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Treating Alopecia (Hair Loss) In Children Naturally

Hair loss is perhaps most commonly associated with aging. So if you ever notice it happening in your child, alarm bells are likely to go off in your head. It turns out, however, that hair loss in children is a fairly common occurrence – and for a variety of reasons. The good news is that, depending on the cause, your child's hair loss is totally treatable using a variety of natural remedies that we'll explore here.

So, what are the causes of hair loss in children?

The most common cause of hair loss in children (affecting 1 in 1,000 kids) is a condition known as alopecia. This will present as sudden round or oval patches of hair loss that show no sign of inflammation. They can pop up overnight or over a few days. Alopecia is caused by your child's immune system attacking his or her hair follicles. Alopecia is not a life-threatening disease and can occur in otherwise perfectly healthy children. In fact, the only reason most people ever even choose to do anything about alopecia is the hair loss that is causes.

Once you've checked with your doctor to determine that the cause of your child's hair loss is indeed alopecia and not an infection, you've got a few options.

Your doctor will likely have a few prescriptions they can write for your child. But, as with all medications, drugs commonly prescribed to treat hair loss come with a host of side effects. These can include reproductive and hormonal side effects, which is concerning when we're talking about children.

Luckily, there are natural alternatives you can consider. Speak with your doctor about whether any of the following might be a better choice for your child.

1. Apple Cider Vinegar

shutterstock_260669741 Apple cider vinegar can encourage hair growth in your child by working to restore an alkaline state in his or her body. Use daily for best results by mixing 2-3 teaspoons of it with 2 pints of water and 1 teaspoon of honey. Shake the mixture and encourage your child to drink it throughout the day – or all at once, if he or she prefers. You can also use apple cider vinegar as a hair rinse for your child by mixing 1 cup of water with two tablespoons of the stuff. Place it in a bottle and massage this mixture through your child's hair. Then, rinse it thoroughly. Take care not to get any of the mixture in your child's eyes as it will sting.

2. Biotin

shutterstock_345074249 Biotin is a vitamin that's commonly found in shampoos and other beauty products aimed at increasing hair health. But why not get it straight from the source, in its unprocessed form? Although biotin deficiency is rare, taking biotin supplements is known by doctors to stop and even reverse hair loss. The daily recommended dosage of biotin is 2.5 mg. Consult with your doctor.

3. Lavender

shutterstock_297994370 Lavender in its essential oil form has been shown in studies to slow and potentially reverse the effects of alopecia. You can make use of the essential oil by massaging it into your child's scalp daily. You'll want to dilute the essential oil into a base oil such as coconut or almond oil before rubbing it on your child's scalp, as it is very powerful. You can also combine lavender essential oil with other essential oils such as peppermint, sage and rosemary to stimulate blood flow to your child's hair follicles.

4. Aloe Vera

shutterstock_242698879 Gel from the aloe vera plant has shown incredible promise when it comes to treating hair loss by promoting the growth of new hair. What's especially great about the aloe vera plant is that it's near-impossible to kill and you can grow your own for years indoors. Simply apply the gel to your child's scalp and massage it in. You can be as liberal with the gel as you'd like; there are no side effects. You can also make use of a natural aloe vera shampoo. Sources: JAMA Dermatology Huffington Post