Both aging and genetics can cause hair loss. The underlying cause of hair loss determines the most effective treatments. Hair loss is a concern for some people. Depending on the cause of hair loss, certain practices and treatments can help strengthen or regrow hair. This article contains several tips to prevent hair loss and ways to regrow it.
Changing your diet can have an impact on hair growth and health. Dietary changes may include:
Eat more protein.
A 2017 study found that many participants with hair loss had low amounts of protein and amino acids. Researchers need to conduct additional studies to examine whether nutritional deficiencies are actually linked to hair loss.
Follow the Mediterranean diet
A 2017 study published in the Archives of Dermatological Research linked herbs and vegetables in a Mediterranean diet to a lower risk of androgenetic alopecia, or pattern baldness, in men.
Avoid extreme diets
Low-calorie diets can deprive the body of essential nutrients, including those necessary for healthy hair, such as protein, fatty acids, and zinc. Severe diets generally do not lead to permanent weight loss. According to a 2019 review of the literature, hair loss can occur in people who lose body cell mass as a result of weight loss due to a calorie-restricted diet. This can lead to temporary hair loss.
Certain supplements and treatments can help prevent or reduce hair loss.
Take vitamin supplements
Studies going back several years show that vitamins help prevent hair loss. A 2019 review in Dermatology and Therapy looked at the role of various vitamins and minerals in preventing hair loss. The role of vitamins and minerals in hair loss remains unclear. However, vitamin deficiency can be a risk factor for hair loss. Some of the vitamins and minerals that can help include:
Anyone considering taking a multivitamin supplement should speak to a doctor first. The best products contain all or most of the recommended daily amounts of each vitamin and mineral in one serving.
Healthier hair tips
Certain practices and products can contribute to healthier hair and prevent hair loss. These include in particular:
A small 2016 study of nine healthy men found that massaging the scalp daily for 4 minutes stimulated hair growth. These results are promising. But researchers will need to study larger samples to determine if scalp massage is beneficial for hair loss.
Try Low Intensity Laser Therapy
Low-intensity laser light therapy (LLLT), also called red light therapy, is a treatment for skin problems that uses low-wavelength red light to stimulate cell growth. According to a small controlled trial in 2020 in Korea, after 16 weeks, LLLT significantly increased hair density and thickness in 48 people with androgenetic alopecia. Researchers need to do more research to determine the correct wavelengths and treatment duration.
Using coconut oil for damaged hair
A 2018 study found that coconut oil can help prevent hair loss due to UV damage or personal care habits. However, more research is needed to confirm this. Applying coconut oil to the scalp can strengthen the hair and prevent hair loss due to damage.
Use of essential oils
Applying certain essential oils to the scalp can stimulate hair growth.
A small 2021 study found that pumpkin seed oil, applied topically to the scalp for three months, significantly increased hair growth in people with female pattern baldness.
Use products that contain caffeine
According to a 2020 review, caffeine in topical formulations such as shampoo and conditioner may prevent hair loss. Caffeine boosts metabolism and cell reproduction.
Apply antioxidants to the scalp
Using a shampoo or scalp treatment that contains antioxidants can reduce hair loss and improve scalp health. Women who used a shampoo or scalp treatment containing the antioxidant piroctone olamine for 8 weeks experienced increased hair growth and improved scalp condition compared to women who used placebo products, according to a 2021 clinical trial.
Protecting hair while sleeping
Silk or satin pillowcase can help prevent hair loss caused by friction, tangling and pulling. Lying with wet hair can weaken and break strands. When the hair is wet, it is in a weakened state.
Maintain good hair and scalp care
Taking care of your hair and scalp can help prevent hair loss. It can also improve hair growth. Keeping the scalp and hair clean can prevent hair damage and hair loss. On the other hand, wearing tight hairstyles, such as ponytails, can damage the hair, and loose hairstyles that don’t pull on the hair may be a better option.
Why does hair fall out?
Hair grows and eventually falls out as part of its natural cycle. It can build up on hair brushes, pillows, or bathtubs. Most people don’t notice the normal daily hair loss. The thickness and hairline in general remain the same. People are more likely to notice excessive hair loss, which may be due to an underlying condition. Symptoms of excessive hair loss can be:
sudden hair loss
hair loss spots
Several factors can cause excessive hair loss. One of the most common causes has to do with genetics. According to a 2019 study, pattern baldness affects up to 50% of men and women. Commercial products can help slow and treat this type of baldness.
Common baldness occurs slowly with age. The most pressing causes of hair loss can be:
Chemotherapy or radiotherapy
Hormonal changes, such as those caused by thyroid problems or menopause
Emotional or physical stress
Some tight hairstyles, like ponytails
Blood pressure or cancer medications.
Can hair loss be reversed?
The re-growth of hair depends on the cause of the hair loss. A dermatologist can determine if a person’s hair can grow on its own.
Hair loss can be temporary and reversible in the following cases:
If medication is the cause of hair loss, hair may start to grow again once a person stops taking the medication. Full regrowth can take up to 18 months.
During pregnancy, hair loss may occur due to low estrogen levels. Many people also experience temporary hair loss about 3 months after giving birth.
In mild cases of alopecia areata, an autoimmune disease, hair loss can be reversed after treatment.
Cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy or radiation, can cause hair loss that may reverse after treatment is completed.
A person may experience significant hair loss due to stress for weeks or months after major surgery or a serious illness.
People who are looking for a treatment to prevent or regrow hair have many potential options. The effectiveness of each option varies from person to person and may depend on the cause of hair loss. It is advisable to consult a doctor before starting any new hair loss treatment or taking any nutritional supplement.
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