explained that in Japan, before Western culture arrived, baldness and fatty-red-meat consumption, were both nearly unheard of. With the arrival of Western culture, and fattier foods, so arrived baldness. It's an interesting tack, fat is villainized so much, when some is indeed important for healthy brain growth, too much is too much. Best of luck, here's to healthy hair!!!
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Update: January 15, 2017
One last and important item I learned recently about hair, hair loss and also dandruff, is that much of it is dynamically related to the amount of moisture and oil in your scalp. Too much, too little, however imbalanced your scalp might be, play around with different techniques. I've found that for me over-shampooing and using any sort of dandruff shampoo does not work for me. I used ordinary "average scalp" type shampoo and conditioner. What I have changed is, especially during the winter when I wear hats and the air is dry, I add oil to my scalp every other week or so. Usually olive oil, although I've used hemp oil and coconut oil with success also. I usually leave it in for an hour or even a day. Then I shampoo and condition as usual. Doing this gets rid of itchy scalp and makes my hair look normal i.e. not frizzy. I have a feeling if I had started doing this years ago, decades ago, I would have saved a lot of my hair. Ah well, live and learn and you reading this might save more hair than me!
Ben Zoltak (author) from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA on February 28, 2015:
Thanks EasyExercise! I've never heard of Omega from ProCaps, I'll pass it along to my daughter and wife! Sounds like it works great! I hear you on the test for it in their diet, sounds like good science. I once heard that there is a book about our blood types and that depending on your DNA/family genes, we all need different, specific types of diets for good health, can't recall the name of it currently though!
Kelly A Burnett from United States on February 27, 2015:
I have had unexpectedly great luck with Omega from ProCaps. I took Omega for fighting RA and within 10 days my hair was noticeably softer and had a shine (my hair is thick but never, ever shiny or soft). I tried other omegas and no luck - after 10 days my hair was back to the rough stuff.
I returned to the ProCapsLabs Omega and while I have their biotin which is specific for hair and nails, for me the ProCapsLabs has worked both for my joints (to combat RA) and for my hair.
I hope someday there is a test to show if you need omega in your diet.
Ben Zoltak (author) from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA on October 06, 2014:
Sounds like quite an adventure Jackie! Thanks for your feedback about pulling hair especially, I could see where it would be a slippery slope towards too much! My mom and wife get that "cousin It" look too, that's a lot of hair!!!
JackieSonia on October 06, 2014:
Nice writing, Ben. I used to have waist length hair and got it cut just below my shoulders recently because I noticed it was thinning and getting very raggedy looking at the ends. That has stopped some, but I still notice some hair on my pillow in the mornings. I recently began to eat lots of protein, so we'll see how that goes. I remember I used to pull my hair when it was very long cause I read it would strengthen the hair follicles. I stopped because it didn't seem to help the problem (maybe I was pulling to hard :)) My hair looks better now that I've cut it and I think I won't let it get to my waist again. Had to pin it up in a bun most of the time. Funny thing, when I was getting my haircut, my daughter-in-law took some pictures where the beautician had combed my hair over my face. My son made a comment on FB asking if I was going for the 'Cousin It' look whereas his brother responded No, it was more like 'The Grudge' look. Haha
Ben Zoltak (author) from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA on September 21, 2012:
Recently Sassiet, I heard that Westerners brought fattier/meatier diets to the Orient/Japan/China/Malaysia etc. Before that time, those cultures had less meat/animal fat in their diets and hair loss was rare. Now, along with adopting more meat/fat into their diets, they have also gained the hair loss!!! So, perhaps eating less meat/fat would help, although it sounds as if you're tube fed? Which I have no idea if this would apply to you.
Be well my friend,
Sassiet13 on August 31, 2012:
Help! I have a host of stomach problems - IBS, Gerd, functional vomiting syndrome..and is tube fed. About 2months ago I noticed that my very long and beautiful hair started falling out . Any advice out there ?? Please ? The thought of cutting / trimming my hair makes me cringe.
shin_rocka04 from Maryland on June 02, 2012:
Pretty good advice. I don't think I have to worry about this too much seeing as my grandfather was 70 and never lost any hair and never developed a receding hairline. Same with my father who is pushing 50. However, these are great tips to maintain healthy hair. Good post, Ben! Salute.
