Hair loss has been an issue for centuries, but scientific ways to treat hair loss began to take off in the past 60 or so years. Ointments, transplants, formulations, chemicals, snake oils, and many other products have emerged in the hair loss treatment markets, some of which work well, others which do not. When choosing a hair regrowth treatment, it is important to understand whether a product or method is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), whether it will treat your specific situation, and whether the treatment has any side effects that could be potentially hazardous to your overall physical or emotional health.
Hair follicles are self-regenerating; they produce strands of hair, shed it, and reproduce new hair constantly. However, at some point, the hair follicle stops producing new hair, or produces new hair at a slower rate than the hair is shed, causing hair loss and sometimes baldness. It is this concept that must be understood when creating new ways to treat hair loss. All hair loss treatments aim to assist (or in some cases, replace) hair follicles in producing new hair, whether naturally or synthetically.
As far as hair treatments from a lab go, two main drugs have emerged as the leaders in treating hair loss. Minoxidil slows hair loss and promotes hair growth when used correctly. It helps to maintain the hair you have, and is most effective when used in the earlier stages of hair loss, as opposed to when you are bald or close to it. The other drug commonly used is Propecia. Unlike Minoxidil, which has proven effective for both men and women, Propecia only works on men, because it works to stop male hormones (testosterone) from forming DHT, which shortens the hair growth phase. Several studies have revealed that Propecia produces more side effects than Minoxidil, including loss of sex drive, and several other side effects. (Avacor® hair loss treatment products use Minoxidil and are specifically formulated for men and women).
Men looking to treat hair loss can use one or both of these drugs. However, neither will be effective unless used correctly, as directed by the product.
Surgeries are another way people treat hair loss, and are an $800 Million industry in the U.S. alone, and a $2 Billion industry worldwide, according to the Wall Street Journal. Hair transplants have developed significantly over the last several decades. In the 1980s, large grafts of hair follicles were removed from one area of the head and inserted onto the area experiencing hair loss. The procedure was often painful and the results were mixed; in some cases, hair transplants were quite successful, but not for everyone. Results took a long time to look natural as well. Scalp reduction is another out of date procedure that involved several small incisions on the scalp, which left visible scars.
Nowadays, hair transplant surgery is less invasive than before, requiring much smaller grafts of just one to four hairs. These smaller grafts are less painful and invasive, and have a more natural look since the areas are smaller and more close together.
The Next Evolution: Hair Follicle Regeneration
The new wave of hair loss treatment is hair follicle regeneration. This is essentially a jump start for hair follicles that have stopped or slowed new hair production. Several labs and companies are working on this process, and have seen success manipulating hair follicle stem cells in a test tube. Some companies are experimenting with removing human hair follicles and growing them in a lab. The idea is that if the hair follicles can be re-stimulated using science, then reinserted onto a person’s head, the hair follicles will begin working properly again, growing hair naturally and combating hair loss. This takes hair transplant procedures to the next level by expanding the number of new hair follicles you receive from a hair transplant.
Some people have referred to this process as “hair cloning,” but this is not an entirely accurate description, since the process does not create a new organism. Rather, it is a duplication effort that puts follicles that have the potential to produce new hair into implants that stimulate new growth. M.D. George Cotsarelis predicts this new transplant process is between 5 and 10 years from becoming publicly available.
Another recent development in the hair loss treatment world is a new gene called “Sonic hedgehog.” This gene essentially is able to convert hair in the resting stage into new hair growth. Scientists are still in the early stages of experimenting with this gene (and others) to try to control hair follicle size and the growth rate for new hair. If successful, it could become a powerful and popular new way to treat hair loss. Similar experiments are occurring as you read this article in labs all over the world. Using genetics to treat hair loss is similar to how scientists are using genetics to treat disease and other human conditions. These processes and procedures are constantly being updated, and like many other areas of treatment, scientists are paving the way toward new and improved hair loss remedies.
According to the Wall Street Journal, vitamin D is crucial to hair regrowth. Thus, many efforts to develop new hair loss treatments focus around adding more vitamin D into a person’s diet. In addition to stimulating hair growth, vitamin D also has other benefits for the body, such as improving bone growth. However, too much vitamin D can also cause kidney issues or general weakness, so take care not to overdo it. In many cases, simply changing your diet can actually help with hair loss. Adding the proper amount of vitamin D into your diet from fatty fish and sunlight can help you treat hair loss naturally.
