Although hair loss isn’t a life-threatening health condition, it can have a serious affect on a person’s quality of life. Losing your hair does more than change your physical appearance. It can be emotionally and mentally distressing enough to negatively impact self-esteem and how they feel about their appearance.
Up to 80% of men will experience some hair loss during their lifetime, especially as they get older. Hair loss is often seen as a condition that mainly happens to men, but half of women will face hair loss as well. In women especially, this can cause serious anxiety and other emotional problems.
Hair loss can be caused by several different factors, but the most common cause is hereditary hair loss that comes with ageing. People with a family history of hair loss are more likely to lose some of their own hair. Hormonal changes, medical conditions, medical treatments, poor nutrition, and stress can also cause hair loss.
Types of Hair Loss
- Alopecia Arata: This type of hair loss is an autoimmune disorder that leaves round bald patches on the scalp. It can affect men and women of any age.
- Telogen Effluvium: This condition prevents hair follicles from being able to enter the growth phase. It can be caused by surgery, a high fever, iron deficiency, and a thyroid disorder.
- Androgenetic Alopecia: The most common type of hair loss in both men and women. Caused by genetics, it’s also known as “male pattern baldness” and “female pattern baldness.”
How to Prevent Hair Loss
There are various measures you can easily take at home to help you feel better about your hairline like using hair care products and styles that add volume to your hair. Avoid harsh chemicals or hair treatments that can damage or weaken your hair.
Stress can also make hair loss worse so find ways to relax. Even a few minutes of calm per day can make a huge difference. Try going for a walk, listening to relaxing music, or watching a funny TV show.
Another way to prevent hair loss is by taking vitamin supplements and by eating a diet full of superfoods that promote hair growth.
What is a Superfood?
Superfoods are healthy foods and drinks that are densely packed with vitamins and nutrients. They are highly nutritious and provide you with all the good stuff you need like protein, fibre, antioxidants, iron, and vitamin C. Your body needs these minerals and vitamins to stay healthy and to function properly.
Plant based foods in particular are rich in vitamin C, B vitamins, and antioxidants to boost your health. Fish and dairy can also be superfoods.
Some superfoods can also help with weight management like oats and wholegrains. Oats and wholegrains not only keep you fuller for longer but can help reduce high cholesterol and lower blood sugar. The more superfoods you consume, the easier it is to lose weight and keep it off.
Antioxidants can reduce the damaging effects of free radicals and in preventing heart disease, cancer, arthritis, and dementia.
Other superfoods include:
- Spinach, for iron, folate, vitamins A and C
- Green peas, for zinc, B vitamins and iron
- Prunes, for iron
- Carrots, for vitamin A
- Nuts, for omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin E, and copper
- Sweet potatoes, for omega-3 fatty acids, potassium, zinc, and vitamins A, B, C, K, and E
- Blueberries, for vitamin C, and antioxidants
- Acai, for antioxidants that reduce swelling, boost the immune system, and protect your cells from damage
- Chemicals in acai might also reduce swelling, lower blood sugar levels, and stimulate the immune system.
- Lentils, for zinc, magnesium, and biotin
- Oysters, for zinc
- Shrimp, for B12, zinc, and iron
- Salmon, for protein, vitamin D, and omega-3s
- Eggs, for protein, biotin, B vitamins, Zinc, Selenium, and iron
Foods for Hair Growth
Many superfoods can even help with hair growth. Improving your diet won’t magically cure any genetic or medical causes of hair loss, but nutrition can have a major impact on your hair health. You should eat a diet fortified with vitamins and minerals that not only keep your body healthy but promote hair growth and strength.
Some nutrients may be linked to the first stage of hair growth. Your hair grows in 3 phases, the anagen, catagen, and telogen phase. The anagen phase is the growth phase and its length can be affected by poor nutrition. If you’re losing more hair than you’re growing, you’ll start to notice your hair becoming thinner.
Deficiencies can also impact the health of your hair follicles. Hair loss caused by a vitamin or nutrient deficiency is usually temporary and is easily rectified by eating a better diet.
Some of the best vitamins and minerals for thick, healthy hair are lean proteins, omega-3 fatty acids, b-complex vitamins, iron, and fat-soluble vitamins. You can find these in abundance in a Mediterranean style diet that’s packed with whole grains, healthy fats, and fibre-filled produce. Aim to have as many colours on your plate as you can to get a wide variety of nutrients.
Some foods to promote hair growth include:
- Chia seeds
- Plain Greek yoghurt
Hair Loss Tablets
If you’re experiencing hair loss, there are medications that can help. It’s important to start treatment at the first sign of hair loss.
Propecia tablets are the brand name of a common and effective hair loss treatment called Finasteride. Finasteride is the active ingredient used in Propecia and it blocks enzymes that are linked to hair loss.
By blocking this enzyme, hair loss is not only halted but in some cases some hair may even grow back. These proven male hair loss tablets work for up to 9 out of 10 men when they are taken regularly for at least 3-6 months. Propecia/Finasteride Tablets are not recommended for use by women.
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