We’ve all been there, dreading that day when you start seeing excess hair on your comb or brush and start imagining the worst. That’s it, you have started to lose hair, and in most cases the hair loss is hereditary (androgenetic alopecia), which means if it runs in the family you can develop it too. Even though men are more affected by the disease, they have a 50 percent chance to develop alopecia by the time they enter their 50ties, women are getting it too. Around 38 percent of postmenopausal women can develop alopecia and 25 percent of women in perimenopause can start showing symptoms. The difference is that men usually develop male pattern baldness (MPB), when they lose the hair around the temple and crown, while women develop female pattern baldness (FPB) when the hair loss is diffusely visible around the top and the front of the scalp.
Finally, we can say for sure that our mothers are to blame for our hair loss, at least according to the American Journal for Human Genetics. They’ve published a research which reveals the main contributor to hair loss – a gene variant which is associated with male sex hormones located in the X chromosome. Moreover, Ted Daly, MD, a dermatology director at the medical center at Nassau University in New York, says that hair loss can happen to everyone, no matter how healthy they believe they are, because the problem is not in how healthy you are, MPB and FPB runs in the genes and that’s just how it is.
If you do happen to have hereditary hair loss, there are a few things which can slow down the process, especially if you notice it in the early stage. Also, you may think you have hereditary MPB or FPB, because it sure looks like it, but the cause for your baldness may be entirely different, and it may also be fixed. For instance, my mother started to show signs of hair thinning, which may be hereditary, but it may also be a result of her hypothyroidism combined with some of the medications she’s using. The lack of certain vitamins or minerals can also be the cause, we do not know.
Feed your hair follicles
There is no universal solution for every hair type, we are all well aware, but there are certain rules that apply to us all. Eating healthy, well-balanced meals can do wonders for your hair in terms of growth. Doctor Daly advises us to eat everything in moderation, because for example, too much proteins, too little proteins, uniform diet etc. can cause hair loss. If you get tested and get unsatisfactory results regarding certain deficiencies, Daly advises you to include supplements such as zinc, copper, iron, vitamin B-12, biotin and calcium in your diet, that might just reverse the effect and repair the damaged follicles.
A pinch of prevention
Quite often, hair loss can be connected to thyroid hormones, which actually depend on the condition of our liver. A healthy liver plays a major role in the function of our thyroid gland. Consequently, if the liver is not healthy it cannot metabolize the thyroid hormones. In this case, it is advised to support your liver’s function with some supplements. You can add 350 – 400 mg of Silymarin three times a day and 500mg yellow dock once a day to your diet. These herbs also help in other areas. They can give you extra energy, and help you moderate low blood sugar levels in your organism.
Massage your mane
Ayurweda, the Indian Medical system, observes hair health in terms of achieving a balance between the life energies within the doshas (the three body constitutions) Vata, Pitta and Kapha. In addition, according to Ayurweda, hair loss is connected to high levels of the Pitta dosha, and approaches the problem by trying to reduce its levels in the hair follicles. Doctor Scot Gerson, Phd, the medical director of the National Institute of Ayurvedic Medicine in New York says that if we want to reduce the Pitta dosha, we should try massaging the scalp every night before we go to bed. This can prevent hair loss as well as improve the health of our hair. Massage your scalp with a combination of water hyssop oil and a bit of coconut oil. Gently massage the entire scalp and leave it on all night. If you don’t want to mess up your pillow you can wear a woolen cap or cotton bandana.