Ben Zoltak (author) from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA on May 16, 2012:
Mr. Noshi all is not lost!!! As my daughter points out, as we discussed your dilemma, you may just have a genetic disposition for thinning hair.
However, that being said I believe you shouldn't give up, I wouldn't anyway. Nutrition is important, double check your diet, take a vitamin regularly, never rinse your hair with water heated in a water heater rinse with fresh cold water. If your water is heavily chlorinated you may want to let the water you wash your hair with sit out for a few hours/overnight to get rid of the chlorine.
Don't stress about it either! Stress can definitely contribute to hairloss, try yoga too!!!
I hope this helps man, on the upside, some chicks dig bald dudes!!!
noshi on May 06, 2012:
hello mr ben im noshi again .. i did all your 12 tips but it doesn't work. i dont know why ... i wake up 12pm eating lunch then at 5 or 6 pm i eat snacks and at 9 or 10 i take dinner that's it . i used to eat 2 boil egg almost daily , sometimes boil beans. i put uncooked egg with almond oil on my hairs thrice a month along with this i use castor oil to reduce my hairfall and i use pantene thrice a week with conditioner these all i do bt i m hopeless... :( :( please help me ben ..
Ben Zoltak (author) from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA on April 21, 2012:
My pleasure noshi! If you are weak, I recommend as much sunshine as you can get, also dig your hands in the dirt, a garden or foraging in the woods. I don't trim my hair as much as I recommend above so I'd say that's the weakest of the steps above. I wish you well noshi! May you walk with Gitchie Manitou.
noshi on April 21, 2012:
thanku mr ben you have give us such a good ideas . do let me know that what should i do for having long hairs? i am very weak . and my hairs too :P what can i do?
Ben Zoltak (author) from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA on April 03, 2012:
krs thanks for this comment...this is one of the funniest I've read in awhile, I forget about people who have the opposite problem! I guess those of us who need the follicular help should adopt the Indian/Swedish diet! (meatballs and curry?) lol
Thanks for this, best...
krs on March 29, 2012:
I grew up on an east indian/swedish diet (my parents cultures)the first time I ever ate junk food like a burger was when I was 14 years old. I am now 19 and my mother still has to cut chucks of my hair off in the back of my head because my hair is so thick that it is difficult to brush with out breaking the brush at times. Thick hair is not that great!
Ben Zoltak (author) from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA on February 03, 2012:
Hey Joe, I try to remember to eat/drink at least some sort of protein at least three times a day. Even if you're not a breakfast person, you should have a bite or two of cheese or peanut butter, or maybe a gulp of milk. As for the fruits and vegis, they can replace junk food if you let them. Not always of course, who can resist the potato chips and pretzals, I cannot. But I have switched so that I eat some raw fruits and vegis every day.
Hope that helps man, here's to hair!
Joe on January 18, 2012:
lots of good info, just wondering how long and how often i should massage my scalp and how much protein and fruit i should be eating? Also how long was it before you started to see results?
thanks for all the info and help, top man
Ben Zoltak (author) from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA on January 09, 2012:
I do lose some hair in the shower and while brushing, good observation. I'd say at this point examine what you use for shampoo and conditioner, and also make sure you have digestible protein consistently in your diet.
Cheers man (MR.36)!!!
MR.36 on January 05, 2012:
Thanks for the info Ben. I'm turning 36 in March and recently started noticing hairs stuck to my fingers when I showered. I usually find one strand of hair everytime I brush my hair with my fingers. If I had to guess, every shower I loose around 20-30 hairs. I have thick and long hair. Long around 6inchs on the top. I had a stress full year and do not know if its related to stress or Male pattern baldness. Did you loose the same amount of hair in the shower? What do you think?
RAGURAMAN on January 02, 2012:
Im 24M, I had hair fall problem, that's way I took baled at saloon shop hope it grow, now result is better....!
Ben Zoltak (author) from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA on October 25, 2011:
Saurav Singh, I hope the steps to help with hair loss I've written above help! I also use Dr. Bronner's Tea Tree oil for shampoo, it works really well. The only conditioner I usually use is aloe vera, the actual plant not a processed product. Good luck, I hope you keep your hair!
saurav singh on October 19, 2011:
i am 18 & i am going to be bald now please give me easy and cheap steps
Ben Zoltak (author) from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA on August 05, 2011:
Imma, I haven't used oil, experiement and let me know how it goes! I've heard olive oil is very good, I stick with aloe.
