The first step to finding an effective hair loss treatment is understanding the cause of hair loss.
The best known cause, perhaps, is male pattern baldness (or female pattern baldness) which happens when hair follicles become sensitive to the presence of dihydrotestosterone, a male sex hormone, and eventually stop producing hair. This is also known as androgenic alopecia.
Alopecia areata is caused when the immune system stops working properly. It usually leads to complete baldness.
Telogen effluvium refers to the excessive shedding of hair during the dormant stage of hair growth. It occurs in response to stressful experiences to the body. Childbirth, grief, surgery, or other stress can lead to this type of hair loss. The hair appears thinner, but baldness does not develop.
Traction alopecia is a result of long-term trauma or stress to the hair follicles. Hair that is tightly tied back, worn in corn-rows, placed under stress by heavy hair extensions can develop traction alopecia. Even wearing tight hats or hair bands can cause this type of hair loss.
Nature’s contribution to preventing hair loss
Much research has been done to determine the benefits of a growing range of naturally produced chemicals and nutrients. Plants such as saw palmetto, nettles, and pygeum africanum have long been used in traditional medicine to treat male urological conditions, but they have been found more recently to have additional benefits to the treatment of hair loss. The chemical by-products of other plants – biotin and apple polyphenols have also been found to have uses in encouraging hair growth.
Top five hair loss supplements
- Country Life High Potency Biotin or Natrol Biotin 10,000 mcg are both high strength biotin supplements. Research has shown that biotin deficiency leads to hair loss, so it makes sense to take this supplement to encourage hair growth.
- Apple Polyphenols have been shown to reduce thinning and promote hair growth. Maximum Strength Apple Polyphenols 125 mg by Swanson Ultra can be taken to encourage new growth and thicker hair.
- Nature’s Way Saw Palmetto berries are a great option since this plant on its own has demonstrated convincing results for hair growth, particularly on the crown of the head.
- Men Advanced Thinning Hair Loss contains both saw palmetto and biotin together with ingredients which will reduce cortisol production which is believed to trigger hair loss.
- Aviva Hair Revitalizer contains Vitamin B5, iron, pumpkin seed oil, and iodine. B vitamins are known to contribute to hair growth, and good blood flow to the scalp, supported by iron supplementation, will facilitate hair growth. Iodine is important in thyroid function and a boost for the thyroid will prevent hair loss.
Can my diet help?
Eating a diet high in essential fatty acids and lean protein are believed to promote hair growth and reduce hair loss – particularly when hair loss is a result of poor general health. Try incorporating more of the following foods into your diet to encourage healthier hair:
- Lean proteins
- Low fat beef
- Chicken and turkey
- Beans, peas, and lentils
- Essential fatty acids
- Oily fish such as mackerel, tuna, salmon, trout
- Cereal, spinach, okra, pineapple juice