Nothing makes you look older than your age quite like premature hair loss. But just because your hair is thinning right now doesn’t mean you have to live with balding. You have more options than you realize.
Top Causes of Hair Loss
We’re all experiencing hair loss on a daily basis. In fact, the average person loses somewhere in the neighborhood of 50 to 100 hairs per day. But – and this is the key – the average person is also re-growing the same (or more) number of hairs per day. For individuals who are balding, this isn’t the case.
Hair loss is essentially the process of losing more hairs than you grow. This leads to bald spots and thinning over time. And while it’s typically a combination of factors, some of the top causes include:
- Androgenetic alopecia. This is basically another term for male (or female) pattern baldness. This tends to be genetic and is defined by thinning/balding on the crown of the head and temple areas.
- Telogen effluvium. This (usually) temporary condition can be brought on by factors like extreme stress, childbirth, surgery, or certain medications. It causes hair to fall out in handfuls and leads to extreme patchiness.
- Pregnancy. The decrease in estrogen levels immediately after birth can lead to short-term hair loss in women. This usually resolves itself within a few months.
- Nutritional deficiencies. If you have a diet that’s low in certain vitamins, nutrients, and proteins, it can cause excessive hair shedding. (Blood tests can reveal if you have any deficiencies.)
Top Methods for Preventing Hair Loss
Once hair loss begins, it’s important to address it. The longer you wait, the more likely that the effects will become permanent and/or require extensive treatment to correct. Here are a few methods that are known to prevent further hair loss by restoring your scalp’s health and vitality.
1. Proper Diet and Nutrition
Proper hair growth depends on proper nutrition. The scalp is essentially the foundation of healthy hair. In order to encourage healthy growth, you must consume a well-balanced diet that’s full of essential vitamins and nutrients.
A diet that’s high in vitamin A, vitamin E, and vitamin B is a good start. You also need to consume plenty of biotin and protein. Lean meats, fish, and soy are great for the latter.
2. Oral Supplements
The right blend of oral supplements can help, too. If you find that your diet isn’t providing sufficient amounts, try ginseng, saw palmetto, biotin, and a multivitamin. A good DHT blocker can help as well.
3. Low Level Laser Therapy
Low level laser therapy (LLLT) is an FDA approved technique that uses medical-grade laser diodes to emit low level light and increase circulation and blood flow in the scalp. Laser caps are the most common option, as they allow you to get treatment from the comfort of your own home. But do laser caps work?
While results certainly vary, science has shown that laser caps do work for most people. They’re most effective in helping people with mild to moderate hair loss re-grow thicker hair. (Though the results often take as long as 60 to 180 days to take full effect.) If you’re looking for an overnight method, this isn’t it. But if you’re willing to do consistent half-hour treatments over a period of months, you’ll almost certainly see results.
4. Proper Hair Care
Smart hair care can significantly reduce your chances of experiencing excessive hair loss. Avoid overwashing and be smart about how you dry and style your hair after getting out of the shower.
“When hair is wet, it is in its weakest state. So avoid brushing wet hair because the chances of hair loss increases,” health blogger Sobiya Moghul writes. “But if you must comb wet hair, use a very wide-toothed comb. Also avoid brushing hair too frequently as doing so can injure hair and increase loss.”
If you have tangles in your hair, try using your fingers to gently untangle. This is a much safer option when compared to combs and brushes that have a tendency to pull hairs out of the scalp.
Live Healthy, Be Happy
Some hair loss is to be expected. It’s a natural part of the aging process and can’t always be prevented. However, it is usually possible to delay or minimize hair loss. And in some cases, a targeted strategy can prevent it altogether. Hopefully this article has given you some ideas to work with. When in doubt, consult with your doctor for guidance on how to proceed.