Hair loss can be caused by oversensitive follicles in the head, commonly linked to the hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which is made from the male hormone, testosterone. An excess of DHT means that hair becomes thinner and weaker and falls out more regularly.
It is possible that hair loss can also be caused by an immune system imbalance called alopecia, which is when the immune system fights the hair follicles instead of the infection.
Anemia, stress, fungal infections and chemotherapy may also cause hair loss; pregnant woman may find that they experience some hair loss. Alopecia can affect those with thyroid disease, diabetes and vitiligo, as well as those who have the genetic condition Down’s syndrome.
Hair is kept strong by protein and iron so in some cases of hair loss, or thinning, it may be necessary to increase uptake of certain foods such as meat and fish products. Those who follow a vegetarian diet should eat a combination of protein from sources such as lentils, tofu, soy milk, peanut butter, nuts, brown rice and whole wheat bread.
There are two different types of iron that are needed to help with avoiding hair loss issues, heme and nonheme iron. Red meat contains heme iron, and plant sources tend to contain nonheme iron. Drinking lots of tea and coffee may inhibit the intake on nonheme iron, which takes longer to be absorbed than heme iron.
Vegetarians should consume eggs, soybeans, spinach and lima beans, and drink plenty of vitamin C drinks to assist the absorption of nonheme iron. Zinc is also needed to keep hair strong, which is found in high quantities in meat, again more easily absorbed than the vegetarian sources.
Shampoos and conditioners and other hair treatments claiming to help with hair loss are rife on the shelves of supermarkets.
Minodixil and finasteride are also known for helping with male pattern baldness. Finasteride stops the dihydrotestosterone from being created and treatment may take between 3 and 6 month. Minodixil works without any real understanding and is usually applied as a lotion, again treatment will need to be continued for at least 4 months to notice any effects. Female pattern baldness has only shown positive effects with minodixil.
Should the baldness be caused by an infection or a condition, then simply treating the illness or condition, should reverse the hair loss. For alopecia a simple wait and see guidance is offered, or in the more extreme cases corticosteroids are recommended.
Hair loss mainly affects men, with half going bald in their 50’s, although one quarter of all man experience some sort of hair loss in their 20’s. If it is falling out due to genetics then there is little that can be done without resorting to extreme methods of surgery implanting hair follicles.
However should it be caused by stress, or bad diet then there are things that can be done. Hair loss can be treated in a variety of different ways depending on what has caused the thinning in the first place. In most cases using shampoos that contain minodixil would often give the best results.
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