Losing your hair? You’re not on your own

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For anyone experiencing hair loss, it might be somewhat reassuring to note that you’re not on your own. And by not on your own, we mean that approximately 60% of women and 80% of men experience some form of hair loss in their lives – which is not a minority – according to natural food and healthcare distributor Wholefoods. Yet people can often feel alone and unsure what to do or where to turn when they go through something such as hair loss.

So what is the cause?

According to Wholefoods, there are many factors that can lead to hair loss, however, almost all types of hair loss have one thing in common, a disrupted hair growth cycle, which is the body’s natural mechanism regulating hair growth. Despite the many different causes of hair thinning and hair loss, achieving hair growth requires supporting and maintaining a normal hair growth cycle.

There are a significant amount of internal and external factors that can affect the health of your hair, ultimately leading to hair loss via a direct influence on the overall hair growth cycle.

5 of the major causes of hair loss are:

Stress– Acute and chronic stress can act as a huge trigger that disrupts the hair growth cycle, with the visible signs of hair shedding often appearing 4 to 16 weeks after the triggering event.

Hormones – Hormonal irregularities can lead to hair growth cycle disruption and, in women, a hormonal influence on the hair may be indicated by an irregular menstrual cycle, polycystic ovary syndrome, menopause and/or postpartum shedding.

Diet – Your hair requires a regular supply of protein, glucose and vitamins for optimal growth, yet since the hair follicle is a non-essential tissue, it is one of the last tissues to receive nutrients from food (or one of the first to have them reduced).

Personal Health – Many health factors can influence the hair growth cycle, and it can become disrupted as a result of a particularly high fever, certain autoimmune conditions, as well as digestive issues and infections

Genetics – The genetic influence on the hair follicle is the most common cause of hair loss in both women and men. However, the genes passed on from each parent are not guaranteed to cause hair loss

So what can we do about it?

The hair requires a regular supply of protein, glucose, vitamins and minerals for optimal health and growth. In relation to vitamins and minerals specifically, it is important to maintain a balanced intake of iron, zinc, silica, magnesium, omega fatty acids and B-complex vitamins, preferably through the normal diet. Maintaining proper nutrition through a balanced diet is the preferred way to help maintain a healthy body and healthy hair. Three key foods to achieve this are salmon, eggs and lentils because they naturally provide a combination of nutrients essential for normal, healthy hair growth:

  • Salmon: Contains protein and Omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Eggs: Contain protein, zinc, selenium and iron.
  • Lentils: Contain protein, iron, zinc and Biotin. Lentils are also very good for those on a vegetarian or vegan diet.

Supplements or healthcare: Talk to your GP about the possibility of taking supplements that will encourage hair growth. There are also a number of hair care products on the market that can encourage healthy hair growth and assists in reducing hair loss.