Approximately 5% of Israelis, 4% of Swedes, and 3% of Americans are vegans. Veganism, a severely restrictive eating plan that avoids beef, pork, poultry, seafood, eggs, and dairy products, is increasing in popularity among millennials worldwide. Vegans only consume plant-based foods, such as grains, legumes, nuts, fruits, and vegetables.
Vegans adopt this prohibitive eating plan for health, ethical, and religious reasons. The vegan diet’s elimination of several food groups results in severe nutritional deficiencies. These nutritional deficiencies cause adverse health effects in people practicing this austere eating plan. Excessive hair loss is claimed to be an adverse health effect of the vegan diet. Does the vegan diet make you lose your hair?
Why People Become Vegan
Veganism is not a new diet fad or fringe movement. Veganism, or eating a plant-only diet, has been in existence for more than 5,000 years, with the dietary practice originating in the Indian subcontinent. For millennia, people practiced veganism for health, moral, and spiritual reasons.
Many people adopt veganism and avoid eating animal products and byproducts to minimize animal suffering and exploitation. Others avoid eating food derived from animals to promote bodily and spiritual purity. A well-balanced vegan diet that supplies your body with all the nutrients it needs can be a very healthy eating plan.
A well-balanced vegan diet can have many health benefits, such as a decreased risk for obesity, type-2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. While there are many advantages to eating a plant-only diet, an unbalanced vegan diet can cause severe nutritional deficiencies, resulting in a variety of health issues such as hair loss.
Why Does Veganism Cause Hair Loss?
A typical vegan diet is low caloric and deficient in vital nutrients. Veganism eliminates meat, chicken, seafood, eggs, and dairy from your diet, depriving your body of critical nutrients needed for healthy hair growth. A typical vegan diet is deficient in vital nutrients such as protein, iron, and iodine.
Further, as many food groups are eliminated from the vegan diet, your caloric intake is considerably reduced, leading to rapid and drastic weight loss. The combination of low caloric intake and insufficient nutrient consumption wreaks havoc on your body, triggering your body to alter its normal functioning to sustain your survival.
When your body encounters severe nutritional deficiency, it takes scarce nutrients away from non-essential bodily functions and allocates them to essential bodily functions to sustain your survival. Hair is not an essential bodily tissue, meaning your body can survive without it. Even if you’re only minimally deficient in a nutrient, your body withholds this nutrient from your hair first because hair renewal and growth are not essential bodily functions.
When deprived of crucial nutrients, your body withholds these critical nutrients from non-essential bodily functions such as hair renewal and growth. Instead, your body will allocate these scarce nutrients to vital organs to promote essential bodily functions. As a result, you experience excessive hair loss as your body deprives your hair follicles of the critical nutrients it needs for hair maintenance and growth.
In addition, the vegan diet’s inherent low caloric regimen exerts tremendous stress on your body, triggering excessive hair loss. This sudden and excessive hair loss resulting from physiological stress is known as Telogen Effluvium (TE) in the medical community. Telogen effluvium is a temporary and reversible hair loss resulting from severe physiological or emotional stress, shock, or a traumatic event.
Severe nutritional deficiency, drug use, serious illness, surgery, or childbirth are some of the causes of telogen effluvium. When your body is under severe stress, it forces hair follicles from the active growth phase to the resting phase. In the resting phase, your hair begins to shed rapidly, resulting in noticeable hair thinning from all over your scalp. An unbalanced vegan diet imposes considerable physiological stress on your body, triggering stress-related hair loss.
How to Prevent Hair Loss on a Vegan Diet?
Fortunately, hair loss caused by the vegan diet is reversible and preventable. A vegan diet is low in calories and deficient in crucial nutrients needed for healthy hair. A typical vegan diet lacks adequate protein, iron, and iodine.
A well-balanced vegan diet that supplies your body with all the energy and essential nutrients it needs is beneficial for your health and promotes healthy hair growth. The following approaches will help prevent hair loss on a vegan diet:
Maintain a Healthy Caloric Intake
When you go vegan, you cut out most food groups from your diet, resulting in very limited food options. With limited food options to eat, you lose weight suddenly and rapidly on a vegan diet. This sudden and rapid weight loss shocks your physiological system and imposes considerable stress on your body, triggering stress-related hair loss.
To prevent stress-related hair loss on a vegan diet, make sure you are consuming enough calories to avoid shocking and exerting stress on your body. The recommended caloric intake for adult women is 2,000 calories per day. The recommended caloric intake for adult men is 2,500 calories per day.
Nuts, nut butters, vegetable oils, and dried fruits are ultra-nutritious and high-calorie, vegan-friendly foods you can consume daily to increase your caloric intake.
1 cup (146 grams | 5.15 ounces) of raw peanuts = 828 calories
2 tablespoons of almond butter = 202 calories
2 tablespoons of olive oil = 238 calories
(100 grams | 3.5 ounces) of dates = 277 calories
1 cup (250 grams | 8.8 ounces) of dried apricots = 213 calories
Consume Sufficient Protein
Protein is an essential macronutrient your body needs for cellular repair, growth, and maintenance. Proteins form the building blocks of your bodily tissues.
Proteins, themselves, are made up of smaller units called amino acids. Amino acids are divided into two categories: essential and non-essential amino acids. Your body produces all the non-essential amino acids it needs, but it can’t produce essential amino acids. Therefore, you must obtain essential amino acids from your diet. Foods that contain all the nine essential amino acids are called a complete protein.
A vegan diet is typically low in protein as it eliminates protein-rich foods such as meat, poultry, eggs, seafood, and dairy from your diet. Hair is made up of a fibrous structural protein called Keratin. When you don’t consume enough protein, your body stops hair growth, or produces very low-quality hair to conserve protein for more important bodily functions. As a result, a typical low protein vegan diet causes hair loss, or forces hair follicles to produce very low-quality hair, leading to dull, brittle hair that easily breaks off.
The average daily protein requirement is 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight, or 0.36 grams per pound of body weight. Vegans can consume many plant-derived, complete proteins to satisfy their daily protein requirements.
Vegans can consume plant-based complete proteins such as soybeans, quinoa, tofu, spirulina, tempeh, buckwheat, and edamame to meet their daily protein requirements. These plant-based complete proteins supply your body with all the nine essential amino acids it needs to perform its functions optimally.
(85 grams | 3 ounces) of tempeh = 11 grams of protein
One tablespoon of spirulina = 4 grams of protein
One cup (172 grams | 6 ounces) of roasted soybeans = 68 grams of protein
(85 grams | 3 ounces) of tofu = 8 grams of protein
While it’s always better to obtain nutrients from your diet, you can add more protein to your diet by taking a vegan-friendly protein supplement daily. A vegan-friendly protein supplement supplies your body with adequate protein and all the essential amino acids it needs to perform its essential functions.
Consume Adequate Iron
The medical community has known for decades that iron deficiency causes hair loss. Iron is one of the most vital nutrients required for your survival. Your body needs iron to make hemoglobin, a metalloprotein substance inside your red blood cells that transports oxygen throughout your body.
When you are iron deficient, you produce less hemoglobin, leading to reduced oxygen levels within your body. This life-threatening medical condition is known as iron-deficiency anemia. Iron deficiency triggers your body into survival mode.
In survival mode, your body allocates oxygen and other crucial nutrients to vital organs to enhance your chances of survival. To maximize your chances of survival, your body will deprive oxygen and other critical nutrients from non-essential bodily functions, such as hair renewal and growth. Consequently, your hair follicles will be deprived of oxygen and other critical nutrients. As a result, hair falls out in clumps due to insufficient nutrition.
To prevent hair loss on a vegan diet, make sure you consume adequate iron to supply your body with the optimal amounts of oxygen it needs. The recommended daily allowance for iron consumption is 8 mg for adult men, 18 mg for menstruating women, 27 mg for pregnant women, 10 mg for breastfeeding women, and 8 mg for menopausal women.
White beans, lentils, spinach, tofu, kidney beans, and chickpeas are rich sources of plant-derived iron. To further increase your iron intake, you can take an iron supplement with vitamin C to enhance iron absorption.
Increase Intake of L-Lysine
L-Lysine is an essential amino acid that plays a vital role in the health of your hair. L-Lysine promotes hair health by enhancing the absorption and retention of iron, increasing iron storage levels in your body.
