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Hair Loss


It is normal for a person to lose up to 125 hairs a day – this is hair that falls out at the end of its growth cycle.  However, some people lose more hair than is normal.  Some causes of this hair loss include ageing (androgenetic alopecia); medical conditions such as hypothyroidism, ringworm, and fungal infections; certain medications; sudden hormonal changes; emotional stress; pregnancy; and mechanical stressors on the scalp such as wearing hair up too tightly.  If you are experiencing hair loss, there are some natural therapies that can help, so try not to worry too much.

Nutrition for Hair Loss

It is important that you eat enough protein, as protein contains the amino acids that the body needs in order to build new cells, including new hair cells.  There are five amino acids that are particularly important for hair growth – cystine, cysteine, methionine, arginine, and lysine.  If you do not get enough protein on a regular basis, growing hair will move into the resting phase and shed a few months later.  The best sources of protein are lean meat, fish, poultry, eggs, dairy products, soy, nuts, seeds, and grains.

Carbohydrates are also necessary as they provide the energy for activity, and help in the growth of tissue, including hair.  They are a source of B vitamins, which are essential to healthy hair growth.  Eat plenty of non-refined carbohydrates such as fruits, vegetables, and wholegrains.  Dietary fats are used in energy production and can come from both animal and plant foods.  Try to get healthy fats from plant sources.  Essential fatty acids are also of benefit.

Herbal Remedies for Hair Loss

For hair loss, herbal remedies can be used internally or externally.  Some internal hair loss herbal remedies include:

  • Gingko biloba – this herb improves blood circulation to the brain and skin, thus delivering more nutrients to the hair follicles and promoting the regrowth of hair.
  • Green tea – the natural chemicals called catechins in green tea can help to inhibit an enzyme that converts testosterone into DHT.  DHT leads to male pattern baldness.
  • He Shou Wu – is also known as Fo-Ti and is a Chinese herb that is traditionally used to combat hair loss and graying.
  • Pygeum – works in a similar way to green tea.
  • Saw palmetto – is used for males suffering male pattern baldness as it slows hair loss and reduces the uptake of DHT into the hair follicles.
  • Stinging Nettle – is thought to block the conversion of testosterone into the more harmful DHT.

For external use, the following herbal remedies may be used:

  • Aloe vera – activates the production of nitric oxide and an enzyme called superoxide dismutane, two substances that may work together to stimulate hair regrowth.
  • Onion – is high in sulfur, which is thought to be a hair healing mineral.
  • Capsicum – is a skin irritant that draws blood and nutrients to the scalp and it also encourages histamines to be released, which stimulates cell division and hair regrowth.
  • Safflower oil – dilates the blood vessels and allows the blood to deliver more nutrients to the hair follicles.

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