Hair loss can be tough, so when you see noticeable loss, bald spots, or a widening part, it is understandable to want to do anything you can to stop the hair loss and grow your hair back. This is not always possible, but there are a number of natural and holistic hair loss remedies available for you to try at home – but do they work?
Photo from www.healthcaremagic.com
Many people swear by their own home remedies, promising that a certain scalp cream or hair tonic will work to regrow hair and prevent further hair loss. While these remedies may work for some people, they are like any other remedy in that they do not necessarily work for all people. In addition, there are few studies that provide evidence of the effectiveness of home remedies, though there is generally no harm in trying some out. It is always important to check with your doctor before trying any new healthcare regime, even a natural remedy.
Dr. Paradi Mirmirani, a dermatologist in California, is quoted in a recent WebMD article as stating that “Most natural hair treatments are bunk.” He noted that he routinely advises patients against buying products to use as home remedies, as their costs add up and can be very cost-prohibitive, and they do not necessarily offer any reliable benefit. However, WebMD’s article does go on to consider several natural remedies that may improve the quality of the hair you do have, in order to reduce further hair loss.
Molly Roberts, MD, MS, of the American Holistic Medical Association, believes that general methods can be tried before medicating for hair loss, taking a holistic approach to the issue of thinning hair. Such holistic ideas include proper nutrition, stress management, and overall hair care.
Let Food Be Thy Medicine
Nutrition is a key element that people should examine with any medical condition – often, food can be the culprit of medical maladies and can also be the source of improved health. Hippocrates, said to be the father of Western medicine, stated, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food,” promoting the belief that food, what we put into our bodies every single day, is the key to good health. Hair loss is no different; the key to healthy skin, a healthy scalp, and healthy hair is the food we put into our bodies.
Sally Kravich, MS, CNHP is a nutritionist with a holistic approach; she is also referenced in the above-mentioned article. Kravich encourages a healthy, balanced diet as a large part of good health practices. Important nutrients include protein, omega-3 fatty acids, vegetables, fruits, grains, legumes, dairy, and meat – though it is possible to maintain a varied and balanced diet as a vegetarian or vegan. Omega-3 fatty acids are important for scalp health and can be found in nuts, seeds, eggs, and fish.
Supplements can be taken, though Kravich prefers that her patients get their necessary nutrients, vitamins, and minerals from the foods that they eat. Iron is important for hair health, as a deficiency can lead to hair loss, but iron supplements should only be taken under advisement of a medical professional after a positive test for anemia. Zinc and biotin are also believed to have benefits for healthy hair growth. Before beginning any supplement regime, you should notify your doctor so that she or he can provide any additional information and check for drug interactions with any medications you are taking.
Stress and Hair Loss
Sometimes, hair loss will reverse itself. This is often the case when hair loss is caused by physiological stress leading to telogen effluvium, a condition in which a disproportionate amount of hair follicles switch into their resting state and subsequently fall out, out of sync with the natural schedule of your hair’s cycles. Learn more about stress and hair loss from our previous post.
Maintain The Hair You Have
An important factor to consider when struggling with hair loss is to protect and care for the hair that you do have to improve hair health. When dealing with hair loss, do your best to:
- Avoid harsh chemicals from hair dyes, perms, and chemical straighteners
- Avoid harsh shampoos and conditioners, especially those containing sodium lauryl sulfate or sodium laureth sulfate, industrial-grade surfactants that are present in many commercial hair products and can lead to skin and hair damage
- Avoid heated styling tools such as curling irons, flat irons, and hair dryers – if you must use a hair dryer, use a diffuser or a cool air dryer
- Style your hair to decrease the appearance of thinness by cutting hair short to reduce the appearance of thin or limp hair or using a volumizing mousse or other hair thickening product – we discuss hair thickeners in a previous post.
- Be gentle when styling hair – do not attempt to style hair in complicated ways or using a lot of products
Popular Home Remedies - Do They Work?