Studies have shown that iron supplementation with inadequate L-Lysine consumption does not increase iron stores in your body. Insufficient consumption of L-Lysine leads to depleted iron stores in your body, resulting in hair loss due to iron deficiency. The daily requirement for L-Lysine consumption is 1,000 milligrams, or 1 gram per day.
Plant-derived sources of L-Lysine include soybeans, peas, lentils, kidney beans, and chickpeas.
Iodine is essential for optimal thyroid function and healthy hair as your thyroid hormones regulate the growth and repair of your hair follicles. Your thyroid glands use iodine to make thyroid hormones, which are responsible for cellular growth and repair, and metabolism regulation. Insufficient iodine intake can lead to thyroid function disorder, which can adversely affect the health of your hair follicles.
The adverse effects of thyroid function disorder on the growth and maintenance of hair follicles can result in hair loss over time. Iodine is typically found in seafood and dairy products. As a result, vegan diets, in general, are insufficient in iodine. To increase your iodine intake on a vegan diet, consume iodized salt, or eat plant-based sources of iodine, such as seaweed.
A vegan diet can be a very healthy eating plan if it supplies your body with all the energy and nutrients it needs to perform its essential functions. Plenty of studies corroborate the health benefits of a well-balanced vegan diet, such as a decreased risk for obesity, heart disease, type-2 diabetes, hypertension, and high cholesterol.
However, due to its severely restrictive regimen, the typical vegan diet can wreak havoc on your body and cause several adverse health effects, such as excessive hair loss. You can be vegan and still keep your hair if you eat a nutritious vegan diet to nourish your body and provide it with all the energy and nutrients it needs to perform its essential functions optimally.
You need sufficient iron to survive. Iron is one of the most vital mineral micronutrients your body needs to perform its most essential biological functions. Your body needs iron to make DNA, promote cellular growth, produce energy, and make hemoglobin to transport oxygen to every cell.
Approximately 0.005% of your body is composed of iron, most of it stored in your hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is a red substance inside your red blood cells that consists of iron and protein. This vital metalloprotein substance is responsible for transporting oxygen from your lungs to the rest of your body. Every cell in your body will use this oxygen to perform aerobic respiration, which is the generation of energy to power essential metabolic functions.
Your body needs iron in sufficient quantities to make hemoglobin. When you don’t consume enough iron, your body can’t make sufficient hemoglobin. When you don’t have sufficient amounts of hemoglobin in your blood, less oxygen is transported throughout your body. This life-threatening medical condition, called iron-deficiency anemia, can be deadly.
Iron deficiency is a very common nutritional deficiency, with children, menstruating women, and people on specific diets or medical conditions having a higher risk of getting afflicted with the disease. Iron-deficiency anemia has plenty of adverse health effects, such as shortness of breath, heart palpitations, and excessive hair loss.
Why Does Iron-Deficiency Anemia Cause Hair Loss?
Your body needs iron to make hemoglobin, a metalloprotein molecule that transports oxygen to all your cells. Your cells use this oxygen along with glucose to generate energy so they can power their essential functions. Your hair-producing cells also need energy for repair, maintenance, and growth of your hair.
Hair maintenance and growth are not essential biological functions, meaning they do not contribute to enhancing your chances of survival. When your body is under stress due to a nutrient deficiency, your body will withhold that scarce nutrient from your hair, and allocate it to other essential bodily functions to maximize your chances of survival.
When you are iron deficient, your cells don’t receive enough oxygen. With inadequate oxygen, your cells are incapable of generating energy to power their essential functions. This situation exerts tremendous stress on your body, triggering your system to switch into survival mode.
In survival mode, your body deprives oxygen and other critical nutrients from non-essential tissues such as your hair, and allocates these essential nutrients to your vital organs, such as your brain, heart, and lungs, to help maximize your chances of survival. When your hair cells are deprived of oxygen, they cannot produce the energy they need for maintaining the normal hair growth and renewal cycle.
With inadequate energy to power their essential functions, your hair-producing cells will stop hair maintenance and growth. Your hair maintenance and growth cycle will come to an abrupt halt, resulting in severe hair loss.
A handful of research conducted over the past 40 years has revealed iron-deficiency anemia to trigger sudden and excessive hair loss. Iron-deficiency anemia can trigger diffuse or pattern hair loss.
A Korean study conducted in 2013 to examine the effect of iron deficiency on hair health found premenopausal women suffering from female-pattern hair loss had much lower iron reserves compared to premenopausal women with optimal hair health.
In women, pattern hair loss occurs on the top and crown of the head, while pattern hair loss in men occurs on the temples and crown of the head. Fortunately, hair loss caused by iron-deficiency anemia is reversible once the condition is diagnosed and treated.
Symptoms of Iron-Deficiency Anemia
Iron-deficiency anemia is a life-threatening condition that is accompanied by a plethora of adverse and dangerous health effects. Your symptoms will vary depending on the severity of your iron deficiency. Some common symptoms of iron-deficiency anemia are:
Shortness of breath
Fast heartbeat and heart palpitations
Weakness, fatigue, and lack of energy
Lightheadedness, dizziness, and headache
Cold hands and feet
If you have the typical symptoms of iron-deficiency anemia, and are noticing an unusual increase in your hair shedding rate, you must visit a physician as soon as possible to get tested for iron-deficiency anemia.
Your physician will conduct a complete blood count (CBC) test to examine your red blood cell, hemoglobin, and ferritin (stored iron) levels in your blood. If you are diagnosed with iron-deficiency anemia, your physician will recommend various treatment options to remedy your condition.
Treatment for Iron-Deficiency Anemia
Fortunately, hair loss triggered by iron-deficiency anemia is temporary and reversible once the condition is treated, and your iron levels are restored to ideal levels. Treatment options for iron-deficiency anemia include diet modifications, supplements, and intravenous iron infusion to reverse iron deficiency and supply your body with adequate iron.
To supply your body with adequate iron, you must obtain iron from food or supplements to satisfy your body’s iron needs. The recommended daily intake for iron is 8 mg for adult men, 8 mg for menopausal women, 18 mg for menstruating women, 27 mg for pregnant women, and 10 mg for breastfeeding women.
Below are effective treatment options for reversing your anemia-related hair loss:
To reverse hair loss caused by iron-deficiency anemia, you must consume an iron-rich diet to supply your body with all the iron it needs to perform its essential functions. Iron-rich foods include beef, chicken, liver, lentils, beans, tofu, and spinach.
Iron in food is available in two forms: heme and nonheme iron.
Heme iron is found in meat, poultry, and seafood, while non-heme iron is found in plant-based food, such as legumes, nuts, and leafy greens. Heme iron is readily and easily absorbed by your body, while non-heme iron has a lower bioavailability as it is less efficiently absorbed by your body.
To enhance non-heme iron absorption, consume non-heme iron with vitamin C rich food, such as citrus fruits, broccoli, and tomatoes.
If you think your diet alone can’t satisfy your body’s daily iron needs, you can take iron supplements to increase your iron intake. Iron supplements are an affordable way to supply your body with extra iron when you need it.
Iron supplements come in different forms, such as liquids, chewable tablets, regular tablets, and capsules. Iron supplements are best absorbed in a highly acidic stomach environment. As a result, iron supplements are best absorbed on an empty stomach, or along with vitamin C.
Do not take iron supplements with antacids, milk, calcium, caffeine, or high fiber foods, as these foods and nutrients inhibit iron absorption by your body.
Consult with your physician about the daily dosage and duration of iron supplement intake, as excessive iron intake can also be detrimental to your health. You should notice an improvement in your health within two months of taking iron supplements. Your doctor might recommend taking iron supplements for six more months to build up your iron reserves and prevent anemia from returning.
To build up your iron reserves, you should also increase your L-Lysine intake. L-Lysine is an essential amino acid that plays a significant role in iron absorption and retention, increasing iron storage levels in your body. Inadequate L-Lysine consumption depletes the iron stores of your cells, causing iron-deficiency anemia.
Studies have revealed that adequate iron intake with inadequate L-Lysine consumption does not increase the iron stores of your cells. To enhance iron absorption and retention, you must consume at least 1,000 milligrams, or 1 gram of L-Lysine per day. Rich sources of L-Lysine include red meat, eggs, cheese, soybeans, and spirulina.
