A full head of healthy, lustrous hair is a major beauty goal, but it requires proper care and upkeep.
Despite the most stringent hair care regimen, you are bound to lose around 50 to 100 strands every day. This is because once a hair has grown to its maximum length, it will eventually detach from the hair follicle and fall out.
Your scalp contains nearly 100,000 hair follicles that sprout hair, but not all your hair strands are at the same stage of growth. The ones that have grown to their full extent naturally shed from the scalp.
While daily hair shedding is completely normal, many physical, chemical, nutritional, and hormonal factors can weaken your hair, making them shed prematurely and break easily. Excessive hair loss of this kind will make your tresses visibly thinner and may even lead to bald patches if left unchecked.
Here are a few characteristics of weak hair:
- Breaks easily
- Split ends
- Rough, frizzy, or uneven texture
Ways That Help Weak Hair Grow
Weak hair doesn’t have to be a lifetime problem. Promote the growth of strong hair by doing the following:
1. Eat a healthy diet
A 2017 study published in Dermatology Practical & Conceptual found that eating more of leafy greens, proteins, healthy fats, and whole grains regularly can help improve the overall condition of your scalp and hair. (1)
Also consider adding iron-rich foods to your diet, such as dates, dried figs, pomegranate, gooseberry, dried figs, and dates. Green leafy vegetables are also a great source of iron.
2. Take nutritional supplements
Certain nutrients are especially good for hair health and growth. The most preferred approach is to derive these nutrients from your diet.
However, foods often fail to supply the recommended intake. In such cases, you can consider taking these nutrients in supplement form but only after consulting your doctor. The doctor will take into account your medical history to determine if the supplement is suitable for you and then recommend the appropriate dosage.
Biotin is one such supplement that is known to aid the production of keratin, which is the main hair-building protein, as was noted in a 2017 study. (2) Another 2013 study published in Annals of Dermatology found zinc supplements to be useful in reducing hair follicle regression while promoting hair follicle recovery. (3)
Other nutritional supplements that may help strengthen your hair include protein, iron, and vitamins C and D.
3. Regularly trim your split ends
Split ends make your hair look dry and lifeless. Plus, they gradually spread further up to destroy the entire length of the hair strand, impeding healthy hair growth. This is why it is very important to trim your hair every few months to get rid of split ends.
4. Be gentle with your hair to prevent damage
Hair is at its weakest when wet; therefore, it breaks easily when you brush it in this state. So, it’s best to let your hair dry a bit before combing or brushing it.
Detangle your hair slowly before brushing or combing it to minimize breakage and hair fall. Use a wide-bristled wooden comb for this purpose. Always use a gentle hand while combing or brushing to avoid tugging at your hair roots.
5. Avoid constant tight hairstyles
Keep changing your hairstyle from time to time, and try not to make it too tight. If you keep tying your hair the same way, it will repeatedly exert pressure on the same areas of the scalp and weaken the hair roots embedded there.
If you make a bun, braid, or pony, let your hair loose from time to time to release the strain from your scalp.
6. Avoid heat-styling tools
Limit the use of hairstyling tools as much as possible. When you do use them, always apply a heat-protective serum to your hair first to minimize the damage. Also, let your hair dry on its own rather than using a blow-dryer.
7. Stay hydrated
Drink at least 4 to 8 glasses of water per day to keep your scalp hydrated from within and thereby facilitate proper hair follicle functioning.
8. Scrub your scalp
Your scalp collects a lot of impurities including dead skin flakes/dandruff, sebum, airborne pollutants such as dust and soot, and hair product residue, which may not be properly removed during a hair wash.
This scalp buildup will gradually seep into your hair follicles and clog them. Clogged follicles are unable to receive proper blood flow, which hampers their functioning and leads to arrested hair growth or development. So, it is very important to thoroughly scrub your scalp during every hair wash to get rid of all this buildup.
Luckily, you can now get tools that are specifically designed for this purpose called scalp scrubbers. They deeply exfoliate the scalp to make it squeaky clean and stimulate blood circulation. Both these factors are conducive to healthy hair growth.
Moreover, there are scrubs that are custom made for the scalp, but it’s best to use them once a week only since too much exfoliation can strip away the natural lipids from the scalp and leave it utterly dry.
