Why do we lose hair? Dermatologists say that losing between 50-100 hairs per day is normal because its lifetime is not so long and it will be soon replaced by new growing hair.
There are some medical conditions (and other causes too) that lead to this problem, and treating them will eventually stop the excessive hair loss:
– thyroid dysfunctions: hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, polycystic ovary syndrome;
– hormonal disorders: pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding, abortion, menopause, increased levels of testosterone;
– medication: birth control pills, antiepileptic, anti-inflammatory, hypolipemic, anticoagulant, antidepressant drugs. A plurality of drugs may cause hair loss; you should always read the medication’s side effects and, if something is not clear, you should talk to your doctor about it.
– dermatological disorders: alopecia areata (the hair loss appears on small areas), androgenetic alopecia (balding), rashes, eczema, psoriasis, seborrheic dermatitis. The medical name of hair loss is alopecia.
– after surgery, after burnings;
– emotional stress;
– trichotillomania: the compulsive urge to pull out and sometimes eat one’s own hair;
– vitamins and minerals deficiencies;
– infections: fever, pneumonia, tuberculosis, syphilis and other bacterial infections;
– autoimmune diseases: lupus, diabetes;
– eating disorders: anorexia, bulimia;
– weak immune system;
– genetic cause: inherited from a parent;
– environmental factors: x-rays, acids, pollutants;
– poor diet or extreme weight loss;
– poor hair care: excessive drying, curling, straitening or aggressive hair products, some types of hairstyling: loops, braiding, ponytail, washing it with very hot water.
For some of the above situations the cure means to be on medication and follow the doctor’s prescriptions; for others it’s all about bad habits.
Nutritional deficiencies have an important impact on hair’s health.
The B group vitamins stimulates hair’s metabolism, the keratin synthesis, the development of hair’s structure and gives strength to the hair. The food that is rich in these vitamins is lean meat, fish, mushrooms, wheat germs, yeast, animal liver, eggs, bananas.
The iron has his importance too, because it’s the main oxygen carrier and helps in vitamins B absorption, so you should eat lean red meat, white meat, eggs, fish, animal liver, green leafy vegetables.
Zinc, vitamin A (found in eggs, carrots, green, orange or yellow vegetables and fruits; interestingly, the excess of vitamin A may lead to hair loss), vitamin C (fresh fruits and vegetables), biotin (it is also called vitamin H and we find it in eggs, animal organs such as liver or kidneys, mushrooms, yeast, lentil, dried beans), calcium, proteins – have all their own role in hair’s metabolism.
Flavonoides (antioxidants) have anti-inflammatory roles and stimulate the scalp’s blood circulation, in this way preventing hair to become thin and then break. Foods with high flavonoid content include parsley, onions, garlic, ginger, berries, black and green tea, bananas, apples, citrus fruits, tomatoes, cabbage, wine, dark chocolate.
Soy phytoestrogens have a similar action as the human estrogens, therefore they are used to stop women’s hair loss due to increased levels of testosterone (these phytoestrogens inhibit testosterone’s action).
Capsaicin from hot peppers (it gives to peppers their hotness) is known to stimulate hair growth.
Oils such as olive oil, argan oil, castor oil, jojoba oil, eucalyptus oil, coconut oil are rich in essential fatty acids that protect and nourish the scalp, and at the same time prevent dandruff.
Aloe Vera and Henna are natural remedies against hair loss; they help maintain a healthy hair and fighting against bacteria and germs.