Though there is a lack of scientific data to disprove or support the effectiveness of holistic hair growth remedies, many people use home remedies to stop and even reverse their hair loss and provide anecdotal evidence that the remedies work for them. Discuss remedies with your doctor. Even if they may not work, these remedies could be worth a try if you want to avoid medications and other chemical treatments.
- Saw palmetto, an herbal supplement, is believed in many holistic circles to provide hair restoration and stop hair loss
- Silica, either taken in supplements or by eating silica-rich foods, has been said to stimulate hair growth and stop or slow hair loss already happening
- Amla (Indian gooseberry) can be used to create a hair growth tonic when combined with coconut oil and boiled, or amla juice can be mixed with lime juice and used as a shampoo to promote hair growth
- Simmering rosemary leaves with water and adding wheat germ oil can be used as a hair rinse to promote hair and scalp health
- Scalp massage is said to promote blood flow and follicle health in the scalp, leading to healthier hair and decreased hair loss
- Onion is touted as an excellent way to regrow hair after loss, improve hair health, and treat dandruff – to use onion, pulverize the onion flesh in a blender or food processor, drain the liquid through a sieve or cheesecloth, apply the liquid and/or the paste to the scalp and let sit for thirty minutes before washing hair as usual, several times per week
- There are many more holistic and home remedy options available; do a simple internet search to find some that might work for you
Your Mileage May Vary
It is important to understand that home remedies may not work for you, even if they work for a friend, colleague, or family member that recommends them. If you try some holistic remedies to no avail, discuss some medical options for hair loss with your doctor, such as drug treatment or surgery, or consider other proven hair loss correction methods. If you want to avoid all chemical treatment entirely, you can look to wigs or hairpieces, or simply let your bare head go au naturale.
Avacor® Can Help
You can also begin a hair care regime with Avacor®, which help countless men and women just like you who are seeking an answer to their hair loss problems. Avacor offers hair regrowth products, such as Avacor Physicians Formulation®, which is FDA approved and clinically shown to regrow hair in as little as two months’ time.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line is that when your hair starts to thin, there are several roads to trying to halt hair loss and restore your hair back to its former glory. Whether you try a home remedy, use products like Avacor’s line of hair care and regrowth products, or use medical approaches, you can take steps to restore what you have lost. Determining which method is the right method for you is up to your personal preferences and how many remedies you want to try.
Though there is not scientific data to back up the home remedies, they have shown to be effective for the individuals who promote them and they may very well be a legitimate means of hair regrowth for you, if you wish to try them. Likewise, a product like Avacor, which has been shown in studies to be effective and has worked for tens of thousands of customers, may not work for a small percentage of people. Hair regrowth and treatment of hair loss can be a process of trial and error. Discuss your options with your doctor – but remember: you get to decide which treatment you want to try. At the very least, be sure to maintain a healthy diet to promote body (and hair!) health and maintenance.
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Hair loss happens for a variety of reasons, many of which you have control over. We all know that diet and exercise play an important role to the health of your body, but it is important to understand how to keep your hair healthy and strong. The stronger your hair is, the less likely it is to begin falling out or shedding. In other words, if you actively try to keep your hair strong and healthy, you have less of a chance of experiencing hair loss.
Some causes of hair loss include diet and mineral deficiency, your genealogy, increased stress, how you care for your hair, and even what you wear.
Diet. Eating a healthy and well balanced meal can help strengthen your hair and prevent hair loss. Specifically, eat foods that contain a lot of iron, protein, B vitamins, and vitamins A, C, and E, such as fresh fruits, dark green vegetables, poultry, and beans. These provide nutrients to your hair follicles. Consider vitamins or supplements if needed. Hair follicles that receive these nutrients will remain strong and will typically produce hair for longer periods of time than follicles that receive inadequate nutrition. Also, drink the proper amount of water each day to keep your head and body moisturized and hydrated. Usually, this is 64 ounces for adults.
Hair Care. The shampoo, conditioner, and other products you use on your hair also can affect how strong your hair and hair follicles are, and can either prevent or increase hair loss likelihood. Use a shampoo that is designed to promote hair health and prevent hair loss, and use a conditioner that adds moisture and volume to your hair, such as the Avacor hair care products. Also, avoid hair products that add a lot of weight to your hair, or cause it to become crusty or brittle. Use a towel to pat down your hair, rather than rubbing, and avoid using a blow dryer if you can. The heat from blow dryers can make your hair weaker and more brittle. Lastly, use a soft bristle brush.
