Hair loss is devastating for men and women alike. All too often, literature and media address hair loss as an issue targeted only towards men, but it is equally, if not more so, devastating to women. And, yes, it happens all the time to women in varying degrees of severity.
Some may even argue that it’s more devastating for women because society seems to be more used to or accepting of hair loss in men. Whereas, from what I’ve seen in my clinic, women seem to feel more shame or embarrassment over the topic because it’s less talked about for women thus we believe we are alone in their predicament.
While I strongly believe in the concept that beauty truly comes from within, I am not blinded to the fact that many people place a strong emphasis on their hair as an outward status symbol of their health, vitality, and who they are. As one of my patients stated, “losing my hair has been the most devastating thing to have happened to my self-esteem.” When faced with such a saddening and devastating health concern, how can we best prevent seeing our sense of dignity and self going down the drain?
What many of us don’t realize is that hair growth is heavily dependent on our overall health. Just like our gardens where our flowers and grass need fertile soil to grow on, similarly, our hair requires nutrients and a healthy environment to foster an abundance and radiance of growth. So, in some ways, I suppose beauty does come from within…because we need our health inside our body to be optimized in order to generate healthy hair.
When we are talking about hair loss and hence hair regrowth, we have to address not just the factors that contribute to healthy hair growth but also the factors that prevent us from keeping a healthy mane of hair. Various factors such as stress, inflammation, fatigue, adrenal dysfunction, thyroid disorders, and specific nutrient deficiencies all come into play when assessing the concern of hair loss. We can use various herbs and vitamins to help augment the factors that support growth and strengthen the factors that suppress hair loss tendencies.
So, if you want to try to prevent hair loss in a natural way, you have to look at hair loss prevention and reinstitution of hair growth as a process of removing all the things that prevent it from being optimized and then creating a nutrient-rich balanced environment. By removing inflammatory processed foods from your diet and eating more vegetables, nuts, legumes, whole grains and healthy low saturated fat organic meats or plant-based proteins, you’ll be able to provide the fundamental nutrients needed for hair growth as well as helping to decrease inflammation in your body because you are removing junk food from your body and giving it healthy fuel instead. Many of my patients have been able to use vitamins and herbs and dietary changes to remove the triggers of hair loss and implement factors for regrowth.
Interestingly, sometimes the removal of a supplement from a patient’s herbal regimen has been necessary to help stop hair loss as well. My patients are always surprised to learn that they had been taking supplements that actually were worsening the root of the problem. In other words, in regards to our skin and hair health, it’s important to remember that it is truly like a garden…you neither want to overdo what you give it nor should you deny it the nutrients it needs. So, you may want to see an integrative physician about making sure that you are not taking any supplements that may be worsening your hair loss issue.
Finally, getting plenty of rest and exercise and making efforts to decrease your stress level in your busy life are all going to be very important in helping your hair regrow and prevent future loss.
As always, I recommend readers to always check with your physician for a full evaluation for causes of hair loss such as thyroid disease or autoimmune diseases, just to name a few causes. Seeking the consultation of a dermatologist or your doctor in this matter is important to make sure that the hair loss isn’t just a small sign of a larger health issue. But, if you’ve been fully checked out and you are fine but you are not interested in using hair loss medications, give the lifestyle change idea a try…it may end up helping not just your hair health but your overall health.
When it comes down to it, the principles for healthy hair are generally the principles for a healthy body. If you follow these rules of cleaning out your diet and your lifestyle, your overall health generally improves…and ultimately so does your hair health.