Eat your way to top form hair. Nutritional responses to preventing hair loss are simple common sense approaches to keeping you, your hair, and your scalp healthy and are beneficial for your health all round – a healthy body is more likely to have healthy hair than an unhealthy one. It is possible that hair loss can be slowed by a healthy diet filled with vegetables and fruits. The following nutritional requirements that can be sourced adequately from a healthy diet in most cases can be of help with preventing or minimizing hair loss:
Iron: This is an essential mineral, known as heme iron in animal food sources and non-heme iron in plant sources. Good sources of iron in your diet include: liver, beef, pork, fish, leafy greens, fortified cereal, beans, and pumpkin seeds. Vegetarian women may experience a lack of enough iron more than other people.
Protein: Protein is essential for strong hair, but it's protein from the diet, not from a shampoo, that matters! A deficiency in protein can lead to hair loss and adequate protein can help to provide the amino acids that strengthen hair. Good sources of protein include: Seafood, white-meat poultry, milk, cheese, yogurt, eggs, beans, pork tenderloin, soy, lean beef, and protein bars. Vegans, dairy-free consumers, and others can get good non-animal protein from tempeh, tofu, wholewheat bread, peanut butter, brown rice, lentils, quinoa, nuts, seitan, beans, broccoli, potatoes, etc.
Vitamin C: Vitamin C foods help in the good absorption of iron. Try to combine the iron source with a vitamin C source at the same time. Good sources of vitamin C include: Citrus fruit, green leafy vegetables, salad, baked potatoes, tomatoes, etc.
Omega-3 fatty acids: These fats keep hair healthy and have a role in preventing hair from becoming dry and brittle. Good sources include: tuna, salmon, mackerel, flaxseeds, and walnuts.
Biotin: This is a B vitamin of importance for healthy hair. Good sources of biotin include: brewer's yeast, bulgur wheat, lentils, sunflower seeds, soybeans, andwalnuts.
Zinc: Zinc is important for hair nourishment too. Good sources include: oysters, lean beef, peanut butter, turkey, and pumpkin seeds.
Avoid food or eating habits that can inhibit hair growth or encourage hair loss. There are some things you should not do or eat in order to avoid hurrying hair loss. The following things can harm your hair and bring about hair loss, either temporarily or even permanently depending on your genetic make-up:
Avoid very low-calorie liquid diets. As well as depleting your energy in a major way, such diets can cause hair loss.
Avoid eating raw egg whites. Not only can these harbor bacteria that can harm you, raw egg whites contain a substance that binds biotin. This prevents its absorption.
Consider supplements. Talk with your medical practitioner first but you might like to consider using supplements to prevent hair loss. The types of supplements to inquire about include biotin, inositol, iron, vitamin C, and saw palmetto. The latter, saw palmetto, is a herbal remedy used for prostate enlargement and some experts think it might help stimulate hair growth in men.
Test your hair for thinning if you're concerned. Testing whether or not you're suffering from hair loss can be done using what is known as the "tug test". Take a small bunch of hair, about 20-30 hairs, and hold it between your thumb and index finger. Pull slowly but firmly; if more than six hairs come out at the same time, you may have a hair loss problem. However, this is not the last word and you shouldn't panic; instead, you should see a doctor or a trichologist immediately if you think you're losing more hair than normal, remembering that we lose a lot of hairs each day naturally.
Your doctor has the ability to take relevant hair tests, such as to test thyroid or iron deficiencies, and to take skin biopsies where relevant. Your doctor will also ask you about any medications you've been taking.
Consider treatments if you have hair loss confirmed. While this article is concerned with prevention of hair loss, treatments can be used to arrest hair loss dependent on your background and personal needs and may play a part in hair loss minimization for a time. Your first line of defense is accurate diagnosis, because temporary hair loss usually remedies itself, or can be helped with specific therapy or treatments. For ongoing hair loss, treatments you might like to consider include:
Medications. Some medications can slow or even prevent hair loss. For both men and women, Minoxidil (Rogaine) can be used, or for men-only, Finasteride (Propecia) can be obtained through your doctor. Minoxidil is sprayed onto the scalp twice daily and arrests hair loss and may even cause regrowth in a few men. Finasteride is taken as an oral drug. In both cases, it takes about a year to see whether they're effective for you as an individual. Finasteride works in about 60 percent of men who take it. It is strongly recommended you research possible side effects before taking Finasteride. Recent studies have linked Finasteride to potentially irreversible sexual dysfunction. It is not recommended for those trying to conceive a child, as it may impact the fetus negatively.
HRT. This may work for some women. However, you need to discuss the ins and outs of taking HRT with your doctor.
Ask your doctor about steroid creams, corticosteroids, or PUVA (a light/drug combination therapy) in the case of alopecia areata. Irritation can sometimes stimulate hair growth too, such as applying irritating chemicals prescribed by the doctor.
Get a hair transplant. Micro-transplants are commonly performed for male-pattern baldness. This consists of small transplants of one or two hairs at a time and it appears very natural.
Try hair restoration surgery. This is the transplantation or redistribution of hair. Hair is removed from the dense area of hair and placed into the areas where hair has been lost. Since the follicle goes with it, the grows into old age, goes gray and is permanent. Micro-transplant surgery takes a strip from the back of the head which is then stitched; it heals so that it is virtually unseen and then transplanted. It is also possible to take a scalp section, remove a piece of scalp and tuck it in so that the bald area is removed and the hair-bearing areas are stitched together to do away with the bald patch. This can only work on a small area where there has been a scar though. Hair restoration surgery is usually done on men, not women.
Consider laser treatment. Try laser therapy, which may stimulate hair growth by increasing blood flow to hair follicles. Some dermatologists and many hair-loss centers offer in-house sessions, or you can purchase a laser comb or brush that you use at home.
Wake Up Dormant Hair follicles. When hair follicles go dormant, you begin to lose your hair. The dormant follicles no longer create hair, so when enough of the follicles in a specific area shut down, your hair will appear thinner. What is a dormant hair follicle? Is it: small tiny hair visible on the scalp but not growing, no visible hair on the skin but existing beneath the skin, hair that is only visible with a microscope. Some technique can activate dormant hair follicles.
Watch the news on stem cell or gene therapy with respect to hair loss. Research is ongoing and it's likely a baldness cure will be eventual but for now, it's under research.