L-Lysine is also available as supplements, in the form of capsules, tablets, and liquids.
Intravenous Iron Infusion
Intravenous iron infusion is an iron restoration procedure that delivers iron to your body through a needle injected into your vein. This procedure is recommended for patients who need iron immediately to prevent a medical emergency, or anemic patients who can’t take iron orally.
This iron restoration procedure is performed in a clinical setting. Intravenous iron infusion therapy is performed in several sessions until the patient’s iron needs reach an ideal level.
Intravenous iron therapy works faster than dietary modification and supplements to replenish your iron stores and cure your iron-deficiency anemia. You will notice the results of the treatment within a few weeks of receiving the final procedure.
Iron is a crucial micronutrient that is vital for your survival. Iron is necessary for transporting oxygen to your cells so your cells can produce energy to power their metabolic functions. Insufficient iron levels in your body can be a life-threatening condition that leads to plenty of adverse health effects.
The first victim of iron-deficiency anemia will be your hair, as your body allocates oxygen to your vital organs and deprives it of your hair. Fortunately, iron-deficiency hair loss does not damage your hair follicles, so the hair loss is temporary and reversible once the condition is treated.
Your kitchen drawers and pantry is already stuffed with many ingredients for great DIY hair care. you can benefit from them and give a boost in your hair appearance. DIY hair care at home invites simplicity to your home and fewer harmful chemicals in your personal hair care routines.
There are self-made options like shampoo, deep conditioner hair mask, spray and oil you can benefit from. You can simply go DIY and don’t get entangled between millions of hair products and many trials and errors. Instead, you take the charge and nourish your hair with the essentials.
If you are a novice in the world of DIY hair care, we highly recommend you never start with the hair mask. The reason is that insufficient and inconsistent using of self-made hair masks can lead to more damage to your hair. If you are a beginner in the world of DIY hair care the most secure practice is to only go for simple combinations. And only apply a DIY hair mask if your hair is damaged or it’s very dry. Basically, if it is lifeless.
If you see the need for a hair mask at home, be sensitive about the result of each combination. For instance, if you want to strengthen the follicle and the roots of your hair, put a DIY hair mask into your at-home hair care routine with this effect but remember to have a follow-up step. Since a DIY strengthening hair mask will dry out the strands you need to bring more moisture to the hair right after. So you should never apply a strengthening hair mask solely. In this case, you should apply a deep conditioning DIY hair mask right after.
other crucial aspects you need to pay attention to that will make a huge signification to the quality of your hair are how to apply a DIY hair mask and when to apply it.
Another highly important consideration is that unlike your favorite shampoo use all the DIY hair cares periodically and orderly. The ideal purposeful DIY hair care routine gives the hair a one-week rest then changes up your routine. In week three use the tea and oil version of DIY hair care bases, then extend that to 10 days. Give your hair 4 to 7 days rest.
Now in week five apply a DIY hair mask to your hairs. This DIY hair care routine gives you the optimum result you wish and the best part is that you can control every single ingredient and demand exactly what you wish to see for your hair. So, we recommend you have a calendar for your DIY hair care treatments since you are the boss of your hair care game!
In terms of application, it is very important that you don’t trust all the tools of application. That is with the exception of your hand since it is the most trustworthy tool. If you comb already masked hair which is heavy, you will bring more probability of hair fall to your hair. the chance of hair fall goes higher, basically, you are pulling the hair instead of giving them a space to nourish! While applying a DIY hair care treatment remember to coat the mixture evenly and thoroughly. And massage your hair right after.
1- Diagnosing weak hair
Weak hair can come in many forms and turn into a detrimental aspect of self-image. It may raise many other medical concerns as well. In either case, things should be changed no doubt in that.
To do this Take a look at your hair in the mirror. Do you see thin, droopy and limp hair that is extremely dry? or the other way around they are very oily and volumeless? these are all the indication of weak hair.
You need to pay attention to the type of hair that falls. If a strand of hair falls with the bulb attached to it. And the number of hair fall is around 100 and at most 150 then you would consider this as normal. However, if you see breakage on the end and hair fall is not from the root. On top of that, there are many split ends and hair shafts break, then your hair is in an abnormal situation.
Great Natural ingredients for hair
Hair masks are highly potent and they are effective methods to supply your hair with as many health benefits as you can. They are easy to make, and you take control of the ingredients. In this way, you can provide nutrients for your hair in less than 30 minutes.
If you use the right kind of ingredient you can free your hair from the chemicals and pesticides. Strawberry is a superfood for strands of hair, simply a combination of rich ingredients like this with banana, coconut oil and lemon can refresh up your hair to the maximum.
Honey will retain the moisture in the hair strands. This means that your hair will soak up all the moisture from the pores and honey will seal them up. This will lessen the amount of moisture scape.
Pure honey is an emollient. This means that you have more shine in your hair by using this natural conditioner. You can make a super easy DIY deep nourishing mask at home with just one tablespoon of coconut oil and one tablespoon of honey. This mask is super easy since you just need to just mix these two and heat them mildly in the microwave. Apply it to the hair and keep that in this condition for 15 to 20 minutes.
Cinnamon and clay hair mask recipe is a good one for antibacterial effect and hair growth. Use 4 teaspoons of clay along with the 2 teaspoons of cinnamon powder, then add one egg yolk and one tablespoon of olive oil to this mixture. Finally, add up half teaspoon cayenne pepper powder to this natural hair mask. This DIY hair mask is targeted for scalp nourishment, so you should apply it to this area and avoid using it on the hair shafts. If you have oily hair this mask would work perfectly or even those who don’t wash their hair regularly can highly benefit from this natural hair mask.
2- Two Easy DIY hair sprays
The hair spray is super beneficial since it gives more control of use and you will lessen your chemical exposure. While managing the component of hair spray, you are actually saving money in the long run. On the other hand, this method of DIY hair care brings you healthier hair and a better environment and surroundings.
You can easily make a chemical-free spray at home. The ration for this is two cups of pure and filtered water.
To this add 8 drops of essential oil that works perfectly with your hair.
And add two tablespoons of lemon juice.
The mixture of essential oil like tea tree essential oil via lemon juice will brighten up your hair and bring more shine the hair- this is the best option for those who have light tone hair color. If you have a dark tone hair color, you can use two tablespoons of orange juice instead. To complete the hair, spray your need a source of conditioning and for that, you can use refined coconut or almond oil- or even any other oil you prefer.
One cup of filtered water
with 2 drops of lavender along with two drops of peppermint and rosemary oil, and a source of vitamin C which could be either lemon or orange based on the color of your hair.
This two DIY hair care spay are great since they are light, you can toss them in your handbag and use them frequently to manage your hair and bring more hydration to the hair shafts.
3- Clay a great DIY hair care
Let’s learn about clay or mud and its benefits for the hair! Clay has marvelous power to remove all the toxin components on the surface of the body. Clay also, has a soothing effect, which means it softens those hairs that are frizzy or have unwanted texture. So don’t overlook the taming ability of clay for the hair. Also, one deep nourishing hair mask with clay will last you up to one week. This natural conditioner has a long-lasting effect on the hair which is the best practice.
You can customize any DIY hair mask with Ayurvedic Clay Wash for your own hair type.
You can easily use the clay wash or Ayurveda mixture of clay wash to your hair as a deep conditioner. For this, you apply the clay of wash of your choice to your hair and massage the scalp to your hair and leave it there for 20 minutes. Then rinse it out. Or a more adjustable and easier way of benefiting from Ayurveda clay wash to add a low viscosities clay mixture to your regular organic conditioner.
Preserving the hair in the best condition requires occasional detoxing.
DIY hair care: Clay wash recipe
Aloe Vera juice plus two tablespoons of aloe Vera powder
Rosewater (one tbsp. minimum. You can add more to reach to the desired thickness)
2 tbsp of Rhassoul clay
If you are about to detox your hair and scalp, it is highly recommended to pay attention to the type of your hair as well as its color. Each natural detoxing ingredient is great for specific hair color.
