Do you suffer from hair loss?
There have been major breakthroughs in hair science and the technologies used to promote hair growth in recent years, and it turns out that it’s not just genetics and nutrition that contribute to the health of our hairlines. According to The Dermatology Times, androgenetic alopecia (AGA) (also known as male/female pattern baldness), occurs in more than 35 million men and 21 million women in the United States. The statistics are startling and hopefully helps you to know you’re not alone out there if you are starting to notice hair loss. With this many Americans in need of hair re-growth treatments, it’s no wonder that doctors and pharmaceutical companies have long been trying to find ways to overcome baldness and increase hair growth.
What causes hair loss?
The fact is that there are many contributing factors when it comes to hair health, from stress to digestive issues; there are external and internal influences that can affect your body and therefore affect your hair and how it grows. Hormone imbalances, over-styling and allergens are other contributors that interact with our genetics and can set off a series of responses that disrupt hair growth, shifting the growth cycle from anagen (hair growth) to catagen (regression), which ultimately leads to the root causes of compromised hair growth. Stress-free hair will of course grow stronger and healthier. Thinning hair is an inevitable part of aging, but there are ways to slow this process, and products that promote re-growth of new healthy hair follicles when hair loss creeps up on you in life before its natural time.
What are the symptoms/signs of hair loss?
Symptoms and signs of hair loss for men and women can be different, and of course can have a variety of causal factors that lead to signs of hair loss. For women, seeing more hair on your pillow, more strands on your brush/comb, more hair in the drain or thinning spots/sunburn on your scalp can all be signs pointing to hair thinning or hair loss. For men, the signs can be similar, but may be harder to notice as men typically wear/cut their hair shorter than women. Men tend to develop baldness spots on the top of the scalp or a receding hairline, opposed to women feeling more of a thinning effect on the scalp’s hair as aging takes its course.
Nutrafol has a range of hair growth products personalized to address specific issues inhibiting hair growth, as well as specialized lines for males and females. They use all natural ingredients which is nice, and the products address a range of causes that impact hair health – from hormones and stress to nutrition, metabolism and environment. You can read more about the specialized natural ingredients Nutrafol has mastered in its hair science breakthroughs here, and note that 80% of women in a recent clinical trial saw improved hair growth when using Nutrafol products.
The Kiierr Cap is one of my favorite new products on the market for thinning hair, and has also been shown to help people that suffer from alopecia. Until recently, this technology was available only through specialized procedures performed by physicians. It works by improving cellular respiration and stimulates the hair follicles through the use of low-level light therapy (LLLT). With passing time comes the evolution of technology. Therefore, medical professionals and scientists have found the precise technology proven to regrow hair on the scalps of men and women. This incredible technology is known as low level light therapy (LLLT). LLLT has evolved over the years and is now used in more and more different areas of dermatology treatments. Now LLLT is being used in laser hair caps thanks to strong evidence (like this published medical study) that addresses the question, “Do Laser Caps Work for Hair Regrowth?”.
I recently purchased one of these to try it out and let me tell you, to be able to use this device in the comfort of my own home instead of an expensive treatment at the doctor’s office is amazing! You sit with it on your head for just 30 minutes every other day; and the device automatically turns itself off when your treatment is complete. The first 30 to 90 days of treatment slow / stop the hair loss process, then after about three months hair re-growth begins, and after 180 days (6 months) you will see fuller and thicker hair as a result of this treatment process. Follow me on social media to see the progress of my results after a few months, we can compare our lengthy strong locks!
So what other products are out there, what works, and what doesn’t work? I am asked this question a lot and have seen good results with some product lines. Rogaine has been shown to be very effective for those with thinning hair / hair loss. It is well-known for treatment of men’s hair, but there are products available for females too, particularly for thinning hair on the top of the scalp which tends to occur with aging. The key ingredient in Rogaine products is Minoxidil; Minoxidil belongs to a class of drugs known as vasodilators, and is a medication used for hair re-growth however it is not used for sudden/patchy hair loss such as alopecia, unexplained hair loss (for example, if there is no family history of hair loss), or hair loss after giving birth.
With Rogaine products, you can expect to see results in about four months but you have to be very consistent with its use, applying the product twice a day everyday directly to the scalp. Sometimes within the first two weeks of using Rogaine you will shed some more hair than usual, this is normal and occurs as new hair growth pushes out the old. If hair shedding lasts longer than two weeks than see your doctor as this could be due to a different medical issue. One downside of Rogaine products is that some people may experience a dry, itchy scalp and irritation (this is more common with the solution-based product than the foam products). Another undesired side effect is unwanted facial hair (while using Men's Rogaine products). If this occurs discontinue usage, as this side effect will usually disappear when use of the product is stopped. Continued use of the product on a daily basis is needed to maintain hair re-growth, so a commitment of time and consistency is key to success.
What else can I do to prevent hair loss?
Some other suggestions for preventing or combating hair loss are:
Eliminate junk from your diet
Eliminate overly processed snacks and foods, this can make a big difference in not only your overall health but your hair health too. You’ve already got plenty of good reasons to limit your sweet tooth habit to dark chocolate I’m sure, such as maintaining your energy throughout the workday. Need another motivator to quit eating processed snacks? Digestion of pro-inflammatory foods like sugar and refined grains can inhibit our hair growth and contribute to hair loss. Unfortunately it’s not just sugary snacks and high carbs that play a detrimental role to our hair health - sushi and lobster should be avoided or eaten infrequently to avoid any buildup of mercury. Mercury buildup in your body can contribute to brittle nails and thinning hair.
Introduce more pro-hair-health ingredients to your diet
The same way that junk foods hurt your hair health, there are also key foods and ingredients you can maximize the benefits from, which include hair strengthening. Hopefully you are already eating lots of beans, lentils, eggs, seeds (particularly pumpkin, flax, and hemp), avocado, and dark leafy greens, but if you aren’t start now. Consider this your healthy-hair grocery list. Why? Well these foods are packed with nutrients needed for hair growth including biotin, B vitamins, and vitamin C (which reduces the amount of free radicals in the body which in turn can be a deterrent to new hair growth). B-vitamins help create red blood cells, which carry oxygen and nutrients up into your scalp, promoting hair growth. Biotin in particular is the most well-known B vitamin for hair health, but the truth is, B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, and folate (B9) also play an integral role to your hair’s health. If you can’t get enough of these vitamins into your diet naturally, then try a supplement that emphasizes these vitamins and nutrients.
De-stress, it’s for the best
Stress plays a major role in our health, and being stressed out is not helping your hair, skin or your body to look and feel its best. Stress can also rile up hormones that stimulate an overproduction of oil from the sebaceous glands in the skin causing breakouts. Try new activities such as an exercise class, or deep breathing exercises to combat your stress levels and reduce anxiety. Adopt a more comprehensive approach to managing stress, such as trying out yoga and meditation practices, and see your dermatologist regularly so that you have an expert opinion and analysis of your skin and hair type to determine what treatments are going to work best for you.
Most of all rest and relax! It’s important to make time for ourselves no matter what the stresses in our life may bring our way. If you are feeling stressed so is your hair, so whatever treatment, lifestyle change or tips you take away from this article, make sure to allow yourself the time, energy and patience to let them work for you. We all know hair doesn’t grow (or grow back) overnight, so make sure you’re taking care of all of you, head to toes.