“On average, we lose fifty to a hundred hairs a day,” says Francesca Fusco, MD, a New York City dermatologist who specialises in hair loss. “That’s just hair going through its cycles, and there will be a new one to replace it.”
But then there are the excesses of that “norm” that some people face, and there are many causes recorded for this problem, from hormonal causes, like having high levels of testosterone, Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, and sometimes pregnancy. Other causes can be major surgery, drastic weight loss, or extreme stress.
Women who have heavy menstrual periods or don’t eat enough iron-rich foods may be prone to iron deficiency, when the blood doesn’t have enough red blood cells. Red blood cells transport oxygen to cells throughout your body, giving you the energy you need, and when you don’t have enough of those transport vessels symptoms can be extreme fatigue, weakness, and pale skin. You may also notice headaches, difficulty concentrating, cold hands and feet, and hair loss.
Hair loss can be genetic, i.e. androgenetic alopecia, or can be when your body produces too little thyroid hormone, the hormone responsible for metabolism, heart rate, and mood, known as hypothyroidism, or an underactive thyroid, and in some cases may be caused by Lupus, a chronic autoimmune disease.
Obviously you should consult your doctor if you encounter excessive hair loss, to rule out anything sinister, and follow their guidelines on treatment, but there are also some simple nutrients you should ensure you are utilising too.
Apart from the obvious iron rich foods (if iron deficiency is part of your problem) like eggs (especially egg yolks), red meats, liver, oysters, salmon and tuna, there are also some very beneficial vitamins you should ensure you are sourcing!
When excessive hair loss is troubling think “EACH”!
Vitamins E, A, C and H (or Biotin)!
If your body is deprived of these vitamins you can become vulnerable to inflammatory disorders of the scalp that can cause you to lose your hair. So you should make sure you get enough “EACH” in your system.
First let’s look at Vitamin E – found in olive oil and all canned fish. Consuming cooked fish will not only provide Vitamin E, but is also a source of Vitamin B too. And one of the richest (vegetarian) sources of Vitamin E is avocado, also a very healthy natural fat.
Secondly, Vitamin A is obtained by eating yellow vegetables such as carrots and sweet potatoes, and through yellow fruit like mango, papaya and peaches.
The third vitamin in this equation, Vitamin C, is found in a number of vegetables, such as yellow bell peppers, both red and green sweet peppers, kale, broccoli, tomatoes and snow peas (or mange tout). All citrus fruits are a good source of Vitamin C, and so too are strawberries, guava, kiwi fruit, and again papaya.
Then we have Vitamin H (commonly known as Biotin) – and the best known natural source of Biotin is egg yolks! (Which is brilliant news for anyone who has joined the fat revolution and started their LCHF diet!) Because Biotin is a water soluble vitamin it is not stored in the body, so it is important to eat Biotin rich food, like egg yolks, on a regular basis or even consider taking a Biotin supplement.
Of course, let’s not forget the wonders of Aromatherapy for healthy hair!
There are a number of essential oils that will help with stimulating the scalp and promoting hair growth and healthier hair, and talking to an Aromatherapist about your hair problems is worthwhile. A good aromatherapist can assist with a treatment suited to your particular needs.
But for your information, here is a short list of the most commonly available essential oils used for various causes of excessive hair loss, either used via vapourisation (neat) or as an overnight oil treatment for the scalp and hair – OF COURSE an oil treatment for the scalp and hair must be diluted in a base oil according to essential oil guidelines.
- Bergamot‘s (Citrus bergamia) antiseptic and healing action seems to benefit a number of skin conditions including seborrhoea of the scalp.
- Cedarwood Atlas (Cedrus atlantica) is known as a good hair tonic and could be effective against seborrhoea of the scalp, dandruff and alopecia.
- Lavender (Lavendula officinalis) therapeutic pure essential oil is an effective hair tonic, and may be of service in cases of alopecia.
- Tea Tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) therapeutic pure essential oil is helpful with dry conditions of the scalp as well as dandruff.
- Ylang Ylang (Cananga odorata) therapeutic pure essential oil has a tonic and stimulating effect on the scalp promoting a more luxurious hair growth.