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