As a common myth, hair loss is just for men. Although Male Pattern Baldness is a common cause for hair loss in men, there are several reasons why males and females may notice thinning hair at some point in their lives.
While there are plenty of deductible reasons for thinning hair, among them, stress, heredity, aging and overstyling… there are several other reasons you may be losing your hair. It could be a vitamin deficiency or other issues related to your overall health and/or diet.
According to HealthWithFood.org – ‘a normal, healthy person sheds about fifty to one hundred hairs every day, and most of these hairs grow back.’ It is further stated that ‘a healthy hair has a life cycle of about three to six years.’
If you’re noticing hair loss at a rapid beat, it may be time to consider different foods that are said to help prevent hair loss.
One of the most common causes of hair loss lies in a Vitamin Deficiency such as Vitamin B or Iron. To boost* your vitamin intake, you could always take supplements, however, there are plenty of foods available, rich in these nutrients. It is recommended to supplement your diet with more essential hair growth vitamins, including vitamin C, B complex as well as minerals such as Iron and Zinc…by choosing hair growth vitamins and supplements for hair growth that contain ingredients of natural sources, you will nourish thinning hair from the inside out.
So let’s get some detail here –
Spinach contains iron, which helps carry oxygen to the hair. It is stated that an inadequate intake of iron may cause the hair follicles to starve of oxygen. Accordingly, depleted iron stores appear to be one of the most common causes of hair loss in premenopausal women. Spinach also contains vitamin B6.
In one report it is noted that Vitamin B6 is crucial for the proper absorption of Zinc from the intestines, but it [is] also thought to have some hair loss preventing properties, such as the ability of vitamin B6 to boost* oxygen supply to the scalp.
2. Sunflower Seeds
These yummy little snacks are supercharged with Vitamin E, Zinc and Iron, not to mention the Vitamin B6. One cup of sunflower seeds is said to contain thirty one percent of the recommended daily intake of your B vitamin.
Protein deficiency could be another reason for your thinning hair. Pick foods rich in protein. Before you balk, try eggs.
Eggs are an excellent source of protein as well as a slew of other nutrients known to promote hair health. These include iron, sulphur, Vitamin B2 and B12 and folate. Folate, otherwise known as folic acid is part of your B Vitamins and plays a key role in the synthesis of nucleic acid. (DNA). Furthermore, egg whites have the highest possible Protein Digestibility Corrected Amino Acid Scores (PDCAAS) – this is one way that protein quality is typically measured. It is stated that eggs score 100 on their biological value, meaning that all protein ingested from eggs is used by the body.
One hair restoration expert, Lucinda Ellery stated in a report for the Huffington Post that nuts are great for hair loss. “They have oils which contribute to the elastin in your hair [and] contributes to the growth.” She says that ‘if you don’t have enough oils in the body, your hair will snap.’
One reason for your hair loss could be attributed to too much Vitamin A according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Be sure to discuss your dietary needs with your doctor before supplementing Vitamin A into your diet. The Daily Value of Vitamin A is 5000 (IU) per day for adults and kids over age 4.
Carrots are known to be rich in Beta-Carotene, which the body turns into Vitamin A. This essential Vitamin helps to produce scalp-sustaining oils. On the other hand… consider that a deficiency in Vitamin A can lead to conditions of the scalp, which may also be a cause of some of your hair loss.
Prunes are packed full of both Copper and Zinc. While our bodies only require trace amounts of copper, it is stated that adequate levels of copper help slow down hair loss and also contribute to hair thickness. Zinc plays an important role in the production of new cells (including hair cells) and the maintenance of oil secreting glands (that make hair shiny). Take note that copper and zinc should be consumed together as the balance between the two is paramount. According to one report – too much zinc interferes with copper absorption. Furthermore, higher amounts of copper can be toxic.
Oats are an excellent source of B Vitamins, Zinc and Copper – some of the most essential nutrients for preventing hair loss.
