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4 Steps to Prevent Female Hair Loss
Women can lose their hair as well as men, which comes as a shock to many. These 4 tips can help you prevent female hair loss and keep your healthy locks as you age.
Are you a female who is suffering from hair loss?
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, about 40 percent of women suffer from this embarrassing condition as they age. Hair loss is considered uncommon among women, which means that balding females are more likely to face ridicule than men.
Luckily, there are steps you can take that will help protect the health of your hair and keep your locks looking healthy, strong, and full throughout life. The following 6 steps can help you maintain the health of your hair for decades to come.
Many of the “hair care” processes that women use are actually damaging to the hair. The way you brush, wash, and otherwise groom your hair can play a big role in the number of hairs you see fall onto the floor each day.
Normal hair loss is up to 100 strands a day, but you may see a lot more than that if you do not care for your hair properly.
How do you dry your hair when you get out of the shower? Do you rub it dry? This could be harming the health of your hair. When you rub hair, it becomes weaker and more prone to damage. Hair care experts recommend blotting your hair to protect the ends and prevent additional hair loss from stress and breakage.
Tight hairstyles can encourage hair strands to fall out sooner- sometimes before strands are ready to replace them. Tight ponytails, buns, clips, and other styles should be loose enough to allow the hair a little room to move. If you feel like your hairstyle is giving you a facelift, then it is probably too tight. Avoid tying rubber bands and other hair ties around the hair too tightly. This can cause the hair to break around the hair tie. Rubber bands are particularly damaging to hair, as they pull on hair while putting in the hair and removing.
Brushing your hair before washing and showering can help prevent extra hair loss from tangles and snarls. A quick run-through with a brush before you step into the shower will result in less hair loss, because it is easier to work tangles out of dry hair than wet hair.
The safest way to preserve hair health while brushing is to start at the tip and work toward the scalp. A wide-toothed comb is best for use when hair is wet. Finer combs, and all brushes, stretch out strands while they are wet, which leads to breakage and additional hair loss.
You can do a lot for your hair by caring for it with topical treatments. While using shampoos with vitamins in them will likely do little to help the health of your hair (internal supplements are more likely to give the results you want), certain external treatments could encourage your hair to grow strong and prevent excessive hair loss due to unhealthy or damaged hair.
Botanical hair oil contains essential nutrients that nourish the scalp and prevent dryness and scaling. According to a 2012 study published in Pharmaceutical Science, two plant botanicals in particular are beneficial for preventing hair loss due to Androgenetic alopecia (AGA or male or female pattern baldness). These two ingredients are myristic acid (found in palm kernel oil, butter fat, coconut oil, and nutmeg) and lauric acid (found in coconut oil, palm kernel oil, cow’s milk, and goat’s milk).
These ingredients applied to the scalp in an ethanol solution were shown to be as effective as traditional pharmaceutical treatments for AGA. According to the researchers, the ingredients in these two botanicals work to block DHT from the scalp, which is one of the leading causes of balding in both men and women.
Another study from double-blind, placebo-controlled trial conducted by the Aberdeen Royal Infirmary in 1998 found that a mixture of cedarwood, lavender, rosemary, thyme essential oils mixed with carrier oils of jojoba or grapeseed for 7 months improved hair thickness in 44 percent of study participants with alopecia areata.
A strange study examined the strange side effects of a broken heart. According to the study, after suffering heartbreak, a woman’s body may trigger the hair follicles to enter the resting phase early. This condition is known as telogen effluvium. It can cause hair loss at an alarming rate for several months. This is caused by high levels of cortisol in the body- brought on by stress.
With this condition, 30 percent or more of your hair can enter the resting phase at once. Your hair looks noticeably thinner once 50 percent of your follicles are no longer active. However, this condition is temporary and usually resolves within 6 months. You can reduce how much hair you lose by working to eliminate stress from the body.