4- Ayurveda an exclusive DIY hair care regime
If you want to give a deep conditioning hair mask made at home a try, make sure the clay you have in your hand doesn’t get contacted with any kind of metal. For instance, if you want to prepare this mixture in a food processor make sure that it’s bald is not metal.
You can use this mixture for up to one week as it doesn’t need difficult preservation criteria. You can remix it with essential oil or beneficial herbal teas and even add more nourishments to your DIY hair mask.
Ayurveda regimens have been around for a long time. However, it’s comprehensive greatness has remained hidden for a long time. I think it’s time to bring more attention to many natural-based components with Ayurveda in it since this can be the nest best hair treatment and trend on the market.
Similar to many great hair treatments that originate from India, this substance initially was used around 5000 years ago on this land.
The concept of this natural component has philosophical root and it originates from this idea “body and mind are inextricably interconnected. As in the Ayurveda, it is holistic healing mythology with a very long record of usage on its back.
Now that you learned about Ayurveda herbs, the next step is to understand how to implement them into a doable at-home DIY hair care routine. Despite the names you’ve come across in this article, a hair care routine that you can do yourself with these is easy.
Just remember any kind of natural component herb you are about to use it should be in line with the specific need of your hair. This is a crucial aspect that you should take into consideration no matter what. You may go through a couple of trial and error sessions but eventually, you get the result you want.
You can come up with innovative DIY hair care treatments at home just by following this old and credible science. from the point of view of Ayurveda, a very rich concept, the second most vital tissue that is closely linked to the core nerve system and bone marrow is hair. Therefore, it brings attention to this exclusive group of organs more than anything.
To have a beneficial and at-home DIY hair care routine it is crucial to understand about the understand of the effect of the herbs with Ayurveda in them to the variety of hair conditions like the type of the hair, it’s curl patterns, the density as well as porosity and of course hair thickness to have the premium result.
Make sure you fully know about all the different aspects of your hair. Recognize the weakness and the point of strength before deciding on regulating and putting a couple of hair mask into your weekly routine. This way the outcome you receive is predictable. More importantly, it is what you desire.
On the list of ingredients with Ayurveda, there are more than 30 items. The known ones are aloe vera. This ingredient can be a great base for hair care treatment at home. The benefit of these is balancing the PH of the scalp and hydrating the hair. As well as promoting hair growth.
Amalaki or alma can be used both as oil and as a key ingredient for the hair mask. Alma promotes the hair growth, it prevents dandruff on the hair by treating itchy, flaky and dry scalp skin.
A Recipe with dandelion and Amla
Dandelion is a great hair growth stimulant. The root of this furry plant is rich in the vitamins B complex, c, A and E. Dandelion is actually a combination of every hair nourishment component you want to have for your hair. Dandelion as from of tea rinse soothes the scalp, it detangles the hair. In addition to that promotes hair growth.
In this plant, you can find iron, biotin, magnesium, and calcium. A mixture of this with Amla can become magical DIY hair care for the specific need of your hair.
If you have access add 1 to 2 tablespoons of calendula flowers ( this will have an extra soothing effect on your hair)
DIY hair gel: Flaxseed gel for hair
Flaxseed gel is another at-home hair care treatment with wondrous results. It nourishes and strengthens the hair, and drastically prevents hair loss.
In your thought, you might think that this would be a sticky mixture. But if you follow this recipe you will end up with the best DIY hair gel.
One tablespoon of flaxseed
Two cups of filtered water
Lavender hair oil or other essential hair oils
A scented oil like jasmine or rose
You need a jar
Bring the water to the boiling point then add flaxseed to it. Make sure you bring the heat down since flaxseed get burned very quickly. On medium heat stir the mix until all the gel come out of the seeds. Use a pantyhose to separate the gel from the seed. At this point add the essential oils and make this mixture better with a source of antioxidants like tea tree oil. You can use this gel for styling or simply nourishing the ends of your hair.
Parsley spray treatment for hair
You’ve properly used parsley in the dishes you eat regularly. But tea rinse of this or oil can have amazing effects on the hair. This natural ingredient promotes hair regrowth and regulates the blood circulation in the scalp area. The differentiating point of parsley is that this plant contains Melanin. This component protects the hair from sun radiation. It also preserves the color of the hair in the best possible format.
Parsley extract has many health benefits for the hair. This extract can be a great tonic for the hair. In the parsley extract, you can find antioxidants and folic acid. Parsley also can help collagen production and regrowth of healthy hair. You can simply make a DIY hair care spray with parsley extract. give this a try:
Two cups of filtered water
Half cup of parsley extract (Taken from the parsley tea)
¼ cup of rose water
6 to 8 drop of lemongrass essential oil or any other source of vitamin c
Similar to the recipes above you can spray this to your hair on regular bases.
DIY hair care with hops
Initially as beer spice, Hops can be used as a major supplier of antioxidants to the hair and scalp. This property of hop will reduce the amount of hair fall. Additionally, it will bring back the youthful glow to the hair and skin. The mineral and vitamins in this plant will open up the pores on the surface of the scalp. This will increase the possibility of growing new hair. In line with that, it removes the dead skins or dandruff.
A treatment with hops
You can bring hops to your hair care treatment simply by modifying your cleansing routine. Warm-up two or 3 cups of filtered water to and add 3 tablespoons of dried hops. Let the herbs get soaked then strain them out. Now you should rinse your hair with this cleansing liquid with hop extract in it. It significantly helps out to remove the build-ups and prepare a good base for the regrowth of the hairs.
Henna is another ingredient that you can easily add up to your at-home DIY hair care treatment and make a deep hair mask. A hair mask with a base of pure henna or a splash of fresh henna tea or oil will have antibacterial, antimicrobial and astringent properties. All of this helps out to remove the excess oil from the scalp. Any form of Hanna is a super beneficial PH balance, repairing the damaged hair and preventing dandruff. This plant is a highly beneficial and multipurpose base for any kind of hair care at home.
There are some tips and tricks revolving around the correct usage of henna. Certainly with the aim of DIY hair care you don’t want to change the color of your hair. In order to prevent this effect of henna, prior to your treatment you should use penetrating hair oil.
Henna is a wonderful botanical. To get the premium result to purchase the clear botanical henna powder. It is highly recommended to counteract the coloring effect of henna you can use white vinegar as a color-releasing catalyst. Additionally, the use of indigo will prevent the coloring property of henna. And when you want to rinse your hair after DIY hair care with henna makes use to use cold water instead of hot. The reason is that cold water will lessen the coloring effect of henna. And right after coat up your hair with a deep moisturizer. This is a must-do step for those who want to have the thickening and shining effect of henna on their hair.
DIY hair care with henna:
One tsp of henna
One banana or avocado, either of them will do the job.
1 tsp of cold-pressed oil like extra virgin olive oil.
Spray recipe for hair with henna and Amla
1 tsp of henna
1 tsp of Amla
Couple drops of lavender and tea tree essential oil
Dissolve the mixture in lukewarm water. mix well and at night spray to your hair.
Let it sit on your hair for 4 to 12 hours at most.
Make this mixture and let it remain on your hair for at least 4 hours. Then wash up the mixture and don’t forget to condition and moisturize as mentioned above.
These ingredients that are noted in this article have cleansing characteristics aligned with vitamin B complex, E and C. This feature alone turns your DIY hair care treatment into a great antioxidant weapon that fortifies your hair and scalp. So make sure to try these options and modify your hair good care with these homemade hair treatments.
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is the most common hormonal disorder among women of reproductive age in the United States. The disorder is characterized by menstrual irregularity, lack of ovulation, infertility, acne, excessive and abnormal hair growth on the face and body, and elevated androgen levels.
Elevated androgen levels caused by polycystic ovary syndrome stimulate excessive hair growth on women’s face, chest, and back, while triggering hair loss on women’s head. While there is no cure for PCOS-related hair loss, the condition can be managed and alleviated with medication and lifestyle changes.
What is Polycystic Ovary Syndrome?
Every month, your brain signals the follicles in your ovaries to mature and release an egg so it can get fertilized by a sperm. The most mature of these eggs then burst out of their follicles and travel to the fallopian tubes to await fertilization by a sperm.
All the other follicles that did not release an egg are destroyed and eliminated from your reproductive system. This process is repeated every month for women of reproductive age until they reach menopause.
