What results in hair loss and what can we do about it?
Our hair is a living garden. It can thrive in optimum conditions and can wither in unfavorable ones. It can reflect the health of our body and the conditions of the environment around us. It grows in response to nutrients we consume and to the elements it is exposed to. It is an ‘antenna’, a connection to the energy forces of the world. Over-washing, chemical styling and blow drying can strip the natural oils from hair, leaving it dry, unhealthy and more prone to falling out. Environmental toxins and imbalance & illness in the body can also contribute to unhealthy hair and excessive hair loss. Genetics and hormones play their part as well.
Hair loss is a common condition and can affect many people at some time in their lives. It is normal to shed 150 hairs a day. Sometimes hair may simply thin as a result of predetermined genetic factors and the overall aging process. Many men and women may notice mild thinning of hair starting in their 30s and 40s. Sometimes the amount of hair loss may be increased by various stresses on the body. Physical stress such as illness, a lack of protein, and hormonal changes like those in pregnancy, puberty, andmenopause may cause a reversible hair loss. Other factors to consider are shock, emotional stress, damage to the skin such as burns, infection or radiation, an excess of Vitamin A, skin cancer, chemotherapy, hypothyroidism, or by a sluggish or toxic liver and kidneys.
Several health conditions, including thyroid disease and iron deficiency anemia, can cause hair loss. It is important to exclude underlying causes in sudden or severe hair loss. Medical health screening will include blood work to determine if hypothyroidism is a concern or if there is an imbalance to body’s hormonal and vitamin levels.
Sudden hair loss sometimes occurs as a result of illness or stress. This should be temporary and can often be reversed once the body is repaired and back in balance. Gradual thinning of the hair may be caused by severe nutritional deficiency, some illnesses, or disorders of the endocrine system (including thyroid and pituitary). Again, getting the body back in balance is the key to growing back hair or at the very least stopping the excessive hair loss that has occurred.
The first step is to determine what is causing the hair loss. Has there been a change in health? Are you dealing with extra stress lately? Could your diet use a little adjusting? Are you frying your hair with too many over the counter styling products? Auto-immune disorders may also take a toll on hair health. Usually it’s a case of mistaken identity: overzealous immune cells attack the hair. Determining the condition and improving health with nutrition and anti-inflammatory herbs can often slow down or significantly help this type of hair loss. It is interesting to note that women have more underlying causes of hair loss then men (like thyroid or hormonal imbalance and/or anemia), but men often have genetic- male pattern baldness.
With hypothyroid individuals hair can be coarse, dry and brittle. Hair loss can be quite severe. Hypothyroidism is the medical term for having an underactive thyroid gland. This little gland located in your neck produces hormones that are critical to metabolism as well as growth and development and, when it’s not pumping out enough hormones, can contribute to hair loss. Your doctor can determine if medication is necessary. Iodine from seaweed is very supportive to the healthy function of the thyroid (unless hypothyroidism is caused by an auto-immune condition called Hashimoto’s, in which case iodine should be avoided). Eliminating caffeine and sugar from the diet can also be very beneficial to the thyroid.
Male pattern baldness or Alopecia, emanates from testosterone levels and DHT (Dihydrotestosterone). This is usually hereditary and not easy to reverse. However, some supplements can help block DHT and other factors such as nutrition can make a big difference. When those other factors are addressed the health of the hair can be improved and people may see more thickness and regrowth. Supporting the health of the prostate is very beneficial and Saw Palmetto is a star herb for prostate health. Treat your prostate to treat your hair loss!
Take a look at your diet and decide if supplementing is right for you! Several studies have found thatvitamin D may help activate hair growth. Protein is one of the building blocks of life, promoting cell growth and repair and it boosts your hair strength too! Increasing fatty fish (like salmon) in the diet can really hydrate the hair. Fish is full of iron and biotin. Supplementing with Essential Fatty Acids and amulti-B Vitamin Complex can greatly support hair health.
Detoxing and nourishing the blood, kidneys and liver can greatly help. Traditional Chinese Medicine indicates that hair loss is attributed to deficient liver and kidneys. Many Chinese hair restorative formulas work internally by detoxing the liver and kidneys and by nourishing blood deficiency. The kidneys and liver filter out toxins and chemicals from the body. When their function is improved, the health of the entire body can improve.
