7 Ways to Prevent Hair Loss
What is Hair Loss?
Baldness or hair loss is medically known as alopecia. There are several types of alopecia:
- Alopecia unversalis – The loss of body hair, including eyelashes and eyebrow.
- Alopecia areata – The hair falls out in patches. Fortunately, this condition is temporary and rarely lead to baldness.
- Androgenetic alopecia (AGA) – Also called male pattern baldness. This is the most prevalent type of alopecia. It is believed that this condition is caused by the hereditary predisposition of androgen hormone (male sex hormone). For some time, doctors have attributed hair loss to genetics. But some researchers have attributed this condition to other factors like poor circulation, acute illness, surgery, radiation, high fever, iron deficiency, diabetes, thyroid disease, chemotherapy, stress, poor diet, ringworm and other fungal infections.
- Results of recent studies showed that hair loss are also caused by a certain species of mite, Demodex follicularum, which are present virtually in all hair follicles, and usually appears during middle age. Researchers believe that the difference between the people who lose their hair and those who do not may lie in how the scalp reacts to the presence of these mites.
Who are likely to have hair loss?
This condition affects roughly 50% of men and perhaps as many women older than 40 years. Thirteen percent of premenopausal women are reported to have some evidence of androgenetic alopecia. However, baldness greatly affects 75% of women following menopause, who are more than 65 years old.
Hair loss in men typically begins from ages 20 to 30, although it can start as early as 15. Tracing the family history may help determine if this will occur for parents with hair loss have a high risk of passing it to their children. Alopecia areata, a type of temporary baldness, can occur in children as early as one year of age, although other factors may also be involved.
Hair Loss and Genetics
As the term implies, androgenetic alopecia is associated with the genetic predisposition to the disorder of androgen, or the male sex hormone. Although this is not the primary cause of other types of hair loss, genetics have something to do with hair loss because it can be inherited from parent to offspring. It is polygenic, but it can triggered by other factors.
Symptoms and Causes of Hair Loss
Basically, hair loss symptoms are:
- Thinning or absence of hair at the hairline and top of the head.
- Gradual thinning of hair, especially on the top of the head.
- Broken hairs or hairs easily removed.
- One or more round or oval bald patches.
Several factors are responsible for hair loss including the following
- Poor circulation
- Acute illness
- Radiation exposure
- High iron deficiency
- Skin diseases
- Sudden weight loss
- Thyroid disease
- Poor diet
- Chemicals (hair dyes)
- Other fungal infections
How to Prevent Hair Loss
- Eat a diet high in fruits and vegetables and low in starch. Fruit and vegetables contain flavonoids, which are mostly antioxidants that protect the hair and promotes hair growth.
- Eat plenty of foods high in biotin and/or take supplemental biotin. Biotin is needed for healthy skin, hair and nails, and it can even prevent hair loss in men. Brewer’s yeast, brown rice, bulgur, greens peas, lentil oats and soybeans are good sources of biotin.
- Include soy foods such as soybeans, tempeh and tofu in your diet. Soy appears to inhibit DHT (dihydrotestosterone), a hormone implicated to cause hair loss.
- Use shampoos and conditioners that contain biotin and silica. Aloe vera gel, Vitamin C and E, and jojoba oils are good for the hair. Also, conditioners with chamomile, ginseng, and passionflower keep the hair healthy.
- Do not eat foods containing raw eggs. Raw eggs are high in avidin, a protein that binds with biotin and prevents it to be absorbed.
- Avoid crash diets that neglect any of the food groups. These can cause deficiencies in nutrients that are also vital for the hair.
- Do not use a brush or a fine toothcomb.
- Do not blow dry or iron your hair. Let it dry naturally.
- Do not comb your hair while wet, for it tends to break off.
- Do not wear tight ponytails, cornrows, or other styles that pull on the hair.
- Do not use products that are not natural on the hair. Alternate among several types of hair care products. Use only all natural and pH-balanced formulas.
How to Care for Scalp and Hair
1. Massage. Massage allows blood to circulate on the scalp, promoting hair growth. Lie down on a slant board and massage your scalp fifteen minutes a day. Allow the blood to flow in your scalp.
2. Care. Hair is fragile, especially when wet. Gently pat your hair dry and squeeze out remaining moisture with a towel.
3. Protection. Cover your hair when it is exposed to sunlight. Long exposure to sunlight and seawater can damage your hair.
