All of us start thinking about damaged hair follicles only when we see symptoms such as excessive hair fall and brittle hair. Damaged hair follicles can happen due to many reasons, inappropriate diet, lack of nutrients, bad hair care routine, exposure to harsh sun rays, incessant use of chemicals in hair, excessive use of heat styling tools, and certain medical conditions. No matter what the reason is, damaged hair follicle could be a terrible woe to you and you are perhaps ready to go to any lengths to cure and revive them! While expensive salon treatments, medications and potions carry on with their propagandas and promises to work wonders for your damaged hair follicles, home remedies work just as well in repairing hair follicles and what’s best – these are economical and you can save lots of money. In this article, we would love to share relevant ideas and tips regarding how to treat damage that has been done to hair follicles. Also, some amazing home remedies to treat such follicles.
Hair Growth Cycle:
Each individual hair grows approximately half-an-inch per month irrespective of how you take care of your hair. Each hair has a growing period of 2-6 years [depending on various factors like age, hormonal changes, etc] after which they tend to fall. After the hair falls from its follicle, a new hair would grow from the same follicle. The hair growth cycle happens in four phases:
1. Anagen: It’s the growth stage. Hair follicle is nourished by blood vessels and that leads to active hair growth in the follicle. Anagen lasts for 2-6 years depending on age, hormonal change, diet, etc.
2. Catagen: Transition phase, the hair follicle begins to shrink and hair detaches from the blood supply source, which is also called the “dermal papilla.” This stage lasts for 1 to 2 weeks or 10 days.
3. Telogen: It’s also called the resting phase. Old hair is in resting phase, it stops growing. Whereas new hair begins to enter the growing phase from the same follicle. The telogen stage lasts for 5 to 6 weeks or four months.
4. Exogen: The old hair starts to shed and new hair continues to grow.
What is the Function of a Hair Follicle?
A hair follicle plugs each hair into the skin. The hair bulb forms the base of the hair follicle and in the hair bulb, there are living cells which divide and grow out to build the hair shaft. There are blood vessels that nourish the cells in the hair bulb, and deliver hormones that modify hair growth and structure at different times of life of the cycle (anagen, catagen, telogen, exogen). If a hair follicle is damaged, it can alter the texture, hair color, and also stop growing out hair, and that’s a huge problem!
Reasons For Damaged Hair Follicle:
- Folliculitis – inflammation of the hair follicle.
- Viral, bacterial, or fungal infections.
- Hormonal problems.
- Excessive heat.
How To Revive Damaged Hair Follicles – Tips and Remedies
- Treat your hair roots with oils: Oils provide nourishment to hair follicles, keep them moist and make them healthy. Coconut oil, olive oil, almond oil and castor oil are household names when it comes to hair care. Just be wise enough to use them to your advantage. Take one variety or mix a few varieties; then, massage your scalp gently with the oil and leave on for at least two hours. You could go for a turban therapy following this massage session. This works best for dry and under-nourished scalp.
- Opt for essential oils: Lavender, tea tree and rosemary essential oils are great for restoring damaged hair follicles. Use diluted essential oils directly on scalp or add a few drops to your favorite nourishing hair pack.
- Hair masks with kitchen ingredients: Kitchen ingredients cover anything and everything that you have in the shelves, vegetable baskets and fruit baskets so that you can cook some delicious dishes. However, you could also end up cooking some wonderful hair masks to help restore your hair follicles.
- Consult a doctor and get supplements rich in biotin, iron, selenium, etc. if you deficient in any such nutrients.
- Rinse hair only with cold water, do not use hot water at all.
- Use static and gentle brush to comb hair.
- Use gentle towel with microfiber or microfiber hair wrap towel to dry hair.
- Minimize the use of heat styling tools such as blow dryer, straightener, curling iron, etc.
Hair Masks to Treat Damaged Hair:
Here are some of those masks you might want to try:
- Avocado-Banana mask- Mix the pulp of banana and avocado and rub the mixture on your scalp. Leave on for half-an-hour. Rinse off. The mask is great for restoring moisture to dry hair follicles.
- Whipped egg-honey for hair- Whip an egg with a spoon of lukewarm water and honey. Massage it into your hair and scalp. Wait for 30 minutes. Wash off with a shampoo. This can be done on dry and wet hair.
- Mayonnaise treatment- Apply mayonnaise liberally on your scalp and hair. Massage it into your scalp and then leave on for 30 minutes before rinsing it off with lukewarm water.
- Onion treatment for hair– The juice of onions helps to restore hair follicles and is known to promote thick growth of hair. Apply onion juice on scalp to get wonderful results.
- Eat Healthy: Eating a healthy diet is very important. Diet helps to restore your health from within so that every beauty problem can be dealt with in a complete way. Eating lots of fresh fruits and vegetables help. Include nuts and dates along with fruit juices. Drink plenty of water. Have a balanced diet so that your body gets its share of all the vital nutrients. Remember, your hair follicles too are a part of your body and they too need nourishment from within.
- Taking supplements: You may have a talk with your doctor and then, regularly take niacin and biotin supplements which are considered to be good for treating damaged hair follicles. Also, here’s a list of hair supplements that would strengthen hair.
Home remedies do test your patience, but then, they can be an inexpensive and side-effect free treatment for your hair. Along with a proper diet and application of hair masks, make sure that you cleanse your hair with a good quality, mild, revitalizing shampoo regularly. Also, stay away from chemicals, air dry your hair after shower every day and take proper care of your hair to restore your damaged hair follicles.