Alternatively Speaking: Giving love to your locks

Alternative medicine expert Natalie Marx answers your questions: What natural remedies can revive dry hair with split ends?

Hair (photo credit: Wikicommons)
(photo credit: Wikicommons)
Q. Dear Natalie, my hair is starting to thin and I am only 26 years old. Can you recommend any dietary options or herbs that I can use to help make my hair thick again?A. Herbal remedies can offer a wonderful natural solution to help you gradually restore thick healthy hair. The sage herb is a miracle worker for counteracting hair loss due to aging. The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants suggests applying sage directly to your scalp to stimulate hair growth or you can drink a cup of sage tea. Sage is also often prescribed in ayurvedic medicine in order to clean the mind from over thinking.
My favorite herb to use when working to stimulate growth of thick hair is Fenugreek. You can either massage your scalp with infused oil of fenugreek or as "The Yoga of Herbs" recommends one teaspoon of fenugreek powder in a cup of warm milk daily. This will serve as a nutritious and easy-to-digest rejuvenator that assists hair growth.
Hair loss can also be caused by certain nutritional deficiencies; a person's hair is often a direct reflection of their nutrition. Drinking nettle tea as a herbal mineral supplement can be very effective since it has high levels of trace mineral. Vitamins A, B and C are all essential vitamins that help hair to become stronger and thicker. B complex helps hair to sustain its thickness. I suggest 50 mg of Vitamin B-6 and 50 mg of a Vitamin B complex daily. I recommend between 65 and 90 mg of Vitamin C are needed to also support the development of sebum in your hair.
If you would rather not take supplements, make sure you add the following foods rich in Vitamin C to your diet: Oranges or orange juice, red or green pepper, and kiwi fruit.
Lastly, I have seen for many years in my clinic the powerful effect that aromatic herbs can have when massaged onto the head, thereby encouraging hair growth. Try mixing lavender, rosemary or cedar wood essential oils (15 drops) into a carrier oil (almond) and massage into your scalp.Q. Dear Natalie, can you recommend any natural remedies for split ends. I heard that avocado is supposed to help?A. Despite what many people think, there are a few fantastic natural remedies that work wonders at repairing split ends. Your first port of call should be honey. Search for a honey conditioning treatment since it will be naturally packed with vitamins for enriching the quality of your hair. Honey has the ability to allow the hair to retain its moisture. This will improve the overall health of your hair making it less likely for further split ends to develop.
You are quite right about avocado. Avocado has high quantities of fatty acids that will make dry split ends hair feel softer. Look for conditioning treatment with avocado as the key ingredient or you can make up your own home remedy for split ends. Take one avocado and mash up with one egg and two tablespoons of olive oil. Apply to your hair and leave for 20 minutes to allow the nutrients to absorb. Rinse your hair as normal and then apply your regular shampoo.
Finally, you can also try mixing a mashed ripe papaya and mixing it with half a cup of plain yogurt. Apply the mix all over your hair and leave it for 20 minutes before rinsing off. Since papaya contains amino acids and proteins it helps make hair much stronger and therefore unlikely to split and break.
Many hairdressers suggest trimming off the ends of your hair, however that will not help those split ends which have occurred further up the hair shaft. Be careful when brushing your hair after shampooing. It can be damaging and help split those ends of your hair. Instead use one of the conditioners recommended above and a wide tooth comb. Q. Dear Natalie, are there any homeopathic remedies for dry scalp?
A. As a Homeopathic practitioner I believe that the best way to treat any skin problem is from the inside out, including dietary changes and simple homeopathic remedies to infuse moisture back into the scalp. Homeopathic treatments work by stimulating the body's natural ability to bring balance back into the skin in a non-toxic way thereby enhancing healthy skin for a dry free scalp.
Make sure your diet is rich with mega-3 fatty acids. Combine this dietary change with the homeopathic remedy arnica in a 30 c dose twice daily. Arnica is usually prescribed when the scalp is dry resulting from stressful conditions.
The homeopathic remedies graphites and calendula when blended into a cream provide the skin with a rich emollient excellent for soothing dry, cracked skin on the scalp. The cream should be massaged into the scalp.
The most effective homeopathic remedy used for a dry scalp when there is intense itching and burning is urtica cream. Massage homeopathic urtica cream into the scalp, once you have finished, apply a few drops of olive oil to a brush and work your way through the hair to increase levels of moisture to the scalp. Try looking for a natural shampoo and conditioner containing tea tree or lavender. Both these ingredients are well known for their antiseptic and anti-fungal properties. They are very effective at healing. They both work well for healing issues associated with imbalanced skin on the scalp. Both essential oils work well in conjunction with homeopathic therapy.This column is brought to you as general information only and unless stated otherwise is not medical advice nor is it based on medical experiments. This column is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. For more information about specific problems, please contact a doctor.For a reasonably-priced professional hairdresser, contact Avi Sakorka on 052-650-0005.
Natalie runs a clinic both in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem offering a wide range of natural treatment, including a women’s clinic every Wednesday. To make an appointment please email
Ask Natalie: If you have a health query and would like an alternative answer, email Natalie with your question at
Someone Once Said: 'All that man needs for health and healing has been provided by God in nature. Challenge of science is to find it.' - Paracelsus (1493-1541)