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.
Written by Caitlin - Follow Caitlin on Google+
In general, people are stressed. We stress about work, we stress about relationships, we stress about money, we stress about family and friends and traffic and long lines at the grocery store. We stress about getting married, having kids, and the importance of a proper work-life balance.
Photo from Synchealth.com
We stress about what to make for dinner. Stress is a part of daily life for nearly everyone. Many media sources do their best to remind us that stress is bad for our health and could lead to premature signs of aging, increased risk of disease, and an untimely demise. Not to mention wrinkles and thinning hair.
Wait – Thinning Hair? Can Stress Really Do That?
In a word, yes. In a few more words, it’s not that simple. There is an important distinction between emotional stress and physiological stress. Working against an unexpected deadline at work, fighting with a friend or family member, and having to stand in line at the grocery store can cause you stress, but these are relatively short-lived emotional stressors. Bigger stressors, such as the stress of getting married, having a child, losing a loved one, losing or gaining a large amount of weight, living in an abusive situation, or getting divorced can cause deeper physiological stress on your body, which can manifest in poor health and impact your body – including your hormones, mental functioning, skin, nails, and hair. There is indeed some truth to the belief that stress can cause hair loss.
Hair loss can often be a consequence of excessive physiological stress, which can be brought on by a variety of sources, such as:
- Crash diets and malnutrition
- Chronic stress
- Eating disorders
- Pregnancy and childbirth
- Rapid weight gain or loss
- Starting or stopping a medication
- Surgery, illness (especially with a high fever), or injury
Note that these aren’t the small-picture emotional stressors of daily life, like running late or waiting in a long line. Physiological stressors have a deeper reach and impact on your health.
When stress-related hair loss strikes, it isn't necessarily permanent. Mayo Clinic psychiatrist Dr. Daniel Hall-Flavin purports that there are three types of hair loss typically associated with high levels of physiological stress: Alopecia areata, Telogen effluvium, and Trichotillomania.
Alopecia areata is a condition in which the white blood cells, or leukocytes, of the body’s immune system attack the body’s hair follicles, leading to bald spots on the scalp. Alopecia totalis is hair loss of this type on the entirety of the scalp, and Alopecia universalis is the autoimmune loss of hair from the entire body.
Telogen effluvium refers to the telogen phase, also called the resting phase, of the hair follicle. Severe stress can interrupt the hair’s growth cycle and cause mass shedding of hairs that have entered the telogen phase.
According to a featured article on medical website WebMD, the average head has 120,000 to 150,000 strands of hair, around 100 of which are naturally shed every day. Approximately 90% of hairs growing on your head are in a growing phase for two to three years at a time before entering the resting (telogen) stage for up to four months before falling out so a new hair can replace it. Telogen effluvium occurs when a physiological stressor interrupts the hair’s natural schedule, causing a large amount of hairs to rest at once, which then fall out three to four months later according to the hair cycle’s regular schedule. This type of hair loss will correct itself provided the stressor causing the effect is removed.
Trichotillomania, or trichotillosis, is an impulse control disorder characterized by the uncontrollable urge to pull out one’s own hair, from the scalp, face, or other areas. In many cases, trichotillomania is triggered by stress or depression. Trichotillomania in young adults and adults can be treated with behavior therapy, psychiatric intervention, and medication if needed. Often the hair-pulling behavior ceases when other underlying issues are treated.
Besides these three conditions that cause hair loss, your body may simply be taking a break from hair growth. It is not uncommon to experience hair loss after a major surgery, recovery from an illness or high fever, or childbirth – because your body is paying more attention to your recovery from the medical trauma instead of growing your hair. Since hair is not necessary to survival, the body may shut down hair production in times of excessive stress. Though this is normal, it may still be beneficial to check with your doctor to rule out any other causes of hair loss that might be medically relevant.
Many women experiencing postpartum hair loss, and others experiencing temporary hair loss, benefit from some cosmetic styling tips to reduce the appearance of thinning hair. Headbands and scarves can camouflage thinning hair, as can changing your style and switching to a side-part or using volumizing mousse to add fullness and texture. The appearance of thinning hair can be hidden with a new haircut that focuses on volume and fullness to your hairstyle.
While some hair loss may be unavoidable as the body’s response to serious physiological stress, you can take steps to reduce the impact stress has on your life. The following tips can help you manage your overall stress so that big events don’t have such a profound effect on your body.
