Hair Loss and Nutrition -
The quality of the food we eat and the amount of protein it contains are extremely important for normal hair growth. Protein is essential for the formation of keratin, the principal component of hair. Protein is found in large amounts in meat, poultry, eggs, milk, cheese, and soy beans and legumes.
Vegetarians and people (usually young girls) on strict reducing diets are liable to suffer from severe thinning of the hair. In these cases, hair loss is usually experienced about three months after the diet has begun.
The situation is reversible, and once a proper diet with a sufficient amount of protein has been instituted, hair loss will stop and hair growth will be renewed. Other causes of thinning hair are iron deficiency anemia, a lack of zinc and an excess of Vitamin A.Share on Facebook
Bald men are a familiar sight, but it is generally not well known that some women also suffer from a similar loss of hair, which usually begins after they are forty or fifty years old.In men, the characteristic cessation of normal hair growth and the beginning of a fine, downy, almost invisible growth of hair on certain areas of the scalp is linked to heredity and hormonal factors.
Some women undergo a similar process, but their hair only thins out and they do not become completely bald. As with men, the tendency to thinning hair in women over forty is genetic, and can be passed along by either the mother or the father. Sometimes this tendency can skip generations.Before determining that heredity is the cause of a patient’s thinning hair, the physician must first perform certain tests to rule out other factors.
Hair loss after a pregnancy, after a drastic diet and as a result of a serious internal illness will be diagnosed by a dermatologist and treated accordingly. Within the last few years a drug has been approved which may afford hope to men and women who suffer from genetically-caused hair loss.
This drug, based on a preparation used to reduce high blood pressure, is called minoxidil (brand names Minoxitrim, Regain, Hairgain), and is dispensed as a solution which is applied twice a day to the areas of the scalp where the hair is thin. Men have about a 30% chance of stopping hair loss and of growing new hair.
A study which was recently presented at a convention of the American Academy of Dermatology showed that of 600 women suffering from hair loss who used a 2% solution of minoxidil, 300 enjoyed a 40% increase in hair growth. In an experiment which lasted for 32 weeks, the hairs per square centimeter of scalp were counted, and it was found that 27 new hairs per square centimeter grew on the scalps of women who had used the solution as opposed to only 15 new hairs for women who had used a solution not containing the active ingredient. Very few side effects were noted.
About 2% of the women treated reported excessive hair growth on various parts of the body and there were isolated cases of skin inflammations and headaches. It is important to remember that this drug lowers blood pressure and that the treatment is recommended only for healthy people. The lotion has to be used for at least 6 months in order to determine if it has had any influence on the growth of the patient’s hair. As of this writing only a dermatologist can prescribe the drug, and the patient’s blood pressure must be monitored and other laboratory tests must be performed every few months.Share on Facebook
Hair loss can appear six to eight weeks after an illness accompanied by a high fever, such as influenza or pneumonia. This type of hair loss is usually temporary, and ordinary hair growth is resumed in a matter of months.
Malfunction of the thyroid gland can also lead to thinning hair, a condition which will reverse itself as soon as proper treatment has been initiated.
In some cases certain medications can increase hair loss. Among these medications are anti-coagulants, drugs for the treatment of gout, anti-depressants, beta-adrenergic blocking agents used to treat hypertension (high blood pressure) and irregular heartbeat (for instance, Deralin), and drugs containing Vitamin A derivatives.
Hormone disturbances in women, which lead to the excessive growth of body hair and irregular menstrual periods, are also liable to cause thinning of the hair.
Treatment of these disturbances usually leads to the return of normal hair growth.Share on Facebook
Hair loss after giving birth
-is quite common. During pregnancy more hair follicles are in an active growing phase, and when the pregnancy is over, the resulting hormonal changes cause many of the follicles to revert to a dormant phase, leading to increased hair loss. The condition is temporary and the hair usually returns to its normal state within six months after the birth of the baby.
To reduce hair loss after birth as far as possible, the hair should be treated gently and only a soft hairbrush should be used. It should be washed with a mild shampoo and dried by patting with a towel, nor by vigorous rubbing. During this period a simple hair style should be adopted, one which does not call for pulling the hair back tightly.
There are a few recorded cases of women who experience hair loss as a result of taking birth control pills which simulate pregnancy. In most instances hair loss begins when the woman stops taking the pills, the same symptom experienced by women who are not longer pregnant. The hair returns to its normal condition within six months to a year.Share on Facebook