Hair Growth and the Dreaded Hair Loss

By on 09/29/2016

BaldingOur hair is in a constant cycle of growing and shedding, over and over again, with the average lifespan for a strand of hair varying greatly from 2-7 years. Luckily for us, our hair growth cycle (which occurs in 4 stages) is spread out so that at any given time, only about 10-20 percent of our hair reaches the end of its life at a time, and thus falls out. This low “turnover” percentage allows us to not wake up one morning and find half of our hair on our pillow! Imagine that nightmare!

But.. what if you start noticing more and more hair falling out at a faster rate than it is replenishing?

What if the dreaded B word is starting to apply to you…

Balding! (Not that other B word, silly!)

Did you know over 40% of men 35 and older start to notice visible hair loss, and this number only climbs over time?

Hair loss percentages

…and for women ages 60 and older, over 60% have noticeable hair loss!

These are not small numbers…

So what’s the deal? What is going wrong?

If our hair is always in a natural cycle of loss and growth, why does it seem to loose steam over time and fall out more than it grows in?

Like we mentioned above, our hair grows in 4 stages which can quickly be summed up as:

  1. The growing phase – Your hair is healthy and growing. This is the longest phase lasting 2-7 years.
  2. The transition phase – The follicle for that strand shrinks and the hair starts to “die”.
  3. The resting phase – The hair is no longer growing and is dormant, but stays put for up to 3 months.
  4. The new hair phase – The old hair falls out, and a new hair starts to grow in its place.

But as time marches on, a few variables start to negatively affect this cycle. Changing hormones (Like an increase in DHT in men, or pregnancy in women), stress, poor diet, medications (like birth control or high blood pressure meds), and certain medical conditions (like diabetes) can all lead to temporary or even permanent hair loss.

Unfortunately, when permanent hair loss occurs there isn’t much you can do to get back those dead hair follicles, unless you opt for an expensive and painful hair transplant surgery – which actually requires you to take certain drugs to prevent those new transplants from dying too, by the way!

How to Stop Hair Loss

Well, thanks to the growth cycle we just explained, along with a good helping of whatever genetics your family has blessed you with, there is only so much you can control. But even some improvement in hair growth, thickness and overall health is welcomed and desired, right?

We think the most important thing you can do is give your hair the vital nutrients it needsto support healthy follicles, shafts and growth. Some of the most proven nutrients for healthy hair are vitamins C, E, B5, B6, Zinc and most importantly Biotin, which has been proven to support strong hair growth.

While even the best supplements may not be able to get back all the hair you’ve already lost, you can protect the hair you have left… and possibly even reverse the dying of weak follicles, bringing them back to full health – giving you that thick, strong, healthy hair of your youth once again.healthy thick hair

A second way to protect your hair is to actually care for it less! Huh? Yes – all the fancy shampoos, conditioners, oils, hair sprays, and gels are actually pretty bad for your hair as most contain chemicals that weaken hair and hair follicles overtime. Additionally, blow drying and using a flat iron are two of the best ways to quickly cause extreme hair damage. When treated with high heat, your hair becomes brittle, dry, and fragile. An overheated scalp will also weaken follicles.

Finally, you can consider using over-the-counter topical creams and lotions that contain minoxidil (also known as the brand name Rogaine), which can restore some hair growth, especially in those with hereditary hair loss. However, please note that this is not a short term usage. You must always stick to a regimented schedule of applying these creams or lotions and if you stop, you will start to bald once again.

About modernhealthproject

Hi there! This is my little blog project where I am trying to learn more about health, wellness and living a balanced life, while also sharing a bit of my silly side as well. By "silly" I mean sarcastic. And by "a bit" I mean way too much. Sorry about that.♥ - Anna

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