8. Sweet Potatoes
Through preliminary studies, it has been found that sweet potatoes contain unique root proteins that have significant antioxidant properties. It is also stated that the more intense the color of the sweet potato (pink, orange or yellow), the more beta-carotene can be found. Sweet potatoes are one of the most concentrated dietary sources of beta-carotene which helps with the absorption of the essential Vitamins we’ve discussed thus far. Also note that sweet potatoes are also an excellent source of protein.
9. Greek Yogurt:
According to WebMD, The perennial health food favorite, Greek yogurt, can also help with your hair. Low fat versions have Vitamin B5 and Vitamin D which are linked to follicle and hair health.
10. Green Peas
Peas can be considered a powerhouse vegetable for their nutritional values. They are full of protein (which we already know is essential for healthy hair growth). They also contain beta-carotene, Vitamin C and low amounts of iron.
11. Green Tea
Women especially battle with hair loss due to hormonal problems. Green Tea is said to hold a specific polyphenol which has been shown to modulate the production and action of androgens and other hormones. The main ingredients in Green Tea are the antioxidants which control free radicals in the body that damage cells. Consequently, it is stated that Green Tea could be useful for the treatment of hormone-related baldness.
12. Garbanzo Beans
Garbanzo Beans are loaded with hair loss preventing nutrients such as B vitamins, Zinc and Vitamin C – according to HealWithFood.org. The site states that they are also an excellent source of protein, particularly for vegetarians and vegans who avoid animal sources of protein.
Rosemary is said to improve* circulation, particularly to the scalp. It is stated that when blood flows to the scalp, it stimulates the hair follicles and encourages hair growth. Rosemary also contains a plant polyphenol that can help protect tissues from free radical damage. Use it as a flavoring on your favorite dishes.
As always, you should discuss your dietary needs and other health issues with your primary physician. Remember that this list is merely a guideline for your review in relation to foods that may prevent hair loss. These are not guaranteed techniques and are merely meant as a guideline for reference to foods that contain a high quality content of necessary Vitamins and other minerals which may be beneficial to preventing hair loss.
Finally – as you may like to take note as to the reason for your hair loss… Notice this brief outline for specific causes of hair loss.
- Physical or Emotional Stress:
According to one doctor, Marc Glashofer, MD “When you have a really stressful event, it can shock the hair cycle (pushing) more hair into the shedding phase.
- Too Much Vitamin A:
- Lack of Protein:
- Male Pattern Baldness:
It is stated that about two out of three men will experience hair loss by age 60. Mostly these statistics represent Male Pattern Baldness. This is caused by a combination of genes and male sex hormones. There is not much that can be done through the diet for male pattern baldness, but there are other alternatives out there.
While there is not much you can do to prevent hereditary hair loss, there are options out there.
- Female Hormones/Pregnancy:
Discussed earlier. Take notice that typically hair loss is experienced AFTER a pregnancy due to the hormonal changes taking place in your body. This hair will grow back!
Discussed earlier – be sure you’re getting plenty of IRON!
- Hypothyroidism/Lupus and other Autoimmune Diseases:
Any hair loss dedicated to these events will likely be hormonal.
- Vitamin B Deficiency:
Discussed earlier, most of the foods we have already discussed contain the essential B Vitamins for hair health.
- Dramatic Weight Loss:
It is said that sudden weight loss* is a form of physical trauma. Hair loss could be a result of this stress on your body, even if the weight loss* is good for you.
Dr. Glashofer says that “chemotherapy is like a nuclear bomb… it destroys rapidly dividing cells … (like hair).” However, once chemotherapy stops, your hair WILL grow back.
- Antidepressants, Blood Thinners and other Prescription Medications:
Talk to your doctor about the medications you are on and describe your concern for your hair loss. Some drugs that could cause hair loss are blood thinners because they are beta-blockers, methotrexate (used to treat* rheumatic conditions and some skin conditions, lithium, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) including Ibuprofen, and possibly some anti-depressants.