Thursday, March 10, 2011

Hair Thinning

Recently I have had a slew of clients whom have been encountering, excessive hair thinning. There are many different reasons why this takes place. The basic and most obvious are, heredity, illness, medications, chemo and cancer treatments, over processing with chemicals, pregnancy, child birth, birth control (hormone altering drugs) pills, anemia and thyroid problems. The funniest thing about hair is that it absolutely does not serve any vital function to our daily lives. Without it, we can still function normally. It is modern society that has created its vanity properties. (Job security :) Lol) Therefore we must do whatever it takes to keep those lovely tresses growing and in place.

Hair Basics:
-Typically we lose around 100 hairs a day out of the over 100,000 we have to spare from our scalp. Hair has a life span of about 5 years and will then fall out and be replaced by a new hair within 6 months.
-Brushing and styling can aid in pulling out more hair
-Over 30 our hormones begin to shift and we start to lose more hair (men faster than women)

Hair Heredity:
Hereditary hair loss is experienced by all ethnicities and you can thank BOTH sides of your family tree for this. It is more common among men (1 in 4 by 30 and 2 in 3 by 60). There are many genetic factors that help to determine this but it is most commonly associated with testosterone. This shortens the growth phase making the hair thinner and shorter until there is a total lack of hair and is referred to male-pattern and female-pattern androgenetic alopecia. Both are very treatable if caught early on. If you are experiencing this I highly recommend a visit to your Naturopath or family Physician.

Stress Loss:
Mental, emotional and physical stress all play a part in hair loss. Usually due to the length of your hair growth cycle, by the time you start to shed hairs, your stressful situation may be over or resolved.

Quick Simple Remedies

Nioxin Hair Products:
Nioxin is skincare for your scalp. There are 3 essential products to get and use in the system and you need to use all three consistently to benefit from the results. They are the Cleanser, Scalp Therapy and Scalp Treatment. The Cleanser- removes residue and DHT from the scalp and hair to promote a healthy scalp environment, Scalp Therapy- moisturizes and provides a healthy scalp environment with soothing essential oils, special anti-oxidants and enzymatic complexes and Scalp Treatment- is a daily leave-in that delivers essential botanicals, nutrients, antioxidants and vitamins onto the scalp to help safeguard against residues and DHT buildup on the scalp.

Always try to make healthy food choices. Strive to cut out processed foods like soda, dairy, salt and sugars. Increase your consumption of green, leafy vegetables, eggs, dates and raisins. Zinc supplements are great too. Some women with gastrointestinal problems (insufficient stomach acids) can take 2 acidophilus capsules after or between meals to help with the intestinal tract, making your tract more available to absorb the nutrients it needs. Vitamin C will help you absorb iron as well and Vitamin E is essential and can be found in avocados, nuts, seeds and olive oil.

Add more High Protein Foods:
Hair is made up of Keratin which is a form of protein. Eating protein rich foods that also include B-12 are nutrients that hair just cannot live without. These help to provide the building blocks necessary to grow stronger hair. Red meat, poultry and eggs are essential in this process and will also help to eliminate anemia.

Essential Fatty Acids Supplements:
Essential Fatty Acids are another important factor in hair loss. Be sure to include foods like flaxseed oil, flaxseeds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, avocados, kale, spinach and salmon.

Biotin is a water soluble B complex vitamin. It is naturally occurring in the body but often we are deficient in it. There are mixed feelings about the validity of its effectiveness for hair loss, but my experience with it has been great. Taken in conjunction with the other B vitamins can help prevent stress which is also related to hair loss. I feel that it primarily works if you are already a little bit deficient in Biotin and I actually take this every single day. I remember that when I first started, after a couple weeks, I kept thinking ‘I sure am shaving my legs everyday’. Sure enough it does not just target your head hair but encourages ALL your body hair to grow. A great sign to let you know it is working.

Increase Iron:
Anemia related hair loss is one of the most common forms. My experience with iron supplements can be tricky, so I feel you are best suited to consult with your doctor about these. However, on a food/home level, you can increase your red meat consumption, broccoli, dry fruit, tofu, beans, lentils and brewer’s yeast. With doing a little more research I have found that cooking in a cast-iron skillet allows trace minerals to enter your food as you cook. Hmm, food for thought. I guess Great Grandma was on to something YEARS ago :)

A minimum of 20 minutes a day can help to increase endorphins and reduce stress levels.

Massage therapy can really help your body with relaxation both physically and mentally reducing stress.

Writing and Reading:
These can both be a light stress reducer. Writing in a journal daily helps you to alleviate  stress that is taking place in your environment by getting it 'out' on paper. Reading at night before bed can help your mind disengage from stressful factors that took place during your day. 

Last but not least, WATER!!! Water is one of the most important things to consume on a daily basis. Staying hydrated helps your body immensely from the inside out. 

Wishing you a Happy and Healthy Hair Day!!!

Leave a Comment: