Keep Your Hair On!
Daily hair loss happens to all of us. But when it's falling out faster than it's re-growing, steps should be taken to find out why this is happening to you.
Genetic factors can contribute to hair loss; however there are many other reasons why some people lose their hair faster than others. These include glandular and hormonal problems, an over production of sebum or oil in the scalp, poor nutrient absorption ability and low nutritional levels, inadequate sleep and sudden or long term stress, as well as when taking certain medications. Additional factors that can also contribute are: influenza, anaemia, thyroid problems and long standing illness.
Our intestine is where we absorb nutrients from the food eaten. If there is anything that interfered with the way this vital organ functions, we can experience hair loss. Examples of this include diarrhoea, which causes a "too fast" transit time of food through the intestinal tract or constipation, which causes the reabsorption of toxic waste matter into the blood stream. Some people have Ceoliac's disease, where the finger like villi that line the small intestine have bee destroyed, so nutrient absorption ability is compromised. Whatever the case, keeping our bowel in tiptop shape is not only vital for p-roper hair growth, but also for good health generally. Bowel cleansing packs are readily available at health shops and consist of either liquid or capsules being taken in conjunction with a fibre supplement. The main lifestyle change needed while taking these is a dramatic increase in water consumption to help keep everything moving through.
Consider completing a bowel cleanse at least once a year and when you have finished the course, take a concentrated acidophilus supplement to replenish good bacteria in the gut.
Nutritional deficiencies are a common contributor to hair loss. If your body stores of nutrients are low or you diet is lacking, there is no way you have "extra" to put into growing healthy hair. How many people sit down to proper meals these day? It's easy to get busy, and then grab something quickly as your racing to the next deadline. If you wash it all down with caffeine or a tannin-containing beverage, the likelihood of absorbing nutrients from the food eaten is minimal.
This is because tannin and caffeine interfere with nutrient absorption, if consumed up to 1 hour after eating or taking a nutritional supplement.
Adequate protein is also vital, with the average New Zealand man needing around 15-20 grams of actual protein with each meal. Taking a multivitamin can help, with some having been formulated specifically with "hair growth" in mind. My favourite is Maxi Hair by Country Life. Bottom line is, if you want strong healthy hair you need to put in the right ingredients.
Its not all mums fault
Hereditary factors play a definite role in hair loss, but a primary cause in men is too higher levels of the hormone DHT (dihydrotestosterone) within the hair follicle. After a while the hair follicle starts to degrade, which shortens the active phase of the hair. Another factor is the amount of sebum in the scalp. Sebum contains a high amount of DHT. As well as this it clogs the pores in the scalp. Both of these things cause malnutrition to the hair root and hence hair loss. The Saw Palmete range of hair care products contain high doses of the DHT blocking botanicals such as Saw Palmetto Extract and Rosemary essential oil in order to protect your hair follicles and rejuvenate those that are beginning to succumb to the effects of DHT. You can have blood tests to check hormone levels. Imbalances can be treated with herbal or pharmaceutical drugs. Herbs such as Sarsaparilla, Tribulus and Saw Palmetto have been used to help balance testosterone levels and can be purchased in most health shops.
Stress can be a major contributor to hair loss, often taking up to three to six months after the stressful event before hair starts growing again. Taking a B complex can help with stress, as well as being needed for healthy sebum production and new cell generation. Stress also depleted mineral stores, so an adequate intake of calcium, magnesium and zinc are vital. Ideally take a B vitamin in the morning and a mineral complex at night.
Written by Leanne James. Originally published in M2 Magazine. Men's Issue M2.4