The health of the scalp is also very important to overall hair health. Daily scalp massage will unclog pores and increase circulation to the head. Using specific herbs like basil, peppermint and rosemary can stimulate the scalp and promote hair growth. Clary sage, lavender, lemon, myrrh, patchouli, rosemary,tea tree and ylang-ylang offer help for Dandruff and other scalp conditions. Juniper is often added with rosemary for external hair applications. Juniper is wonderful for the hair and has an affinity for the kidneys.
Jojoba and Aloe moisturize and protect the scalp. Jojoba has long been used by Native Americans as a topical treatment for the skin and hair. Regularly massaging the scalp with jojoba oil can result in new hair growth. It can also help repair dry, brittle hair and soothes and moisturizes dry, scaly scalp.
Hanna Kroeger taught that hair loss could be an indication of poor kidney or thyroid health. She recommended Female Balance for women for correcting hormonal issues and Evening Primrose Oil,Silica, and Horsetail for their moisturizing and strengthening qualities. To support optimum thyroid health, Hanna recommended Thyroid Care Herbal along with a high protein diet. Add plenty of yogurt (or probiotics) to your diet and limit sugar intake as much as possible. Drinking and applying sage tea externally helps stimulate hair growth. Nettle tea helps to cleanse the system and encourages growth. To clear heavy metal and chemical residue from the kidneys, Hanna recommended Black Radish & Parsley, Kidney Care Blend, KDY Tea, Chem X and Metal X herbal products.
Hanna’s Herb Shop carries several products that are useful in maintaining healthy hair and supporting new growth.
Silica, Vegetal- this is a water extraction of Horsetail herb. This form is very easy for the body to assimilate. Horsetail is naturally high in Silica which is the building block of hair and nails.
Silicea (Cell Salt # 12)- Silica is one of the most abundant of the earth’s solid components. It comes from rocks and is a major supportive element in the connective tissues of plant and animal cells. It is called ‘Nature’s Cell Cleanser’. It is recommended for many conditions but is especially beneficial for building up and strengthening hair and nails.
Ultra Hair- a multi-vitamin supplement to support strong hair
Advanced Men’s Restorative Hair Nutrients Bao Shi- This formula increases shine, luster and growth while supporting the production of keratin. Keratin helps to prevent hair loss and graying. Rosemary stimulates hair growth and improves circulation. Saw palmetto is added to support prostate health and can help slow down hair thinning by being a naturally powerful DHT (Dihydrotestosterone) blocker. DHT has been linked to male pattern baldness because hair follicles are sensitive to DHT, which causes them to shrink and eventually causes thinning and then loss. Men have more receptors for DHT in their hair follicles than women, which is why it is a much larger issue for men.
Advanced Women’s Bao Shi™ Restorative Hair Nutrients- This formula increases shine, luster and growth while supporting the production of keratin. Keratin helps to prevent hair loss and graying. Ligustrum is added for its anti-oxidant benefits as well as its ability to tone the liver and kidneys. Rosemary stimulates hair growth and improves circulation. Nettles can help to cleanse and nourish the blood.
Rosemary Jojoba Hair Oil- This oil helps restore moisture to hair while nourishing and conditioning. Great for dandruff!
Collagen- We carry several Collagen products! Collagen is a protein that maintains strength and flexibility throughout the body. Types 1 & 3 support hair health. Enjoy thicker, stronger, more beautiful hair with collagen.
Hair Wonder Anti-Hairloss Shampoo- A stimulating and nourishing shampoo that helps to promote hair growth and reduce hair loss. It includes essential minerals, rock crystals, red ginseng and biotin. Although it does contain some ingredients we would prefer it didn’t have, this is still the most natural alternative to Rogaine we have found.
Hair Wonder Anti-Hairloss Lotion- An activating lotion that increases hair growth and reduces hair loss. It strengthens the hair and stimulates the scalp. It includes essential minerals, rock crystals, red ginseng and biotin. Used in conjunction with the Anti-Hairloss Shampoo.
There are many factors that can contribute to excessive hair loss. By doing some investigative work then correcting, cleansing and nourishing the body with food and herbs, your hair can shine again!<< read less