Hair loss is the result of a number of natural and unnatural causes ranging from hormonal changes to medical conditions or treatments, stress to hair styling treatments, lifestyle choices to dietary deficiencies. It can happen to men, women, boys and girls. But whatever the reason for hair loss, it can have a negative impact on how we perceive ourselves and are perceived by others.
While modern medicine offers some solid options to help with the regrowth of hair, there are also a number of natural solutions that have proven successful in stimulating and maintaining hair growth for people of all ages plagued with hair loss or thin hair.
Because hair is essentially made up of protein, having enough protein in the diet is crucial to growing hair back quickly. Protein-rich foods include meats, beans, eggs, lentils and tofu. However, while eating tofu occasionally has not been proven harmful, the American Cancer Society warns consuming high amounts of soy (found in tofu) can actually fuel cancer cells.
Vitamins and Minerals
Add extra vitamins and minerals to your diet to nourish your hair from the inside out and speed up its growth.
Biotin is known as the “hair vitamin” for good reason. It promotes hair growth and prevents brittle, fragile hair. Severe biotin deficiency can lead to loss of hair, eyelashes, and eyebrows.
Vitamin D is beneficial for the whole body and this includes the scalp and hair. Also, vitamin D is necessary in order for the body to absorb calcium, which is essential for healthy follicles.
Vitamin B12 is one of the most important vitamins for our hair and a deficiency can result in hair loss and premature graying. A surprising number of people are deficient in B12. Including enough vitamin C and iron in your diet will help your body absorb more B12.
A Vitamin A deficiency can lead to dry hair which can contribute to hair loss. Vitamin A stimulates the hair follicles and helps the scalp to produce sebum, which keeps the scalp and hair hydrated.
Niacin (Vitamin B3) improves circulation to the scalp and for this reason may have a positive effect on hair growth. Studies have found that niacin works better when combined with biotin.
Vitamin C prevents hair loss as well as premature graying, dryness, and brittle hair. If you’re not getting enough vitamin C from your diet, you should take a supplement to make sure you’re getting enough.
Vitamin E helps to prevent and reverse hair loss thanks to its ability to grow new blood vessels and increase circulation to the scalp. Topical vitamin E applied to the scalp may also help to re-grow hair.
A Zinc deficiency can lead to hair loss. Zinc contributes to cell regeneration, sebum production in the scalp, and protein synthesis.
Methylsulfonylmethane or MSM is a nutrient that is crucial for the health of the hair. Because a lot of people are deficient, many experts recommend taking an MSM supplement for healthy hair and skin.
Iron Several studies have found that an iron deficiency, even if it’s not so severe as to cause anemia, may cause or worsen hair loss. Researchers have found that women who develop hair loss have lower levels of iron than women who don’t. No matter what the cause of hair loss, low iron levels can exacerbate the problem.
Drink More Water The hair shaft is comprised of one quarter water. Drink at least 4 to 8 cups of water a day to stay hydrated and grow healthy hair.
Reduce Consumption of Alcoholic Beverages Drinking alcohol reduces hair growth. Reduce or eliminate alcohol from the diet and you will see an increase in hair growth.
Stop Smoking Smoking cigarettes reduces the blood flow to the scalp and this causes a reduction in hair growth. Stop smoking to help hair grow.
Be Proactive A natural approach to hair re-growth can help. But if you are experiencing serious hair loss or thinning, talk to your family practice physician or see a dermatologist who specializes in hair loss right away. No matter what the cause, the sooner you address the problem the better for you and your hair.