Discovering shed hair is an unpleasant experience, as anyone who has discovered hairballs in the bathroom shower or while vacuuming their carpets will attest. But it is especially horrible when you realize that the fallen hair belongs to none other than yourself. As we age, our naturally healthy thick hair starts to become brittle, and develop a tendency to fall off our head. The reason for this may be genetic or due to a lack of proper attention to your hair’s nutrition and health. In any case, bald patched begin to appear on our heads, which are quiet distressful for someone used to a full head of hair.
Hair Loss Solutions
Fortunately, there are plenty of hair loss solutions you can implement to stop or even reverse the onset of hair loss ranging from mild treatments which can be carried out at home to intensive clinical solutions.
1. Diet – A well balanced, nutrient rich diet is essential for the entire body and this includes your hair, too. If you want your hair to be strong and healthy, you should incorporate whole foods, particularly plants like potatoes, cucumbers, bean sprouts and peppers, since their skin has an abundance of mineral silica which strengthens your hair. Lean meats, containing large amount of iron, play a vital role in protein formation which are used in hair growth.
Here are some specific inclusions you should make to your diet for best results:
- Ginkgo Biloba – This is an herb renowned for its ability to boost* the circulation of blood to the skin and brain. Herbalists are of the opinion that the improvement of blood flow to the scalp encourages hairs to grow back by providing the hair follicles with essential nutrients.
- Green Tea – Research has revealed that certain natural chemicals i.e. catechins contained in green tea have the property to limit the action of the enzyme Type 1 5-alpha-reductase that converts testosterone into DHT, which is responsible for hair fall. This property of green tea, according to some experts, could inhibit the chain of hormone action that starts the hair loss process.
- Stinging Nettle – Long used as a folk medicine, this plant’s contribution to hair loss prevention has been reaffirmed by modern herbalists. Its action is believed to be similar to green tea, in that it prevents testosterone from changing into DHT.
2. Yoga – You can fight hair loss without any artificial product / method by employing yoga. There are plenty of yoga exercises available that counter hair fall by improving* blood circulation to the scalp and stimulating hair growth. Hair are a couple of exercises which are particularly effective:
- Balyam – This is an acupressure technique which targets certain points of the present on the tip of the finger (beneath the finger nails) which are believed to be linked to hair growth. By massaging these acupressure points, you can encourage hair growth and improve* the flow of blood to the scalp. Make sure that you rub the fingernails of one hand with those of the others without letting your thumbs come in contact with each other.
- Adho Mukho Svanasana – This is known as the downward facing dog pose that, besides strengthening your shoulders and arms, also stimulates the flow of blood to the face and head, and provides stimulation to scalp nerves. To perform this exercise, begin with placing your palms close to your ears and pointing your toes down so that your heels face the ceiling. Next, exhale and push up using your hands so that your buttocks point upwards – you should resemble an inverted V at this point. Now push your feet down so that they are flatly in contact with the floor – this will cause your hamstrings to stretch – but remain in this position instead of compensating for the stretching sensation by moving your feet closer to your hands.
3. Home Remedies – If you aren’t comfortable with using artificial chemical products to stimulate hair growth or can’t afford clinical procedures, you can employ home remedies, such as the couple mentioned below:
- Red Pepper – This spice has been used for centuries to irritate the skin which attracts blood and nutrients towards it. Applying to the scalp has the same action and also encourages histamine release which promotes* cell division and growth of hair.
- Onion Juice – The Journal of Dermatology published a study which analyzed the results of application of onion juice on individuals with alopecia areata. Application of onion juice two times a day for a period of two months showed changes in almost all of the 23 people tested. Some showed hair growth in as early as a fortnight whereas the majority showed regrowth of hair in a period of 4 to 6 weeks.
4. Hair Loss Therapies
- Low Dose Laser Therapy – This is an experimental treatment for countering hair loss being used to treat* pattern balding and androgenetic alopecia in both men and men. Also known as cold laser, red light therapy, soft laser, photobiomodulation or biostimulation, it works by improving* blood flow to the scalp and stimulating the metabolism of resting (telogen) and shedding (catagen) hair follicles so that growing (anagen) hair follicles can be produced. There are varying views on whether this technique works among physicians but a trial of 110 male subjects suffering from androgenic alopecia showed considerable increase* in average density of terminal hair.
- Hair Transplant – This surgical technique moves hair follicles from a part of the body which has growing hair to the balding part of the scalp and is used in the treatment of male pattern baldness. There are two methods of extracting hair follicles – Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT) in which strips of hair follicles are harvested, and Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) which transplants follicles individually. Bioengineered hair follicles have also been transplanted successfully recently.
5. Hair Loss Products – 99% of products being marketed as hair loss preventers are ineffective according to American Hair Loss Association, however, there are a few products, separate for men and women that do have actual hair growth effects.
- Propecia / Finasteride – This medication was approved by the FDA for treating male pattern baldness in 1997. It works by inhibiting Type II 5-alpha-reductace, an enzyme responsible for the conversion of testosterone into DHT. Taken daily, 1 milligram dose is sufficient to reduce* DHT levels by up to 60%. This 60% stopping power of the drug has been seen in 86% of those males who were part of the clinical trials. Moreover, 65% of those tested witnessed a considerable increment in hair growth.
- Minoxidil – This medication, in 2% or 5% concentration, can be used by women suffering from androgenetic alopecia to stopper hair loss and promote hair growth. Clinical studies of women in the 18-45 age group showed that some 19% of those tested experienced moderate hair growth, after using it for eight months. 40% of those tested reported minimal growth of hair. This drug, in spite of being more effective for women compared to men, is still not as effective as may be desired. This is why women should consult with a specialist, according to the AHLA, in order to decide which treatment is best for them.
As you can see, there is no reason to get worked up if you discover that your hair have started to fall. If you detect the problem early enough, you may not even have to resort to surgical or intensive hair loss treatments – by changing your diet and lifestyle to ensure that your scalp gets the necessary nutrients, you may be able to reverse hair fall and get naturally thick hair once again.