Sleep and Stress. Believe it or not, you can also help strengthen your hair by getting the proper amount of sleep, as well as doing what you can to avoid excess stress in your life. According to WebMD, the proper amount of sleep varies from person to person, but is usually somewhere in between 7 and 9 hours for adults. A lack of sleep causes your body to work overtime, which means less energy is able to be sent to your scalp to produce and grow hair. Stress is unavoidable for most of us, though we do have the ability to limit or control the stress we encounter. If you find yourself overly stressed out, try to avoid overextending yourself with commitments. Also, take time to reduce stress through yoga, meditation, exercise, or just some scheduled downtime to relax or do something you enjoy.
Hats. Hats and helmets, as well as other hair accessories like hair ties, can also weaken your hair. Avoid wearing hats every day if possible, and do not us a hair tie that is so tight that it pulls out your hair.
Taking care of your hair follicles, and your body in general, can go a long way in helping to strengthen your hair and prevent hair loss. However, in some cases, hair loss will occur, despite your efforts to stop it. If you are experiencing hair loss and wish to treat it, consider Avacor’s FDA-approved hair growth products to combat hair loss and help you regrow a natural, full head of hair.
Facial hair is unique to men and serves a variety of purposes. For some, it provides warmth, especially when working outside. For others, it is a natural accessory to complete a look. Some men use facial hair as a status symbol, especially by younger men to try to look older or more mature. And in some cultures, growing facial hair is expected.
Facial hair, like the hair on your head, should be groomed. How often you groom it is up to you, but if you let it grow without any care or attention, you will end up with a bushy, tangled beard. For some guys, this type of beard is exactly the look they are going for. If you do choose to grow facial hair, there are a few grooming and styling tips to keep in mind.
Styles. There are a variety of styles of facial hair. Beards, goatees, mustaches, and sideburns are the most common. Some men do a type of goatee/mustache/sideburn combination, while others grow a full beard. Some men change their facial hair look frequently, altering from clean shaven to various facial hair styles, while others grow and maintain facial hair for years or decades. If you are unsure what will look best on you, there are a variety of apps that allow you to preview different facial hair styles on a photo of your face.
Trimming. Trimming your facial hair is an important part of grooming and styling. How often you trim it is up to you and the look you are going for. Some men trim or shave their face daily, while others let it go for a few days or even weeks before they clean it up. Most men with facial hair still shave or use clippers to get rid of at least some of the hair. For a beard, you might put shaving cream on your face, trace your jawline, and shave everything underneath. You might do the same for sideburns or goatees, tracing the shape of the style and shaving everything else off.
One popular method for trimming facial hair is giving it a fade. Use the shortest setting on your trimmer or clipper for the bottom quarter-inch of your beard, then use the second-shortest setting on the next quarter-inch up, and so on as you move up your neck and face. Try to blend in the different lengths so you cannot see lines where you changed clipper settings.
Maintenance. Facial hair, like the hair on your head, should be cared for and maintained. This will help it look better, as well as give you healthier facial hair to match your healthy head of hair. Every time you wash your face in the shower, use a small amount of shampoo on your beard, followed by a dime-size dab of moisturizing conditioner that you leave in for about 10 seconds before rinsing. Conditioner helps your face avoid drying out and helps with dandruff from your facial hair.
Other Tips. Keep beards even and trimmed for a more professional look. For sideburns, don’t let them go more than an inch wide. For the most part, keep them at mid-ear level, though you can go a bit longer if you have a long and thin face. Do not let them grow past your ear. Also, grow facial hair that will accentuate your face shape. For example, a thick mustache is a nice way to cover up a large philtrum (space between your upper lip and nose). A short scruffy beard gives more depth to a skinny face, and a square bottom beard can help hide double chins or a thick face. Goatees help elongate round faces. Whatever style you choose, make sure it’s one you feel good about.
