"Multiple things can trigger or even accelerate hair loss. The good news is that you can do something about most of these."
Whether you're a man or a woman, it can be a scary when the first telltale signs of hair loss appear. But it's something many people have to cope with! Whether you're finding hair in the brush or shower drain, or experiencing a receding hair line and bald patches, hair loss can be a blow to the ego.
In today's video, Dr. Nancy explains why we lose our hair, and how we can treat it.... naturally. Tune in now to learn what experts say you can do to help stop and maybe even reverse hair-loss without resorting to hair-loss drugs and their side-effects!
- 01:44: Stats on hair loss
- 02:39: Hair loss in men and women is mostly attributed to genetic factors
- 03:02: Stress and inflammation are major contributors to hair loss
- 04:33: The same hormone causes hair loss in both men and women
- 05:56: How iron deficiency causes hair loss
- 06:19: B12 Deficiency
- 06:58: Heavy duty stress
- 07:23: Common medications
- 07:47: Pregnancy and childbirth
- 08:49: Protein deficiency
- 09:09: Being too hard on your hair
- 09:26: Smoking
- 09:32: Environmental toxins, perfumes, & colognes
- 10:28: Common prescriptions... and their side effects
- 11:19: Get more protein
- 12:52: Biotin has incredible results for hair, skin, and nails
- 13:35: Essential oils recipe
- 15:52: Be kind to your hair!
- 16:35: Lower inflammatory load through diet and stress reduction
- 17:31: Dr. Nancy's shampoo recommendation!
Why We Lose Hair
It's believed that up to 40% of women will suffer from hair loss issues by the age of 40. After menopause, that number goes up. At that point, it's estimated that over 60% of women are going to experience thinning hair and even bald spots. On average, women lose around 50 to 100 strands of hair per day. That's normal! However, if you start losing significantly more than that and you're under 50 years old or you notice that your hair is not growing back, then you need to act sooner than later or contact your doctor.
Hair loss in both men and women is mostly attributed to genetic factors that include hormonal imbalances. In fact, it's mostly the same hormone in both men and women causing the hair loss. The most common genetic cause for hair loss is called Alopecia, also known as hereditary pattern baldness.
But genes are not the only factors! There are many other natural causes of hair loss. Two of the largest contributors are stress and inflammation. So if you'd like to keep your hair, then managing your stress and keeping systemic inflammation in your body down is very, very important.
There are some things that can cause or at least contribute to thinning hair, a receding hairline, or losing clumps of it in the shower.
Hormonal imbalances, nutritional deficiencies, heavy duty stress, crash dieting, yo-yo dieting, certain medical conditions and medications... these can all trigger or even accelerate hair loss.
The good news is that you can do something about most of these.
Let's look into the root causes of these issues:
The most common cause of hair loss is hereditary conditions. It's called male pattern baldness or female pattern baldness and get this: the same hormone is involved, for both! That's right. For men, hair loss is primarily caused by the male testosterone-like hormone called DHT, but it's often still manageable. For women, hair loss is much more common after menopause, and here's where it gets extremely interesting.
Women's bodies also produce the male hormone DHT, when estrogen levels drop, such as during menopause. This causes the metabolism and hair follicles in the scalp to react, which results in hair thinning and falling out.
For women, hair loss may be worse, as they have many more hormones that seem to affect their hair. These include hormonal changes due to pregnancy, childbirth, emotional stress, thyroid problems, and more. Plus, binge and crash diets and physical trauma such as surgery can also cause accelerated thinning and loss.
Beyond genetic factors, there are several other things that can contribute to hair loss.
Iron helps keep your hair healthy. When iron levels drop, so can your hair. During a woman's menstrual cycle, which can significantly lower your iron levels because you're losing blood, you may lose more hair.
The second one is vitamin B12. Low B12 levels can not only leave you feeling super tired and moody, and it can cause hair loss as certain levels are needed to support your red blood cells carrying enough oxygen to your hair follicles. It's a good idea to eat foods that have high amounts of B12 such as bananas, chick peas, beef and beans, and spinach.
Yes, we know we talk about stress all the time. Major life events such as surgery, moving, losing a job or spouse, getting a major disease, or just high levels of everyday anxiety have been all observed to cause hair loss.
Certain Common Medications
This includes blood thinners and medications for Arthritis or joint pain, depression, gout, heart problems, high blood pressure, and other conditions. all of which are more common to the aging population.