In women with polycystic ovary syndrome, abnormal sex hormone levels in the body disrupt the egg maturation signaling from the brain to the ovaries. As a result, the follicles do not mature to release their eggs, which results in a lack of ovulation.
Your body destroys and eliminates mature follicles after ovulation. In women with PCOS, follicles accumulate in the ovaries due to involution. The accumulated follicles in the ovaries look like cysts in medical imaging, contributing to the term polycystic ovary syndrome.
Polycystic ovary syndrome is a common hormonal disorder, afflicting up to 10% of women aged 18 – 44 years old in the United States. Polycystic ovary syndrome results from an abnormal production of multiple sex hormones, leading to the disruption of many physiological systems in your body.
Most women with polycystic ovary syndrome produce an excess of male sex hormones called androgens, leading to a condition known as hyperandrogenism. Hyperandrogenism triggers virilization, or the development of masculine characteristics in women. Women with PCOS typically experience hirsutism (excessive facial and body hair growth) and male-pattern hair loss on their head.
How to Reduce PCOS-Related Hair Loss?
Polycystic ovary syndrome is a hormonal abnormality resulting from excessive androgen production by your ovaries. Studies have shown that almost 70% of women with polycystic ovary syndrome also suffer from insulin resistance.
Insulin is an anabolic hormone produced by your pancreas to help your muscle, fat, and liver cells absorb glucose from your bloodstream. Your cells need glucose to generate energy to power their metabolic functions.
Insulin resistance is when your cells do not respond to insulin signals, inhibiting your cells’ ability to take in glucose. When your cells don’t take in glucose, glucose floods your bloodstream, leading to high blood sugar.
Your pancreas produces more insulin to help cells absorb the excess sugar from your bloodstream. Excessive insulin in your bloodstream stimulates your ovaries to overproduce androgens, leading to hyperandrogenism in women with polycystic ovary syndrome.
Women with polycystic ovary syndrome lose their hair because of higher than normal male sex hormone levels in their body, resulting in male-pattern balding.
Therapeutic interventions for polycystic ovary syndrome seek to moderate insulin synthesis and lower androgen production to reduce the severity of PCOS symptoms. The following treatment options will reduce insulin or androgen levels in your body, minimizing PCOS-related hair loss:
Almost 80% of women with polycystic ovary syndrome are overweight or obese. Being overweight increases your risk for insulin resistance, which can make your PCOS symptoms much worse. Therefore, losing excess weight and maintaining a healthy weight can help you reduce the severity of PCOS symptoms.
Multiple studies have shown that losing excess weight reduces excessive androgen production by your ovaries, which consequently reduces the symptoms of hyperandrogenism, such as male-pattern hair loss. A Cochrane review of six studies analyzing the effects of weight loss on women with PCOS found weight reduction to be an effective therapy for treating hyperandrogenism.
If you are overweight and suffer from polycystic ovary syndrome, you must try to lose the excess weight in a healthy and gradual manner to minimize hair loss caused by hyperandrogenism.
Reducing your caloric intake and increasing your physical activity can help you lose excess weight gradually and steadily.
The recommended caloric intake for healthy weight loss is 1,500 calories per day for adult women. On 1,500 calories per day, you will lose one to two pounds per week. Aim for no more than four to eight pounds of weight loss per month. Losing excess weight gradually and slowly will help you keep the weight off for a longer duration.
Metformin is an anti-diabetic medication that is used to reduce insulin sensitivity and hyperandrogenism in women with polycystic ovary syndrome.
Insulin plays an important role in regulating ovarian function. Excessive insulin production stimulates your ovaries to overproduce androgens, resulting in hyperandrogenism and its associated symptoms, such as male-pattern hair loss.
Studies have shown Metformin to be very effective at reducing body weight, decreasing insulin resistance, and improving insulin sensitivity. In patients with polycystic ovary syndrome, Metformin consumption for six months reduced circulating androgen levels by up to 50%, and considerably reduced hyperandrogenism’s symptoms.
Metformin is an effective medication for decreasing insulin resistance, and reducing hyperandrogenism’s symptoms, such as male-pattern hair loss in women with polycystic ovary syndrome.
Birth Control Pills
If you wish to treat polycystic ovary syndrome, and do not want to become pregnant, you can consult with your OB-GYN for obtaining the appropriate hormonal contraceptives for treating your condition.
Consuming birth control pills can help lower androgen and increase female sex hormone levels in your body, which helps reduce hyperandrogenism and its associated symptoms. Most birth control pills contain the female sex hormones estrogen and progesterone, which, when consumed, help balance the levels of male and female sex hormones in your body, reducing hair loss caused by hyperandrogenism.
Women experiencing male-pattern hair loss caused by hyperandrogenism can reduce their hair loss by using topical or oral antiandrogen medications. Antiandrogen medications, such as spironolactone, flutamide, and finasteride, can be used to alleviate hyperandrogenism in women with polycystic ovary syndrome.
These medications reduce androgen levels in your body, reducing hyperandrogenism’s symptoms, such as acne, hirsutism, and male-pattern hair loss. Antiandrogen medication must be consumed with birth control pills to prevent pregnancy while on the treatment, as antiandrogen medications can impair the sexual development of a male fetus.
Laparoscopic Ovarian Drilling
Laparoscopic ovarian drilling is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that prevents your ovaries from producing androgens. The surgical procedure uses a surgical needle or laser beam to damage androgen-producing tissue surrounding your ovaries. The damaged androgen-producing tissues can no longer make androgens, resulting in decreased androgen production by your ovaries.
Laparoscopic ovarian drilling is an effective medical treatment for reducing hyperandrogenism in women with polycystic ovarian syndrome. A reduction in the production of androgens by your ovaries reduces the severity of hyperandrogenism-related hair loss.
Polycystic ovary syndrome is a common hormonal disorder in women of reproductive age, causing hyperandrogenism and virilization. Adopting a healthy lifestyle, maintaining an ideal body weight, and consuming medication to lower your androgen levels can help you reduce the severity of polycystic ovary syndrome’s symptoms, resulting in decreased PCOS-related hair loss.
Your hair is the most significant indicator of your youth, health, and wellbeing. It is the first place where signs of aging, illness, and nutritional deficiencies will manifest itself, usually in the form of increased hair loss. Unfortunately, most of us will experience some form of hair loss in our lifetime.
Hair loss can be psychologically devastating, as it adversely impacts your appearance. Being concerned with your appearance and attractiveness is not a matter of vanity. Many studies have shown that attractive people are happier, earn more, and are generally more successful in their personal and professional lives.
Losing your hair can make you feel less desirable and attractive. For men, a full head of hair symbolizes youth, vigor, and virility. In women, long, luscious hair is associated with youth, beauty, fertility, and sexual attractiveness. It is no wonder that hair loss in both men and women causes psychological distress, leading to a decreased sense of self-worth, anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Before we delve into the various causes of hair loss, you need to understand how the normal hair growth and shedding cycle works.
The Hair Growth Cycle
Every hair on your body, including on your head, goes through different phases of growth and shedding cycles. This continuous cycle is known as the hair growth cycle. Every hair on your body will complete this cycle before dying and falling out. The lost hair is replaced with new hair in the same hair follicle. The new hair will undergo the hair growth cycle all over again.
The hair growth cycle consists of three distinct stages: anagen, catagen, and telogen.
Anagen – The anagen phase is the active growth phase of the hair growth cycle. In the anagen phase, the hair is attached to the dermal papilla, being constantly fed and nourished by a streaming blood supply. Streaming blood flow supplies your hair with all the energy and nutrients it needs for optimal health and growth. Under normal circumstances, approximately 90% of the hair on your head is in the anagen phase. The longer your hair remains in the anagen phase, the longer it will grow. Hair remains in the anagen phase for four to six years, before going into the catagen phase.
Catagen – In the catagen phase, also known as the transitional phase, the hair follicle shrinks and disintegrates to rejuvenate itself. The dermal papilla also rests, cutting the hair fiber from vital blood supply that nourished it with energy and nutrients. The hair fiber stops growing due to a lack of energy and nutrients. The shrunken hair follicle starts pushing the dead hair fiber up and out to expel it from the follicle. The catagen phase lasts for two weeks. Approximately 1% of the hair on your head is in the catagen phase. After the catagen phase, the hair fiber enters the telogen phase.
