Hair loss can be an anxiety-inducing experience for anyone, especially when you don’t know what is causing it. Below, we discuss some of the common causes of hair loss and how to promote new hair growth.
Alopecia areata is an autoimmune condition that often co-occurs with other autoimmune disorders such as thyroid issues, psoriasis, lupus and more. The hair loss in Alopecia is due to an abnormality in the function of the immune system that causes damage to the hair follicles and disrupts normal hair formation.
During stages of increased stress, our body enters survival mode, or “fight or flight”. An influx of stress can lead to temporary hair loss, which is called Telogen effluvium. This is when a stressful or traumatic event sends your hair follicles into the shedding phase, causing more hair to fall out. When we enter this stage, our body diverts our blood supply & nutrient transportation away from our hair. Without adequate blood supply or nutrients (the building blocks for hair growth) hair cannot optimally grow.
Our thyroid hormones directly impact our hair by influencing the growth and development of the hair follicle. An imbalance of thyroid hormones can send our hair follicles into a state of Telogen effluvium, resulting in hair loss. Thyroid related hair loss isn’t permanent and can be resolved when treated accurately.
Postpartum changes a woman's physiologically in considerable ways. Hormones such as HCG, progesterone, oestrogen and prolactin increase dramatically which can affect the quality of one’s hair.
The most common hormonal imbalance associated with hair loss is PCOS and/or hyperandrogenism. High levels of androgens, such as Dihydrotestosterone (DHT), has the ability to shrink hair follicles. This results in the hair growing thinner and in less frequent amounts. In a person with high androgens, it is also common to see abnormal hair growth on other parts of the body such as arms, upper lip, chin, and below the belly button.
Nutrients for Hair Growth
If you are experiencing hair loss, it is important to find out what is causing it and then treat it accordingly. This might include visiting your doctor and requesting blood tests to further investigate your thyroid, hormones, and any nutrient deficiencies. However, ensuring your diet is full of hair nourishing nutrients is also important.
Iron – helps boost circulation & oxygenation to the hair follicle
Protein – As our hair is made mostly of protein, to ensure good quality hair make sure you eat protein rich meals
Omega 3 – Reduces inflammation & boosts hair growth
Zinc – plays an important role in hair growth & repair
Biotin – stimulates keratin production in the hair