Many men and women will experience various forms of hair loss during their lifetime. While the causes and extents of hair loss differ (learn about the most common types of male hair loss and female hair loss), there are natural remedies that can complement hair replacement therapies. These include making adjustments to current nutrition, medication and supplements and lifestyle habits.
Diet can be an important ally in the fight against hair loss. Protein in particular has been seen to both strengthen existing hair and encourage growth of new hair. The recommended daily serving of protein varies according to age and health, however two to three servings of food rich in protein should satisfy most adults. Additionally, omega-3 fatty acids, such as those found in fish or nuts can reduce inflammation, leading to a healthier scalp.
Medication and Supplements
Although certain medical conditions such as thyroid problems can result in hair loss, it is essential to diagnose and first treat the underlying medical ailment before working to combat the hair loss. Anemia has also been known to lead to hair loss, though experts recommend that only those who have confirmed iron deficiency anemia begin taking iron supplements.
Despite the multitude of advertisements for a variety of vitamins and supplements specific to hair loss, the truth is that many lack sufficient, scientific supporting evidence. A few, however, have been proven to be important to the health of the hair and scalp. For instance, vitamin A plays an integral role in the production of sebum, natural oil found in the skin and scalp which helps keep the scalp adequately moisturized. Vitamin E is a nutrient that both facilitates blood to the scalp and aids in oxygen absorption. Vitamin C is a key ingredient in the production of collagen, an essential element in strands of hair. A lack of collagen can result in hair damage, causing breakage and further hair loss.
*Please note that before beginning to take any new medications or supplements, it is important to consult with your physician.
Environmental and Lifestyle Factors
Changing seasons, stress, other external behaviors such as hair styling can all impact hair loss. Stress management can be a crucial component to naturally managing or complementing current hair replacement. Stress has been shown to result in hair loss, so it is important to accurately examine stress levels as well as find appropriate outlets to help relieve stress.
Hair hygiene is another area to investigate as a possible complement to managing hair loss. Certain styles such as perms, dyes and tightly wound ponytails and cornrows can wreak havoc on hair. Tight rubber bands or harsh brushing can also further damage hair. Try to not overdo brushing and washing so as not to strip hair of important essential oils and add breakage to already thinning hair.
While adjusting certain areas may help manage hair loss or provide a complement to existing hair replacement treatment, sometimes further actions may be necessary and there are a variety of surgical and non-surgical hair replacement options.