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5 Effective Treatments for Alopecia

5 Effective Treatments for Alopecia

We may call hair loss alopecia when we want to be formal and scientific, but let us be straight. Losing your hair sucks. As someone who has had hair loss starting in his early 20s and has a family history of early hair loss, it is tough to see how your friends and family react sometimes. And while hair treatments can help your fight against alopecia, your hair is fighting a battle against Father Time. He always wins.

That sense of desperation creates a rich feeding ground for charlatans and crooks, and so some people do waste their money on unreliable treatments. But some remedies, both natural and chemical, can help the fight against hair loss. Here are a few tips which can make you look your best.

  1. Think about nutrition

If you have ever lost a lot of weight at a time, you may have noticed significant hair loss. The Lindora Clinic notes that hair loss is a common side effect to periods of massive weight loss. This is because your body redirects nutrients away from nonessential functions like your hair and towards essential functions like your organs. A lack of protein, in particular, will create hair loss, as that is essentially what your hairs are made of.

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Consequently, the first step towards treating hair loss is to eat right. A protein and iron-rich diet will provide the nutrients you need to stimulate your hair, so load up on fish, leafy greens, and chicken. These foods offer other health benefits and can help you slim down without starving yourself and cutting off the nutrients from your hair.

  1. Minoxidil

You probably know this as Rogaine, but this drug does work and is one of only two drugs actually approved by the FDA to fight hair loss (the other drug, finasteride is alright). As WebMD notes, “Minoxidil belongs to a class of drugs known as vasodilators. Minoxidil solution and foam are used to help hair growth in the treatment of male pattern baldness. It is not used for baldness at the front of the scalp or receding hairline in men. The foam and 2 percent minoxidil solution is also used to help hair growth in women with thinning hair.”

But minoxidil will only keep your hair growth up for as long as it is administered. When you stop using it, all the hair which you will grow up to that point will fall off and possibly more.

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If you want to use minoxidil, use the 5 percent treatment two times per day once in the morning and evening. Take care to really massage it in your head when it is dry and let it sit for a bit.

  1. Oil massages

If you are interested in something more natural, then various oils such as coconut or castor oil massaged into your scalp can help your hair growth. These massages help for two reasons. First is that these oils can improve the blood circulation to the affected areas. More blood in your scalp means more nutrients to your hair that will help keep them healthy. Many of these oils also contain minerals and nutrients of their own which can improve your hair health when massaged in.

The second is the massage itself. Stress is one of the key factors behind hair loss and a good massage can relieve any tension you have. Other methods of relieving stress such as deep breathing or meditation are also excellent options.

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  1. Hair Transplants

Hair transplants are the most drastic but generally the most effective means of battling hair loss. While hair transplants have been around since the 1950s, advances in medicine have made the procedure less intrusive and do a better job at hiding the transplant.

In a hair transplant, a surgeon moves hair follicles from one part of your hair to the other and transplant them into the bald area. The transplanted hair will fall out quickly, but stimulates natural hair growth.

If you are interested in a hair transplant, you have to understand what it entails. First, a hair transplant will cost thousands of dollars and most insurers will not cover that expense. There are also additional medical risks such as an itchy scalp or swelling, as well as the fact that the transplant will fail a small percentage of the time.

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Take care to discuss this surgery with a professional certified by the International Society for Hair Restoration Surgery before going under the knife.

  1. Visit your doctor

Most of the time, hair loss is embarrassing but harmless. But sometimes, it can be an indication that something is wrong with you. Some examples of diseases which can be associated with hair loss include lupus, thyroid disease, and even HIV. For younger people, hair loss can also be associated with anorexia given the aforementioned link between hair and weight loss.

If absolutely nothing is working to fix your hair and you have other symptoms, you might want to visit your physician. He can confirm that nothing is wrong with you and can recommend other treatments which can help grow your hair back.

Featured photo credit: Caroline Speranza via flic.kr

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

1. Exercise Daily

It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

3. Acknowledge Your Limits

Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

The basic nutritional advice includes:

  • Eat unprocessed foods
  • Eat more veggies
  • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
  • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

    5. Watch Out for Travel

    Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

    This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

    If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

    6. Start Slow

    Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

    If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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    7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

    Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

    My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

    If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

    I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

    Final Thoughts

    Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

    Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

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    Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

    Reference

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