It is considered normal to shed a bit of hair. Experts say you should expect to lose between 50 and 100 hairs every day due to its natural growth cycle.
When you start to notice more hair left on your pillow every morning or more strands at the drain after a regular wash, it is often a sign that something is amiss.
Loss of hair could be caused by numerous issues including male pattern baldness, high-stress levels, poor diet, or excessive alcohol consumption.
Here is a look at alternative ways to slow hair loss and restore normal hair growth.
This is perhaps the most basic way to keep your hair healthy. A diet rich in protein is essential as hair follicles are made from a protein called keratin. Food sources include eggs, chicken, and turkey. Vegetarians would do best with nuts, peas, and low-fat dairy products.
The two common medications used to deal with hair loss, especially male pattern baldness, are Minoxidil and Finasteride.
Minoxidil is a topical medication that works by shortening the resting (telogen) phase in the hair growth cycle. It then transitions it into the active growth (anagen phase).
Finasteride is an oral medication that checks hair loss by decreasing the amount of DHT hormone which is associated with hair loss.
Exercise and meditation
What does exercise have to do with your hair?
Well, the two are related because exercise is the best way to manage stress which is a primary cause of hair loss.
High-stress levels put hair follicles in the resting stage, therefore, halting growth. This is what happens when one has a condition known as Telogen effluvium. It typically slows the growth and causes thinning but doesn’t cause balding.
Applying essential oils and massaging them onto the scalp helps hair growth by reducing inflammation and improving blood flow to the area.
Some great essential oils for hair include coconut, olive, rosemary, and peppermint oils. Despite their numerous benefits, don’t forget that most essential oils are highly concentrated. They should be used in small quantities mixed into carrier oils like jojoba oil, sweet almond oil, or shea butter.
Exposure to sunlight
Yes, allowing yourself to soak up warm sun rays does play a role in healthy hair growth and slowed hair loss. Vitamin D deficiency is associated with alopecia areata, an autoimmune condition that causes bald patches on the scalp. This essential vitamin stimulates hair follicles so hair growth can be stunted when your vitamin D levels are low.
If for whatever reason, you cannot expose yourself to the sun, consider taking vitamin D supplements.
A hemogram test is a group of tests performed on an individual’s blood sample to check hemoglobin levels, white blood cells, and platelet count.
Where hair loss is concerned, it is useful to check for iron deficiency. Without sufficient amounts of this mineral in your system, blood hemoglobin is low. This reduces the amounts of oxygen available to the cells which causes hair growth, therefore accelerating hair loss.
If you are familiar with ketoconazole shampoos, you know that they are marketed as anti-dandruff products.
However, shampoos containing this ingredient are also useful in slowing hair loss linked to male pattern baldness. Research has shown that it is also an anti-androgen. Anti-androgens block the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone which is the hormone byproduct responsible for shrinking hair follicles in men.
Closely linked to a balanced diet for healthy hair are nutrient supplements. Nutrafol is a popular supplement specifically used for hair growth.
It contains nutraceuticals (parts of foods with medical or health benefits) which are collected and packaged such that it is easier for the body to utilize them.
According to Nutraceutical Wellness Inc. which is the company that manufactures Nutrafol, the supplement supports hair growth by enabling the body to fight back against factors contributing to hair loss. These include providing essential vitamins as well as reducing DHT.
Laser therapy works by emitting light which penetrates the scalp and reaches hair follicles. Although there isn’t much research supporting the concept, it is believed that this light promotes hair growth by improving circulation and stimulating hair follicles for faster hair growth.
Laser devices come in the form of helmets, caps, and combs which emit varying levels of light.
Biotin IV therapy
Another method used to stop the acceleration of hair loss is biotin IV therapy. Biotin, also known as vitamin B7 is essential for healthy hair because it stimulates the production of keratin and speeds up follicle growth.
Food sources of biotin include vegetables, meat, fish, nuts, and eggs. However, these provide biotin in small amounts. Injecting manufactured biotin allows for the administration of high doses as well as maximum, immediate absorption.
PRP (platelet-rich plasma) therapy
PRP is a treatment that doctors have for years used to accelerate the healing of various parts of the body. In recent years, it has proven effective in increasing hair growth in men with male pattern baldness.
It involves drawing an individual’s blood then running it through a centrifuge to separate it into its different components. Platelet-rich plasma, which is one of the components is then injected into the man’s scalp in areas with hair loss.
Added to the long list of negative effects of smoking is poor hair health. Chemicals in cigarette smoke can shrink blood vessels which impedes proper blood flow. This includes oxygen and nutrient supply to hair follicles. When hair follicles are starved of nutrients and oxygen, the growth cycle is disrupted therefore accelerating hair loss.
Avoid excessive drinking
How is alcohol linked to hair?
Your body requires many nutrients in order to maintain healthy hair growth. Excessive alcohol inhibits the proper breakdown of nutrients and impairs absorption.
Nutrients commonly affected by excess alcohol include vitamin B12, iron, and folic acid. Prolonged alcohol abuse also causes deficiency in vitamin C, D, E, and K. All of which are necessary for healthy hair growth.
It may seem like an obvious part of hair care but there is a need for balance. A dirty scalp is definitely not best for hair growth. On the other hand, it is possible to over-wash your hair.
Wash your hair with shampoo no more than three times a week. Excessive shampooing could dry it out and make it brittle. Conditioner can be used more often as it strengthens and replaces lipids and proteins in hair shafts.
The pursuit of perfect-looking hair is no longer a preserve of women. Men too have caught on and are using just as many products on their hair. Gels, sprays, or waxes to keep unruly strands in place. Whichever it is you use, it could be contributing to your hair loss.
A sure way to stop accelerated hair loss is to go natural. Take a couple of months without any of these products and observe. You will likely notice improved growth and thicker healthier locks.
Slowing down hair loss and starting on the path towards healthy regrowth comes down to understanding the basics of healthy hair. Your body needs nutrients for hair follicles to produce healthy hair. Any habit which interferes with nutrient and oxygen supply will likely accelerate hair loss.
On the flip side, treatment such as biotin IV therapy which boots nutrient supply slows hair loss and promotes regrowth.