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A HEALTHY HEAD OF HAIR
Loss of hair can be a cause of great social anxiety for both men and women. The idea of losing all of your shiny locks is probably one’s worst nightmare in a post-Instagram world. Although the thinning of hair, in some cases, has nothing to do with serious health conditions, it can result in some people feeling a loss of self-esteem and others being pushed into severe depression.
This yearning of thicker, fuller hair has galvanised many people into spending exorbitant amounts of money on trying out various medications, switching products and adopting practices that ultimately have no significant result.
CAUSES OF HAIR LOSS
- Hormonal Imbalance
- Thyroid Problems and Other Medical Conditions
- Side Effects of Medications and Supplements
- Shock and Stress
- Poor Diet
At Health Institute Australasia (HIA) we personally believe that overall health is more important than outward appearance, and the condition of hair loss or thinning hair doesn’t automatically turn an individual into a social pariah overnight. Pitta dosha types are prone to hair loss and balding. Nevertheless, hair loss or thinning hair in many cases might be the consequence of a sedentary lifestyle riddled with poor diet and lack of necessary nutrition. So, it wouldn’t hurt to explore the problem of hair loss and hair thinning at its source, in order to rejuvenate the thick, healthy and beautiful hair of your youth.
Let us shed light on some of the most obvious solutions to the problem of hair thinning that doesn’t require you to mortgage your home. One of the things you can do is to supply your body with essential nutrients and minerals that will keep your hair healthier and shinier for the long run.
AVOID THESE FOODS FOR STRONGER, HEALTHIER HAIR
Processed foods are foods that have been altered from their natural state to extend their shelf life or improve their taste and texture. They can be found on supermarket shelves in the form of snacks, prepared meals, soft drinks and many other products. Heavy inclusion of processed foods in your diet can cause hormonal imbalances that ultimately result in hair loss. According to nutritionists, a diet that is majorly dependent on refined carbs and processed food can be a reason behind unwanted hair loss. Since these foods contain copious amounts of sugar, they are likely to stimulate androgen levels that ultimately lead to hair thinning and sometimes baldness.
Drinking alcohol can cause extreme dehydration, which will dry out your hair follicles and, over time, cause hair thinning Alcohol can also cause inflammation and increase liver toxicity, thus causing hair loss.
Trans fats tend to increase inflammation in the body, which can affect the health of hair follicles and lead to hair loss. In addition, trans fats can affect the production of sebum in the scalp, which can make hair oilier and more prone to dandruff. Trans Fats can cause inflammation and increase the production of DHT. Avoid vegetable, corn and soybean oils.
When blood sugar levels rise rapidly, it can cause an inflammatory response in the body. Inflammation can damage hair follicles and lead to hair loss. In addition, sugary foods can also contribute to hormonal imbalances, which can also affect hair health. High levels of insulin in the body, which can be caused by excessive sugar consumption, can increase testosterone production. This hormone can be converted to dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which is known to cause hair loss in men and women.
Artificial sweeteners are often used as sugar substitutes in processed foods. However, they can be even more harmful than refined sugars. Artificial sweeteners can disrupt the beneficial bacteria in the gut, which can lead to inflammation in the body. As mentioned earlier, inflammation can damage hair follicles and cause hair loss. In addition, artificial sweeteners can also disrupt insulin levels in the body, which can also cause hormonal imbalances. It increases DHT, elevates inflammation and imbalances hormones.
Tannins are molecules that stick to proteins and are found in tree wood and bark, unripe fruits and the leaves of plants. Ingredients in black tea and coffee can put a strain on your iron levels which could result in hair loss. Caffeine can cause dehydration, increase DHT and eventually result in hair loss.
Eating food that causes allergies in the body can result in hair loss. Some possible food allergens include soy, dairy, corn, wheat (gluten) etc.
Be Mindful of Medications
Make sure you are aware of any side effects before you consume drugs. Many medications and supplements also have side effects that are directly linked to hair loss. If you are on some sort of medication, it will be important to know whether that medication is what is causing your hair loss. It would be a wise decision to seek better solutions than those harsh medications if they are available.
NATURAL REMEDIES FOR THINNING HAIR AND BALDING SCALP
There are various natural remedies that people have tried over the years to overcome hair thinning, such as head and scalp massage, fenugreek, DHT-blocking shampoos (Dihydrotestosterone), rosemary and coconut oil, aloe vera…and no heat, either from hot water or hairdryers. There have also been drugs and supplements that people take to mitigate hair loss.
