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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 16, 2019

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

More About Procrastination

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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