Vitamins and Minerals To Prevent Hair Loss
Many vitamins and minerals are useful in the treatment and prevention of hair loss. While a high nutrient diet plays an important role in combating this, you may get the best treatment with therapeutic remedies and by adding supplements to boost the level of these nutrients.
Contains nutrients necessary to stimulate hair growth of the hair
Aids in improving scalp circulation. Helps with the antioxidant action in hair follicles.
Increases oxygen intake, which improves the blood circulation in the scalp. Improves health and growth of hair
Stimulates hair growth by enhancing immune function.
Essential Fatty Acids (flaxseed oil, primrose oil or salmon oil).
Improves hair texture. Prevents dry, brittle hair.
Works with zinc to aid in hair growth
Here are the commonly used medications prescribed by doctors to treat or prevent hair loss:
- Minoxidil (2-5% solution)- This OTC medication is approved to cure androgenetic alopecia and alopecia aerata. Rub the liquid in your scalp twice a day to prevent further hair loss and regrow the hair. You may experience a slower rate of hair loss or faster rate of hair regrowth.
- Finasteride- This pill is taken to treat male pattern baldness. Some people taking this pill are experiencing slower hair loss rate, some show new hair growth. It inhibits the conversion of DHT, the hormone responsible for male hair loss.
- Corticosteroids- Injections of cortisone into the scalp can treat alopecia areata, and is usually repeated monthly. Doctors prescribe this type of medication to people with excessive hair loss.
- Anthralin- These are less effective than steroid injections. Available either as an ointment or cream, this synthetic, tarry substance can be applied to the scalp and can be washed off daily. This may stimulate new hair growth for cases of alopecia areata.
- Hair Transplant- This is a surgical approach to transfer growing hair from one part of the head to another. This is somewhat painful, and most of all, very expensive. This can be a very successful treatment if you have enough on your own hair to graft the bald area. Make sure to find a skilled physician to perform the transplant.
Herbs that can help in treatment of Hair Loss
Following herbs may aid in reducing hair loss:
- Green tea- It has been shown to have an inhibiting effect on 5-alpha reductase, which, in turn, blocks the production of the hair loss causing hormone, dihydrotestosterone, or DHT.
- Saw Palmetto- is an herbal remedy for hair loss that is currently the treatment of choice of several men because of its capability to slow down hair loss and stimulate new hair growth. Tinctures and extracts from this herb block the receptors on cell membranes for DHT and also prevents the formation of DHT.
- Pygeum- is an herbal remedy for hair loss that also has the capability to inhibit the enzyme 5-alpha-reductase and slows down the conversion of testosterone to DTH, thereby preventing hair follicles from weakening.
- Amla or Indian Gooseberry extract- It is an excellent rejuvenator for the hair by enhancing production of red blood cells, thus, strengthens teeth, hair and nails. Increase in red blood cells count prevents premature graying of hair, strengthening the roots and makes them free from dandruff. It can be used as oil.
- Gingko bilboa, Cayenne pepper and Arjuna improve blood circulation in the scalp.
- Apple cider vinegar and sage tea as a rinse promote hair growth.
- Horsetail and nettle are good sources of silica, which promotes a strong shiny hair.
- Tea tree oil combats mites and bacteria in the scalp. Massage 10 drops in scalp then shampoo your hair in the usual fashion.
Alternative Therapies for Hair Loss
In Ayurveda, the hair is a byproduct of the bone. Practitioners believe that the tissues responsible for bone building are also responsible for hair growth. Pitta individuals, or those who have excessive pitta are likely to have early hair loss. Ayurveda treats hair loss with a combination of other alternative and complementary treatments.
Bhringraj (Eclipta alba)
Improves complexion of hairs and tightens hair roots
Amia (Indian Gooseberry)
Best Pitta pacifiers and hence prevents hair falling.
The oil is said to improve hair growth and prevents hair fall
This strengthens roots of hairs and gives the darkest color of hair.
Several homeopathic remedies are thought to be effective for hair loss, particularly thinning caused by pregnancy, stress, or emotional trauma. The appropriate homeopathic treatment for depends on your constitutional type - the physical, emotional, and psychological makeup. Remember to take one of the following in the 6c strength except when indicated otherwise.
Brittle hair falling out in small tufts.