Hereditary Hair loss can affect both men and women. It is caused by genetics, and hormones and the aging process also play a role. The medical condition of hereditary hair loss affects many. In women it is called Androgenetic Alopecia, and affects 30 million alone. For men is it commonly referred to as balding, or receding hairlines, but the condition is called male pattern baldness.
Fact: “Hair loss effects 30 million women”
The condition can be caused by a number of different genetic factors so it can come from the mother’s or father’s side, can skip generations, and affects all ethnicities. Male pattern baldness and androgenetic alopecia is caused by the hair follicle going through a progression of miniaturizing, and leading to a shortening of the hair cycle and eventually all together shutting down growth.
Fact: “40% of men experience hair loss”
About 40% of men and women will experience some type of hair loss as they get older. Men usually start in their 20’s-30’s and women more often after menopause. Hereditary hair loss is unlike other hair loss symptoms.
Fact: “100 hairs lost per day, on average”
An average person can lose up to 100 hairs per day, or even more due to illnesses, childbirth, or other conditions. With male pattern baldness and androgenetic alopecia, the hair falls out more in a pattern. In men, hair loss begins at the temples or crown. In women it can be more throughout but typically begins at the top and goes down the middle around the part. These conditions are typically diagnosed by the pattern, and also looking at family history.
Prevention and Treatment
Hereditary hair loss is very common and also treatable. Since hair loss is a progressive condition, the sooner it is treated the better the success. The hair cycle slows down and eventually will stop growing altogether. There are a number of different treatments and options out there. Checking a family tree from both sides can often predispose any conditions. If treatments is started early enough, the slowing down of the condition could be highly affected. Hair loss with this medical condition is permanent. Once the hair stops growing completely it is irreversible.
The #1 treatment option for men is a product with Minoxidil. Avacor Physicians Formulation® for Men can show the reduction of hair loss and improving of hair regrowth in as little as two months time. For women experiencing hair loss or thinning Avacor Physicians Formulation® for Women that can show results in as little as four months. In more extreme cases hair transplantation and seeing a dermatologist is another option.
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Exercise and eating the right foods are the keys to a healthy lifestyle. We all know that. But how does exercise affect your hair health, hair loss, or hair regrowth? The answer might surprise you.
In general, exercise can help you maintain a healthy head of hair, and even help your body regrow hair. Regular exercise increases general health and circulation in your body. Increased circulation can stimulate growth in hair follicles. Also, exercise helps reduce stress in your life, and reduced stress helps with overall scalp health, according to Livestrong.com. So, if you exercise regularly, you are doing yourself—and your hair—a favor, right?
The answer might not be so simple.
Too much exercise, or overexertion, is actually bad for your hair. Excessive exercise causes a state of chronic stress in your body, according to author and nutritionist Ann Louise Gittleman. Chronic stress is a leading cause of telogen effluvium (TE), a condition that causes premature resting and shedding in hair follicles, according to the American Hair Loss Association. In addition, eHow.com explains that extreme bodybuilding and other extreme exercise activities can produce more dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which causes baldness in men. Conversely, mild exercise, like regular jogging or cardio, can help reduce DHT.
However, there is one form of mild exercise or cardio to think twice about if you are conscious about your hair health: swimming in pools. Most pools contain chlorine. The chlorine is there to keep the pools clean, but it can cause your hair to become dry and eventually break or shed. If swimming is your favorite form of exercise, you can avoid chlorine damage by wetting your hair with non-chlorinated water before getting in the pool (i.e., a locker room shower), so your hair absorbs the normal water, rather than the chlorinated water. Also, get out every 30 minutes or so and rinse the chlorinated water out of your hair. Wear a swim cap, and wash your hair after swimming with proper hair care products.
Another thing to keep in mind about exercise is that it causes you to sweat. Salty, heavy sweat build up on your head can cause faster shedding or other damage to your hair. The Harvard School of Public Health advises that you can combat this damage by using mild, pH-balanced shampoo and moisturizing protein conditioner at least once a week. Avacor offers both Thickening Shampoo and Volumizing Conditioner to help combat hair loss and stimulate hair regrowth. Avoid using hot hair tools as well, such as blow driers and curling irons.