Mahtab, make sure you eat your vitamins man! I like Dr. Bronners natural shampoo! Hope that helps.
mahtab aziz on July 31, 2011:
i m 26 now but my hair is start to fall on 2 years ago i have so many hairs.but i m starting to bald in centre of my head mainly.which medicine or shampoo should prefer to use.kindly also let me some home remedy.
Imma ali on July 27, 2011:
I am in mid of 30 but my hair is start to fall on.2 years ago I have so many hairs. My hair is very thin , I am starting to bald.Which oil I should prefer to use.Kindly also let me some home remedy.
Ben Zoltak (author) from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA on June 06, 2011:
Thank you Guanta, kind of you to say so, I still employ them all, especially the aloe, if you can stand the onion kind of smell ;0)
Guanta from New York City on May 16, 2011:
Thank you so much for these great tips. I'm definitely going to follow some of them, specially massaging my scalp. Thanks again.
Ben Zoltak (author) from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA on May 11, 2011:
Thanks sanjana kind of you to say......I will doubly note the three points to help fight hair loss that you've underscored with your comment.
sanjana07 on May 08, 2011:
You have given very useful hair tips, because we become sometimes very worried, when we see much hair falling everyday.No 1,3 &6 point of this topic are very effective.
Ben Zoltak (author) from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA on April 18, 2011:
Aw thanks for noticing emilybee. The when wet part is tough, though I've heard you can get by with just using your fingers. Glad my daughter and I could share our tips with you.
emilybee on April 03, 2011:
Great advice once again. I have trouble keeping my hair strong though since I do all the no-no's mentioned here...brush when wet, can't massage my sculp for more than a few seconds (get bored), brush my hair too much and just today got my hair cut finally... think it's probably been a year since my last trim. But thanks a lot for sharing! and I will keep your tips in mind and perhaps I'll use them too!
Ben Zoltak (author) from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA on March 16, 2011:
Thanks Schauhan and Jamie, I had fun strategizing with my daughter over many ideas, lately using aloe has been one of my favorites.
jamiecoins from ireland on March 15, 2011:
schauhan912 on January 18, 2011:
Ben Zoltak (author) from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA on January 07, 2011:
Thank you WHL! I just read over your titles and one of your Women's Hair Loss hubs and it looks like you have a quality anecdote to share with women suffering from hair loss. Good for you, I would recommend your transplant experience to those looking for help.
Women'sHairLoss from Massachusetts on January 07, 2011:
Good information about best practices to decrease hair loss and increase hair strength.
Your readers may also be interested in checking out my related hubs... about my personal experience receiving a hair transplant.
Keep on hubbing!
Ben Zoltak (author) from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA on December 08, 2010:
Thanks for the heads up yazoogal, I thin k I sa w selenium in my multivitamin, I'll look again!
yazoogal43 from Malden on December 08, 2010:
tAKING sELENIUM HELPS AS WELL, WADO YAZOOGAL
Ben Zoltak (author) from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA on December 02, 2010:
De nada K9!!!
India Arnold from Northern, California on December 02, 2010:
Thanks so much for the research on the wet hair issue Ben. I will take your (daughters) advice with gratitude.
Ben Zoltak (author) from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA on December 02, 2010:
K9, I checked with my daughter and she conferred. She said she still does it, but since she gets her hair cut every month and a half, split ends which occur from brushing while wet, are not a problem for her. Unlike people who only get their hair cut once or twice a year. Hope that helps confirm!
Ben Zoltak (author) from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA on December 01, 2010:
Thanks K9, I am a hair lay person only though!But my daughter and I have found that most of these work. It's been awhile since I've talked to her about it so I 'll have to see if she still avoided brushing her hair while it's wet.
India Arnold from Northern, California on November 30, 2010:
I had no idea about forgoing brushing your hair while it is wet, a great bit of advice Ben! Thanks.
Ben Zoltak (author) from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA on November 17, 2010:
Thanks Ingenira! I haven't heard that about warm water so I think you are safe. If you have chlorinated water or water that is stored in a water heater for a long time, it might help to rinse hair with purist water, be it just the cold water from the spout, or some that hasn't been stored too long, or chlorinated.
Hope that helps thanks for reading!
Ingenira on November 17, 2010:
Ben, since hair dryer will increase hair fall, I presume washing the hair with warm water will do the same ?