Telogen – In the telogen phase, also known as the shedding phase, the hair follicle becomes dormant and remains in dormancy for one to four months. About 9% of the hairs on your head are in the telogen phase. In the telogen phase, the hair fiber detaches from the hair follicle and sheds.
Under normal circumstances, and in young, healthy individuals, new hair will grow in the same hair follicle to replace the hair that died and fell out. This continuous cycle maintains your overall hair density and volume. But aging, genetics, and many other internal and external factors can disrupt the normal hair growth cycle, leading to temporary or permanent hair loss.
What is Hair Loss?
Hair loss is sudden or gradual hair thinning from your scalp. It can occur suddenly, or develop gradually over your lifetime. The degree and severity of hair loss on your head can vary from hair thinning in patches, to hair thinning from all over your scalp.
There are between 100,000 to 150,000 hair fibers on your head. Under normal circumstances, you lose between 100 to 200 hairs a day. These lost hair fibers are replaced with new hair growth to maintain your hair’s normal volume.
Aging, genetics, diet, hormonal changes, stress, medications, and medical conditions can all affect the health of your hair, disrupting its normal growth cycle, resulting in sudden or gradual hair loss. Hair loss is a common problem, afflicting both men and women at some point in their lifetime. There are different types of hair loss, stemming from different causes.
Hormonal changes, trauma, stress, and nutritional deficiencies cause sudden hair loss. You become aware of sudden hair loss by noticing an unusual increase in hair shedding. Increased hairs fall out after combing or brushing your hair, or you notice more hair in your shower drain after washing your hair. This type of hair loss is usually temporary and reversible, meaning the hair you lost will eventually grow back.
On the other hand, hair loss caused by aging and genetics occurs gradually over your lifetime. Unfortunately, this type of hair loss is permanent, which means the hair you lost will not grow back because of irreversible changes to the physiology of your hair follicles.
Hair Loss Causes
Hair loss is a multifactorial predicament, as many factors can contribute to hair loss. While gradual hair thinning with age is a natural biological development, an unusual and sudden loss of hair is generally indicative of an underlying medical condition.
If you notice your hair falling out more than its regular shedding rate, you must visit a dermatologist as soon as possible to determine the underlying cause of your abnormal hair shedding. Below are some possible reasons why people experience hair loss:
Hair Follicle Aging
Aging ravages your cellular machinery, leading to dysfunctional cells, and consequently, defective tissues and organs. The age-related DNA damage that wreaks havoc on all your cells also wreck your hair stem cells.
Stem cells are progenitor cells that generate new specialized cells throughout our bodies all the time. Hair stem cells are responsible for producing new hair follicle cells, which help promote a young, healthy, and productive hair follicle population.
When you are young, your hair stem cells generate new hair follicles all the time. As you age, the DNA of your hair stem cells sustain repeated injury and damage, making the stem cells dysfunctional over time.
Studies have revealed that hair stem cells are converted to skin cells once damaged. The skin cells are then sloughed off from the surface of your scalp, resulting in a decreased population of active hair follicles. The gradual decline in hair follicle population leads to a decrease in the number of hair fibers on your scalp, contributing to age-related hair thinning, and eventually, partial or full balding over time.
Age-related hair thinning is a natural biological process. This type of hair loss occurs gradually over your lifetime, and it is irreversible and permanent. Unfortunately, there is currently no treatment available to cure age-related hair loss.
Hereditary Hair Loss (Androgenetic Alopecia)
Hereditary pattern hair loss, known by its medical term as Androgenetic Alopecia (AA), is the most common cause of hair loss, especially in men. In men, hereditary pattern hair loss is called male-pattern hair loss (MPHL). In women, the condition is called female-pattern hair loss (FPHL).
Hereditary pattern hair loss occurs gradually over your lifetime. In men, hereditary hair loss starts at the temples and the crown. Eventually, hair disappears from the crown to the frontal scalp, resulting in partial balding. The symptoms of hereditary pattern hair loss in women are gradual and diffuse hair thinning from all over the scalp. Female-pattern hair loss manifests itself as an increased widening in hair parting.
In both men and women, hereditary pattern hair loss is caused by hair follicle miniaturization.
Hair follicle miniaturization is a gradual decrease in the size of hair follicles over an individual’s lifetime, leading to hereditary pattern hair loss. The size of a hair follicle determines the length and density of a hair fiber that it produces. A normal and non-miniaturized hair follicle produces a hair fiber that is thick enough to be seen with a naked eye.
As the hair follicle decreases in size over time, it produces shorter and finer hair. Eventually, it produces a hair fiber so fine that it is unnoticeable. Unfortunately, hair follicle miniaturization is an irreversible process and causes permanent hair loss.
Available treatment options for hair follicle miniaturization and hereditary pattern hair loss generally strive to minimize further hair loss, but they demonstrate limited success in restoring lost hair.
Minoxidil (Rogaine) and finasteride (Propecia) are the only FDA approved medications for treating pattern hair loss. These medications strive to minimize further hair loss and stimulate the regrowth of lost hair.
Minoxidil is an over-the-counter, non-prescription topical treatment that is used to treat pattern hair loss in both men and women. The topical treatment works by dilating your blood vessels, increasing energy, blood, and nutrient flow to your hair follicles. Minoxidil works best if your hair loss has occurred within the past five years.
On the other hand, finasteride is an oral treatment that is used to treat pattern hair loss in men. It works by inhibiting the synthesis of androgen dihydrotestosterone (DHT) to reduce further hair loss and stimulate hair regrowth in men.
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy is another popular treatment for pattern hair loss. The treatment stimulates hair regrowth and reduces further hair loss in both men and women. PRP therapy is a natural and non-invasive treatment that uses platelets derived from your blood to stimulate hair regrowth.
The platelets in your blood contain several growth factors. These growth factors, when injected into your balding spots, will stimulate and nourish the dormant hair follicles in that region to produce thicker and longer hair.
In addition, PRP also repairs damaged blood vessels, and stimulates the regeneration of new blood vessels in the injected sites. This promotes the flow of blood, energy, and nutrients to your hair follicles, maximizing your hair’s growth potential. Plenty of studies have found PRP therapy to be an effective treatment for pattern hair loss.
Hair transplantation surgery is another popular treatment for pattern hair loss. During this surgical procedure, hair follicles that are genetically resistant to balding, such as hair follicles from the back of your head, are surgically extracted and implanted into regions of your scalp that are balding.
The entire process can last from four to eight hours. Most patients will notice new hair growth within six to 9 months of the surgical procedure. Hair transplantation surgery is generally more effective than over-the-counter hair restoration products.
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common hormonal disorder that causes male-pattern hair loss in women. Women with polycystic ovary syndrome produce excessive amounts of androgens (male sex hormones), leading to a condition called hyperandrogenism. Hyperandrogenism causes irregular periods, anovulation, infertility, acne, hirsutism, and male-pattern baldness in women.
While there is no treatment to reverse hair loss caused by polycystic ovary syndrome, you can reduce its severity by adopting a variety of methods to correct and balance your hormone production levels. Available treatment options for reducing PCOS-related hair loss generally work by reducing your androgen levels, and enhancing your female sex hormone levels to minimize your hair loss.
Effective treatments for minimizing PCOS-related hair loss include weight loss, birth control pills, topical and oral antiandrogen medications, and laparoscopic ovarian drilling.
Telogen Effluvium (TE) is sudden hair loss due to a traumatic or stressful event that shocks your physiological system. The shock inflicted on your system disrupts your hair’s normal growth cycle, leading to an abrupt increase in hair loss.
Under normal circumstances, 90% of your hair is in the anagen (active growth) phase, 1% in the catagen (transitional phase), and 9% in the telogen (resting phase). Telogen effluvium forces 50% to 70% of your hair into the telogen phase, where they are shed, resulting in abrupt and excessive hair loss.
Telogen effluvium is one of the most common causes of hair loss, triggering a sudden loss of hair from the top of your scalp, one to six months after a traumatic event. Although telogen effluvium can afflict both men and women, the condition is more prevalent in women.
