What to Do About Hair Loss: Remedies and Treatments
Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow
There are times when I feel as though my hair isn't looking so good, which is an indication that I am not feeling good on the inside. Isn't it funny how our physical health mirrors our mental or emotional state?
In my family, hair loss is common. My father is bald and both of my brothers have receding hairlines, with one of them going seriously thin on top. My mom's gone grey and has developed a widow's peak hairline, but I think that might have more to do with stress. At one point, even I started thinning a little, and I am in my early twenties.
My hair has had less fallout since I adopted a few strategies to battle hair loss. I decided to write this list of remedies based on things I've researched and tried myself. I find that taking vitamins and cutting down on stress have personally helped me.
What Doctors Recommend for Hair Loss
There are different camps out there. Dermatologists will give you mixed advice. Some opt for finasteride and some recommend minoxidil. Others who specialise in hair restoration by way of a transplant might recommend that option. But there are those out there who will tell you never to have surgery or take any sort of medication that might have serious side effects. People with the latter opinion tend to recommend taking vitamins and engaging in basic everyday practices that I think we should all undertake. I'll go through 7 of the practices that have helped me.
The hair stays in a resting phase in the natural cycle and no new hair grows for various reasons, stress being a common culprit. The body is warning you that it cannot cope with the stress levels. After the issue has been taken care of, the hair supposedly grows back.
Things That Might Help With Hair Growth
1. Get out in the Sun
It's been said that just like plants, hair needs sunlight. So get out in the garden or go for a walk on the beach each day. In the summer, you will notice that hair tends to grow thicker and faster.
2. Take Some Natural Vitamins and Minerals
Eat plenty of vegetables and fruit, and take some supplements. Omega 3 is good for hair, as well as skin and nails. Zinc, biotin, keratin, and vitamin A are also good for hair.
3. Your Diet
Not only should you try to eat vegetables and fruits, but you should also try to watch your intake of certain foods. For example, eating too much protein from red meat isn't good, but if you eat too little protein it can result in hair loss. So try and vary your foods by including items from every food group. This variation will make you feel better and your body will be able to cope more easily to a balanced diet.
4. Cut Down on Stress
Some people believe that stress is a hair killer. You can try anti-depressants or chill pills, but other forms of relaxation work as well. Take up a hobby, learn to set schedules for tasks, and learn to separate work from play. Vitamin B is also a stress killer, so make sure to take enough of that.
5. Check Your Shampoo and Conditioner
My hairdresser told me to make sure that my shampoo isn't to blame for hair loss. Make sure you use a mild and preferably 2-in-1 organic shampoo with conditioner. Check the ingredients to see that it doesn't contain any harmful chemicals. Some people are more sensitive to the chemicals than others. Some don't even use shampoo at all, and will instead whip together a natural homemade mixture to clean their hair (e.g., baking soda and water).
6. Gently Massage Your Scalp for Three Minutes Each Day
This is a hairdresser's trick to stimulate hair follicles. It might help with minor cases of hair loss. Do this in the bath while lathering with your shampoo. If too many hairs come out, then you are being too harsh. Hair will naturally fall out in the bath, in the bed, and on your towel, but excessive hair fall might be a sign of something serious.
Get the blood flowing in your body. This indirectly helps your hair grow. The concept is the same as massaging you scalp. Both exercise and messages will stimulate your hair follicles and promote hair growth. Exercise also helps to alleviate high stress levels.
Surgery, Topical Treatments, and Other Info
Baldness is a funny thing because no two people look at it the same way. Some accept it, others will either shave their head or wear a cap, and some try to slow down the balding or even try to reverse it.
I've read from some articles that 90- 95% of the time, alopecia (baldness) is hereditary and it can start as early as your teens. There's also a phenomenon known as temporary alopecia or telogen effluvium. This is when the hair stays in a resting phase in the natural cycle and no new hair grows for various reasons, stress being a common culprit. It can also happen after a serious shock to the body, like childbirth. When this happens, the body is warning you that it cannot cope with the stress levels. After the issue has been taken care of the hair supposedly grows back. But one wonders if it will ever grow back to the way it was.
There are various surgical and non-surgical methods one can employ to slow down, or in some cases, reverse hair loss. Products such as Rogaine or Propecia are examples of non-surgical treatments. However, the results are not 100% guaranteed as each person's body will react differently. The same is true of Bob Martin dog pills, which some people claim helps with hair growth.
A lot of doctors or hair specialists provide cosmetic procedures such as hair transplants, laser hair replacement therapy, and "integration" or micro-pigmentation. If you are interested in getting these treatments, you would have to visit the clinics for a consultation, which is usually free. The treatment, however, is expensive.
Beware of scams. If it sounds bogus, it probably is. I'm doubtful that a lot of topical treatments like creams and lotions can really help because the causes of hair loss are internal. Whatever you try, be careful and be patient, as it will take some time to see any results. Also, when in doubt, always consult a medical practitioner.
Baldness is God's way of reminding you that you're human. He takes the hair from your head and sticks it in your ears.— Bruce Willis
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© 2008 Anti-Valentine