How to Fix Hair Loss or Hair Thinning?
By Carol Bender, NP Posted March 14, 2020
Hair loss and thinning are extremely common! Two-thirds of American men will experience hair loss by the age of thirty-five, and by the age of fifty approximately 85% of men have significantly thinning hair. (1) More than 50% of women will experience noticeable hair loss in their lifetime. The most significant cause of hair loss in women is female-pattern hair loss (FPHL), which affects some 30 million women in the United States. (2)
While hair loss can be confusing, scary and adversely affect your self-esteem, diagnosing the cause is essential to developing a treatment plan that can yield results.
Multiple causes of hair loss comes from within, commonly including hormonal imbalances (thyroid and testosterone), nutrient deficiencies, and stress. External factors can also play a role, such as coloring, perming or straightening hair and using harmful products.
Regrowth can be possible! The keys to successful hair regrowth begins with proper diagnosis and determining which treatment options best address your needs.
Why is my hair thinning? Why am I losing hair? Common Causes of Hair Loss
1. Hormone Imbalance
Women produce less Estrogen with age, starting anywhere from their 30’s to 50’s, which can lead to hair loss or thinning. Other sex hormone imbalances are also linked to hair loss. For example, PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome) can cause higher levels of DHEA and higher conversion rates of testosterone to DHT, or dihydroxytestosterone. Excess DHT will essentially attack the hair follicle repeatedly until it becomes so small that it eventually dies, causing you to experience hair loss. ‘Normal’ DHT levels vary from person to person, based on each person’s sensitivity.
2. Thyroid Changes
When thyroid hormones are either too high or low, this is called Hyperthyroidism or Hypothyroidism, and either one can cause hair loss. While thyroid issues may often go undetected, if you are experiencing hair loss it is important to get your and your T3 free, T4 levels, and your thyroid antibodies checked, along with thyroid markers recommended by your medical provider, to see if your thyroid is functioning properly.
When we feel either mentally or physically stressed, the level of the hormone Cortisol rises, which can lead to many symptoms, including hair loss – so try to keep your stress levels low!
4. Vitamin Deficiencies
Many deficiencies can potentially cause hair loss. Low Vitamin D can be linked to autoimmune conditions causing hair loss, such as Alopecia Areata. Furthermore, low Iron and Ferritin levels are linked to Anemia, which in turn can cause hair loss or thinning. Deficiencies in Biotin and other B vitamins have been culprits for thinning hair, as well as brittle nails and dry skin.
5. Poor Diet
What you put into your body can affect your hair, skin and overall appearance, so be sure to keep a healthy diet so your body can get the nutrients it needs.
Inflammation can occur inside or outside of the body, both of which can cause hair loss. Inner inflammation may be due to an autoimmune response or even a poor diet, while outer inflammation can include inflammatory reactions of the body or harsh products used on the hair and scalp like including dyes or chemicals.
7. Medications and Side Effects
Some medications have hair loss as a side effect, including cholesterol and blood pressure lowering medications, Accutane, and anti-fungals, so be sure to check with your medical provider about the medications that you are taking.
Solutions for Hair Loss and Treatments for Hair Growth
1. Dry Brush
Dry brushing your scalp with a horse hair bristle brush is a simple, cheap and little-known trick that will clean-out and un-clog the pores of your scalp, making space to allow the thickest possible hair follicles to grow out. Picture a pasta mold… for my hair, I prefer ‘spaghetti’ instead of ‘angel hair’.
2. Natural Shampoo and Conditioner
Choose a shampoo and conditioner without silicone, dimethicone or other pore-clogging chemicals. Beware of products containing ingredients that end with “-icone”. Try to choose all-natural products that have ingredients you listed you can read and understand. Yes, it can take a little while to get used to the non-sudsy, non-silky feeling of the products you’ve been used to, but that silky-smooth coating is silicone and it is counter-productive if you’re striving for the healthiest scalp and thickest hair possible.
3. Hair Treatment Oil Serum
Topical oils are an option that can nourish and enhance the scalp and hair follicles. Our rejuvenating Hair Treatment Oil contains 5 organic oils of Jojoba, Moroccan Argan, Vitamin E enriched Rice Bran, Abyssinian, Coconut oil and Squalane from Olives to stimulate hair growth while relieving dry, itchy scalp. Massage 10-15 drops onto hair and scalp and leave in for 10-15 minutes, then shampoo.
4. Check hormones, vitamins and other hair-loss blood tests and treat the abnormal levels along with the counsel of a medical professional
Q: Too much DHT?
A: Block DHT Naturally with:
1. Hair Effects Supplement (available @EA/JWP)
2. Finasteride 1mg / d or 1mg every other day*
3. Latisse + Topical Minoxidil at night time*
Q: Is your thyroid low?
A: Treat thyroid by optimizing T3 free between 3.4-4.4 with dessicated Thyroid (NP Thyroid, WP Thyroid, or Nature Thyroid*), and test labs again in 4-6 weeks, 5 hours after taking the supplement.
5. PRP Hair Restoration
PRP (platelet-rich plasma) involves taking one’s own platelets from your blood and injecting them into the scalp. PRP contains more than 20 growth factors, which stimulates stem cells to grow, enhancing the survival of hair follicles, and prolonging the active growth phase of hair cycle, which increases hair follicle size (i.e. perifollicular vascular plexus). Research has shown PRP Hair Restoration is most effective when performed in a series of at least three sessions, in individuals with normal platelet blood counts.
Last year, a study compared PRP with topical minoxidil (DHT-blocking) therapy on men with androgenic alopecia, or DHT-related hair loss. 30 patients were divided into 2 groups and treated with either intradermal PRP or topical minoxidil. On global photography, Group A (PRP) was found to have a comparatively better outcome than Group B (minoxidil). In hair pull test, hair growth questionnaire, and patient satisfaction score, Group A was found to be significantly better than Group B.
3. Verma K, Tegta GR, Verma G, Gupta M, Negi A, Sharma R. A study to compare the efficacy of platelet-rich plasma and minoxidil therapy for the treatment of androgenetic alopecia. Int J Trichol 2019;11:68-79.
4. Harvard Women’s Health Watch. Treating female pattern hair loss. November 14, 2018: https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/treating-female-pattern-hair-loss
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