When you experience hair loss due to telogen effluvium, you suddenly notice an abnormal increase in hair shedding. A traumatic or severely stressful event, serious illness, nutritional deficiency, vitamin toxicity, heavy metal poisoning, thyroid dysfunction, medication, and surgery can all trigger telogen effluvium.
Fortunately, hair loss triggered by telogen effluvium is reversible and temporary. Once the hair loss trigger is identified and treated, your hair growth cycle will resume its normal activities, resulting in hair regrowth within six months.
Your hair needs energy and vital nutrients in sufficient quantities for optimal health and growth. Vitamin toxicity, insufficient calories, lack of protein, iron deficiency, and inadequate iodine can all deteriorate the health of your hair and cause increased hair loss.
Your body regards your hair as a non-essential tissue, meaning your body does not need your hair in order to survive. In times of crisis, your body will not expend any resources to preserve or promote non-essential bodily functions. Hair maintenance and growth are non-essential bodily functions. Therefore, when your body is subjected to shock or stress, your hair is the first bodily tissue to suffer, leading to severe hair loss.
Nutritional overload or deficiency shocks or exerts tremendous stress on your body, triggering severe hair loss. Below are some nutritional factors that can affect the health and growth of your hair:
Consuming insufficient calories, crash dieting, and rapid weight loss shocks your physiological system, exerting tremendous stress on your body. This physiological shock triggers telogen effluvium, or stress-related hair loss.
When your body is alerted of a severe caloric deficiency, it switches into survival mode. During survival mode, your body conserves its scarce energy, and allocates them to essential tissues, organs, and functions to enhance your chances of surviving this crisis. Because hair is not an essential tissue, your body will not expend any resources for hair maintenance and growth during survival mode.
During survival mode, your body will force hair in the active growth phase to the resting phase to preserve energy and nutrients for essential bodily functions. As much as 50% to 70% of your hair can be forced into the resting phase, where they will all shed and fall out.
Fortunately, stress-related hair loss due to insufficient calories is temporary and reversible. You can stop your hair loss if you increase your caloric intake, and aim for a healthy weight loss regimen. If you are on a diet to lose excess weight, aim for a healthy weight loss regimen by losing the excess weight slowly and gradually. To prevent stress-related hair loss on a diet, aim for no more than four to eight pounds of weight loss per month.
Protein is an essential macronutrient your body needs to carry out its essential physiological functions. Your body needs protein for cellular growth, repair, and maintenance.
Protein, itself, is made up of a chain of smaller units called amino acids. Amino acids are divided into two subcategories: essential and non-essential amino acids. Your body is able to make all the non-essential amino acids it needs, but it cannot make the essential amino acids it needs. As a result, you must obtain the essential amino acids your body needs from your diet to supply your body with all the protein it needs to carry out its essential functions.
Hair is made up of dead structural proteins called keratin. When you do not consume adequate protein, your body stops hair growth, or produces very low quality, dull, and brittle hair to preserve protein for more important physiological functions. As a result, you will suffer considerable hair loss due to protein malnutrition. Fortunately, hair loss caused by protein malnutrition is temporary and reversible once adequate protein is consumed.
To promote optimal hair health and growth, you must consume enough protein from your diet. The recommended daily intake of protein for optimal health is 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight, or 0.36 grams per pound of body weight. Meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, and dairy are rich sources of high-quality protein. Vegetarians and vegans are at an increased risk of suffering from hair loss, as their diets eliminate traditional sources of protein from their food plan.
If you are on a vegetarian or vegan diet, you must ensure that your protein consumption is sufficient to satisfy your body’s needs. There are plenty of plant-based complete proteins you can consume to satisfy your body’s daily protein requirement. Rich plant sources of complete proteins include soybeans, tofu, tempeh, quinoa, spirulina, and buckwheat.
While it is better to obtain protein from your diet, you can supplement your diet with additional protein by consuming a vegetarian or vegan-friendly protein supplement to increase your daily protein intake.
Plenty of scientific research over many decades has found that iron deficiency triggers hair loss. Iron is one of the most critical micronutrients your body needs to keep you alive. Your body needs iron in sufficient quantities to make hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is a metalloprotein substance inside your red blood cells that transports oxygen throughout your body.
When your iron intake is inadequate, your body makes less hemoglobin, which results in less oxygen being transported to your tissues and organs. This condition, known as iron-deficiency anemia, alerts your body of an impending crisis. As a result, your body switches into survival mode to help keep you alive.
In survival mode, your body alters all its regular and normal functioning, and rearranges its priorities to maximize your chances of survival. Hair is a non-essential tissue. It does not contribute to increasing your chances of survival. As a result, your hair is the first tissue that will suffer the consequence of iron deficiency.
To maximize your chances of survival, your body will allocate oxygen to your vital organs and deprive them of your hair follicles to help you stay alive during this physiological predicament. As a result, you will experience severe hair loss as your hair follicles are deprived of oxygen.
Fortunately, hair loss triggered by iron deficiency is temporary and reversible once the condition is treated. To reverse your hair loss, you must increase your iron intake to increase hemoglobin production, so all your tissues and organs can receive sufficient oxygen. The recommended daily intake of iron is 18 mg for menstruating women, 27 mg for pregnant women, 10 mg for breastfeeding women, 8 mg for menopausal women, and 8 mg for adult men.
Iron-rich foods include liver, beef, lamb, lentils, tofu, and dried apricots. You can further increase your iron intake by consuming an iron supplement. Make sure your iron supplement contains vitamin C to help enhance iron absorption.
Iodine is an essential micronutrient your body needs to promote optimal thyroid function. Iodine is responsible for producing thyroid hormones, which promote cellular repair and growth, and regulate your metabolism. Iodine is critical for hair health and growth as it regulates the maintenance and rejuvenation of your hair follicles.
Insufficient intake of iodine causes less thyroid hormone production, leading to hypothyroidism, which is insufficient thyroid function. Hypothyroidism can cause hair loss, as the follicular maintenance and renewal process is disrupted.
Hair loss caused by iodine deficiency is reversible once you consume iodine in adequate quantities. The recommended daily intake of iodine is 150 micrograms for adult men and women. Iodine is found in seafood, seaweed, and iodized salt.
Vitamins are crucial micronutrients that play an important role in the health of your hair. Taken in sufficient quantities, these micronutrients play a significant role in cellular turnover, normal hair follicle development, and maintaining and promoting the hair growth cycle.
While vitamin deficiency can adversely impact the health of your hair, an overload of certain vitamins can lead to system toxicity, which causes several adverse health effects, one of which is severe hair loss.
Excessive consumption of certain types of vitamins causes system toxicity, leading to severe hair loss.
Water-soluble vitamins, such as vitamins B and C, are dissolved in your bodily fluids. Excessive intake of water-soluble vitamins is excreted from your body through your urine. As a result, there is no risk of system toxicity from consuming an excessive quantity of water-soluble vitamins.
On the other hand, fat-soluble vitamins can build up in your body and cause system toxicity.
Fat-soluble vitamins, such as vitamins A, D, E, and K, are not excreted from your body like water-soluble vitamins, leading to vitamin overdose. Vitamin overdose is when you consume the fat-soluble vitamin more than its recommended dosage for an extended period of time.
Fat-soluble vitamins are stored in your liver and fatty tissues. Excessive intake of fat-soluble vitamins over an extended period of time builds up in your body and is toxic to your health, causing system toxicity.
Research has shown that consuming vitamin A more than its recommended dosage can be toxic to your health, and cause severe hair loss. Vitamin A is a group of fat-soluble micronutrients that play a vital role in vision health, cellular growth and division, and promoting a healthy immune system. Vitamin A consists of retinol, retinal, and retinoic acid.
When you exceed the recommended dosage, excess vitamin A builds up in your body, leading to a condition called hypervitaminosis A. Hypervitaminosis A is vitamin A toxicity that has harmful effects on your body. Some adverse effects of hypervitaminosis A are blurred vision, bone inflammation and pain, alterations in your consciousness, and severe hair loss.
Excessive consumption of vitamin E also causes vitamin E buildup in your body, leading to a condition called hypervitaminosis E. Hypervitaminosis E also triggers hair loss.
Vitamin E is a powerful fat-soluble antioxidant that consists of four tocopherols and four tocotrienols. Vitamin E’s powerful antioxidant capabilities protect your cells from harmful reactive oxygen species (ROS) damage. This helps keep your cells healthier for longer.