Take care of your physical needs
- Sleep: Lack of sleep leads to fatigue and increased stress levels. Getting a full night’s sleep on a regular basis will help prevent and manage stress.
- Eat: Eat a healthy, balanced diet. Don’t skip breakfast, and make sure you are getting all the necessary nutrients you need, from whole foods and vitamin supplements if needed. Avoid refined sugars and excess caffeine, which can disturb your sleep patterns.
- Move: Regular exercise helps to reduce the effects of stress on the body and will help you feel more healthy. Aim for thirty minutes each day; even exercise as simple as walking will make an impact on your health and stress levels.
- Avoid toxins: Don’t overindulge in toxic substances like alcohol, cigarettes, and other drugs. Taking care of your body with a balanced diet, exercise, and adequate sleep will do a better job of reducing stress levels in the long-term than drinking or smoking.
- Know your warning signs: Knowing the small signs of stress, such as migraine headaches, restless sleep, or fluctuations in appetite, can give you a clue that it might be a good idea to check in with your doctor or take steps to improve your stress reduction techniques.
Take care of your emotional needs
- Relax: Set aside regular time every day to focus on yourself and not worry about outside worries. Whether this is part of your daily walk, shower, or bedtime ritual, it is important to spend time relaxing and focusing on your own needs. This will help you stay in touch with yourself in regard to the stressors in your life.
- Have fun: Incorporate your hobbies and favorite leisuretime activities into your regular schedule. A major cause of chronic stress that can take a toll on your body is feeling like you are overwhelmed with obligations. Taking time to do something you enjoy will help you stay connected to your own needs.
- Talk about it: Identify people in your social circle, like a friend, relative, or coworker, who is able to listen to you when you need to talk about stress. Having someone to talk to about your stress can help manage it so it doesn’t get out of hand and negatively affect your health.
- Say no: If you are overwhelmed with obligations and commitments, turn some down to reclaim some of your time and energy for yourself.
- Manage time: If your to-do list gets out of hand, devise a new time management strategy that can improve your efficiency and help you keep better track of your commitments. Often, this small bit of organization can go a long way to managing daily stress levels.
- Cut ties: If people in your life are detracting value or adding stress, take a break from them, or remove them from your life entirely.
- Avoid triggers: If you know that a certain topic or activity triggers stress or anxiety, whether it is talking about politics or playing cards, do your best to avoid that particular activity in order to reduce the stress that is attached to it.
Stress happens to everyone, every day. The difference between each person is how they manage the stressors in their life. Stress and its physiological manifestations can often be a circular problem: excessive worry and stress may cause you to pay less attention to your diet, which may lead to nutrient deficiency, which leads to stress, which can manifest in poor sleep or exercise habits, creating more and more stress until you want to pull your hair out – or your body does it for you. Take control of your stress before it controls you, and you will be much better prepared to handle the profound stresses life brings your way.
Written by Caitlin - Follow Caitlin on Google+
Everyone wants thick, healthy hair with good volume and luxurious texture. But what about those of us with fine or thinning hair? Is there a way to thicken hair to get that desirable volume?
Photo from Mensciencemagazine.com
The answer is yes; there are many ways to volumize and thicken hair. There are commercial products available, many natural home remedies you can concoct yourself, styling tips for volumizing hair, and healthy choices you can make in your diet to boost hair health.
What Makes Hair Thin?
Thinning hair can be caused by a number of factors, such as genetics, medication, stress, poor diet, medical conditions, and even the way you style your hair.
You inherit your hair from your family. This could mean generally fine or limp hair, or it could mean male or female pattern baldness. Genetics means that you can’t change the root cause of your hair loss or limp hair, but you can try some of the DIY or commercially-available products outlined below to improve the volume and thickness of your hair.
Certain medical conditions and medications can also increase your risk of hair loss or thinning hair. Hormonal conditions – such as diabetes, polycystic ovarian syndrome, or thyroid disease – can cause your hair to thin and become finer in texture and volume. Medications such as acne medicines, antidepressants, blood thinning medications, diet or weight loss pills, and hormonal contraception have been known to result in thinning of hair in some patients. Pay attention to your hair when you start a new medication and discuss any hair loss (or other side effects) with your doctor. It may be possible to switch to another medication to avoid the thinning of your hair. Always consult your doctor regarding any unusual hair loss if you suspect an underlying medical cause.
