Shedding up to 100-150 hairs a day is considered perfectly normal. However, sometimes hair loss may increase to levels beyond what is normal. As you wash your hair, you may suddenly find yourself shedding more hair than usual. Or perhaps you noticed more hair fallout on your carpets, in your bedroom, and around the house. Increased hair loss may seem alarming, but many cases are reversible when the root cause is addressed. Hair loss, also known as alopecia, is a complex condition because it can occur for many different reasons. Medications, chronic stress, nutrient deficiencies, and hormonal imbalances are all common causes of hair loss.
Common triggers for hair loss
Low iron levels
Iron deficiency is often an overlooked cause of hair loss in women. Iron is needed to make hemoglobin, the component in red blood cells that is responsible for transporting oxygen around your body. Without enough oxygen, your organs cannot work as effectively. So when iron suppliers are low, the nutrients will go to vital organs such as the heart, brain, and lungs, leaving little for the hair. A ferritin blood test can help determine iron status in the body.
Low thyroid hormone levels
Hair follicles are extremely hormone sensitive. Any thyroid hormone imbalance, especially low thyroid levels, can affect the development of hair at the root. As a result, imbalanced hormones can cause hair to fall out at a faster rate than it can be replaced. When the thyroid issue is addressed, hair regrowth can be expected.
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common hormone condition that can result in both hair loss and excess hair growth. Many PCOS patients have a higher level of male hormones, which stimulates hair growth where it doesn’t usually grow, such as the face, neck, chest, and abdomen. On the other hand, the same excess male hormones can also cause hair thinning on the head.
It’s in your genes
It can be easy to blame extreme hair loss on genetics, but it is rarely the only cause. Genetics can play a role in how much hair loss you will experience as you age, though it’s important to keep in mind that it is normal to lose hair as you age. For males, studies show that male-pattern baldness (MPB) is common and most likely inherited. For females, age-related hair loss is most often triggered by menopause and hormonal changes rather than genetics.
Side effects of medications
Hair loss is a common side effect of many medications. Certain medications, such as Accutane, antibiotics, cholesterol-lowering drugs, blood pressure-lowering medications, and hormonal birth control pills have been reported to cause hair loss.
Too much stress
Losing hair can make you more stressed but having too much stress only makes the problem worse. Whether you are experiencing mental or physical stress, the body responds by releasing the stress hormone, cortisol to help combat this change. If the stress continues for extended periods, cortisol levels may remain elevated for too long. When this happens, it can disrupt the hair follicle’s normal function and lead to hair loss.
How to keep your hair strong and healthy
Consume protein-rich foods
Hair is largely composed of a fibrous protein called keratin. Keratin gives hair its structure. At the root of each hair, specialized cells gather to produce enough keratin to distribute throughout the length of the hair. Without sufficient protein in the body, hair can become brittle and prone to breakage, leading to hair loss.
The best way to provide your body with keratin is by consuming adequate protein. This important macronutrient is needed for building many essential enzymes, hormones and neurotransmitters. When your body lacks the protein it needs, it will prioritize sending the protein where it is needed the most. In this situation, hair health is a low priority.
- Nuts and seeds
Optimize iron levels
If your ferritin blood test shows low iron status, increasing your consumption of iron-rich foods can help your hair grow back. Generally, meats contain significantly high levels of iron and are an easy way to optimize your levels. If animal products are not part of your diet, many plant-based foods such as whole grains, nuts, leafy greens and legumes are excellent sources too.
Quick tip: Eating these foods with vitamin C-rich foods can maximize the absorption of iron.
Make time to de-stress
Stress reduction techniques should be a part of every hair regrowth protocol. This is because even when you have enough nutrients to nourish your hair, stress can still push hair into hibernation mode and slow its growth. Here’s the good news: When stress levels are reduced, hair regrowth is likely to occur.
This is easier said than done, but taking steps each day will work wonders over time. Although it is not possible to remove all the stressors from your life, you may find some benefits from adding a few simple de-stressing techniques to your daily routine:
- Try a few deep breathing exercises
- Rely on a friend or family member for support during moments of stress
- Reevaluate your daily priorities
- Take a daily light walk
- Work towards strengthening your boundaries about work and socializing
- Take a break from social media
- Make a gratitude list
Give your hair the nutrients it needs
Compliment a healthy lifestyle and dietary changes with a hair-supporting supplement. CanPrev’s Healthy Hair is a clinically proven hair loss formula featuring gluten-free millet seed extract to stimulate keratin production in each hair follicle for healthy hair regrowth. This unique patented formula provides a combination of therapeutic levels of biotin, zinc and vitamin B6 to keep hair follicles and strands nourished and strong.
Whether you are experiencing hair loss or looking to improve hair growth, Healthy Hair has all the ingredients you need for soft and voluminous hair.