An overload of vitamin E in your system results in vitamin E toxicity, which decreases thyroid hormone production, leading to hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism causes hair loss as it disrupts and inhibits follicular maintenance and rejuvenation.
To prevent vitamin toxicity, make sure you are not consuming fat-soluble vitamins more than its recommended daily dosage. The recommended daily intake of vitamin A is 900 micrograms for adult men, and 700 micrograms for adult women. The recommended daily intake of vitamin E is 15 milligrams, or 22.5 international units per day for adult men and women.
If you are afflicted with vitamin toxicity, stop taking the vitamin supplement. Your condition will improve within a few weeks of stopping your vitamin supplement intake.
Many medications prescribed to treat a condition or illness cause several side effects, such as triggering severe hair loss. Some medications trigger hair loss by disrupting your normal hair growth cycle, triggering anagen effluvium, or telogen effluvium. The most common cause of drug-induced hair loss is telogen effluvium, which is stress-related hair loss.
Some types of medications shock or exert severe stress on your body, triggering excessive hair loss. When your body is subjected to shock or severe stress, it forces most of your hair from the active growth phase to the resting phase, where your hair will shed and fall out.
Stress-related hair loss can make you lose between 50% to 70% of your hair. Stress-related hair loss triggered by medication can occur within two to four months of consuming the new medicine.
Medications can also trigger anagen effluvium, which is hair loss that occurs during the active hair growth cycle. Anagen effluvium prevents the cells that promote hair growth from dividing normally. As a result, the hair fibers narrow and weaken in their base inside the hair follicle, causing them to break off when they reach the scalp.
Anagen effluvium can occur within weeks of starting a new medication or medical treatment, causing excessive hair loss within a short period of time. This type of hair loss is common in patients receiving chemotherapy drugs for cancer treatment. Patients undergoing chemotherapy can use hypothermia caps during the procedure to minimize hair loss resulting from the treatment.
Fortunately, drug-induced hair loss is temporary and reversible. Your hair will regrow normally within three to six months after stopping the medical treatment or intake of the medication.
Hormonal changes occurring following childbirth, during menopause, or while taking birth control pills can also trigger hair loss. The female sex hormone estrogen contributes to thickening your hair. It keeps more hair follicles in the active growth phase, and reduces the number of hair follicles in the resting phase. As a result, when you have higher than normal estrogen levels in your body, you experience less hair shedding, making your hair thicker and longer.
When you are pregnant, your serum estrogen levels are higher than normal. This minimizes hair shedding, contributing to thickening your hair during your pregnancy. After childbirth, your estrogen levels will drop back to normal. Consequently, you will experience severe hair shedding. This condition is called postpartum alopecia.
Postpartum alopecia causes hair thinning in your hairline and temple area. Fortunately, this type of hair loss is temporary and reversible. Your normal hair growth cycle will resume within six to twelve months after childbirth.
Menopause also causes hair thinning due to reduced estrogen levels in your body. When your dysfunctional or aged ovaries fail to produce sufficient amounts of female sex hormones such as estrogen and progesterone, you will hit menopause. Estrogen signals your hair to remain in the growth phase for a longer duration, leading to fuller, thicker, and longer hair.
When your estrogen levels drop due to menopause, more hair will enter the resting phase, causing increased hair shedding. Menopausal women experience diffuse hair loss all over their scalp. To reduce hair loss due to menopause, you can take hormone replacement therapy to turn back your estrogen levels to pre-menopausal levels.
Hair loss can also occur when you are consuming birth control pills, or after you stop taking them. Birth control pills with a high androgen index can make you lose your hair. Androgens are male sex hormones that women also produce in small quantities to maintain their bone density, and promote a healthy reproductive system.
Androgens also trigger increased hair shedding as they harm your hair follicles. If you are experiencing hair loss on your birth control pills, you must consult with your OB-GYN to obtain new birth control pills with a lower androgen index.
You can also experience hair loss after you stop taking birth control pills. Many birth control pills increase your estrogen levels to help you prevent pregnancy. While taking these pills, the estrogen keeps more of your hair follicles in the active growth phase, and reduces the number of your hair follicles in the resting phase. As a result, your hair becomes longer and thicker while you are consuming these pills.
When you stop taking these pills, your estrogen levels will drop, resulting in increased hair shedding. The hair shedding is temporary and reversible. Your normal hair growth cycle will resume after six months of stopping the consumption of birth control pills.
Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disorder that triggers hair loss. The hair loss appears as circular coin-sized bald patches on your scalp. It can occur suddenly, developing within a few days to a few weeks. Alopecia areata occurs as the white blood cells of your immune system attack your hair follicles, inhibiting your hair follicles from producing new hair cells.
The cause of alopecia areata is unclear. However, if you have a family history of alopecia areata, you are more likely to also be afflicted with alopecia areata.
Alopecia areata causes hair follicle inflammation, but does not permanently damage your hair follicles. Treatment for alopecia areata involves anti-inflammation and immunosuppressive drugs to reduce hair follicular inflammation, and inhibit your immune system from attacking your hair follicles.
Treatment can help reduce the severity of the condition, but it cannot cure the condition or prevent the formation of new bald patches. The condition often resolves within a few months.
Traction alopecia is a form of gradual hair loss caused by a chronic and external force pulling on your hair. Repetitive pulling of your hair with considerable force can weaken the hair in its follicle, causing the hair to loosen and fall out. The pulling force applied on your hair can also irreversibly harm and damage your hair follicles, leading to permanent hair loss.
Traction alopecia results from hairstyles that pull on your hair with significant force. Hairstyles that pull on your hair include tight ponytails, pigtails, braids, hair extensions, and hair weaves. These hairstyles can cause hair loss on your hairline, temples, and sides of your head. With hair extensions, you can lose hair on the areas of your scalp where you have attached the hair extensions to your hair.
Hair loss caused by traction alopecia is often temporary and reversible, but some forms of traction alopecia cause permanent damage to your hair follicles, leading to permanent hair loss. There is no pharmaceutical treatment for traction alopecia. Reversing hair loss caused by traction alopecia requires you to stop wearing hairstyles that pull on your hair.
Severe cases of traction alopecia cause permanent hair follicular damage, leading to permanent hair loss. Unfortunately, this type of hair loss is irreversible. Surgical hair restoration is the only treatment option available for severe cases of traction alopecia.
Most types of hair loss, excluding age-related and hereditary hair loss, have an underlying medical cause. If you notice your hair shedding more than its usual rate, you must consult with a dermatologist as soon as possible to identify the cause of your hair loss. Your dermatologist will conduct several clinical and laboratory tests to determine the underlying cause of your abnormal hair shedding.
Some of the tests that are conducted to determine the cause of your hair loss are:
Hormonal test – Your dermatologist might conduct a hormonal test to analyze your serum hormone levels to determine whether your hair loss is triggered by a hormonal imbalance.
Complete blood count (CBC) – Your dermatologist might order a CBC test to check your hemoglobin, iron, and ferritin levels in order to determine whether your hair loss is caused by iron-deficiency anemia.
Hair pull test – Your dermatologist might conduct a hair pull test to determine whether you are suffering from diffuse hair loss. A group of 40 to 60 hairs will be gently tugged from three different regions of your scalp. The hairs will then be counted and analyzed under a microscope. If more than 10 hairs are pulled out from each region, you will test positive for diffuse hair loss.
Scalp biopsy – A tiny piece of your scalp, about 4 mm in diameter, is surgically removed from the bald areas of your head, and analyzed under a microscope to determine the cause of your hair loss.
A head full of thick hair is an indication of youth, health, and general wellbeing for both men and women. For most people though, preserving the luscious hair they had in their youth is an impossible mission. As you age, your hair follicles age with you, becoming more and more dysfunctional over time, thinning your thick, luscious mane with age.
Other than the inevitable aging process, your genes, hormones, illnesses, medicines, and nutrition can also play a crucial role in the health and growth of your hair. While age and genetic-related hair loss is unavoidable, you can keep your hair in its best condition possible by treating your hair delicately, watching your overall health, and consulting with a physician whenever you notice any unusual changes with your hair.