Hair loss is a natural process, as long as the amount of hair loss does not exceed the accepted norm.
Consider the causes of this problem and see which remedies are most effective in treating baldness.
What is hair loss?
Pathological hair loss is a phenomenon that affects both women and men, can occur at any period of life, although, more often, progresses with age.
There is not enough reliable epidemiological data on the problem of hair loss; however, it is known that it is more common in men than in women and that men progress more rapidly.
In addition, hair loss is considered physiological when about 35 pieces fall per day, pathology is said to be when the amount approaches or exceeds 100 per day. Nevertheless, even these numerical data are very subjective, and a perfectly healthy person can lose up to 90-100 hairs per day.
Type of baldness problem
Hair loss can be divided into several types, depending on various parameters. First of all, physiological and pathological hair loss are shared. Let’s look at them in detail.
Physiological hair loss
Physiological loss is associated with the life cycle of the hair, which consists of three stages, a growth stage or anagen (when hair grows about 1 cm per month in men and 1.5 cm per month in women), involution stage or catagen (when proliferation stops hair follicles and, consequently, hair growth), and the resting phase or telogen, which lasts about 3-4 months and during which hair loss occurs.
Pathological hair loss
Hair loss is considered pathological (but not necessarily related to pathology) if it is associated with a number of conditions that lead to an increase in the number of hair falling out per day.
Based on the pathological cause of hair loss, we can distinguish three different main forms of alopecia :
Androgenetic, associated with hereditary and hormonal causes.
Traumatic when atrophy of hair follicles occurs and, therefore, the inability to grow new hair. This type of alopecia is often associated with scalp problems, such as seborrhea, or psychological problems, such as trichotillomania.
Temporary, when the hair follicles are fully functional and can resume growth. Occurs in case of stress or seasonal nutrient deficiency.
Causes of Alopecia
The causes of alopecia include all those conditions that cause hair loss in both men and women. Among them, we can identify pathological and non-pathological causes.
Non-pathological causes of baldness
Among non-pathological reasons, we have:
Genetic causes, that is, a genetic predisposition to hair loss, which determines the increased sensitivity of hair follicles to certain types of hormones.
Nutrition problems, such as diet, eating disorders, malnutrition, and all those conditions that lead to a deficiency of vitamins and minerals important for healthy hair.
Stress and anxiety, which lead to the so-called stressful alopecia that occurs during periods of tragic events, periods of severe stress, and in the presence of depressive conditions.
Age, especially in men and after menopause in women, hair loss is often associated with hormonal changes or aging of the hair follicle. Often referred to by the term senile alopecia. Sometimes hair loss occurs even in adolescents due to hormonal changes.
Some medications, such as antidepressants, amphetamines, cholesterol medications, hypertension medications, can have a side effect of hair loss.
Aggressive cosmetic procedures performed too often, for example, ammonia-based paints and discoloration, excessive exposure to sunlight, and UV radiation.
A correlation was also found between cigarette smoking and hair loss since a decrease in blood flow to the scalp leads to a decrease in oxygenation and nutrient deficiency.
With regard to pathological causes, it should be indicated:
Pathological conditions that affect the metabolism of iron and reduce the concentration of iron in the body. This mineral is very important for proper hair growth.
Problems of hormonal nature, which are the main cause of androgenetic alopecia, in both men and women.
Psychological disorders that lead to compulsive behavior, such as trichotillomania, that is, the desire to tear on one’s hair.
Hair Loss Research
In order to find the cause that led to hair loss, it is necessary to conduct a series of examinations.
The following studies are recommended:
Blood tests to identify all deficiencies of iron, calcium, vitamins, and those trace elements that contribute to maintaining a healthy scalp.
Visit a dermatologist to rule out or confirm the presence of any infections or diseases of the scalp.
Visit a trichologist to determine the health status of the hair and do a hair analysis.
A Trichogramma is a study that involves analyzing under a microscope the hair and their bulbs in order to trace the life cycle of the follicle.
Mineralogram to check the number of minerals present in the hair.
Natural remedies for excessive hair loss.
Natural remedies for baldness include herbal medicine and nutrition principles that promote hair preservation.
