Maybe you first start noticing a few strands of hair lodged in the tines of your hairbrush. No big deal so far. But over time, more hair starts falling out until one day, seemingly out of nowhere, you notice a patch of skin on your scalp.
What a bummer! Beyond the obvious aesthetic ramifications of thinning hair, there’s also its effects on mental outlook.
In fact, a 2012 study by the National Institutes of Health, reveals nearly 30 percent of women with hair loss have two or more symptoms of depression. [source]
What causes thinning hair?
From a western perspective, thinning hair is caused by hormonal changes, nutritional deficiencies (especially in B vitamins), chronic stress, genetic predisposition, and, of course, the natural aging process.
To address thinning hair, the most common ways to address it using western medicine are over-the-counter or prescription drugs as well as cosmetic procedures.
If hair is healthy, there is proper Qi and Blood flow
By comparison, traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) views hair as a reflection of overall health. If hair is healthy, there is proper Qi and Blood flow. But more than anything, the condition of your hair is a mirror for your Kidney organ system. (In TCM, the organs are capitalized to distinguish them from western organs.)
Why is the Kidney system so important for your hair? Because it plays a key role in growth and development. Moreover, the Kidney system stores Jing. Jing is a somewhat esoteric concept in TCM, however, loosely translated, it’s your life force bank account.
If you live a lifestyle that burns the candle at both ends or have lots of stress, you will become depleted of Jing, which is a form of Qi. And as a consequence, your scalp may not get the proper Qi and Blood flow for which to promote healthy hair growth.
In fact, at least a couple millennia ago, TCM philosophers opined of the prosperity of the Kidney organ system being reflected in the luster and moisture of the hair.
Best Herbs For Hair
Managing stress and eating a low-sugar, nutrient-dense rich diet are indeed important for supporting healthy hair. According to TCM theory, nourishing Kidney Yin energy and Qi and Blood may prevent further hair loss. Certain Chinese herbs, with centuries of successful use, may even help regenerate new hair growth and darken hair back to its original pigmentation.
He Shou Wu
The most well-known Chinese herb for hair is He Shou WuHe Shou Wu (also called “Fo-ti”; or Polygoni multiflori). This herb supports and strengthens not only the Kidney organ system but also the Liver organ system.
The Liver organ system is vital for hair because Liver is the source for blood and Liver Blood nourishes the head, hair and scalp. He Shou Wu, then, is considered a blood tonic in TCM.
In research studies, He Shou Wu has demonstrated the ability to regrow hair in a majority of test subjects within three months. The herb’s mechanisms include activating hair follicle activation during the hair follicle’s resting phase; mitigating the effects of a byproduct of testosterone (DHT) that’s responsible for causing hair loss; and it may help to prevent further graying by protecting hair pigment.
Shu Di Huang
Also known as prepared rehmanniarehmannia root, Shu Di Huang nourishes Kidney yin.
Go Ji Zi
Better known as the popular superfood, goji berrygoji berry, Go Ji Zi is a popular anti-aging fruit. Its nourishing effects on the Liver, Lung and Kidney organ systems as well as its beneficial influence on Jing, make it a go-to herb in many TCM formula for hair loss.
Mulberry fruitMulberry fruit is another Chinese herb that is beneficial for Yin energy and blood tonification.
Nu Shen Zi
Nu Shen Zi, known in English as Glossy Privet FruitGlossy Privet Fruit (ligustrum lucidum), nourishes and tonifies both the Liver and Kidney organ systems. One of the oldest Chinese herbal remedies, this herb may promote hair growth and hair darkening due to its ability to increase blood circulation to the scalp.
Best Herbal Formulas For Thinning Hair
Of course, buying these herbs individually can be pricey, not to mention inconvenient, especially if you were to buy the raw herbs and brew them into a tea.
Fortunately, we have two formulas that contain these herbs and others that support more youthful looking hair.
HairViveHairVive is included in our Modern Essentials line of supplements, with a serving size of just two capsules. HairVive is a contemporary herbal remedy based on a 1,000-year-old Chinese prescription. It contains the legendary He Shou Wu herb as well as the others listed above.
If you prefer more traditional formulas in tablet form, try FotiHairFotiHair, part of our Guang Ci Tang brand of TCM remedies. FotiHair also contains He Shou Wu as well as a dozen other Chinese herbs.
Does Chinese Medicine Work For Hair?
For best results, you can try one formula for a few months and then take the other for a few months and continue to cycle both formulas.
Keep in mind though that when it comes to TCM herbal formulas for hair, having patience is key. Don’t expect miracle results right away. However, if you continuously take either HairVive or FotiHair, within a few months, you should start seeing positive results. Make taking these formulas part of your daily routine for the rest of your life as you would brushing your teeth.
As of this writing, there are 35 reviews of HairVive and collectively, the product has a 4.5 out of 5 star rating.