Many people struggle with the problem of hair loss. We sometimes look for a solution to the problem at a doctor or pharmacist, but we often search the Internet first. There we find various solutions, from home-made to pharmacological ones, and in desperation, we reach for new methods to keep the hair lush as long as possible. What are the basic causes of hair loss, and what supplementation is worth introducing?
The causes of hair loss
Hair loss is a completely natural process. We lose about a hundred hairs every day, and we shouldn’t be concerned about this. The problem comes when this number starts to rise. Of course, no one has to count the hair left on the brush after combing, because excessive hair loss is unlikely to be overlooked. The basic action aimed at stopping hair loss is finding its cause. Without eliminating the factor that stimulates their loss, even taking the most expensive preparations may not affect. There are several basic reasons for hair weakness:
- Improper hair care, physical and chemical factors – too frequent binding of hair in the so-called ponytail or bun. This hairstyle tightens the scalp and damages the hair follicles, which causes hair loss, especially at the forehead line. Moreover, the skin regenerates for quite a long time after such damage. It’s because of using elastic bands or hairpins that break and pull out the hair. The same happens with forceful brushing or upping;
- It’s the exposing the hair to high temperatures, using a dryer and straightener, which also damage their structure. Don’t forget the hair coloring with inappropriate care products. It is worth choosing a shampoo for the type of hair and scalp;
- Improper diet, causing deficiencies of micro and macro elements;
- Sudden and chronic stress;
- Hormonal disorders – hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism decrease estrogen levels after menopause, androgenic alopecia (too high levels of androgens, which affects both men and women), postpartum alopecia;
- Scalp diseases such as mycosis or seborrheic dermatitis;
- Mental disorders.
These are just a few causes of thinning hair. In practice, there are a lot of them. Determining the exact cause on your own is very difficult, so if you notice this problem, it is worth going to a doctor who will order additional tests and make a diagnosis. There are many reasons for hair problems, but these are the main ones.
Ways to prevent hair loss
Once the cause of hair loss has been established and eliminated, regrowth and recovery are not immediate. When looking for a way to strengthen our hair, we often decide on supplementation. At the pharmacy, we can buy several preparations without a prescription to help strengthen the hair. Don’t forget about hair growth vitamins. Many of them base their composition on vitamins, the most important of which are:
- Vitamin H, or popular biotin. Its deficiency is very common, especially in men, and causes hair loss, hair growth disorders, and excessive brittleness. It also affects the condition of the nails and even the skin. Vitamin H, thanks to its sulfur content, helps create keratin, the basic protein that builds hair. It should be taken once a day at a dose of 5 mg. Its natural sources are mainly: liver, eggs, carrots, and spinach.
- Vitamin A – participates in the production of sebum, i.e., the secretion of sebaceous glands, and is responsible for the metabolism of hair cells. Its deficiency, apart from falling out, also manifests itself in high hair dryness. Vitamin A can be found in milk, cheese, butter, tomatoes, and products listed as sources of biotin.
- B vitamins – are responsible for the overall condition of the hair. They affect the pigmentation and thickness of the hair and even prevent dandruff to some extent. Vitamins from this group are found in eggs, beans, and nuts. Not enough vitamin B12 is often deficient in vegetarians, as red meat and liver are the main sources.
- Vitamin C – participates in collagen production, which is necessary for the maintenance of healthy skin and hair. Of course, we find it in the greatest amount in citrus.
- Vitamin E – used both internally and externally on the scalp. It improves the blood supply to the skin, facilitating the supply of nutrients to the hair follicles. Vitamin E is found in vegetable oils and nuts.
Hair loss is often caused by iron deficiency. Too little oxygen causes disturbed transport of oxygen, including the hair, which causes their weakening and subsequent loss. It is not easy to diagnose iron deficiency as the cause of alopecia, and it is most often associated with other symptoms, such as chronic fatigue or pale skin. You should eat hair growth products to help your body.
Plants, the most important of which is the field horsetail, are also helpful in maintaining a healthy hair condition. It contains large amounts of silicon, which strengthens the hair, prevents it from falling out, breaking, and even graying. It also improves skin elasticity by increasing its hydration. The amount of silicon in the body decreases over the years, so its supplementation is very important. Other herbs that are worth enriching the diet are nettle and lemon balm.
On the market, we choose many drugs and supplements containing single ingredients mentioned above or are complex preparations. Regardless of what preparation we take, the treatment should last at least three months. You should be patient because the effects will not be immediate. Not only oral preparations help prevent hair loss. We can also use agents applied directly to the scalp (for external use).
In the case of androgenetic alopecia, the basic substance is minoxidil, which comes in the form of lotions on the skin. It inhibits (and even reverses completely) the shrinkage of the hair follicles caused by too high androgen levels. Additionally, it stimulates the growth of hair follicle cells. Preparations with minoxidil should be used twice a day and applied only to balding areas. Inhibition of hair loss usually occurs after a month, and after two, it gradually grows back. Minoxidil should be used regularly for up to twelve months.
It’s important to use hair loss cure. It should be carefully selected for the type of scalp and hair. If we are taking an oral preparation, it is worth trying external preparations from the same series, as they are usually developed and tested in terms of joint action and complementarity.
Remember that the basic step in stopping hair loss is finding the cause. For this, you should usually consult your doctor. After diagnosing and eliminating the problem, it is worth implementing treatment with hair strengthening preparations. You should be patient because it takes a long time to improve your hair condition, and we can wait even several months for the effects – still, it’s worth it!
Can a woman go bald too? Hair loss in women
Both women and men associate hair loss with less attractiveness and premature aging. Hair loss mostly affects men, although, unfortunately, this ailment is also more common in women.
Alopecia in women usually begins in the menopause, around 40-50 years of age, and is most often associated with hormonal disorders. In women, hair loss, unlike in men, is usually partial and not completely bald. Use hair vitamins for hair regrowth.
One in five women may suffer from androgenic alopecia, caused by increased male hormones – androgens (dihydrotestosterone, DHA). This disease’s occurrence is mainly determined by hereditary tendencies.
It is worth understanding that hormonal changes and various diseases can negatively affect the volume and strength of the hair. You may also notice that each bath leaves some of your hair on the towel, bath, or brush. Technically you can solve this problem if you use special cosmetics and medicines. It is worth understanding that this is a complex problem, so you should not ignore it at an early stage. This can prevent serious problems in the future.
In menopausal women, hormone replacement therapy helps by regulating the levels of the appropriate hormones in the body. A helpful stuff is minoxidil. It is also applied to the skin, available in a 2% (OTC) and 5% (prescription) concentration. This drug causes a better blood supply to the hair follicles and has a weak local anti-androgenic effect. Its effectiveness varies from patient to patient. A large dose of patience is also needed with the use of minoxidil, as it takes many months of treatment to determine its effect. Hair loss shampoo is a first step to save your hair.
Hair loss after childbirth is also common. Women can lose up to 50% of their hair then, but that doesn’t mean they’ll be bald immediately. During pregnancy, the secretion of estrogens increases, which stops hair loss. A sudden drop in these hormones after childbirth results in hair loss that should have fallen out long ago during pregnancy. In young mothers, the hair’s condition improves on its own after some time, so there is no need to worry.
Keep in mind that hair regrowth products are only part of a plan to improve your body. You should choose the right food, feel less stress, and organize your day with rest breaks. Only a complete recovery of the body will help you feel better and restore your hair.