Pregnancy & Childbirth
When you're pregnant, your body holds on to everything good, in order to nourish the baby. Often this means your hair is voluminous and gorgeous, prompting comments on your pregnancy glow! But then, when you have the baby, it starts to fall out, as your hormones start to shift. That's very natural and should balance itself out about three to six months afterwards, so don't worry, it should grow back.
Now this is a really big one. A body low on protein finds a way to conserve where it can and that includes halting hair growth. This is why getting enough protein is really important.
Yet another reason to quit! As if you needed another one.
If you're super rough on your hair, if you blow dry and you spend hours flat ironing, curling, and adding product and hair treatments, that can cause hair loss as well.
Environmental Toxins and Metals
This can be a big one. Hair loss can be a side effect of exposure to toxic chemicals and metals, especially as long-term exposure causes them to build up in the body. Hair loss is one of the first signs that your body has been exposed to environmental hazards like arsenic and thallium and lead. Another big thing is cologne and perfume. People don't realize that these contain toxins that mimic estrogen in the body, and could contribute to hair loss. So if you are still using cologne and perfume, replace it with some essential oils. You can find one even for men that smell really good, that are not toxic to your body and will not help build up the inflammatory load in your body.
Common Prescribed Treatments
Let's take a look at some of the most commonly prescribed treatments for hair loss. Please note we are not necessarily recommending these, we are just talking about it.
The two most commonly known brands designed to treat hair loss are Minoxidil and Rogaine. These are available over the counter for both men and women and are typically considered safe and effective for thinning hair, but the side effects listed on the back of the bottles include: "unwanted growth of facial hair, chest pain, fast heartbeat, swelling in your hands, feet, and rapid weight gain," and more!
However, there are natural remedies that are super effective, which you can start implementing today. Let's look at them.
Natural Hair Loss Remedies
Increase your protein intake
Your hair is made of protein so getting plenty of protein in your diet is very important for your hair. Protein strengthens your hair and it promotes growth. You should aim for at least a palm sized portion, or about 4 - 6 ounces of protein for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Fish, chicken, and turkey are all great choices. Beans and eggs are really great protein sources as well. A good shake that has 30 grams of protein in the morning is also super helpful, especially if your breakfast intake of protein is already very low or you're on the go. Fatty fish is a great source of protein because of the high levels of omega 3 essential fatty acids. Omega 3 oils are also great for your hair. Other than fish, other good protein sources include nuts and seeds, especially flax seeds, chia seeds and of course, pumpkin, which are all important sources of omega 3 fatty acids. These also help lower inflammation and create a healthier scalp and hair.
Biotin, which is part of the vitamin B family, has been shown to promise better results for healthy hair in clinical studies. If you're deficient in Biotin, it really affects your skin hair, and nails. In fact, in a study conducted in 2015, women experiencing thinning hair were given a pill containing Biotin, or a placebo pill twice per day for 90 days. The researchers found that women who took the biotin experienced a significant amount of hair growth in the areas affected by hair loss. They also had less shedding.
Another great DIY treatment involves putting essential oils on your scalp. Great oils include fractionated coconut oil (coconut oil with the fat removed), peppermint oil, lavender oil, and rosemary. These oils are fragrant and incredibly nourishing to the scalp. These all have been shown to accelerate hair growth, increase the number of hair follicles and improve the thickness and the volume. In fact, one study found that rosemary oil performed just as well as Minoxidil or Rogaine and had zero side effects so it's so much safer and better for your body.
All you really have to do is take your coconut oil, put it in a small, little container. Add 2 - 3 drops of peppermint oil, rosemary oil, and lavender, mix it up, and put it in a dropper. You can drop it on to your scalp or you can just put it on your scalp and rub it in and leave for about 20 minutes to 30 minutes and then you wash it out.
A good way to prepare and apply all of these oils is to do it ahead of time. Pick a pampering day, and apply the oils. Leave it in for a while, go do something and then come back and shampoo. Do this several times per week If you want to.
Be kind to your hair!
If you bleach it a lot, that will harm your hair. If you blow dry all the time or put a ton of product and sprays in your hair, that causes damage too. Let it be a little bit more natural. Use organic and science supported hair-healthy shampoos, without sulfates and and all of the other artificial chemical stuff. And don't always blow dry it. Try drying it just a little to take out the moisture.
Watch your diet by cutting back on the inflammatory foods such as sweets, processed foods, sodas, and alcohol. Don't smoke. Learn how to relax and de-stress your brain and body with exercise, body movement, or even a massage.
The Bottom Line
Hair loss can be frustrating, but there are natural ways to turn it around. And the best part is, all of these habits are great for your overall health as well. Look more confident, and feel healthier.