Are you noticing more hair falling out than usual or the gradual appearance of bald spots? Most of us have a ‘feeling’ our hair is thinning; however, because hair loss or alopecia is such a frustrating topic, we deny the condition and even find ways to cover thinning.
Thousands of people are dealing with hair loss each day, so you’re not alone.
Thinning hair can be caused by a variety of factors, including hormonal changes, stress, medical conditions, some medications, genetics, and a harsh hair care routine. And without intervention, the condition will worsen over time. In other words, the earlier you take action to stop or prevent hair loss, the more hair you will be able to save.
How to treat thinning hair
Once hair loss occurs, it is hard to regrow the lost hair. But there are a few treatment options to slow down the thinning process or prevent further loss, including:
1. Seek help early
If you want to prevent hair loss, you need to talk to a certified dermatologist or medical specialist at the first sign of shedding or thinning. Getting treatment early can help minimize overall loss and enhance the odds of the efficacy of the treatment.
2. Reduce stress
Minimize your stress as much as possible since excessive levels can cause excessive shedding and cause the hair to stop growing. The hormones that the body releases when it is anxious and stressed interrupt the hair growth process.
If you are chronically stressed, then dealing with the cause of your stress is a crucial way to keep yourself in excellent physical condition. Some ways to minimize stress include exercising frequently, meditation, yoga, getting more sleep, etc.
3. Try a hair growth treatment
There are seemingly thousands of different treatment options for hair loss with varying levels of success and reliability. Some of these treatments include:
Minoxidil is a popular hair growth treatment that comes in the form of a foam or cream, which is applied to the scalp twice daily. It boosts blood flow to the follicles, thus thickening and strengthening them.
Many individuals experience some hair regrowth with this treatment, but it can take up to three months to start working. It is crucial that you be aware of any health risks associated with the treatment, which are well-outlined by USFDA.
Propecia (also known as Finasteride) blocks the formation of dihydrotestosterone, DHT. Dihydrotestosterone is a male androgen hormone that contributes to alopecia by making follicles short and thin. By blocking the absorption of this male androgen hormone, Propecia helps promote growth.
• Platelet-Rich Plasma
PRP, platelet-rich plasma, is a substance drawn from the blood and then injected into the crown, helping heal bodily tissues, such as follicles from which the hair grows.
Platelet-rich plasma is usually extracted from the blood using a centrifuge-like mechanism, which can separate the substance from the blood and boost the concentration of certain proteins believed to promote healing.
• Hair transplant
If you want to completely refresh your growth, consider talking to your medical specialist about a surgical hair transplant to transplant or graft healthy, new follicles onto your scalp.
This procedure may not help everyone and can even result in unnatural hair patterns or scars if done incorrectly.
4. Take supplements
There are several vitamins you may take that greatly help hair grow stronger and faster. Biotin is one of the most popular supplements that result in healthy nails, skin, and hair. Take biotin (a B vitamin derived from animal products) supplements or just increase your intake of meals containing biotin, such as animal products like liver as well as leafy greens and walnuts.
5. Healthy diet
Be very careful of extreme dieting since it might contribute to hair problems or alopecia. Mineral and vitamin deficiencies might present as flaky scalps, thinning hair, dry hair, brittle hair, and other issues. It can also result in alopecia, especially in women.
The best choice is to take a balanced diet, high in essential minerals and vitamins. Consider foods rich in:
- Vitamin D: A 2017 study found that vitamin D supplementation could be an effective option for patients with alopecia areata, female pattern hair loss, or telogen effluvium.
- Iron: step up your intake of foods like salad greens (collard green, swiss chard, spinach), black beans, and egg yolks.
- Vitamin C: this antioxidant fights oxidative stress, a key player in age-related alopecia.
- Omega-3 (fish oil): reduces inflammation responsible for alopecia and nourishes your scalp, boosting hair density and hair diameter.
- Biotic & B5: this helps with strength and growth, repairing damaged follicles.
- Zinc: encourages healthy follicles, supporting recovery from alopecia or hair thinning.
6. Careful hairdos
Pulled-back hairstyles like weaves and tight braids can cause damage to hair and lead to it falling out more easily. Consider wearing your hair pulled back loosely or leaving it down. Avoid hair barrettes and elastics that might tug on the hair.
In addition to that, Avoid brushing your hair too long or too aggressively as it can damage and break the follicles. Instead, comb it twice a day and avoid brushing when wet. Also, avoid flat irons, curlers, hairdryers, and any other harsh styling option. Reduce how frequently you color your hair as well.
7. Cleaning regiment
When you notice your hair thinning, then making the switch to gentle, all-natural hair products is a wise idea. Many conditioners, hair sprays, shampoos, and other hair products typically contain chemicals that are hard on the hair and scalp and may speed up hair loss and damage the hair that is left.
Avoid harsh conditioners and shampoos that contain alcohol or sulfates. These ingredients are damaging and very drying to the hair. Avoid conditioners that contain silicones since they need sulfate shampoos to rinse out and weigh down your hair.
Hair loss and thinning hair is natural. However, losing your hair for any reason at any age can still be a frustrating, discouraging, and sometimes devastating experience.
That is why it is crucial to learn what really works best for you in order to prevent further hair loss or even encourage new growth.
If you continue to experience thinning, it may be time to consult a healthcare provider. Your doctor can help detect an underlying medical condition and offer appropriate medications.