Chinese Medicine Treatment for Hair Loss
TCM practitioners believe that hair growth is closely related to the health of the blood, both amount and circulation. People often lose hair due to physical or pathogenic conditions that they lose much blood, such as long-term illness, big operations and chemotherapy.
Traditional Chinese Medicine can be effective to treat hair loss and the underlying conditions which cause hair loss. Traditional Chinese Medicine treatment for hair loss focuses on creating balance and harmony in the body by strengthening the blood, balancing hormones, restoring qi and directing blood to the scalp. That is to say, you should care about the quality of your blood and its circulation if you want to have healthy hair.
Causes of Hair Loss
Traditional Chinese Medicine knowledge suggests the liver stores blood and circulates blood to the sides and top of the head. If the liver is stressed or under pressure, it will dysfunction and decrease blood flow to the head, causing hair thinning and grayness in these regions.
Kidneys dominate the growth and development of the body including hair. If someone has a strong kidney essence, hair is shiny, thick, strong, healthy, and they will have fewer gray hairs as they get older. For hair loss treatment, TCM practitioners often recommend Chinese herbs and dietary plan that is rich in essential fatty acids, proteins and minerals. Commonly used Chinese herbs that are considered beneficial for hair loss include He Shou Wu, Ginseng, Ji Xue Cao, Xun Ma and Wu Wei Zi.
Chinese Herbs for Hair Growth
The best known Chinese herbs to treat hair loss are He Shou Wu and Ginseng. Ji Xue Cao is mainly effective in male pattern baldness or alopecia caused by the onset of old age. Xun Ma is beneficial to treat male and female pattern baldness. Wu Wei Zi can enhance the quality of the skin on the scalp and improves blood flow in microvessels.
He Shou Wu is also called Fo Ti or Polygala Vine. TCM practitioners believe this herb has a restorative property essential to the kidney and blood. It is classified as a tonic and is taken in Chinese medicine to slow the signs of aging especially premature graying of the hair and hair loss. It is confirmed to stimulate hair growth as well as restore the color and sheen of the hair (1).
Where to buy: He Shou Wu Extract
How to use: He Shou Wu is available in many different forms including tea, liquid extract, powder, capsules and shampoo.
Ginseng is the classic Chinese herb and is now widely known in the West. It is believed to stimulate blood circulation and promote cell metabolism. This means that it can increase blood supply to hair follicle cells. Not only will these cells be well nourished, ginseng also improves their efficiency leading to new hair growth and regenerates damaged hair roots (2).
Where to buy: Hair Growth Oil
How to use: You need to massage your hair and scalp with natural oils infused with ginseng. Or, you can use hair growth oil which contains ginseng.
Ji Xue Cao (Gotu Kola) can be used in treating hair loss, it improves blood circulation while reducing blood pressure. It also provides relief from anxiety and insomnia and can even improve memory. Gotu Kola is used for promoting hair growth especially in people experiencing male pattern baldness or alopecia caused by the onset of old age (3).
Where to buy: Gotu Kola
How to use: Gotu Kola can be used in the forms of liquid extract, powder and capsules.
Acupuncture Treatment for Hair Loss
Acupuncture can increase blood circulation to the scalp which stimulate the hair follicle cells, deliver essential nutrients and encourage hair growth. TCM practitioners often offer acupuncture treatment combined with herbal formula. Some studies have shown acupuncture to encourage hair growth. Some claim that acupuncture can only treat hair loss due to alopecia areata.
Some of the acupuncture points which help to stimulate hair follicle cells are located on the head. If you want to give Chinese medicine a try, but have a bit of hesitation about having needles inserted into your head, you can try to use only Chinese herbal formula first. Also, you can try stimulating acupressure points for hair loss on your own.