Much of the health of your hair is achieved from the inside out. Consider your hair a window to the health of your body. If you have a healthy body with balanced hormones, then you will have healthy, full hair. The right supplements can help promote healthy hair growth and prevent the hormones that cause massive hair loss.
Saw palmetto may be seen as a “male” supplement, but it is just as important for women to take as well. Saw palmetto blocks the conversion of testosterone into DHT. DHT is a form of testosterone that leads to the development of male sexual organs, body hair, lowered voice, and other typical male attributes. However, as a woman ages, she also has some DHT in the body, particularly if the balance of estrogen in the body is off.
Saw palmetto uses 5-alpha reductase (specifically phytosterols) inhibitors to prevent the conversion of testosterone into DHT. In 2001, researchers from the Urological Sciences Research Foundation examined the role of saw palmetto in blocking 5-alpha reductase and preventing hair loss. 244 men were either given a combination of saw palmetto and a few other herbs, the medication finasteride, or a placebo. At the end of the study, men who supplemented with saw palmetto had a 32 percent reduction in DHT.
In another randomized, double-blind study conducted by theClinical Research and Development Network in 2006 it was found that 60 percent of men who were treated with saw palmetto saw improvement in hair re-growth.
It seems a little strange, but drinking green tea may help prevent hair loss in women. Green tea contains polyphenols and epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), which work together to inhibit 5-alpha reductase. Animal studies have shown that supplementing with green tea extract can help animals with hair loss regain lost hair. In the study, conducted by the Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science in 2005, 33 percent of the rodents supplementing with green tea had significant hair regrowth.
Vitamins and minerals can also play a role in your hair’s health. Without the right mixture of vitamins, your hair will weaken and fall out, just like a lack of nutrition leads to sallow skin, brittle nails, and a greater risk for infection. The following 4 vitamins may provide the biggest benefit, according to the Cleveland Clinic.
If you don’t eat red meat often, then you are likely deficient in iron. Iron is extremely important because it carries oxygen to your hair (and everywhere else in the body). Try adding iron-rich foods to your diet, like lentils, red meat, egg yolks, and spinach. Consult with your doctor about the need for an iron supplement if you have anemia or low iron levels.
Vitamin D is essential for every part of the body, but is also necessary for hair follicle cycling. Without vitamin D, your hair may remain in the resting phase too long, which can make it look like you are losing your hair. Look for vitamin D in sources like liver, salmon, mushrooms, and in grass-fed dairy.
All B vitamins are essential for healthy hair growth. B vitamins can make hair look shinier, thicker, and healthier. Whole grains, avocados, legumes, dairy, and eggs all contain high levels of B vitamins.
If you are deficient in zinc (you can get tested at your doctor’s office), then you may be harming your hair. Zinc is essential for growing thick, healthy hair and preventing hair loss. Women who sweat a lot are more likely to be zinc-deficient. Look for zinc in pumpkin seeds, turkey, chocolate, and lamb.
Dr. Melissa Piliang, a dermatologist at the Cleveland Clinic, states that vitamins and supplements may not bring the hair growth and health that you are looking for if your hormones are out of balance. Blocking DHT is one way to help combat strange hormonal impact on hair health, but your thyroid may also play a role.
If you suffer from anemia, your hair will also lack luster and may have trouble growing back. You can test for these ailments with a simple blood test at your doctor’s office. If your hormone levels are out of balance, healing your thyroid is an important step in boosting your hair health. Menopause may also cause other female hormones to veer off-balance, which may also play a role in female hair loss.
Women may be less likely to experience severe hair loss like many men, but up to 40 percent of women experience some hair loss as they age past menopause. Luckily, female patterned baldness is treatable just like male pattern baldness. The key is to start early before visible hair loss sets in. The 6 tips outlined above can help you protect your hair and have luscious locks for the rest of your life.
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Advecia is a natural DHT blocker that has been formulated to restore the appearance of existing hair, while decreasing the psychosocial impact of hair loss.