Hair loss isn’t just a man’s problem. It affects women, too. Hair loss in women is usually not as noticeable because women usually suffer from hair thinning instead of pattern baldness, and they can cover up their condition with the use of certain hair styles.
What Causes Hair Loss?
Many factors affect hair health and can lead to hair loss. Some of the most common ones are:
- Underlying medical conditions
- Exposure to toxins
- Certain medications
- Certain medical treatments such as chemotherapy
Note that you can’t really avoid many of those. In addition, there is one major cause of male pattern baldness that you need to be wary of – excess DHT (dihydrotestosterone) in the body.
DHT is an androgen present in both men and women. Testosterone conversion results in the formation of DHT. Excessive DHT levels in the body directly affect the hair follicles. Hair follicles are the structures in the dermal layer of the skin responsible for hair growth. Excess DHT levels are often the result of another condition called estrogen dominance. Since the DHT hormone opposes the negative effects of estrogen, the body tries to increase it to protect itself from the side effects of excess estrogen levels.
When there is too much DHT in the hair follicles, the cells in the area cannot efficiently absorb nutrients. This will lead to shrinkage of the hair follicles and eventual hair thinning, complete follicle death, and consequently baldness. Understanding the causes is important because it makes it easier to make a plan on how to approach and treat your hair loss.
Using Chili Peppers To Stop Hair Loss
Chilli peppers contain capsaicin – the compound which is responsible for its hotness. This compound is also known to help promote better hair growth.
More studies are underway to form a deeper understanding on exactly how this hot compound works. What is known is that it speeds up hair growth by stimulating the action of IGF-1. This insulin-like growth factor activates the sensory neurons in the hair follicles that promote faster hair growth.
Studies show that this effect is more evident if capsaicin is taken together with soy isoflavones. You can’t really live on just Chilli peppers so hair loss wise, it would be a good idea to start with capsaicin supplements or topical creams instead.
Try Soy Isoflavones
Soy is an excellent natural source of plant-based protein. Including this food in your daily diet can help provide more protein that hair follicles can use for hair growth. Recent studies found that isoflavones derived from soy could help with hair loss. Soy isoflavones are organic compounds that work like phytoestrogens. They nudge DHT out of the hair follicles, reducing DHT accumulation.
The phytoestrogens in soy isoflavones are weak – and that’s a good thing. This means that they can reduce how much DHT binds to the hair follicles but will not cause any hormonal imbalance or affect estrogen in the body. The weak estrogenic activity of isoflavones competes with DHT at the receptors in the hair follicles. That means less DHT accumulates in the hair follicles which will leave more space for nutrients from the blood to pass through and nourish the hair follicles.
This eases the burden on the hair follicles. The follicles will be better nourished and their function is not hampered by too much DHT attached to its membranes, leading to better hair health and reduced hair loss.
Soy is also a healthy food that can help improve your overall health.
Try Weight Loss Supplements Carnitine and Raspberry Ketones
You’d be surprised that some supplements traditionally used for weight loss have been found to have potent capabilities to stop hair loss in both topical and pill forms. You know Carnitine as a weight loss supplement, but recent studies showed its mechanism may have positive effects beyond weight loss.
One such study was conducted in Germany, at the University of Lubeck. Carnitine demonstrated the ability to stimulate elongation of the hair shaft, reducing cell death and enhancing hair growth. According to the study, carnitine was able to produce these effects by boosting the proliferation of follicular keratinocytes – the epidermal cells that produce keratin, which hair strands are made of. It also slowed down cellular death.
Prolonging the life and function of the keratinocytes within the hair follicles means you get to benefit from a healthier scalp and consequently, thicker hair. Carnitine helps transport fatty acids that easily enter the hair follicles. These fats are easily burned by the cells to produce energy. The increase in energy helps the hair follicles to function better, which can result in more hair growth and reduced hair loss.
Hair loss can also be an effect of oxidative damage. This is the destruction of the cells from exposure to toxins and free radicals. Carnitine may help in protecting the cells, including the hair follicles, from oxidative damage, guarding against hair loss.
Raspberry ketones are another widely known weight loss supplement. This substance is found in red raspberries, kiwis, strawberries and cranberries.
Like carnitine, raspberry ketones gained attention as a weight loss substance, having similar characteristics to capsaicin. One study in Japan was able to demonstrate raspberry ketones ability to grow hair. Around 50% of the participants in this study experienced hair growth after a 5-month treatment with raspberry ketones. The participants were suffering from alopecia or spot baldness.
Another study found how raspberry ketones work towards promoting hair growth. They work by stimulating the sensory nerve endings around the hair follicles. This stimulation leads to increased hair growth.
Use Essential Oils to Boost Hair Growth
Hair loss can also be reversed using essential oils. Long before science was able to isolate and study raspberry ketones, soy isoflavones, carnitine, and capsaicin, people were already using essential oils on their hair. The top 3 essential oils recommended for reducing hair loss are rosemary, cedarwood and clary sage essential oils. Add these essential oils to your favorite shampoo for greater benefits.
Rosemary oil enhances hair growth for thicker hair. This effect is believed to be a result of the oil’s positive effect on cellular metabolism.
Cedarwood oil increases blood flow to the scalp. More nutrients are delivered to the hair follicles that can help boost hair growth. This essential oil can help treat hair thinning and certain types of alopecia (baldness).
Clary sage oil balances scalp oils. It can help keep the hair healthy and shiny. Try not to use too much though because doing so can cause oily hair and other scalp and hair problems. Clary sage essential oil helps control the amount of scalp oil for healthier hair. This oil also works similarly to rosemary essential oil. It increases cellular metabolism for faster hair growth and has hormonal balancing properties that can help in controlling excess DHT.
Hair loss affects everyone. It can happen even as early as in your twenties. Try a natural remedy free of side effects, compared to pharmaceutical treatments. Do something about your hair loss before the problem gets out of control. The key to success is to address hair loss early. Do not wait for bald spots to appear before you do something about it.