Home Remedies for Hair Growth

Natural remedies for hair growth

Verywell / Madelyn Goodnight

That moment when you realize your hair is thinning can feel overwhelming and anxiety-provoking. After all, this is not exactly what you had in mind for your precious locks. The good news is there are steps you can take at home to naturally boost hair growth.

“The hard truth is that most people will develop some degree of hair loss as they age,” says Jen Haley, MD, a board-certified dermatologist.

Before you get too nervous though, remember that it is normal to lose up to 100 strands of hair per day. It mostly goes unnoticed because new hair is growing at the same time. Dr. Haley says that if you think you are losing more than that, or if notice your hair coming out in clumps, that is considered more than average hair loss.

“When trying to promote hair growth on the scalp, the idea is to revive your existing hair follicles and foster a healthy environment for them to grow,” says Dr. Haley. Here’s how to do that at home.

Common Causes of Hair Loss

According to experts, hair thinning is a common problem. In addition to genetics, hair loss can be caused by pregnancy, hormonal changes, crash diets, autoimmune diseases, and even hairstyling. For this reason, it is not surprising that most men and women will experience hair loss in their lifetime.

Yoran Harth, MD

Based on recent stats, 21 million American women, and 35 million men suffer from hair loss.

— Yoran Harth, MD

"Based on recent stats, 21 million American women, and 35 million men suffer from hair loss," says Yoran Harth, MD, board-certified dermatologist and Medical Director at MDhair. "Twenty percent of the population will notice some degree of thinning in their 20s, 50% will experience hair loss by the age of 50 and 80% by the age of 80."

Based on the root cause, you can use a medicated treatment like minoxidil, hair supplements, plant-based serums, or natural remedies, says Dr. Harth. If you are experiencing hair loss, it is important to talk to a healthcare provider so that they help pinpoint the root cause of your symptoms.

Most of the time, hair loss is caused by pattern baldness, which is also called androgenetic alopecia. Genetic and hormonal factors play a role in this type of hair thinning. Another common cause of hair loss is called hair shedding. This type of hair loss is triggered by major illnesses, surgery, rapid weight loss, nutritional deficiencies, stress, thyroid issues, and certain medications.

Home Remedies for Hair Growth

Depending on the reason behind your hair loss, you may need medical treatment to address the issue. However, there are times when it is simply age or hormone changes causing hair thinning and a natural remedy might be the answer. Here are some things you can try after a medical condition has been ruled out.

Scalp Massage

Though there isn’t much by way of scientific evidence on the topic, the existing research does support the idea that scalp massage results in thicker hair. One study found that participants experienced hair growth after performing scalp massage twice daily to stimulate hair growth.

Scalp massage is similar to any other kind of massage, but is often more gentle or done using a scalp massage tool that mimics the feeling of fingertips. Even a few minutes of scalp massage while in the shower may have benefits on hair growth.

“Massaging your scalp every day will stimulate your skin and help to promote hair follicle growth,” says Dr. Haley.

Rosemary Oil

Rosemary oil is a highly concentrated extract from the rosemary herb. Essential oils have many claimed health benefits and are used in different applications including aromatherapy, cooking, topical, cleaning, beauty, and improve health. Rosemary oil is used for its anti-inflammatory, nerve growth, and circulation benefits.

For hair growth, rosemary oil has been associated with protection against hair loss and stimulation of hair growth. In studies on individuals with alopecia, rosemary oil had a restorative effect on hair loss possibly due to its ability to improve circulation. Dr. Harth recommends using a few drops of rosemary oil and massaging into your scalp before rinsing.

Aloe Vera Gel

Aloe vera is a cactus-like plant that grows in hot climates. It has been used for centuries as a topical skin treatment and as a remedy for hair loss. While the studies are scarce and ongoing for aloe vera and hair growth directly, aloe is rich in vitamins A, C, and E, which play a role in the health of your hair and hair loss prevention.

“It’s believed to help moisturize the scalp and promote hair growth,” reports Dr. Harth.

Saw Palmetto

Saw palmetto is a shrublike palm that produces red berries. It is native to the Southeastern United States and has been used therapeutically for hair loss, enlarged prostate, migraine, and to relieve urinary tract symptoms.

For hair loss, research on saw palmetto used topically is minimal yet promising. One study published in the Turkish Journal of Dermatology found that when used topically for 4 months, participants experienced an 11.9% increase in total hair count.

Meanwhile, a handful of studies reported similar findings determining that both oral and topical application of saw palmetto for 3 months show an improvement in hair density and the overall health of the hair and scalp. Saw palmetto is available in topical hair serums and oral hair supplements.

Ginseng

Dr. Harth recommends choosing plant-based supplement serums that contain the Panax ginseng root. One study evaluated the effects of red ginseng extract on hair growth in rats and on cultured human hair follicles.

Findings suggest red ginseng extract does promote hair growth in humans. Another study with similar findings suggests red ginseng extract not only promotes hair growth but also protects against hair loss.

Diet Changes

Hair growth is regulated by three phases that continually cycle throughout the year—anagen (growth phase), catagen (regression phase), and telogen (resting phase). The ability to increase or lengthen the growth phase while shortening the catagen and telogen phases would help improve hair growth.

Jen Haley, MD

Changing your diet is a great and easy way to start fostering a healthy hair environment and reviving existing hair follicles.

— Jen Haley, MD

“Changing your diet is a great and easy way to start fostering a healthy hair environment and reviving existing hair follicles,” says Dr. Haley. “Natural remedies like adding more omega-3 fatty acids to your diet may promote hair growth by providing essential proteins to the hair follicles and skin and preventing hair follicle inflammation.” 

