Unfortunately, healthy hair is not a guarantee for everyone and when you start to experience hair loss, it can cause untold disruption to your social life. Hair fall can be very frustrating and stressful, situations which can actually make it worse. This article seeks to provide you with comprehensive information that can help you deal with all hair loss issues and also gives tips on how to ensure your hair is healthy in the long term.
How to Stop Hair Loss: Understanding Hair
Human hair is made up of several constituents. Here are the main ones:
Keratin is a form of protein which forms when amino acids chemically combine. It is the main building block of hair, produced by cells located at the bottom of the dermal papilla called keratinocytes.
In a process referred to as keratinization, these cells are filled with keratin fibers that form the internal and external follicular components while some elongate to form the hair shaft. Keratinocytes die as soon as they have been filled with keratin, and the hair does not get any more supply of keratin for the remainder of its life.
Keratin is present in foods rich in protein, including red meat, chicken, fish milk, and eggs. Consumption of such foods provides the body with the amino acids necessary for the production of keratin.
Melanin is the main determinant of hair color. It is produced inside the hair root by cells known as melanocytes and then transported to keratinocytes. Hair colorization takes place in the early stages of hair development and that’s why your hair emerges from the scalp in one of a range of astonishing natural colors. There are actually two melanin pigments: eumelanin (dark) and phaeomelanin (light).
Melanin is present in food rich in vitamin A, like carrots, tomatoes, and milk.
Lipids are formed from fatty acids, sterols, and ceramides and form about 3% of the total hair composition. They are found in the hair cuticle and cortex, providing cohesion of blood capillary networks that ensures a continuous supply of fresh nutrients necessary for hair growth.
Lipids can be gotten from fatty foods including dairy products, oils, nuts, and butter.
Water accounts for up to 15% of the total hair composition. It keeps the hair hydrated thereby helping you to avoid hair breakage.
Mineral Deficiency and Hair Loss
Hair, just like other body tissues, needs a broad range of nutrients so as to grow normally. The most vital nutrients required for healthy hair are proteins because as we saw earlier, amino acids contained in proteins are the primary building blocks of keratin.
Similarly, the importance of minerals for hair regrowth cannot be underestimated. Hair serves as the best medium for the analysis of minerals present in one’s body.
A mineral imbalance is one of the main causes of hair loss. In fact, if you suffer an acute loss of hair, some physicians may ask for a properly obtained hair sample that can be subjected to tests to reveal your mineral status, including the amounts of toxic substances in your body.
How to Stop Hair Loss: Preventing Mineral Imbalance
It’s hard to avoid mineral deficiency when so many factors are out of your control. But the more aware you are, the more you can try and change the areas that you do have control over.
Over dependence on fast or refined foods can be disastrous for your hair. It is important to note that you could be eating healthy, but eating inadequate amounts of various minerals.
It can wipe clean your nutrient stores in the body while reducing its ability and capacity to absorb more nutrients.
In today’s industrialized world, we are all exposed to toxic substances such as mercury, cadmium, lead, aluminum, nickel, and other metals that can contribute to a mineral imbalance.
Certain Nutritional Supplements
If you take incorrect amounts of dietary supplements, you could end up with excess minerals that can be a detriment to our hair.
4 Essential Minerals for Hair and their Sources
The follow list, albeit short, is a mighty one. You don’t want to have a mineral deficiency when it comes to these minerals because they’ll help you to prevent hair loss:
It is responsible for the regeneration of hair cells thanks to a broad spectrum of enzymatic functions in the body. Zinc deficiency usually leads to premature hair loss in women. To ensure you take the right amounts of Zinc, you are advised to eat nuts, oysters, lentils, and organic eggs. An approved supplement can also help.
2. Vitamin A
It protects the hair from free radicals. Consuming insufficient amounts of vitamin A can make your hair abnormally dry, paving the way for an itchy scalp that can cause hair loss.
Your best bet for getting sufficient quantities of vitamin A might come from consumption of carrots, winter squash, orange fruits, sweet potatoes, and vegetables. Kale and spinach are the best vegetables in terms of vitamin A content.
It is also called Vitamin H and plays a major role in the strengthening of hair. Biotin is also used in the biochemical process by which nutrients are metabolized. Although biotin deficiency is rare, people with metabolic disorders, especially alcoholics, are known to suffer from acute biotin imbalance. Its deficiency normally presents itself in form of a puffy face or red rashes all over the body.
Some of the dietary sources of biotin include cauliflower, soybeans, mushrooms, sardines and peanuts. Raw eggs contain biotin but they also contain avidin, a protein which can chemically bind with biotin, making the vitamin unavailable for absorption.
However, if you cook the eggs, avidin is destroyed therefore making biotin absorption possible. Also, a dosage of 500 micrograms of a biotin supplement can also be ideal.
