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Have you experienced thinning hair or hair loss? Wondering why it's happening and how to stop it? Here's a look at the usual causes, as well as some natural home remedies.
When did it start? Perhaps you first noticed more hair than usual accumulating around the shower drain, or your hair brush looks as though it was just used to groom the dog.
Whatever the case, hair loss can really get you down. The average person sheds between 50 and 100 strands per day. With approximately 100,000 strands on an entire head, the loss is hardly noticeable and is quickly replaced with new hair. According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), about 80 million Americans have hereditary hair loss.
Natural Remedies for Hair Loss
While a common and normal part of the aging process, nothing inspires a call to action quite like a blow to one's vanity. And let's face it, hair's kind of a big deal. For many women, it's an important part of our identity. Here are a few things to consider if your mane's got you down.
You Are What You Eat
A balanced diet loaded with lean protein, beans, seeds, nuts, eggs and leafy greens is a good way to ensure that your body has all it needs. Omega 3 fatty acids found in certain fish like salmon, sardines and tuna can help lower inflammation and improve scalp health.
Get Your Vitamins
Low levels of iron, zinc, B12 and D can lead to hair loss. But before you start popping pills, consult your doctor for a blood test to zero in on exactly what's lacking.
Heat treatments are your hair's worst enemy. Couple that with chemical dyes and you've got yourself a full-blown crisis. Go au naturale as often as possible and save the blow outs and curling irons for special occasions. Get rid of rubberbands that pull the hair and lead to breakage. Opt for hair ties instead. And if you can stand it, a scrunchy is even better (GASP!). Avoid tying hair up while it's wet and if you're into braids, make them loose. Yanking and pulling are never good.
If you wash your hair frequently, stop. Same goes for brushing. Opt for volume boosting shampoos and conditioners that will make hair appear fuller. Treat your hair with care so that it has the best chance of hanging around.
Delicately massaging your scalp with your fingers tips is a great way to improve circulation, improve hair growth and help shampoos do their thing. Even better, have someone do it for you while you kick back and relax.
Stress stinks. Not only can it do a number on your physical well-being, but it can wreak havoc on hair. Prolonged periods of stress are notorious for increasing hair loss so look for ways to reduce it.
Hormonal changes like those associated with pregnancy, menopause and thyroid imbalances are other common causes. Certain medications can also interfere with hair growth. Consult your doctor before adding or eliminating medications.
Hair Loss Treatments
Minoxidil (Rogaine), an over-the-counter product that is applied directly to the scalp, can help by slowing hair loss and/or triggering new growth. To reap the benefits, you've got to regularly apply, even after noticeable improvement.
If you're more inclined to go the natural route, hairpieces and extensions might be a good solution. Good hairpieces are expensive, but if the condition is due to a medical issue, you may be able to cover it with insurance.
Surgical procedures like hair transplants are expensive and painful. The procedure involves removing plugs of hair from other parts of your scalp and "filling in" the balding areas. Infection and scarring are possible risks.
While there isn't much evidence to support the claim, acupuncture treatments conducted regularly over several months is thought to reduce hair loss.
Patients with inflammatory scalp disease responded well to cortisone injections into the scalp.
Is there nothing that apple cider vinegar can't fix? Equal parts vinegar and water added to a spray bottle and applied twice a week to a dry scalp might help by adjusting the pH of the scalp. Once applied, wrap the hair in a towel for 15 minutes, rinse and wash as usual.
We hope this advice helps you with your stressful tresses! Your tips are welcome below.