Losing it - Hair Loss Causes and Remedies
Very often I get asked by my clients about causes and remedies for the hair loss they are experiencing. I’ve decided to share my knowledge and experience with my blog readers.
Having a full head of hair tends to be an expression of youthfulness, personal style, hygiene and health, whereas hair loss tends to be associated with getting older and illness. It is understandable that encountering hair loss can cause worry, discomfort and sometimes even panic for those affected by it. People love their hair, even if that relationship is sometimes difficult!
Don't panic, there are remedies for hair loss!
Hair loss is often seasonal, which is not a cause for worry. Hair loss can also be caused by stress, pregnancy, use of certain medications and products that clog the hair follicle. Although women can experience hair loss, it is more common for men to experience significant hair loss as they age, due to hormones and genetics. Hair loss can also affect one’s self-esteem, but don't worry, there are remedies and ways to decrease non-genetic hair loss!
The rule of thumb is: The healthier you are, the healthier (fuller and shinier) your hair will be. This rule does not apply to hereditary baldness, which doesn't signify the absence of physical health. There is a lot we can do to lessen sudden hair fall out and ensure a shiny, healthy mane.
What Causes Hair Loss?
Some common reasons for hair loss include:
- Hereditary Factors - Male pattern baldness, or female pattern alopecia, particularly in men whose father’s were bald.
- Age - With age, it is normal to experience hair drying and thinning, and by age 50, it is normal to expect gray hair because the body stops producing natural hair pigment.
- Medications – Some medications can cause hair loss. This varies from person to person and side effects should be thoroughly looked into before use.
Be aware of the side effects of your medication!
- Low Vitamin Levels – Low levels of vitamins such as Vitamin B, D & E or deficiencies in minerals (Zinc, Silica, Copper or Essential Fatty Acids). Note that vitamins B12 and B7 are likely to cause Acne breakouts, so apply caution when using these.
- Protein Deficiency – Vegans and vegetarians may be more prone to protein deficiency if not getting the right combinations of protein in their diets.
- Female Hormones – Pregnancy, menopause and use of birth control pills.
- Rapid Weight Loss – Most notably ‘crash diets’ can deplete the body of vitamins and minerals.
- Emotional Stress - This type of stress will cause the most common form of hair loss, called telogen effluvium, where a lot of hair that is in a resting state falls out at once.
- Vitamin A – Too much of it can actually cause hair loss!
- Tight hairstyles - Braids, weaves, ponytails…pulling the hair in tight styles causes tension on the scalp.
- Anemia – General lack of iron is known to cause hair loss and to impede hair growth.
- Physical Stress – Illness, car accidents, surgery and just plain stress can cause hair loss.
- Chemotherapy - Chemotherapy drugs could cause not only hair loss on the head, but complete body baldness.
- Scalp Psoriasis
- Alopecia Areata
- Thyroid Disease
- Seborrheic Dermatitis
- Hair Products – Certain hair products that clog hair follicles or are damaging to the scalp, such as perms, thermal treatments (flat iron, crimping iron), hair coloring with peroxide, and ammonia.
It is important to identify hair loss by evaluating the history of it closely. Are there others in your family who have hair loss, and when did they start experiencing hair loss? If you know that older family members have hair loss, you should talk to them about when they started losing their hair. Do you see several strands or clumps of hair coming out at once? Does it happen when you wash your hair? Did hair loss occur after some stressful event or lifestyle change?
40% of men will have noticeable hair loss by age 35.
It is very important to recognize If you are experiencing rapid hair loss that doesn’t seem to be normal or doesn’t stop. If this is the case, you should see a medical professional, so it can be medically assessed for the best treatment options.
How you can help make your hair healthy?
There are many things one can do to help strengthen their hair and to help decrease, or even fully stop, hair loss.
One of the easiest methods to help make your body and hair healthier is incorporating multivitamins B,D &E into your diet. Now more commonly known, Biotin or Vitamin B7, is also a great solution for strengthening hair or to decrease hair loss. The only, and a BIG issue, with Biotin is that it can cause severe acne in acne-prone individuals! If you decide to take Biotin, you may want to try it and if you experience breakouts, stop taking it. An alternative to Biotin or B7 is liquid Silica, which is safer for acne-prone individuals. The same applies to vitamin B12, which is an essential nutrient to our body, but also causes inflamed Acne breakouts.
Also, foods beneficial in strengthening hair are nuts (especially walnuts), Greek yogurt, spinach, eggs and fish. For persons wearing 'tight' hairstyles (sometimes so tight that they resemble a hair torture!), I recommend a thorough scalp massage on a regular basis to release the tension and lack of blood circulation caused by pulling the hair in one direction.
Regular scalp massage can increase blood circulation and ease tension.
Much is written about hereditary hair loss and this type of hair loss should be treated medically. There are some drugs and cosmetic procedures available, and the research on this phenomenon is now very advanced and engaged.
Finally, you can learn about stress reduction - it is not only a hair saving tool, but also a lifesaving tool! Please check out my previous blog on Stress and Skin Care for more stress relieving techniques!
Below I’ve included a few hair mask treatments that will help prevent hair loss. Please try them at home!
Hair Masks that will save even the most damaged hair:
This is an ancient mask that my family members have used for generations. Honey has healing properties because it contains vitamins, minerals, amino acids and trace enzymes. It will heal dry, flakey scalp.
Olive oil will bring a healthy sheen to damaged hair, by stimulating hair capillary circulation. It helps in preventing hair loss. Egg yolk is rich in protein, fatty acids and vitamins. It's high in cholesterol and keratin which makes it a perfect ingredient for revitalizing unhealthy hair and scalps. After a few regular weekly applications of this mask, you will be amazed by the results!
Olive Oil, Honey, Egg Yolk mask:
Mix 1 egg yolk, 1 Tbs of raw honey, 3 Tbs of warm Extra Virgin Olive Oil (careful not to overheat the oil because it will cook the egg yolk!) and 1 Tbs of brandy to emulsify this mixture. Mix well until liquid and all lumps are smooth. If you have more hair, increase the ingredient amount freely, you really can't go wrong. Apply the emulsion on dry hair and cover with a plastic shower cap, then wrap the cap in towel (if it could be warmed up, even better). Leave on for at least one hour, rinse with tepid water, shampoo and style.
Regular hair mask applications can save damaged hair!
For oily scalp and scalps affected by dandruff and itch, this vinegar rinse is very beneficial. It is intended to be used as a cold rinse. (The other way to use this rinse is as a pre-wash treatment, when it is left on for at least 5-10 minutes on the scalp and then washed off.) Although the smell of vinegar is not very appealing, leaving the rinse in overnight could provide even better results!
1 cup of water
1/2 oz of white vinegar
Spritz and massage well into scalp and leave on for at least 10 minutes or preferably longer before washing hair.
Feel free to comment or ask me any questions about Hair Loss causes and remedies, I'm always happy to answer! firstname.lastname@example.org