THE BLOG

Hair Loss Myths and Facts

09/01/2014 12:24 GMT | Updated 10/03/2014 09:59 GMT

The reasons for hair loss have still not been conclusively clarified. It is highly likely that hormonal deficiencies account for increased loss of decorative head hair. Despite a high percentage of male hair loss sufferers experiencing the effects of hereditary Male Pattern Baldness , stress and nutrition can also affect the quality of the hair. This in my opinion is the reason why there are many myths surrounding hair loss.

Many people think that washing hair frequently is a good idea. The hair that is in the drain after a hair wash can definitely precipitate this view, but there is no direct relation between the frequency of hair washing and hair loss. But you must always choose a product that is suitable for your hair type and scalp in order give it optimal care and not let it dry out. Colouring and tinting don't affect hair loss, as the dye does not penetrate the roots and only the visible hair changes colour. Frequent dyeing can damage the structure of the hair, but once you stop dyeing, the hair grows back with the usual strength again. Remember the average head of hair loses 100 hairs a day naturally in order for the new hair to cycle.

2014-01-09-iStock_000011594336Small.jpg

Picture Credit :Paul Maguire

However, there is an element of truth in the myth that male hormones are the cause for female hair loss as every woman produces the male hormone testosterone but it is not over production of the hormone that causes hair loss; the hair follicles react only very slightly to the messenger substance.

The belief that men who often wear hats go bald quicker is an unrelenting one that cannot seem to be quashed. This theory has even been scientifically disproved. Reportedly, the contrary is much more the case: hats have a positive effect on hair as may external influences are kept away from the scalp.

The belief that more hair falls in summer than in winter is partly true though. Many people experience a type of shedding which originates from the time when we had fur all over our bodies. We lose less hair in winter as protection against the cold, but in summer the body sheds more hair. This is not hair loss.

It is often said that incorrect and unbalanced diets can increase hair loss too. This is true. Iron and protein deficiencies have a negative effect, which is why hair falls out quickly when on an unbalanced diet or when doing crash diets for example. If the diet is balanced, the hair stays on the head.

Here, the nutrients you need to aid that full head of hair and the foods that pack them:

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Good for more than your brain, omega-3 fatty acids nourish your whole noggin. The essential nutrient reaches both the hair shaft and the cell membranes in your scalp, nourishing the follicles and promoting healthy hair growth. Plus, they add elasticity to your hair, preventing it from breaking off and ending up in your shower drain. But get this--the body can't produce omega 3-fatty acids on its own; whatever you eat is what your body gets. So dig in!

The foods to eat: Flaxseeds, walnuts, salmon, tuna, kale, Brussels sprouts, rapeseed oil.

Zinc

Boosting tissue growth and repair, zinc helps keep your scalp and hair stay healthy. It also regulates hormones (testosterone included) in the body and helps maintain production of oil-secreting glands on the scalp that help your hair grow. There's no need to go overboard, though.

The foods to eat: Chickpeas, wheat germ, oysters, beef, veal liver, roast beef.

Protein

Your hair is pretty much pure protein. So if you don't eat enough for both your muscles and hair, you'll have bulging biceps--but a bald head. And even if you do hang onto your hair, eating too little protein can turn it grey. Eat a diet rich in high-quality, naturally occurring protein. Wait, you're a veg or a vegan? No worries. As any good meatless eater knows, protein abounds in more than just animal sources.

The foods to eat: Greek yogurt, eggs yolks, kale, peanuts, beans, peas, lentils, tofu, chicken, turkey.

Iron

When it comes to healthy circulation, eating enough iron is clutch. Iron helps deliver blood to the body's cells. Neglect the nutrient and your blood can't carry enough oxygen to your scalp for good hair growth.

The foods to eat: Dark leafy greens, whole grains, beans, red meat, turkey, egg yolks, clams, mussels, oysters.

If you feel your hair loss is a result of hereditary Male Pattern Baldness it is advisable to have this confirmed by your Doctor or dermatologist and get on proven treatments to help fight against DHT.

Understanding the role of DHT (dihydrotestosterone) in MPB is an important step to finding the right treatment for you. Products that prevent those hormones are often called DHT Blockers. Only three proven medications can help effectively slow down and stop hair loss and in many cases re-grow hair. These are Minoxidil, Finasteride and Nizoral Shampoo

These are the treatments that do work and are not expensive if purchased from reputable sources, however speak to your GP initially and it's advisable to get blood tests done to see if there are underlying issues causing your hair loss.

Spexhair