Ben Zoltak (author) from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA on February 23, 2010:
Thanks Peggy, glad to hear it! Over time I might reach that spot (the bald spot!) and if I do, I hope the one I'm with is into the chrome dome!
Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on February 23, 2010:
Good advice...and if all else fails...men with balding or bald heads can be very sexy looking! Now...about my cowlick in the back.....oh well.....only the people behind me can see it. :-)
Ben Zoltak (author) from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA on January 28, 2010:
Thanks Prasetio! I also never mentioned that if you have dandruff, it's good to take care of that with zinc or some other kind of shampoo. The dandruff is a sign that there is damage being done to your hair follicles.
prasetio30 from malang-indonesia on January 15, 2010:
this is really good tips. I'll follow your advice. Because my hair getting and often fall. I am little stress think about it.
Ben Zoltak (author) from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA on January 10, 2010:
That's crazy about the stress/mucscle pulls Mike, I get a similar thing in my back during stressful situations. If I see that kind of scenario coming, I try to stretch for an hour or two before the event! Getting older is a pain in the butt, haha.
Mike Lickteig from Lawrence KS USA on January 09, 2010:
Stress didn't make my hair fall it, but it made my moustache turn gray. Or maybe age did that, I dunno.
Short-term stress attacks my body like muscle pulls. I once thought I pulled a muscle in the back of my leg and hobbled for a day or so. I got into an argument with someone and the pain switched to the same spot on the other leg. I knew something funny was goin' on. I'm not a doctor, but I didn't think muscle pulls could hop around.
Well, so it goes. Hope your stress diminishes and your hair does not.
Ben Zoltak (author) from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA on January 04, 2010:
Hey man that's a crazy story! I hope your buddy is alright. Funny nick name though! Interesting take on good stress and bad stress you should write a hub about it!
William Cobb from Columbia, SC on January 04, 2010:
Stress does weird things to the body and hair falling out is one of them. I know a guy who was so stressed out that his hair started falling out in circular patterns. He was cool with it and we often called him "Crop Circles" because that's what the hair loss looked like and reminded us of. We all had good laughs out of it... The strange thing is, the body doesn't know the difference between good stress and bad stress.
Ben Zoltak (author) from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA on January 03, 2010:
Jeez look what happens when my wife and daughter steal me away for 48 hours, everybody comes around and comments. Well thanks everybody for taking a look.
You all are a riot! Thanks a lot for the encouragement! I try to keep smiles all around. Really hope you all got some decent information out of it. It's basically a culling of the herd of information I've looked at over the years.
HAPPY NEW YEARS WORDSMITHS!!!
bearclawmedia from Mining Planet Earth on January 03, 2010:
The hair song was a hoot! Gee your a funny man. I like your style Ben. Good informative and helpful hub. One of the things I do not worry about. Your fan Bearclaw
Tammy Lochmann on January 03, 2010:
Great advice. I am definitely going to try these.
Hillary from Atlanta, GA on January 03, 2010:
Great tips Ben!..All natural too. Thanks! Hope your holiday was great and your expecting big things to come in the New Year!
Tatjana-Mihaela from Zadar, CROATIA on January 03, 2010:
Wish you very happy and successful New Year, Ben.
prettydarkhorse from US on January 02, 2010:
hey nice one, I have avery long hair and this is informative, I also hot oil them with coconut, but cant find here, those fresh ones, so I just buy at Asian store hehe, Thank you Ben, Maita
cheaptrick from the bridge of sighs on January 02, 2010:
Hi Ben,Why is it that as we get older the hair on our heads stops growing and starts coming out our ears and noses lol,is it just backing up?and if so how do we reverse the process lol.
Ben Zoltak (author) from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA on January 02, 2010:
Thanks Hello Hello!
Thanks KCC, I hope this helps your husband. I should emphasize it took a few months to notice a difference, it didn't happen overnight. The most effective point seemed to be number 1, digestible protein. I started making my own beef jerky too as a way to eat more protein regularly, most guys could agree to that!
KRC from Central Texas on January 02, 2010:
My husband is in his mid-40s and is stressing over his receding hairline. We recently read another hub about using aloe vera gel. He's started doing that a week or two ago. But, you've given me some more tips that I'll have to pass along to him. Thanks!
Hello, hello, from London, UK on January 02, 2010:
Good solid tips and well written. Thank you