9. Massage your scalp with castor oil
A scalp massage with castor oil can promote hair regrowth when done regularly and properly. (4) The topical stimulation provided by the massage stimulates blood circulation under the scalp.
Improved blood flow brings more oxygen and nutrients to the hair follicles to build new, thicker hair. The application of castor oil only enhances this effect while providing other hair benefits as well.
A 2017 study published in The International Journal of Trichology found that castor oil is full of ricinoleic acid, which promotes blood circulation and is quickly absorbed into the scalp, ultimately resulting in healthier and faster hair growth. (5) Not just that, this oil also soothes scalp irritation and exhibits antimicrobial properties, (6) which help ward off scalp infections.
How to use:
- Blend 2 tablespoons each of cold-pressed castor oil and coconut oil.
- Apply this mixture to your scalp first and then along the length of your hair.
- Using your fingers, gently massage the oil into your scalp for a few minutes.
- Let it sit for at least 15–20 minutes before shampooing.
10. Condition your hair frequently
Use a nourishing and hydrating conditioner after shampooing, let it sit for a few minutes, and then rinse it off with cold water.
During the waiting period, the conditioner penetrates deep into the hair shaft to provide hydration, and then the final cold rinse helps tighten the hair cuticle to seal in the moisture. Apply this same technique when using a hair mask.
Regular conditioning makes your hair smooth, soft, and easy to manage while also strengthening and nourishing its core.
11. Apply a DIY hair mask
You can make your own hair-rejuvenating mask by using natural ingredients such as honey, bananas, and yogurt.
Yogurt contains vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), (8) which is known to stimulate blood flow to the scalp to activate the follicles and promote healthy hair growth. It is also full of lactic acid, which dissolves the dead skin cells settled on top of the scalp to facilitate their easy removal.
This gentle exfoliation helps unclog hair follicles, allows the scalp to breathe, and curbs microbial overgrowth that can result in infection. A clean scalp is conducive to better hair growth.
Honey works as an emollient that not only lubricates your hair strands but also seals the moisture inside them to keep them silky and conditioned for a long time, as demonstrated by the findings of a study published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology. (9)
How to use:
- Blend one mashed banana, 2 tablespoons of yogurt, and 1 tablespoon of honey to make a smooth paste.
- Apply this paste to damp hair, starting from top to bottom.
- Cover your hair with a shower cap to avoid dripping.
- Let the paste stay on your hair for 30 minutes.
- Rinse your hair thoroughly with plain water, followed by shampoo and conditioner.
12. Use peptide sprays
According to a 2018 study published in The International Journal of Medical Sciences, peptide sprays can help your brittle hair grow faster by stimulating blood circulation in the scalp, which will deliver more nutrients and oxygen to the hair follicles. (11)
Plus, it helps limit free radical activity, protecting your scalp from oxidative damage. These free radicals induce scalp inflammation, hamper hair follicle function, and trigger hair loss.
13. Go for hair PRP
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) has gained a lot of traction as a potential treatment for hair loss. A 2015 study published in Stem Cells Translational Medicine found this procedure to be safe and effective in reducing hair fall and stimulating hair regrowth, but further research is needed to conclusively establish this claim. (12)
PRP essentially involves drawing out the patient’s platelet-rich blood, which is then put in a device called a centrifuge, which separates its various components including plasma. The extracted plasma is finally injected into the balding areas around the scalp.
14. Try mesotherapy
Mesotherapy is a nonsurgical intervention aimed at promoting hair regrowth. It uses microneedles to inject active substances such as vitamins, enzymes, medication, and hormones into the scalp mesoderm, the layer just below the epidermis. (13)
This direct shot of nourishment and medication activates the hair follicles to stimulate faster hair regrowth and overall scalp regeneration. Plus, this therapy enhances blood flow in the scalp to deliver more active nutrients to the hair follicles. (13)
A consistent hair care regimen with the right products, measures, and remedies can help transform your weak hair into strong and healthy hair. But this regimen needs to be coupled with a wholesome diet and an overall healthy lifestyle to bear long-lasting results.
However, if home-based hair care fails to improve the condition of your hair, it’s highly recommended to seek medical help from an expert dermatologist. Hair loss is best treated in its initial stages, because the more hair you lose, the harder it will be to undo the damage.