How I Lost My Hair to Lyme Disease & Grew It Back With Healing Herbs
When I see strands of hair fall to the ground or what sometimes coats the comb after brushing, it leaves me with a bit of fear due to what happened during my health journey that culminated years after my Lyme disease diagnosis. The hair loss that I experienced was a huge side effect of what was going on in my body, but it truly took a large toll on my entire being: mind, body, and spirit.
Hair is hair, but as women, and men, a lot of identity lies within each strand of hair and, as silly as it seems, it's the truth. I want to share this with you all to let you know that your body and your hair wants to and can regenerate.
Food as medicine
My passion for health and nutrition had grown infinitely throughout my health journey, and as a result I was able to use the knowledge I had acquired in self-study to treat myself. A year after the hair loss had stopped, I began to see the beginnings of tremendous growth. Baby hairs started to sprout, and I looked like a newborn with all this fresh hair regrowing! My regrowth took about two and a half years to get to where it is now.
At the moment my hair is au naturel, no color; it's long, thick; I have lots of thinner hair, and I am not using any products or styling tools, which I think is so helpful in helping hair heal. My only hair accessory is a comb. I use natural shampoo and do coconut oil treatments twice a month with essential oils. I wash it at night every fourth or fifth evening and go to sleep with a wet head of hair. In my experience, and through many years of researching and studying the body, the less you do to the hair follicle, the better.
Just like skin, our hair is a reflection of our internal health. What we feed ourselves also feeds our hair, so when you notice something off or out of the normal in your hair patterns (remember that it is normal to lose hair), then something is probably off, and I truly believe it's not something to ignore. This is your body speaking to you, this is your body's only language, so we have to listen and see what is truly going on. It's asking us to look a little deeper. After trying so many things to help regrow my hair and heal my body, I developed my healing hair remedies that I learned along the way and things I still do today:
Herbs for healthy hair
Aloe contains aloenin, a potential stimulant of hair growth
Rosemary nourishes flaky and dry scalp and slows down premature graying and hair loss.
Sage treats scalp infections, dandruff, and oily hair problems. It is also said to lessen hair loss and restore hair color.
Witch hazel improves blood circulation at scalp.
Parsley acts as a hair tonic for thin hair and dandruff.
You can either eat these herbs or apply them directly to your hair as essential oils. Take the oil and rub it into your scalp and let it sit for a few hours, then shampoo and condition like normal. You must be consistent with them, and most importantly nutrition, sleep, and de-stressing are key factors in this. Healing is never just one component, it encompasses all areas of life, and there is no miracle cure for anything. It takes love, patience, self-care, and self-love and truly healing from the inside out.
What else can you do?
As well as eating well and saving your hair from the consequences of nutritional deficiencies, there are a few more lovely practices that can improve hair while boosting your well-being generally. What could be better?
Go for an Indian head massage, or spend a couple of extra minutes when washing your hair to stimulate your hair follicles. Even better, get a significant other to massage your head in the shower. Double bonus!
All inversion postures in yoga are fantastic for promoting the circulation to your scalp. As is putting your legs up against a wall for 10 minutes—this helps with circulation and getting blood back to your brain and hair follicles.
Treat your hair
Once a week with a teaspoon of melted coconut or avocado oil, massage through to the hair ends, keep it in overnight, and wash out the following morning.
Switch to organic shampoos that gently wash and nourish the hair rather than stripping away its natural oils; anything containing sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) is to be avoided.
Most importantly, listen to your body and what it is telling you, as only you know your body. At the end of the day, you are your own best doctor. Again, if you are experiencing something that you know isn't right or you see a large shift in patterns, take a closer look at and be with your body, as it's simply trying to speak to you in the only language it knows: symptoms.