Lifestyle & Emotional Stress
Lifestyle factors can impact your hair's health – stress, poor diet, and lack of exercise can take their toll on your body, including your hair. By incorporating healthy decisions into your lifestyle and managing your stress (often a result of a balanced diet and a habit of exercise), you may be able to take control of your thinning hair and restore lost thickness and volume. Large stressors – such as giving birth, going through a divorce, experiencing the death of a family member or friend, or other significant stressful event – can actually interrupt the growth cycle of your hair and lead to temporary hair loss that should correct itself several months after the stress has passed.
Your hair's thinning may also be the result of years of harsh styling practices. Chemical processes, such as bleaching, dying, relaxing, or perming of the hair, can also lead to hair loss over an extended time. The use of heated hair appliances like flat-irons and blow-dryers can also be detrimental to your hair’s health and lead to hair loss. If you get hair extensions, repeated pulling of hair near the scalp can lead to hair loss along the crown of the head. Be kind to your hair to keep it healthy longer.
Nutrition and Your Hair
The first line of defense against hair loss or thinning is to make sure your body is happy and healthy. Your hair depends on key nutrients you can incorporate into your diet, such as:
- Omega-3 fatty acids
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin B-5
- Vitamin B-12
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin H (Biotin)
These nutrients can be found in plants (fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and seeds), animal sources (red meat, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy), and as supplements (in chewable tablets, liquid drops, or pill form). In particular, salmon, walnuts, spinach, eggs, greek yogurt, and sweet potatoes are all good sources of many of these nutrients. It is possible to get these necessary nutrients with a vegetarian or vegan diet if you do not eat foods from animal sources, however.
Style Your Way to Voluminous Hair
Though some styling products can lead to hair loss, it is possible to style your hair to appear thicker. To style your hair with your hair's health in mind, start by drying wet hair with an absorbent towel. Be careful to gently blot at your hair instead of briskly rubbing, which can stretch and tear your strands. If you use a blow dryer, use a diffuser to keep the dryer from overheating your hair, or dry your hair using the cool air setting. You can also mix up blow drying and air drying, giving half your dry time to each method.
Combing or brushing wet hair can stretch and snap individual hairs, so gently comb out tangles with a wide-toothed comb instead of quickly brushing and pulling at wet or damp hair.
To style for additional volume, start by flipping your hair over your head and blow drying or towel drying it in that position. This will push your hair opposite the way it normally hangs and create volume. You can also style with commercially-available volumizing or thickening products, which will be discussed below. Using curlers or rollers can also increase the volume of your hair. If you are looking for a haircut to increase volume, ask your stylist for a layered cut.
Take care to not over-wash your hair, as frequent washing will strip your hair of its necessary oils and lead to your hair becoming brittle. Also, avoid using waxy products if you have thin hair, as they tend to weight down hair and make it flat instead of adding volume.
Natural Home Remedies to Thicken Hair
There are many home remedies you can take advantage of to thicken your hair without the use of commercial products. You can apply a gelatin solution (one package in ½ cup warm water), egg (beaten, rinsed out with cool water), or honey (approximately 2 tablespoons, rinsed with hot water) to your hair and scalp, let sit for about fifteen minutes, then rinse and shampoo as usual. You can also make a hair mask from banana and avocado to nourish hair and improve volume. Adding epsom salts to your regular conditioner (it’s easier to mix if you warm it up first) can also improve volume when used as a hair mask before your shower. Search DIY websites like Pinterest for more ideas to create homemade haircare and other beauty products.
Commercial Hair Thickening Products
There are plenty of products on the market that claim to provide thickness and volume to limp or thinning hair. How do these products work? Thickeners are cosmetic products with the goal of making your hair appear thicker and fuller – they do not re-grow hair that has been lost.
- Powder thickeners electrostatically bond to your hair, giving a thicker appearance, but they can be easily transferred by heavy wind, rain, or even being rubbed by your hands or clothing.
- Moisturizing products such as shampoo and conditioners, thickening oil treatments, and other volumizing products thicken hair by plumping up the hair shaft with moisture, which temporarily makes the hair stand up for more body.
- Aerosol thickeners are colored products sprayed onto thinning hair, where they dry with a strong bond and give the appearance of fuller hair.
Boost! Your Hair's Volume
Avacor® offers an array of thickening hair products to treat your hair to the luxurious volume it deserves. Whether your hair is thinning or you just want some extra volume, Avacor has a product that can help you. Avacor Boost! Hair Thickening Serum can help add volume to thinning hair. Our Thickening Shampoo helps add volume and body to hair.
