Sliced onions and juice
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Onion Juice

The idea is that the sulfur in onion juice helps hair regrowth. There’s not much research on this, but  a small study tested it in people with alopecia areata, which causes patchy hair loss. Half put onion juice on their scalp twice a day; the rest used tap water. After 2 weeks, 74% of the onion juice group had regrown some hair, compared with 13% of tap water users. If you try it, you might want to add something that masks the smell.

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red iron pills
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Iron

This crucial nutrient helps your body make blood, and low levels of it are linked to hair loss. The reason why isn’t clear, but make sure you eat plenty of iron-rich foods like meat, fish, poultry, tofu, broccoli, and all kinds of greens. Talk to your doctor before taking iron pills, though. Too much can cause vomiting and constipation. Very high doses can even be fatal.

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Egg and mushrooms
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Biotin

Some doctors prescribe biotin (a.k.a. vitamin B7) for hair loss and get good results. (It’s also good for your skin.)  Although it’s safe, you probably get plenty from the foods you eat. Eggs, wheat germ, and mushrooms all contain a high amount of biotin. Don’t worry so much about putting it on your scalp. While many hair products boast that they contain it, there’s not much proof that your hair loss will be helped by them.

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Patient doctor consultation
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Zinc

Since zinc helps with most processes in your body that keep you alive, it’s no surprise that it also strengthens the follicles under your scalp that nourish your hair. Your body doesn’t have a way to store zinc, so you need some in your diet every day. If your levels are low, there’s some proof that taking zinc by mouth could help with hair loss, but more research is needed. Your doctor will likely have you try other treatments first.

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Saw Palmetto plants
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Saw Palmetto

From the fruit of a small palm tree comes this herbal remedy, which is sometimes hyped as a hair growth wonder drug. Some studies have shown that it keeps the male hormone testosterone from breaking down, which can help prevent hair loss. While it’s unclear how well saw palmetto works, the good news is that it’s believed to be safe, can be taken with other drugs, and doesn’t cost much to try.

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Aromatherapy oil
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Aromatherapy

Sandalwood, lavender, rosemary, and thyme oils have been used to treat hair loss for over 100 years. A compound in them is thought to boost hair growth. You can try rubbing one or more of these oils into your scalp for at least 2 minutes every night. Then, wrap your head in a warm towel to help it absorb. A bonus: This nightly massage smells good and can help you feel more relaxed.

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variety haircare products
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Silicon

High levels of this common element can slow down hair loss. (Not to mention, make your locks brighter.) You’ll find different types of silicon supplements at the store, but a manmade version called orthosilicic acid (OSA) may be absorbed best by your body. Still, talk to your doctor first. It’s not clear how safe silicon supplements are.

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Selenium formula
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Selenium

Some hair growth supplements contain a nutrient called selenium. It can help your body fight off any toxins you’re exposed to (like through smoking or unclean air) and keep your hair follicles healthy. Although rats and mice with low selenium start to go bald, this hasn’t been proved true for people. In fact, too much selenium can actually cause hair loss, as well as problems with your memory.

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493ss_thinkstock_rf_female_hand_holding_pill_bedsi
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Melatonin

You may know melatonin as the “sleep hormone.” Many people take it as a supplement for a good night’s rest or to cut jet lag. But a cream with melatonin can also boost hair growth or slow down hair loss. The reasons aren’t clear, but in a study, people who used a melatonin mixture on their scalp saw less hair loss in 30 days. Struggle with dandruff? Melatonin could help that too. As with all supplements, check with your doctor first.

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pumpkin seed oil
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Pumpkinseed Oil

Daily doses of pumpkinseed oil taken by mouth could safely help bring your hair back. While more research is needed, one small study found that men who took four capsules of PSO each day for 6 months saw their hair count increase by 40%. One reason why? Like saw palmetto, pumpkinseed oil could block testosterone from changing into a compound called DHT, which is linked to hair loss.

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green tea
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Green Tea

An extract made from its compounds may help a range of health issues, including hair loss. It may be a compound called EGCG that helps with hair growth. Researchers saw a difference when they gave balding rats green tea extract for 6 months. But that hasn’t been tested in people. Use green tea supplements with caution, though. Some contain other compounds that can make you sick.

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carboxy therapy hair treatment
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Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP)

Doctors sometimes inject platelet-rich plasma (PRP), which comes from your own blood, to help with healing after surgery. PRP, which is rich in growth factors, might also help your hair grow. You give a little blood, and a lab spins it in a centrifuge to home in on platelet-rich plasma protein. You then get it injected into different points on your scalp. Many people who have PRP notice their hair grows back -- thicker than before.

