Traditional chinese medicine (TCM) has always regarded hair health as a result of blood circulation in the body.
It is believed that healthy hair growth is linked to a good flow of qi and blood flow in the body to nourish the hair and scalp.
If this flow is interrupted by either a deficiency of qi and blood or stagnation of qi and blood, this will lead to thinning hair or further hair loss due to insufficient nourishment reaching the scalp.
Blood and qi deficiency are often caused by having an unhealthy diet or poor assimilation of nutrients whereas qi and blood stagnation are often caused by stress or a hormone imbalance.
An increase in blood heat can also lead to imbalances in the body, causing brittle hair and hair thinning.
Having excess heat in the blood may also contribute to:
- Hair loss in both women and men
- Itchy scalp concerns
Acupuncture is a method that utilizes thin needles to help improve the flow of qi and blood in the scalp.
TCM practitioners enjoy using various TCM treatments to stimulate hair growth by targeting specific blood vessels that help in treating hair loss.
After an acupuncture session, chinese herbs or chinese medicine are used to nourish qi and blood to stop more hair from falling out.
Improving your overall health is also crucial in combating various health conditions that cause thinning hair.
What Chinese herbs are good for hair loss?
Traditional Chinese medicine uses certain Chinese herbs that focus on both cooling excess heat in the blood and enhancing the health of the blood.
Here are some Chinese herbs that are great to combat hair issues:
1) Dang Gui Pian (Chinese Angelica Root)
Traditionally taken as a tonic to keep hair healthy by enhancing its condition and shine, this herb works to increase blood circulation whilst invigorating the blood.
It’s also packed with coumarin, a compound believed to dilate blood vessels and reduce muscle spasms.
The herb’s blood-boosting properties also mean high-quality, nutrient-filled blood will reach your hair follicles.
It also supports the kidney organ system to combat any serious illness caused by aging.
Also known as Chinese Thuja, it is a Chinese herb that helps with new hair growth and reduces hair loss.
It works by maintaining the health of hair follicles at the hair roots which helps with hair regeneration.
3) He Shou Wu (Tuber Fleeceflower Root)
This root is great to prevent aging effects such as premature greying hair.
Known as a longevity tonic, it also aims to improve the health of the kidney and liver, so that toxins will be eliminated faster, and your body has more capacity to perform other functions.
Other herbs that are often used in conjunction with dong quai and biota in TCM include white peony, cuscuta, rehmannia, szechuan lovage and Chinese licorice.
4) Dang Sheng (Codonopsis Pilosul Root)
This is an affordable herb often used by TCM practitioners as a cold remedy.
It is believed to aid the immune system whilst increasing healthy blood circulation in the body.
Stress is a major contributing factor to hair loss.
Ginseng has been shown to have the ability to lower stress levels and calm the mind.
This means that you will avoid having an overheated scalp which contributes to blood heat and hair loss can be prevented.
6) Ling Zhi (Reishi Mushroom)
Ling Zhi is a nutritious mushroom that is also low in calories and well known for its immune-boosting properties.
This mushroom has a variety of health benefits and they include:
- Antioxidants to protect against free radical damage
- Alkaloids prevent signs of aging and help blood vessels to dilate.
How does Traditional Chinese medicine improve hair health?
1) Acupuncture to regrow hair
Regular acupuncturesessions can stimulate blood flow within the hair follicles to promote hair growth.
When acupuncture is used in conjunction with herbal medication, it can combat hair loss caused by alopecia, female pattern hair loss or other scalp concerns, hormonal changes, and blood deficiency.
2) TCM promotes good nutrition
TCM believes that having a healthy lifestyle will be reflected in your hair health as well.
Eating a broad diet consisting of all the essential nutrients such as omega 3 fatty acids which can be found in salmon, walnuts, flaxseeds, or taken as a supplement.
Include foods in the diet that nourishes the blood (and in turn, create healthy hair) such as dark green leafy vegetables, seaweeds, spirulina, sprouts, legumes, whole grains, goji berries, dried apricots, dark grapes, blackberries, bone broth, organic meat, eggs, and liver.
Iron deficiency can often contribute to hair loss.
It is also good to consume enough of it with Vitamin B12 for better hair health.
Avoid foods that contribute to excess heat in the blood such as processed, fatty and sugary foods, as well as alcohol and tobacco.
Choose cooking methods that support what is understood from a TCM perspective to cool the blood such as steaming, blanching, and boiling.
Avoid frying, roasting and barbecuing as these contribute to more heat in your food to improve hair health.
3) Getting a massage
A daily scalp massage using coconut oil and essential oils can also help stimulate the scalp to aid with hair regrowth.
Tuina, a Chinese traditional massage can also help improve blood circulation throughout the whole body.
When blood flow is good, it will help in reducing hair loss whilst growing healthy hair.
Chinese medicine emphasizes the importance of having a good lifestyle.
This also includes what you do in your daily routine.
Hair growth can improve by using mild shampoos, conditioners and styling products free from sensitizing ingredients such as mineral oils, fragrances and synthetic substances.
It is also good to avoid bleaching, dyeing or perming your hair
You can maintain your luscious locks when you avoid exposing your hair to the heat of hair dryers, straighteners, curling irons, and rollers, and instead gently dry it with a towel or let it dry naturally
If you are an avid swimmer, remember to wear a bathing cap when swimming in chlorinated pools, and a hat when you’re out in the sun.
Have a regular trim at the hairdresser to remove any damaged hair at the ends
If you are experiencing substantial hair loss that’s upsetting your emotional health, a visit to a trichologist in Singapore will help.