Female Hair Loss
Get your lustrous locks back naturally to feel confident and sexy, once again!
If you’re a female losing your lustrous locks, you’re not alone. Female pattern hair loss (FPHL) affects approximately 40% of women by age 50, and management can be challenging. And while there is no physical harm in losing your mane, in a culture that values youth and appearance, it can be emotionally devastating. Unfortunately, the treatment options can be equally as devastating: drugs with undesirable side effects, painful and pricey procedures, and promises of easy fixes that just don’t work. But, the answer may be as simple as giving your body extra nutritional support. So before you commit yourself to lifelong mainstream medications, dreaded comb-overs, expensive extensions or painful hair plugs, consider some nutritional approaches to preserve the hair you’ve got, and possibly regain what’s been lost. It worked naturally for Julie, twice. First steps are determining your cause and type.
Causes & Risk Factors for Thinning Hair
Abnormal hair loss is typically related to one or more of the following:
- Hormonal imbalances
- Nutrient deficiencies
- Anemia / iron deficiency
- Poor digestion
- Not absorbing quality protein and fat
- Hypothyroidism and Hyperthyroidism
- Specific classes of medications
- Alopecia (autoimmune condition)
- Gluten intolerance, sensitivity or Celiac disease (antigliadin antibodies can cross-react with antibodies that attack hair follicles leading to alopecia)
- Crash diets, especially with rapid weight loss
- Adrenal fatigue
- Food Sensitivities, intolerances or allergies
- Poor circulation, especially in the scalp
- Heavy exercise
- Physical or emotional shock (sometimes called a “trigger event”)
- Chronic illness, virus, or infection
- Heavy metals
- Scalp infections (such as ringworm)
- Skin disease
- Secondary response to trauma
- High fever
- Trichotillomania (a hair-pulling disorder)
- Cov!d shed
Types of Hair Loss
Alopecia, the Latin-derived term for hair loss, manifests in different ways. The common types of hair loss in women include telogen effluvium, androgenetic alopecia (AGA), alopecia areata and traction alopecia.
Alopecia, in General, is an Autoimmune Condition Where the Body’s Immune System Attack its Own Hair Follicles
Different types explained:
- Areata – occurs in patches all over the head. It varies from being small patches in some people to very extreme in others.
- Androgenetic – an enzyme causes conversion of the hormone testosterone to another hormone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT), causing the hair follicles to produce thinner hair until they stop.
- Triangular – a static series of patches that typically arise in childhood.
- Totalis – is complete loss of hair on the scalp.
- Universalis – complete loss of hair over the entire body.
- Cicatricial – scarring of scalp areas with active follicles, preventing their growth as a result of rare disorders, burns, infections, and other causes.
- “Toxic” – location is unspecific, often the result of chemotherapy or low activity in the thyroid or pituitary glands.
- Diffuse – a widespread thinning of hair that may even affect the “permanent” zone.
- Traction – caused by repeated and prolonged pulling forces applied to the follicles through wearing certain hairstyles such as braids and long dreadlocks. This type of hair loss mirrors where the hair is under the most strain which is typically over the edges/hairline.
Analyzing & Identifying Your Type of Hair Loss is Integral for Results
First and foremost, if you are a female facing hair loss, it’s critical to delve further into the possible causes and to identify your type of hair loss. Simply put, there is no absolute cure for some types of baldness (or alopecia), natural or conventional. However, there are many things you can do to hold off hair loss and enhance the health of the hair you do have. First order of business is to find the “root cause” of your hair loss.
A New Approach to Your Hair Loss
Besides doing lab testing on your hormones, thyroid, iron and so forth, we will incorporate functional lab testing. This type of lab testing is newer and has its origins in functional medicine. The conventional medical system has not been trained yet on these types of “functional” labs so most likely, it’s not anything you have done yet. These labs will help us to dig deeper and further analyze the causes for your hair loss. It is important to learn the extent of your damage and also to understand what corrective action needs to be taken to restore your hair growth process by studying the potential your body holds.
Nutrient Deficiencies Affect Hair Structure, Strength, Density, Weight and Growth
Nutrition is an integral part of maintaining hair growth and preventing future loss or thinning. Eating a well-balanced diet with a variety of high-quality sources of proteins, vitamins, and minerals supports the metabolic functions necessary to catalyze hair growth and prevents deficiencies associated with physiologic loss or thinning.
Here are some of the top foods to consume regularly for thinning hair:
- Wild-caught, cold-water fish — Lean, anti-inflammatory protein in the form of wild-caught, cold-water fish like salmon is loaded with anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids, which are excellent for hair health.
- Protein-rich foods – Iron-rich protein like grass-fed beef can really help the health of your hair. Why? The hair follicle and root are fed by a nutrient-rich blood supply. If you have an iron deficiency then the follicle becomes nutrient-deprived, and this negatively affects the normal cycle of hair growth and can lead to excessive shedding of hairs.
- Iron-rich vegetables — You can also improve your iron levels by consuming lentils, kale, spinach and other dark leafy green vegetables.
- Vitamin C-rich produce — Consuming enough vitamin C is essential on its own because it’s a powerful antioxidant. It also helps your body absorb the iron it needs. Some awesome vitamin C foods include guava, red pepper, kiwi, papaya and broccoli.
- Vitamin A-rich foods — Foods high in vitamin A can help maintain the health of your scalp, which is essential to healthy hair growth. Vitamin A helps make the sebum that conditions your scalp. Great food choices include pumpkin, sweet potato and kale.
- Biotin-rich foods — If you don’t get enough biotin in your diet, it can lead to dry, brittle hair that’s more prone to thinning. Foods that are rich in biotin include nutritional yeast and egg yolks.
- Zinc-rich foods — Zinc is yet another nutrient that’s key to overall hair health and a deficiency is linked with hair loss. Zinc is involved in tissue growth and repair including hair. High zinc foods include grass-fed beef, pumpkin seeds and chickpeas.
Foods that Hurt
To discourage thinning hair, you also want to avoid some foods, including:
- Potential food allergens and sensitivities — If you consume foods that cause allergic reactions in your body, you increase inflammation, which is counterproductive to healthy hair growth. Possible food allergens include wheat (gluten), dairy, corn, soy, preservatives and food additives. It’s best to get a food allergy/sensitivity blood test.
- Trans fatty acids — Trans fats have been shown to increase inflammation and production of DHT, which can cause hair loss. Stay away from all vegetable oils, canola oil, corn oil and soybean oil.
- Sugar — Sugar imbalances hormones, increases DHT and causes inflammation, all leading to hair loss.
- Processed foods — Processed foods contain chemicals that can disrupt hormone balance.
- Alcohol — Alcohol can increase inflammation and cause liver toxicity, leading to hair loss.
- Caffeine — Too much caffeine can cause dehydration, hormone imbalance and production of DHT.