Healthy, Thick Hair Can Be Yours
Thin hair happens. Many things can lead to thinning hair, hair loss, and generally fine-textured hair – like genetics, medical reasons, diet, stress, and other factors. But you don’t have to resign yourself to life with thin, limp hair. And you don’t need to buy a wig, though that’s certainly an option if you’re interested.
Whether you can counteract your thin hair with changes in your dietary habits, changes in your medications, some homemade thickening recipes, or commercial hair care products, you can get healthy, thick hair with excellent body and volume. If nothing else, you can get a hair cut that maximizes volume and style your hair in ways that maximize its fullness and body. There are many resources available to promote hair health – whether you consult your doctor or the Internet. Be sure to browse our website to see what our volumizing and thickening hair care products can do for you.
If you have a favorite tip for hair volume or general hair care, leave us a note in the comments section!
Written by Caitlin - Follow Caitlin on Google+
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.
What You Need to Know
Have you encountered hair falling problem while brushing your hair? Then, days go by and you notice your hair is getting thinner each time you comb it. This occurrence has made you wonder what could have been the reason to your hair loss. The truth is that there are many reasons why you are losing your hair. One of these would be depression. Stress and anxiety are also some of the reasons why you are experiencing hair loss. Unfortunately, some people take anti-depressants to relieve them from the debilitating symptoms of stress and anxiety. Little do they realize that these medications will only worsen their hair loss problem.
What is Telogen Effluvium?
Telogen effluvium is a hair loss type which is caused by anti-depressants intake. It usually occurs every time the body is pressured or stressed. It can also occur during pregnancy. Some people’s hair loss are also caused by other pre existing medical conditions such as mental depression, malnutrition, and other medicines aside from anti-depressants. These conditions can cause our hair follicles to enter the telogen stage earlier than the usual. Telogen stage is sometimes referred to as the resting phase. When more of these hair follicles are on the telogen stage more hair also shed. Thus, hair loss occurs. When hair follicles are on a resting phase, the amount of growing hair is lesser compared to the amount of hair being pulled out. This is true especially when an individual is brushing or combing her hair. Thyroid problems caused by lithium are also pointed out as one of the reasons why anti-depressants are associated with hair loss problem.
Is This Type of Hair Loss Incurable?
Fortunately, telogen effluvium is curable. This goes to say that you may not have it for the rest of your life. In most cases, those people who suffered from this type of hair loss had completely recovered within six months after reducing the anti-depressants they take.
Does My Anti-Depressant Cause Hair Loss?
Not all anti-depressants can cause hair loss. However, we must not ignore the fact that these anti-depressants do have adverse side effects aside from hair loss. There are several factors which need to be considered when trying to figure out the cause of your hair loss. If you happen to be on medication by these anti-depressants, one way to determine whether your anti-depressants cause your hair loss is to stop the medication. After you stop taking the anti-depressants, you must then observe if your hair grows back and if the amount of falling hair has reduced. If you think your anti-depressants are the main cause for your hair loss, make conscious efforts to discontinue the medication. However, you must first consult your health care professional before stopping or reducing the dosage of any medications you are taking.
What Can I Do To Make My Hair Grow Again?
Aside from discontinuing your anti-depressants intake, just let your hair grow in time. There is really not much that you can do to treat your hair loss caused by these anti-depressants. Even though it will not immediately grow back, rest assured that your hair will eventually grow again. Time heals all wounds, so does your hair loss problem. If you’re really embarrassed to go out with your thinning hair, you can wear a wig for the mean time. It will make you look and feel better. This is the safest thing to do while waiting for your hair to grow back.
What Else Can I Do if I Cannot Stop My Anti-Depressant Intake?
There are some options you can do if you really need to continue your medication despite your hair loss problem. One option is to lessen the dosage of your anti-depressant and allow your hair to grow back. This is a slow process. However, it will solve the problem in a certain way. Another option that you can do is to change the brand of your medicine to a generic version. Generics usually have milder ingredients than those branded ones that caused your hair loss. If both options are inapplicable and you can hardly deal with your hair loss dilemma, you will have to talk to your doctor about it. Ask your doctor for some other remedies for your depression, stress or anxiety rather than just relying solely on anti-depressants.