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Raw meats nuts and dairy
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Amino Acids

These are “building blocks” for proteins. They help your body work the way it should. Some amino acids -- such as cysteine and L-lysine -- play a special role in keeping your hair healthy and growing. But you don’t need to take them as supplements. You should get plenty of amino acids through a healthy diet. Good food sources include cottage cheese, fish, eggs, seeds and nuts, whole grains, and meat.

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Woman brushing hair
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Smart Hair Care

In some cases, you can help your own hair loss with small and easy changes. Be gentle when you wash, dry, and brush your hair. Don’t yank! Limit the use of curling irons and hot rollers, which can weaken your hair. (So can often wearing your hair in a tight ponytail, braid, or bun.) If you smoke, now’s a great time to quit. Men who light up are more likely to have hair loss than those who don’t.

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Mature yoga friends
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Tame Your Stress

Going through a rough time can sometimes lead to hair loss. Try to head it off by getting a better grip on your stress. Try techniques like meditation, deep breathing, guided imagery, relaxation exercises, or talking to a counselor. Exercise is also a great option. These are all easy to learn and proven to help ease tension. Keep in mind, the best treatment for your hair loss depends on the cause. Talk to your doctor for guidance.

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Sources | Medically Reviewed on 05/30/2018 Reviewed by Stephanie S. Gardner, MD on May 30, 2018

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The Journal of Dermatology: “Onion juice (Allium cepa L.), a new topical treatment for alopecia areata.”

Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology: “The diagnosis and treatment of iron deficiency and its potential relationship to hair loss.”

Journal of Korean Medical Science: “Iron Plays a Certain Role in Patterned Hair Loss.”

UCSF Health: “Hemoglobin and Functions of Iron.”

NHS Choices: “Vitamins and Minerals: Iron.”

Cleveland Clinic: “Is Biotin as Good as Advertised for Your Hair Loss?”

International Journal of Trichology: “Serum Biotin Levels in Women Complaining of Hair Loss.”

National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements: “Zinc.”

Annals of Dermatology: “Analysis of Serum Zinc and Copper Concentrations in Hair Loss,” “The Therapeutic Effect and the Changed Serum Zinc Level after Zinc Supplementation in Alopecia Areata Patients Who Had a Low Serum Zinc Level.”

Continuing Medical Education: “Hair Loss Remedies -- Separating Fact from Fiction.”

National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health: “Saw Palmetto.”

Harvard Health Publishing: “Testosterone, prostate cancer and balding: is there a link?”

Archives of Dermatology: “Randomized Trial of Aromatherapy: Successful Treatment of Alopecia Areata.”

Anais Brasileiros de Dermatologia: “Use of silicon for skin and hair care: an approach of chemical forms available and efficacy.”

Pharmacognosy Review:  “Free radicals, antioxidants, and functional foods: Impact on human health.”

Dermatology Practical and Conceptual: “Diet and hair loss: effects of nutritional deficiency and supplement use.”

International Journal of Trichology: “Topical Melatonin for Treatment of Androgenetic Alopecia.”

Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine: “Effect of Pumpkin Seed Oil on Hair Growth in Men with Androgenetic Alopecia: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial.”

Journal of the National Medical Association: “The effects of tea polyphenolic compounds on hair loss among rodents.”

Journal of the German Society of Dermatology: “Green Tea in Dermatology -- Myths and Facts.”

Acta Gastro-enterologica Belgica: “Acute hepatitis after treatment for hair loss with oral green tea extracts (Camellia Sinensis.)”

International Journal of Trichology: “A Meta-Analysis on Evidence of Platelet-Rich Plasma for Androgenetic Alopecia.”

Stem Cell Investigation: “Platelet-rich plasma -- an ‘Elixir’ for treatment of alopecia: personal experience on 117 patients with review of literature.”

Hospital for Special Surgery: “Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Injections.”

Amino Acids: “Amino Acids: metabolism, functions, and nutrition.”

European Food Safety Authority: “Scientific Opinion on the substantiation of health claims related to L-cysteine and L-methionine alone or in combination and maintenance of

normal hair (ID 597, 4224, 4297, 4685, 4686), maintenance of normal nails (ID 597, 4224, 4685), maintenance of normal skin (ID 665, 666, 1916), contribution to normal collagen formation (ID 

4685) and contribution to normal glutathione formation (ID 1745) pursuant to Article 13(1) of  Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006.”

Przeglad Menopauzalny: “Nutrition of women with hair loss problem during the period of menopause.”

International Journal of Pharmaceutical Research and Development: “Onion Juice: An Effective Home Remedy for Combating Alopecia.”

The Journal of Dermatology: “Onion juice (Allium cepa L.), a new topical treatment for alopecia areata.”

Mayo Clinic: “Hair Loss,” “Is stress to blame for hair loss?”

Health Science Journal: “Stress management techniques: evidence-based procedures that reduce stress and promote health.”

Reviewed by Stephanie S. Gardner, MD on May 30, 2018

This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information.

THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.