If you’re dealing with thinning hair, then this might be the most exciting message you’ll read today...
Because there’s a natural solution that can help. It works by addressing one of the root causes of hair loss. It’s been used in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine for more than 3,000 years. And it’s been shown effective in modern studies.
So what is it?
It’s an herb called ashwagandha (pronounced, “ash-wa-GON-da”).
Ashwagandha is an adaptogen. That means it’s a remedy that helps your body adapt to stress.
So how does stress cause hair loss in the first place?
What stress does to your hair
When you’re stressed, your adrenal glands produce the stress hormone cortisol. And cortisol causes your hair follicles to shift from the growth phase into the telogen phase, also known as the “fall-out” phase.
This is your body’s attempt to conserve resources. See, your body registers all stress as a threat to your life, even if it’s stress from work or from world events. To your body, all stress is the same. So when your stress level goes up, your body prepares for fight or flight. And one way it prepares is by cutting off resources for non-critical functions.
Unfortunately, one of those non-critical functions is hair growth ... so your hair falls out.
But the good news is that stress and hair loss don't have to be permanent. You just need to help your body deal with stress better. And that’s where an adaptogen like ashwagandha can help.
Several studies have shown that ashwagandha reduces stress and anxiety. One study found that those who took ashwagandha had a 69% reduction in anxiety and insomnia, on average, compared with just 11% for the placebo group.
Other studies even found that ashwagandha can reduce levels of cortisol in the body. One study in particular found that a daily dose of ashwagandha lowered cortisol levels by up to 32%! And that’s without any changes to diet or lifestyle.
And as a bonus, ashwagandha’s cortisol-lowering abilities can also help with your overall health. Studies have shown that ashwagandha can help lower blood sugar levels and can even boost your immunity.
So who should try ashwagandha?
Who it’s for
Ashwagandha is best for those who suspect that stress may be the reason — or part of the reason — for their hair loss. Signs include shedding all over (versus in patches, which is more likely alopecia areata) or shedding mostly at the temples.
Beyond that, ashwagandha can work for all hair types, since all hair types are susceptible to stress shedding.
However, before starting an ashwagandha supplement, you should absolutely consult your doctor ... especially if you take medications or have a medical condition. Additionally, pregnant or nursing women should not use ashwagandha.
So assuming you’re in the clear, how do you use ashwagandha for hair loss? Well, the good news is, you have a few options!
How to use it for hair loss
Before we talk about the different ways to use ashwagandha, please understand that ashwagandha has to be used consistently to get results.
So whichever method you decide on, make sure it’s a method that you can easily incorporate into your daily routine. You should commit to taking it for at least 3 months to see results. And you want to take 250–500 mg of a high quality ashwagandha per day.
Okay, so let’s talk about your options. Here are three:
1. Pop a pill. Many hair supplements are now including ashwagandha in their formulation, so you can just take it as a capsule. If you’re not interested in taking a multivitamin, you can also find ashwagandha capsules without other ingredients in them.
2. Chew a gummy that contains a reasonable amount of ashwaghanda. Similar to pills, there are now chewable gummy hair supplements that contain ashwagandha. These usually come in fruity flavors, so they’re fun to take and you don’t have to swallow a pill.
3. Blend the powder into a smoothie. Ashwagandha powder can be mixed into your smoothie (or any beverage). A smoothie in particular will help disguise the flavor, which some people don’t care for. So it's another option if you don’t like taking a pill.
Finally, it’s worth noting that ashwagandha works best alongside a healthy diet and a low-stress lifestyle. I know it’s not easy to do those things when you’re stressed. However, the more you can do to take care of yourself, the better your chances of kickstarting your hair growth.
So give this a try, and let me know how it goes!