The truth is that there are so many ways to treat your stress and anxiety aside from just taking in anti-depressants. If possible, try all natural means of relieving those symptoms of depression, stress and anxiety. This way, you will not have to suffer from hair loss and other side effects of anti-depressants.
About the Author:
Ryan Rivera used to suffer from anxiety attacks for seven years. He now advocates healthy living as the best weapon against stress, anxiety and depression. You can read more of his articles at Calm Clinic.
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.
It has been known for many years that taking Propecia to treat hair loss can cause a variety of sexual side effects, including loss of sex drive, erectile dysfunction, and reduced sperm count, as well as other side effects like depression. However, a recent Good Morning America report concludes that sometimes, these side effects continue long after men stop taking Propecia. In some cases, the side effects are permanent.
The report introduces a man who began taking Propecia in his late 20s to combat his hair loss. He said he planned on taking the drug for less than a year, starting in May 2011. Just a few months later in October, he said he had lost his sex drive completely and was impotent. He had also experienced shrinking genitals and a constant mental fog, so his doctor advised him to stop taking Propecia, which he did.
However, nothing changed after he stopped taking Propecia. In fact, the side effects continued to get worse and more severe.
A study by Dr. Michael Irwig and George Washington University among men under 40 who had taken Propecia for various periods of time indicates that 96% of the men interviewed had experienced continued side effects for over a year after stopping Propecia treatment. Dr. Irwig, cited in the Good Morning America story, expressed his concerns that these side effects may even be permanent for some men.
Unfortunately, the side effects are not just sexual. The man interviewed for the Good Morning America story also reported long-lasting mental and emotional side effects that caused his fiancé to end their engagement and resulted in him losing his job. He talked about how significantly his mental and emotional state has changed since taking Propecia. Before taking the drug, he was active at home, work, and at the gym, but now, after taking and then stopping Propecia treatment, he has a hard time motivating himself to do much of anything. Another man in his late 20s reported anxiety and depression after taking the drug for just four months, and the symptoms worsened after he stopped Propecia treatment. In some cases, the neurological side effects of Propecia can be more harmful than the sexual side effects.
Both men interviewed in the story have joined several others in a class action lawsuit against the drug company that originally developed Propecia.
Know the Risks
If you are taking Propecia, or are considering treatment, you should think twice about whether the risks involved are worth it. While most men do not experience long term side effects, thousands of men around the world will experience these symptoms as a result of taking the drug, so you are putting your mental and physical health at risk.
It's well known that over production of Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) leads to hair loss. Propecia is a DHT inhibitor and thus has proven itself to be a treatment for hair loss. However, Propecia has also shown that it may inhibit DHT so much so that it can change a man's behavior.
As an alternative to treat and reverse hair loss, consider the Avacor® All Natural Nutricap, offering a way to combat hair loss and maintain healthy hair completely naturally. This product contains only natural herbs, vitamins, and organic extracts. You can also begin treatment with Avacor Physicians Formulation®, an FDA-Approved hair loss treatment containing Minoxidil, which does not use Propecia or Finasteride (another name for Propecia) as an ingredient.
A few months ago we talked about babies and baldness. This week we'll focus on what parents should expect for their new born.
Let’s face it – new parents have a lot on their plates. Sleepless nights, new schedules, and taking care of a tiny baby gives parents plenty to think about. But what about baby hair? What should you expect? The short answer is this: there is no single answer. Baby hair is different from one infant to the next. Regardless, it’s important to understand what is normal when it comes to your new baby’s hair, including newborn hair loss and growth.
Will My Baby Have Hair?
Some babies are born bald, some have a little hair, and some have a lot of hair. Some babies even have patches of hair. All of these scenarios and anything in between is totally normal. It is hard to predict whether your baby will have hair when he or she arrives. However, chances are, if the baby has hair, he or she will lose it fairly soon.
Newborn Hair Loss
Babies typically lose whatever hair they have within the first six months of life. The hair growth cycle starts before we are born, so when a baby is born with a full head of hair, that baby is further along in the hair growth cycle than bald babies. However, hair can stop growing due to hormonal changes, and after a baby is born, their hormone levels drop. This hormonal change leads to hair shedding. Interestingly, a mother’s hormones change after giving birth, and some new moms temporarily experience hair loss as well.