Favour eating nutritional food
Many conditions of hair loss are a result of a poor diet that does not offer anything to the human body in terms of nutrition and minerals. Like every other vital organ in your body, your skin, scalp and hair also need their fair share of nutrition to stay healthy. Described below are some foods that could help you by providing just what your precious hair needs to be stronger and healthier.
Food that is rich in Iron
Iron is an essential component in an enzyme called ribonucleotide reductase that helps cell growth. According to some research, hair follicle cells can be particularly sensitive to decreasing levels of iron and may not be able to grow new cells as effectively when iron stores are low Having iron-rich food such as lentils, kale, spinach and other leafy green vegetables will keep iron and ferritin levels high enough to sustain hair follicle health.
Vitamin C is one of the most effective nutrients to help grow and strengthen hair. Vitamin C helps build collagen, which is highly important for hair growth. It not only turns your body into a powerful antioxidant but also helps the body absorb iron better. Some great sources of vitamin C are Guava, Papaya, Citrus and broccoli.
Healthy hair starts from the roots, which is where new cells form at the base of the follicle. These cells then multiply and form the blocks of what becomes our hair. Vitamin A can affect cell growth, so enough vitamin A in your body can lead to stronger and thicker hair. It is also responsible for the production of sebum that conditions your hair. Foods rich in Vitamin A, such as pumpkin, sweet potato and Kale, can maintain the health of your scalp.
Biotin Rich Products
Biotin is an essential B vitamin responsible for making your skin, hair and nails stronger. Biotin’s function in protein synthesis and more specifically, in keratin production, explains its contribution to healthy nail and hair growth. A lack of biotin in the body can cause hair to become brittle which makes it more vulnerable to thinning. Biotin is readily found in many foods and is also produced by normal gut flora. You can get more biotin in your body by eating egg yolks or nutritional yeast. You can also purchase a shampoo and conditioner that is rich in biotin.
Foods that are rich in Zinc
Zinc provides the building blocks needed for healthy follicle development and helps to fortify the foundation from which hair grows. It therefore reduces the risk of hair breakage and loss. A deficiency in Zinc has been linked to hair loss, so try to include all of zinc-rich food such as chickpeas and pumpkin seeds in your diet.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Increasing your intake of omega-3 fatty acids may stimulate your hair follicles and sebaceous glands, and improve the health of your scalp. Wild caught cold water fish such as salmon, sardines and herrings are loaded with anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids that are excellent for a healthy scalp..
Bone broth is rich in protein, collagen, gelatin, glucosamine, chondroitin, and other minerals that are often missing from a conventional diet. Nutrients such as collagen, amino acids and hyaluronic acid found in bone broth help reduce inflammation, heal damaged skin and hair, stimulate hair roots and boost antioxidant status As such bone broth is a perfect remedy against hair loss. The nutrients in bone broth not only promote hair health but also promote the health of skin and nails.
Use Essential Oils
Essential oils are reputed to play a key role in promoting hair health. Rosemary essential oil can increase cellular metabolism and thus make hair healthy. Similarly, Spikenard oil is also shown to slow down the process of both hair loss and greying.
Take Cooler Showers
Another way to protect your brain, scalp and hair is by keeping it away from hot showers. Hot showers can make your hair brittle, dry and more prone falling out. Always favour cooler showers for the sake of your hair. Also try to avoid using hairdryers as much as possible for the same reason.
Stress is one of the major causes of hair loss. If you want to control the thinning of your hair, then you must learn how to manage your stress. Practice yoga, deep relaxation techniques, meditation, deep breathing, journaling and spending time outdoors. Get plenty of rest and do not overload yourself with work, Learn to meditate.
The Bottom Line
In cases of hereditary hair loss, there isn’t much that can be done. Remember, there is more to your beauty and charisma than just beautiful hair. Being healthy in your body and staying positive in your mind will help you exude the charm needed to stand out in a crowd, irrespective of how you perceive your appearance in the mirror.
- My MP3 entitled ‘Samadhi’ is a great product for deep relaxation.
- Attend my lunchtime Mindfulness based Stress Reduction class (Yoga Nidra) with me on Tuesdays at 12:30 – 1:20pm.
- Come and practice yoga and meditation with the wonderful team at Shanti Yoga.
- Use Hair Growth Serum – Non drying and non greasy Ayurvedic formula. Boosts hair growth. For all hair types.