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Hormones, hair loss & Chinese medicine

At taproot acupuncture & herbs we see a large number of patients who are struggling with unexplained hair loss, either around menopause, after childbirth, or just from sheer stress.

Chinese medicine & acupuncture have a long record of treating hair loss and can often be very efficient at preventing further loss, and for supporting regrowth.

Chinese medicine links hair to blood supply

Chinese medicine practitioners view that blood deficiency as the main cause of hair loss.

A well-functioning spleen and liver will allow healthy hair growth and shine

"发为血之余" the condition of the hair is a reflection of the condition of the blood

  • Thinning, dry and brittle hair might indicate yin deficiency or heat in the blood

  • Hair growth in abnormal places such as the chin, might indicate that blood is not flowing properly

  • Greasy itchy scalp is a sign of dampness and heat in the digestive system

While hair type and volume are determined by our genes, overall hair condition is determined by our lifestyle. Many factors – both external and internal – can affect the condition of our blood, and consequently, the state of our hair. These include stress, anxiety, an unhealthy diet, lack of sleep and some medications [7].

The specific treatment prescribed depends on the causes and manifestation of the hair loss, the person’s age, as well as the TCM practitioner’s observation of non-verbal clues of overall health, including the patient’s complexion, tongue, pulse and voice.[8]

Female hormones & hair loss

Aging, menopause & Hair loss

Hair loss that comes with advancing age, for example, is often the result of a gradual loss of blood, kidney qi and essence.

If treatment is undertaken early enough to nourish the blood and kidney ‘qi’, this hair loss can be reduced or delayed. [9].

Hair loss after baby

Women are also more prone to losing hair after giving birth, a life event which, while joyful, is believed to deplete the mother’s energy and blood. Pregnancy and child birth cause the mother to lose qi, essence, and blood. Post-pregnancy hair loss is common, especially if there were multiple pregnancies within a short time frame. Which is why " sitting the month" is a very revered practice after birth Because qi and blood cannot ascend, hair is not developed. Sudden hair loss: qi and blood deficiency pattern.

Postpartum tonic tea for replenishing blood & preventing hair loss

  • Dried longan (a fruit that looks a little like a lychee)

  • Chinese red dates, aka jujubes

  • Goji berries, aka wolfberries

All 3 sweet fruits help replenish qi and nourish blood to restore health to new mothers.

Chinese new moms sip on this warm and sweet herbal tea all day long !

When hair loss is more pronounced, herbal formulas and acupuncture can help stimulate blood circulation to the head.

Chemotherapy related hair loss

TCM can also be used to mitigate the extent of hair loss after chemotherapy treatments.

Healthy Hair Tips

  • Scalp massages & acupuncture can help increase blood circulation on the scalp, which helps hair growth.

  • Don't go to bed with wet hair.

  • To maintain a healthy spleen, eat less cold, fried, oily, and sweet food.

  • Include blood tonic foods such as purple colored fruit and veggies (cherries, plum etc)

  • Include kidney and adrenal tonic foods

Chinese herbs

  • herbs that nourish the blood, including wolfberries, red dates, dried longan, Angelica sinensis (当归), and Rehmannia glutinosa (熟地黄), Polygonum multiflorum (制何首乌)

  • herbs which are good for the kidneys include wolfberries, walnut, mulberry, Fructus Ligustri Lucidi (女贞子), Eclipta prostrate (旱莲草), and

In several studies over 60% of people who had hair loss experienced hair regrowth within 3 months after taking He Shou Wu.

Always talk to a licensed acupuncturist before starting Chinese herbs.

No matter where you are in your pregnancy and mothering journey,

if you need support, we can help.

In addition to our own team of fertility & women's health acupuncturists, we are well-connected within the Pasadena area community to help you find the right

integrative and holistic care for you.

On our website, you can learn more about our services, and book an appointment.

If you have more questions please call our front desk, at 626-841-2991, or email us.


References 1 , 6, 10 Zhao Xiaolan and Pauline Couture, Inner Beauty: Looking, Feeling and Being Your Best (Vintage Canada Edition 2012) 2 Leigh, W. (2013, June 19). Hair loss... on a woman? It's happening to increasing numbers of us - and it eats away at your femininity like an acid . Retrieved from Mail Online Website: 3 The Hair Society. (2015, January 19). Hair Loss Statistics. Retrieved from The Hair Society Website: 4 Statista. (2016). Value of the hair loss treatment market worldwide in 2010 and 2017 (in billion U.S. dollars). Retrieved from 5, 7 Kate O’ Brien and Troy Sing, Qi! Chinese Secrets of Health, Beauty and Vitality (C Licence Pte Ltd 2005) 8 Hafner, C. (2016). What Happens When You Visit a TCM Practitioner? Retrieved from Taking Charge of your Wellbeing website: 9 Straits Times “Mind Your Body” health supplement, 8 May 2014, pg 20


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