Most babies lose their hair in the first six months, but it does grow back. Exactly when it grows back, however, varies from infant to infant. Some will regrow their hair right away, while other babies do not grow new hair until they are almost two years old. Once a baby starts growing back new hair, the hair might be a completely different color and/or texture than the original hair. If your baby is getting older but has not start to grow new hair, do not fret. If you notice patches or bald spots once the hair starts to grow back, it may be because of how your baby sleeps or sits. Again, just be patient; it will fill in.
Baby Hair Care
Just like adults, it is important for babies to receive proper and healthy hair care. For starters, avoid washing your baby’s hair every day. When you do wash it, use a tear-free shampoo, and gently massage a small amount onto the top of the head. As the hair grows, use a soft bristled brush or comb to avoid knots or tangles. Also, avoid strong head bands or hair ties, as too much force can hurt the baby and pull out hair. When necessary, trim the hair carefully so it doesn’t get in your baby’s eyes. Never use chemicals or hair regrowth products on newborns.
Signs to Watch For
While rare, there are signs to watch for if you notice sudden or constant hair loss, or if your baby’s hair does not grow back, especially as they become toddlers. Look for red flaky scalp patches, or black spots where hair has fallen off. Also, watch your baby closely to make sure he or she isn’t pulling out the hair. Consult your pediatrician if you notice either of these symptoms. But again, understand that hair loss and prolonged regrowth is totally normal, so if your baby’s head and scalp are healthy, and your baby is healthy, then you probably have nothing to worry about.
Image courtesy of Babyzone.com
A woman's body is an orchestration of hormones. Women have Estrogen and Progesterone from their ovaries. Cortisol, Testosterone, and DHEA from adrenal glands. All of these hormones and their balance play an essential role in women's health, body and hair.
Before we dive too deep into the hormone itself, it is a good idea to look at how stress affects women. Stress can come from everyday life, work, kids, marriage etc. Surgeries, severe illnesses, dramatic weight loss, or other emotional traumas can take a toll on the body. Stress can cause a person to lose hair regardless of hormones or if they are predestined to do so or not. In situations when it is hereditary, this can accelerate the process. In most cases these situations can be helped if not reversed over a period of time.
High Stress Leads to Hair Loss
There are three different types of hair loss that can be associated with high stress. Alopecia Areata can be caused by high levels of stress, but also illnesses such as anemia and thyroid abnormalities. With this condition, white blood cells attack the hair follicle, stop hair growth and will make the hair fall out. Telogen Effluvium is another type and can also be caused by stress forcing large numbers of hairs into a resting phase. Within a few months the hairs will eventually begin to fall out. The last type is Trichotillomania. This is a severe case where stress causes a person an irresistible urge to pull out their hair. When an individual experiences intense stress it can affect the stress hormones within the body. The body will take these signals and transmit them to the hair follicles. Sometimes it will be affected immediately, other times the condition will become worse after the period of time has ended.
Now that we know how stress affects women and what it can do to the body and hair, it is important to learn why. When everything is right, the body sends signals to create the perfect amount of DHEA and Progesterone. This helps with immunity, cancer prevention, and reproduction. When conditions are not right, or when "stress" comes into play, the body senses that and sends signals to the building blocks to create more of the hormone Cortisol. Cortisol is a short term, deal with things later, kind of hormone. If the body is producing the maximum amount of Cortisol possible, then it steals from the other hormones. Estrogen and Progesterone cannot be there at the same time and are therefore diminish. The more stressed the body becomes, the more Cortisol released.
So what exactly is Cortisol?
It is a hormone that helps convert fats and proteins into energy. It keeps you awake and helps prevent lack of fatigue. It balances electrolytes, heartbeat, and blood pressure. It also aids in the reduction of inflammation. If a woman has the perfect amount of Cortisol it is protective and restorative. If there is a high level in a woman’s body it can destroy muscles and bones. It slows down regeneration, growth, metabolism, endocrine function, and weakens the immune system.
Reduce Stress and Regrow Hair
It is very important for your health, body, and hair to try and find a way to decrease the stress in your life. Whether it be changing your lifestyle, yoga, talking to a psychiatrist, going for a walk, everyone needs to find their own way. A Cortisol test can also be done to test the level of the hormone in your blood. Cortisol is made by the adrenal glands and tests can find problems with this or the pituitary gland.
Once you find a problem, there is always a solution. The effects that have been caused by high levels of stress hormones can be temporary and fixed. Know that hair loss caused by increased Cortisol is short term and can be reversed.
Photo from Drmommyonline.com