Balding and graying, or hair loss after childbirth.
Dry, thinning hair
Yellow, flaking dandruff, maybe moist or sticky
- Massage improves circulation, which in turn improves the health of your hair and scalp.
- To strengthen fragile hair and help dry, flaky scalp, massage a few drops of Vitamin E into the scalp.
- Stimulate circulation by giving yourself a 5-10 minute daily massage. This is vital for healthy hair growth.
- Work on the surface of your scalp, temples and the back of your neck using your knuckles, applying a circular movement.
- Reflexologists believe that the nails are the reflexes of the hair and scalp. Focusing on your nails will give you a stronger, shiny hair.
- Five minutes buffing of the fingernails of one hand against the other daily may help hair and scalp problems.
- Work the diaphragm and adrenal reflexes, if your hair loss is caused by stress.
Keep your hair healthy by performing yoga postures.
- Inverted Downward- Facing Dog, Standing Forward Bend, Shoulder stand, Headstand, Camel pose, Cobra pose and Cow Pose can relieve tension in the neck and indirectly aid in keeping the hair healthy.
- The Downward-Facing Dog- Start on your hands and knees. Rock back and up on to your feet, straighten your arms, chin on chest. Hold, and then return to the starting position.
- The Headstand increases the blood flow to your scalp. Do not perform this exercise if you have high blood or heart problems.
Home Remedies for Hair Loss
- Mix Amla + shikakai powder with curd and use it on the scalp for shining hair.
- Massage with aroma oils reduces hair fall and keep one away from baldness.
- Rinse your hair with lemon juice as an effective home remedial measure to prevent baldness.
- The outer cover of lemon and oranges helps to maintain shining hair and remove dandruff too.
- Massage the scalp with soaked fenugreek seeds. Wrap the scalp for about 2 hours to treat hair loss.
- Apply the mix of curd; lemon and mustard oil on your scalp and wash it after 30 minutes. It is an effective natural remedy for baldness
- Massage egg yolk on your scalp for healthy hair care.
- The smearing of henna over scalp is beneficial for hair growth.
- Natural mild shampoo-lemon, rosemary, is preferred.
- The product of amla + coconut oil is helpful in preventing hair loss.
- Boil the hibiscus leaves in water. it may be used on the scalp before washing hair by mild shampoo.
- Rubbing of olive oil reduces hair loss.
- Boil mustard seed for 5-10 minutes, cool it and drink.
- Rub the scalp smoothly to make the sebaceous gland active thereby increases blood circulation, hence helping in preventing hair loss.
- Dry piece of Amla + coconut oil act like as a hair tonic.
- Application of fresh Amaranth juice to hair follicles makes the hair soft and shining.
- Apply the mix of olive oil + rosemary +lemon juice + egg yolk to strengthen the hair follicles.
- Extract of coriander leaves is useful for hair loss.
- Rub the scalp with olive oil + cumin.
- Juice of alfalfa + Carrot + lettuce, a wonderful remedy hair growth.
Some of the tried and tested remedies for preventing hair loss which I personally love.
Coconut Oil and Vitamin E Capsules- Mix the contents of 2 vitamin E capsules in 2 tablespoons of warm coconut oil. Massage the mixture into your scalp in circular motions. This treatment can be done overnight and also an hour before washing your hair. Repeat this hair growth treatment once or twice a week.
Amla Powder and Yoghurt Treatment- Mix two teaspoons of Amla powder with warm water. Add one teaspoon of yoghurt to this mixture. You can also add one teaspoon of honey(optional). Apply this mixture to your hair. Wait for half an hour and wash your hair as usual. It will strengthen the hair as well add shine to it.
Natural remedies may be the answer to cure hair loss. Alternative and natural home remedies can help reduce hair loss, if appropriate.
Treatments for hair loss focus on a combination of approaches to hair regrowth and prevent further hair loss. Personal care is the most important part of treating hair loss. If you have hair loss, you can use the abovementioned remedies to stop further hair loss and regrow your hair.
- Hair Loss, Wikipedia
- Hair Scalp Disorders
- W. F. Bergfeld and F. Mulinari-Brenner, ìShedding: How to Manage a Common Cause of Hair Loss,î Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine, Vol. 68, No. 3, 2001, pp. 256-261. doi:10.3949/ccjm.68.3.256
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