Studies have shown that omega-3 fatty acids can increase hair growth by promoting the progression of hair follicle cells to move to the anagen (growth) phase. Plus, the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects of omega-3 fatty acids improve the health of the hair.

Aim for 1-1.6 grams of omega-3 healthy fats per day by incorporating fish, walnuts, and chia seeds into your diet. In addition, consider supplementing with an EPA and DHA containing fish oil or flaxseed oil product.

And because hair follicles are made up of protein, making sure you are eating enough is imperative for healthy hair growth.  The daily recommended intake of protein is 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight.

Most adults require at least 50 grams of protein per day. If you are lacking protein in your diet and feel like your hair is thinning, it may be time for you to adjust your diet.

When to Contact a Healthcare Provider

Before you fill your cart with products and supplements, remember that more research is needed for hair growth home remedies. Though some of those products could help, talk to a healthcare provider before trying anything new. They can help you determine what is right for you.

“If you’ve been using topical home remedies for 6 months with no improvement, it’s time to see a doctor,” reports Dr. Harth. “And if you have an underlying health condition such as anemia, thyroid glands disorders, or autoimmune diseases, you should see a dermatologist at the first sign of hair shedding.”

A Word from Verywell

If you are like most people, you may feel a bit of panic when you experience hair loss or thinning. But, fortunately, it is a situation that can be addressed with a number of different home remedies. Just be sure to address any medical concerns first with a healthcare provider.

Was this page helpful?
20 Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. American Academy of Dermatology Association. Do you have hair loss or hair shedding?

  2. NYU Langone Health. Most men experience hair loss—but it isn't inevitable.

  3. Cleveland Clinic. Hair loss treatments. Updated May 10, 2016.

  4. Koyama T, Kobayashi K, Hama T, Murakami K, Ogawa R. Standardized scalp massage results in increased hair thickness by inducing stretching forces to dermal papilla cells in the subcutaneous tissue. Eplasty. 2016 Jan 25;16:e8. PMID:26904154

  5. Harries MJ, Sun J, Paus R, King LE. Management of alopecia areataBMJ. 2010;341(jul23 1):c3671-c3671. doi:10.1136/bmj.c3671

  6. Murata K, Noguchi K, Kondo M, et al. Promotion of hair growth by rosmarinus officinalis leaf extract: hair growth effect of rosmarinus officinalis leafPhytother Res. 2013;27(2):212-217. doi:10.1002/ptr.4712

  7. Jalali-Heravi M, Moazeni RS, Sereshti H. Analysis of Iranian rosemary essential oil: Application of gas chromatography–mass spectrometry combined with chemometricsJournal of Chromatography A. 2011;1218(18):2569-2576. doi:10.1016/j.chroma.2011.02.048

  8. Almohanna HM, Ahmed AA, Tsatalis JP, Tosti A. The role of vitamins and minerals in hair loss: a reviewDermatol Ther (Heidelb). 2019;9(1):51-70. doi:10.1007/s13555-018-0278-6

  9. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. Aloe vera. Updated August 2020.

  10. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Medicine. Saw Palmetto. Updated May 2020.

  11. Arca E, Açıkgöz G, Yeniay Y, Çalışkan E. The evaluation of efficacy and safety of topical saw palmetto and trichogen veg complex for the treatment of androgenetic alopecia in menTurkish Journal of Dermatology. 2014;8(4):210-215. doi:10.4274/tdd.2302

  12. Aggarwal K, Jain VK, Sangwan S. Comparative study of ketoconazole versus selenium sulphide shampoo in pityriasis versicolor. Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol. 2003 Mar-Apr;69(2):86-7. PMID:17642841

  13. Murugusundram S. Serenoa repens: Does it have any role in the management of androgenetic alopecia? J Cutan Aesthet Surg. 2009;2(1):31. doi:10.4103/0974-2077.53097

  14. Prager N, Bickett K, French N, Marcovici G. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial to determine the effectiveness of botanically derived inhibitors of 5- α -reductase in the treatment of androgenetic alopeciaThe Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. 2002;8(2):143-152. doi:10.1089/acm.2002.8.143

  15. Park GH, Park K young, Cho H il, et al. Red ginseng extract promotes the hair growth in cultured human hair folliclesJournal of Medicinal Food. 2015;18(3):354-362. doi:10.1089/jmf.2013.3031

  16. Lee Y, Kim SN, Hong YD, Park BC, Na Y. Panax ginseng extract antagonizes the effect of DKK-1-induced catagen-ike changes of hair folliclesInternational Journal of Molecular Medicine. 2017;40(4):1194-1200. doi:10.3892/ijmm.2017.3107

  17. Kang JI, Yoon HS, Kim S, et al. Mackerel-derived fermented fish oil promotes hair growth by anagen-stimulating pathwaysIJMS. 2018;19(9):2770. doi:10.3390/ijms19092770

  18. Le Floc’h C, Cheniti A, Connétable S, Piccardi N, Vincenzi C, Tosti A. Effect of a nutritional supplement on hair loss in womenJ Cosmet Dermatol. 2015;14(1):76-82. doi:10.1111/jocd.12127

  19. National Institutes of Health, Office of Dietary Supplement. Omega-3 fatty acids. Updated August 4, 2021.

  20. Guo EL, Katta R. Diet and hair loss: effects of nutrient deficiency and supplement useDermatol Pract Concept. Published online January 31, 2017:1-10. doi:10.5826/dpc.0701a01