The bottom line: exercise regularly, but avoid over-exercising or extreme exercise activities, and take good care of your hair with the proper hair care products. If you are eating healthy and exercising regularly, but still experiencing hair loss, consider using Avacor Physician's Formulation, an FDA-Approved hair re-growth product clinically proven to revitalize hair follicles and help you grow back hair.
Photo courtesy of Menscosmo.com
Have you ever wondered why some babies might experience hair loss or thinning hair at such a young age? Some babies are born with little or no hair, while others are born with a thick head of hair. Many babies born with hair lose it within the months following birth, so the baby might have less hair at 6 or 12 months than they did when they were born. Other babies born with little or no hair might have thicker hair when they reach the 6 or 12 month mark, and some babies may appear bald throughout infancy and into early childhood.
The first thing to remember is that your baby's thinning hair (or lack of hair) is rarely a cause for concern, unless the baby's scalp or hair shafts look abnormal. Talk to your pediatrician and ask questions to give you peace of mind, but remember: it is completely normal for babies to lose their hair soon after birth, or to be born bald.
Next, it is important to understand that all human hair naturally goes through a growth cycle, including baby hair. At the end of this growth cycle, old hair sheds to make room for new hair. Sometimes, the shedding occurs before new hair begins to show, while in other cases, the new hair pushes the hair out of the follicle as it grows.
This growth cycle is the primary reason why some babies are born with hair and lose it, as well as why some babies are born with no hair. Simply put, the hair on a newborn's head starts going through the growth cycle before the baby is born. Babies born with a full head of hair have hair that is farther along in the growth cycle. Most of those babies begin to lose that hair soon after birth because the hair sheds to make room for new hair. The new hair may take several months to grow back, which can cause some parents to be concerned over why their new baby, who was born with a lot of hair, is now suddenly bald. Again, this is a common situation, but consult your pediatrician if you are concerned.
Babies born bald might have hair follicles that have not yet entered the phase of the hair growth cycle when hair appears on top of the head. Or, they might have already shed some hair while still in the womb.
Pediatrician Dr. Alan Greene indicates that most babies go through two hair cycles during the first year. For some babies, the old hair sheds at the same time the new hair begins to grow, so it appears as though they never lose any hair. When the cycles are spread out longer over time, the baby appears bald in between the two cycles. However, some baby hair takes longer to enter the second cycle—sometimes as long as 18 months—meaning the baby might not grow visible hair until he or she is a toddler.
Genetics and ethnicity also play a role in a baby's head of hair. They affect the amount of hair a baby has when born and during infancy, the timing of the hair growth cycles, and the texture of the baby's hair. The bottom line is, hair cycles in babies vary significantly, and periodic baldness throughout the first few years of life are rarely a cause for concern.
Photo Courtesy of Infantcrisis.org
You are what you eat. We all know that eating healthy is good for your body. But what about your hair? You may be surprised that what you eat also impacts the health of your hair. Food provides nutrients to our bodies, which are used to help grow fingernails, toenails, new skin, and hair.
Specifically, foods that have high levels of protein and iron can impact how thick and healthy your hair is. Here are some great foods to incorporate into your diet to promote a healthy head of hair, according to WebMD:
Salmon contains a lot of omega-3 fatty acids, which promote strong scalp health and help avoid a dry scalp. It also contains protein, iron, and vitamin B-12. If you don't like salmon, or don't eat fish, try 1-2 tablespoons a day of ground flaxseed.
Dark green veggies like spinach, broccoli, and Swiss chard provide a natural hair conditioner called sebum, produced from the high levels of vitamins A and C found in these foods. They also contain iron and calcium.
Beans provide ample amounts of protein for hair growth, as well as iron, zinc, and biotin. Mix it up with kidney beans, lentils, and other types of beans.