Herbal medicine against baldness
Among herbal remedies, those herbs are distinguished that improve blood circulation to the scalp and strengthen hair:
Field horsetail contains mineral salts such as calcium, magnesium and potassium, silica, equizetonin, active ingredients that make it suitable for strengthening hair and preventing hair loss. Use in the form of infusion (a tablespoon of horsetail field in a glass of boiling water, let it brew for ten minutes, strain, and drink).
Rosemary essential oil: used as an additive in lotions and shampoos, because it has a rejuvenating effect, strengthens, and stimulates blood circulation at the head level. It is enough to add a couple of drops in a neutral shampoo, which then washes your hair. You can also rub 2-3 drops of essential oil directly into the scalp.
Basil: used to prepare lotions – 150 g of basil leaves are boiled in 250 ml of water for about 5 minutes. They are allowed to stand for half an hour, filtered, and then applied to the hair several times a day. Basil contains glycosides, quercetin, essential oils, and tannins.
Nettle contains iron, folic acid, and a large number of minerals such as magnesium, calcium, and phosphorus, for this reason it is useful for strengthening hair and maintaining health. Used for hair in the form of a decoction. Apply to the scalp after shampooing.
Fenugreek: contains diosgenin, betaine, mucus, lecithin, and minerals such as iron and calcium, active substances that give it regenerative, stimulating, and nourishing properties. Against hair loss, you can use it in the form of essential oil, about 2-3 drops in a neutral shampoo, and use 2-3 drops after shampoo on the scalp.
Avocado: contains phytosterols, terpene alcohols, fatty acids such as alpha-linolenic acid and linoleic acid, vitamin E and carotenoids, has regenerative and anti-aging properties. For hair, it is recommended to mix the pulp and apply to the hair, wait thirty minutes, rinse with shampoo.
Ginger: contains gingerol, resins, mucus, and zingiberene, is able to stimulate blood circulation at the level of the scalp, thus improving oxygenation and distribution of nutrients. Use a mixture of ginger with olive oil. The mixture is applied to wet hair, massaging, and held for 15 minutes, then washed off.
Garlic: due to the content of allicin and sulfur, garlic is able to stimulate hair growth. It is recommended to rub a few cloves into the scalp or crush 2-3 cloves of garlic until juice comes out, which is then applied to the hair an hour before shampooing.
Nutrition for strengthening hair
As for nutrition, experts recommend foods rich in vitamins and mineral salts, such as fruits and vegetables, in particular:
Eggs, due to the biotin content necessary for keratin production, stimulate proper hair growth.
Brewer’s yeast contains minerals such as zinc, selenium and copper, B vitamins, and biotin.
Red meat, as it is the best source of available and easily absorbed by the body iron.
Dried fruits, rich in sulfur, vitamin E, essential fatty acids, iron, and biotin, which help keep hair healthy and stimulate their growth.
Seafood is rich in zinc and other mineral salts. Zinc is one of the essential minerals for hair growth.
Oats are rich in minerals such as potassium, iron, magnesium, and phosphorus.
Legumes are rich in iron, biotin, and zinc. Of legumes, soy is especially recommended, which, due to the content of isoflavones and plant phytoestrogens, can stop androgenic alopecia.
Vegetables are rich in vitamins A and C, such as peppers, spinach and carrots, and rich in antioxidants, such as tomatoes.
Medical treatments for hair loss
If natural remedies cannot stop hair loss, the doctor may decide on drug therapy, or, in more serious cases, resort to a hair transplant.
Hair Loss Products
Drug treatment for hair loss is used only in very severe cases of baldness, and among the most commonly used drugs can be noted:
Finasteride: used to treat androgenetic alopecia.
Minoxidil: also used for androgenetic alopecia.
Ketoconazole: an antifungal drug. It can be used to treat androgenetic alopecia or alopecia associated with seborrheic dermatitis or the presence of dandruff.
Dithranol: used to treat many types of alopecia, but its mechanism of action is still unclear.
Transplant and experimental treatments
If these drugs do not give satisfactory results, you can think about a hair transplant or the use of experimental drugs:
A hair transplant can be performed if there are areas on the scalp that are not affected by baldness.
Experimental treatments include the use of stem cells for transplantation at the level of the papilla of the dermis, a structure involved in the growth of the hair follicle.
As we can see, hair loss is a phenomenon that, within certain limits, relates to natural physiological processes, but in case of excessive hair loss, you should seek help from a specialist who will be able to find the most suitable treatment method.