Losing your hair is no fun at all. It can start gradually or seem to come out of nowhere. While it can be frustrating, there are identified causes of hair loss, which have lead to new treatments and strategies to help slow the process and possibly prevent and reverse it.
What Causes Hair Loss?
Hair loss can be caused by multiple things. The most common reason for hair loss is an abundance of testosterone and dihydrotestosterone (DHT) -- these hormones (testosterone is converted to DHT) result in the shrinking of the hair follicles, making it impossible for new strands of hair to grow in place of those that have fallen out. This condition, known as androgenic alopecia, is also commonly referred to as male or female pattern baldness. Genetics can also play a role in hair loss, so looking at your parents and grandparents may provide an indication of what's to come. Additional sources of hair loss include stress, certain medications, pregnancy, menopause, nutritional deficiencies and certain medical treatments.
Tips for Preventing Hair Loss
If you're worried about hair loss, there are some tips you can apply to your daily life to try and counteract this condition, which can be a common part of aging. Here are six ways to help prevent hair loss:
1. Get plenty of iron in your diet. Brittle hair and hair loss is a common side effect of iron deficiency. Women are more susceptible to iron deficiency, so make sure your diet includes enough iron as well as your multivitamin.
2. Don't forget the protein. Just like all the tissues of the body, your hair needs protein to remain strong. Add a protein powder to your daily routine to support your body after exercise and include lean protein in each meal.
3. Make sure your multivitamin includes plenty of B vitamins. The B complex helps fortify and strengthen the hair. These vitamins, which includes biotin, may help thicken the hair, prevent it from falling out and possibly increase hair growth, so make sure your daily multi has them.
4. Avoid wearing hats. While thinning hair may be a reason to throw on a hat, wearing a snug cap that presses down on the scalp and pulls at the hair may actually increase the amount of hair you lose. Pulling long hair back in a tight ponytail can also cause breakage and hair loss.
5. Go easy on the styling products and treatments. Cleansers and styling products with alcohol, sulfates and ammonia as well as dyes and hot styling tools can damage the hair follicle and cause breakage and loss. Look for more natural products that are gentle on your hair.
6. Look for ways to reduce stress. Hair loss can be expedited by stress and anxiety. Do what you can to unwind and reduce stress throughout the day. Meditation, aromatherapy, breathing exercises, a warm bath and yoga are all great options.
Much research has been done already regarding hair loss. While we cannot guarantee these methods will completely stop or reverse your hair loss, they're a step in the right direction to hopefully slow down the process and help your scalp to maximize its potential. If your hair loss is progressing, speaking with your doctor or local health practitioner will also help determine a cause and they can provide additional treatment methods.
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About The AuthorDr. Matt Marturano, ND is a licensed naturopathic physician and received his Doctorate of Naturopathic Medicine from the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine and also has a dual Bachelor of Science in Biology and Philosophy from the University of Michigan. In addition, Dr. Marturano currently is a member of the Michigan Association of Naturopathic Physicians and is the Director of Recruitment - Integrative Medicine for Orchid Holistic Search.
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