It is used in the production of hemoglobin which transports oxygen to all the parts of the body, including the hair. As such, insufficient amounts of iron in the body may lead to an undersupply of oxygen to hair follicles resulting in slowed growth and diffuse hair loss.
Animal sources of iron include red meat, fish, and chicken. Plant sources may include peas, lentils, spinach, and beans. However, you should not consume too much of these products when you take into account other health issues associated with red meats and fatty foods in general, such as cancer, diabetes, and obesity. In this regard, plant iron may be more desirable. If you choose to use iron supplements, then you shouldn’t consume more than 18 mg of the formulation per day.
Lifestyle Solutions to Mineral Deficiencies
You can prevent hair loss by incorporating these activities into your lifestyle.
- Having at least 8 hours of sleep every day – The trick is to give the body enough time to absorb nutrients from consumed foods
- Regular workouts or physical exercises
- Meditation sessions
- Deep breathing
How to Stop Hair Loss: Homemade Remedies
There are several homemade solutions to alopecia that you can turn into if you prefer purely natural solutions
The two most common herbal solutions to prevent hair loss are milk thistle and gingko. The former helps to stimulate circulation of blood and oxygen in the hair follicles hence stimulating hair growth., while the latter removes toxins from your hair and scalp
Onion juice can be squeezed and applied directly on the scalp. The juice contains sulfur, hence helps to stimulate new hair development.
A mixture of the petals of the hibiscus flower and dandelion oil can be applied to the scalp. The flower is associated with eliminating split ends and stimulating the regrowth of hair follicles destroyed by alopecia areata.
Research has shown that fenugreek has the ability to stimulate the rebuilding of damaged hair follicles. Besides improving the defensive ability of the hair against attacks by alopecia areata and other scalp conditions, it also contains various proteins that help to regrow your hair.
How to Stop Hair Loss? Stop Stressing
Emotional and physical stress can indirectly cause hair loss. It might take you weeks or even months before you notice the effects of stress on your hair, particularly because of the length of the hair growth cycle.
On its own, stress rarely causes hair loss. Instead, it actually makes existing conditions worse. Stress may worsen telogen effluvium by forcefully sending an unusually high number of hair follicles into the resting phase. Similarly, scientists believe there exists a link between stress and alopecia areata.
As a way of coping with stress and depression, a person may compulsively pull out their own hair. This tendency commonly referred to as Trichotillomania can lead to massive hair loss especially if a person spends extended periods of time totally secluded from others.
Stress-Related Hair Loss Solutions
Luckily, stress-related hair loss is not permanent. Your hair should be able to grow after you have addressed the cause of your stress directly. Your can prevent hair loss and help it grow back, but just maybe not as fast as you would like!
How to Stop Hair Loss: Try These Quick, Stress-Reducing Techniques
- Meditation – Having a meditation session once in a while can go a long way towards overcoming stress, anxiety, and depression. Meditation doesn’t have to be complicated and intimidating. It can be as simple as closing your eyes and focusing for a few minutes or sitting quietly. Meditation has a calming effect on one’s brain, which may help improve your resilience to stress.
- Exercise more – Exercise makes the body release endorphins, also called happy hormones. This can have a calming effect on your brain and nerves. A such, it is important to find a type of exercise that you enjoy – anything that pumps up your heart rate and makes you smile. In addition, you could possibly incorporate a yoga class into your weekly routine. Such classes have been found to be effective stress relievers.
- Talk to a therapist – Opening up to someone you can trust is not only cathartic, but it can also do wonders as far as stress reduction is concerned. Humans are naturally social beings and sharing your worries and troubles with someone can be very relieving.
Perhaps the best technique involves a combination of your stress-busting techniques with proven commercial hair growth supplements. Such an approach ensures that you nourish your hair with vitamins and minerals that can help restore the proper health of your hair. Add a gentle homemade shampoo containing essential oils that help relaxation and stress-related hair loss may be a thing of the past!
Healthy hair is associated with incredible confidence that boosts our physical, social and psychological well-being. Unfortunately, the human hair is prone to many attacks that can leave it brittle, thin and weak. Hair loss is a common problem for both men and women. Healthy hair requires the right balance of minerals like iron, sulfur, Zinc, and vitamins.
Healthy hair comes from a healthy body, and frail, thinning hair can be one of the first signs that you’re lacking a vital nutrient or mineral. So, instead of seeing hair loss as a problem to cover up, or try and fix with pharmaceuticals try and see it as a signal that you could probably do with more fruits, vegetables, herbs, spices nuts and seeds in your diet.
Stay healthy and positive! Share and make your loved ones aware!
Source: Healthy Holistic Living
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