Nuts should also be on your regular menu. Brazil nuts provide selenium, a mineral that helps create a healthy scalp, while walnuts create natural hair conditioners from fatty acids. Reach for the cashews, pecans, and almonds as well, which all have zinc (zinc helps you avoid hair shedding).
Poultry, like chicken and turkey, provides a high quality protein, which helps maintain a healthy head of hair. A lack of protein, or a low quality protein, can lead to thinner hair, or a loss of hair color.
Eggs are also a great source of protein, as well as biotin and vitamin B-12. They are also versatile; you can cook them in a variety of ways and incorporate them into many different meals (not just breakfast).
Whole grains supply your body and hair with zinc, iron, and B vitamins. Opt for whole-wheat bread and whole-grain cereals.
Oysters have a high level of zinc. They also have a reputation for being a strong aphrodisiac, so give them a try! If oysters just aren't your thing, try beef or lamb instead.
Low-fat dairy products, including skim milk, cottage cheese, and yogurt, contain a lot of calcium, which is a vital mineral for hair growth. They also contain whey and casein, both of which are great natural proteins.
Carrots are delicious, and provide a great source of vitamin A, which helps create a healthy scalp.
AskMen mentions a few other great foods that promote healthy hair. For example, raisins contain iron, which helps manufacture hemoglobin, which in turn ensures your scalp receives enough blood to stimulate hair growth. Potatoes, when baked or boiled (with the skin on), are a much better alternative to greasy fried potatoes, which contribute to hair loss.
Lastly, it is worth mentioning that while all of these products can help stimulate hair growth and create healthy hair, they are not cures or treatments for baldness or thinning hair. Avacor Physician's Formulation is an FDA-Approved hair restoration treatment clinically proven to revitalize hair follicles and help you grow back hair. Use as directed, and for best results, combine the treatment with healthy, balanced meals. Who knew you could eat your way to healthy hair?
Many people experience hair loss, thinning hair, or baldness at some point in life, and seek some form of treatment to help stop or reverse hair loss. Several different products are available, from "snake oils" to FDA-Approved products like Avacor Physician's Formulation®. Finasteride, which has the brand name "Propecia," is another treatment option. Avacor Physician's Formulation does not use Propecia as an ingredient for a variety of reasons. One of those reasons is because Propecia usage often leads to some negative sexual side effects for men. The drug is not FDA-Approved for women to use, though women who do use it are also putting their health (and the health of future children) at risk.
Loss of Libido. Some men who have taken Propecia have reported a reduced sex drive. Propecia blocks androgen, a hormone similar to testosterone. Androgen is needed for men to have a healthy sex drive.
Erectile Dysfunction. Propecia might also cause erectile dysfunction in men. Again, this is due to reduced androgen levels caused by Propecia.
Lower Sperm Count. A study by Dr. Ray Sahelian, M.D., concluded that Propecia can result in a lower sperm count in men than before they began using the drug. This can also lead to lower ejaculate levels. The study indicated that the sperm count decreased when Propecia treatment began, then increased in the months immediately after the test subject stopped taking the drug.
Depression. Depression is typically caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain. While it is not a sexual side effect, some people that have taken Propecia have reported increased symptoms or signs of depression. People who have already been diagnosed with depression should be especially careful with Propecia.
Some men who have taken Propecia also indicate that additional side effects include weight gain and muscle damage.
Side Effects for Women. Although the FDA does not allow prescribing Propecia to women to treat hair loss, some women still manage to get the drug to combat female pattern baldness or excess body and facial hair. However, the side effects can be even worse for women than men. Pregnant women should especially avoid Propecia; even touching the drug can be dangerous to the woman and child. Women who might become pregnant (i.e., most adult women) should use the same caution.
Professor Abdulmaged M. Traish from Boston University, who specializes in biochemistry and urology, indicated that almost everyone who uses Propecia to treat hair loss experiences some of these side effects, though the symptoms are more drastic for some than in others.
Perhaps the worst part about these side effects is that for some people, the side effects continue, even after Propecia treatment stops. Professor Traish called these prolonged side effects "a life sentence." With risks like these, you should consider seeking other treatment options than Propecia, such as Avacor Physician's Formulation.