Hair loss is a problem we hope we never have to face. Often times, once we realize we are losing hair it’s too late. In the US alone, over 80 million men and women alike suffer from thinning or balding hair. Although many suffer, the conversation has been relatively silent. Hair loss can occur for several different reasons. This week we’ll take you through the most common causes of hair loss and how to stimulate new hair growth.
Basic Body Mechanics
Think of it this way: our bodies are fancy aircrafts. It’s dangerous to fly 50,000 feet in the air, so there are numerous fail safes built into most aircrafts for emergencies. Turbine broken? No worries, there are two more. Your body falls in line with these principles when you’re in danger as well. When you don’t get enough sleep, improper nutrition, or stress too much, your vitamins levels will drop. At this point your lovely hair is considered non-essential and vitamins are re-allocated to more vital sections of the body. This causes either lack of growth or brittle new growth resulting in breakage, thinning and even balding in some cases.
Most Common Causes of Hair Loss
Hereditary and Hair Disorders
There are various causes of hair loss. For each cause treatment can vary widely. One common cause can be found in hereditary hair loss and hair disorders, Alopecia being the most common. Alopecia, an autoimmune disease, causes the body to attack itself (specifically the hair). This causes an otherwise healthy person to lose hair in smooth, round patches on the head and other parts of the body. Luckily this disorder is very treatable and most see new hair growth shortly after.
Hereditary hair loss is less specific. Male hair loss can occur as a receding hairline or patches of thinning growth at the crown or sides of the head. Female hair loss tends to be more thinning towards the crown, most noticeably an expanding part. Treatment can range from over-the-counter minoxidil (Rogaine) to hair transplant surgery. It’s always best to consult a physician for diagnosis before seeking any type of treatment. More radical treatments like hair transplant surgery require close upkeep. Make sure to consume foods rich in protein and necessary vitamins for healthy new growth. Bone broth is an easy daily addition post-operation to bolster vitamin levels in the scalp and assist in auto-immune healing.
Another cause of hair loss can be due to medication or disease. Daily intake of blood thinners, birth control, and anabolic steroids are known to have caused hair loss in some cases. Other medications include those for gout, arthritis, blood pressure, and depression. Full body hair loss is also typical of patients undergoing cancer treatment. Most experience new hair growth after medication or treatment has ceased.
Hair loss can also be an early sign of a more serious diseases like thyroid disease or anemia. However, even lesser illnesses can cause hair to fall out. A case of the flu, serious infection, or high-grade fever might cause hair to drop out as well.
Additionally, fluctuation in hormones can wreak havoc on your scalp. Falling estrogen levels occur naturally in women postpartum as well as during menopause. This can often cause hair to fall out in clumps temporarily. Those who have undergone trauma of some type (i.e. car accident, close personal loss) also see similar occurrences. Proper sleep, diet, and exercise often help readjust hormone levels. Patients may also employ natural stress management practices for added help.
Our skin, hair, and nails are a direct reflection of the food we eat. Improper nutrition is the most easily diagnosed causes of hair loss. Nutritional deficiencies occur for various reasons. Eating disorders such as anorexia (lack of eating) and bulimia (purging after eating) tend to cause low vitamin levels. This often results in patchy or thinning hair. However, some people that experience healthy dramatic weight loss might also experience hair loss. This tends to be temporary for most people as long as their weight does not continue to fluctuate.
The body needs specific nutrients to form the keratin proteins that make up our hair. New hair growth will become brittle without correct nutrients. Two of the most important are iron and dietary protein. Pack a punch with what you eat by choosing foods that are rich in both. Red meat, lentils, beans, and seeds are all rich in iron and dietary protein.
Hair loss doesn’t mean you’ve lost.
Solutions for hair loss vary as much as the causes. The good news? Most hair loss is not permanent and most see new hair growth shortly after losing it. Natural solutions are often the easiest way to stimulate new hair growth.
Start by keeping a food diary of each meal you intake and foods, vitamins, or activities that might be effecting your hair health. If you’re not already taking vitamins, seek out supplements and foods that can be added to each meal and solve multiple issues. Grass-fed collagen peptides, if used regularly, can help rebalance male and female hormones. Additionally, supplementing collagen peptides powder provides hair vitamins collagen and calcium to help fortify new hair growth. These make a great daily addition due to the fact that many peptides are unflavored and dissolve completely in hot or warm liquids. If you’re seeking more specific guidance consult your doctor or a nutritionist on building a more hair-friendly diet.