So You’re Losing Your Hair – What Can You Do?
Hair loss is an unpleasant reality millions of men face every year. From male pattern baldness, or the normal male hair loss that often sets in as the years go by, to medical conditions that cause hair loss, like alopecia areata, there’s nothing fun about the process of losing hair.
Despite the progress medical science has seen in many other areas, hair loss is still largely untreatable. Some medications, like Finasteride, can promote hair regrowth for men specifically, while cosmetic treatments like hair plugs can create the look of real hair after baldness begins to creep up.
However, there’s another alternative. With proper supplementation, it’s possible to prevent hair loss, at least temporarily, while promoting healthy, lasting growth.
We’ll take a look at some of the best supplements for hair loss and why you should use them. But first, what causes hair loss?
Why Hair Loss Occurs
Hair loss affects both men and women at all ages. By age 35, around two-thirds of men have experienced some form of hair loss, largely due to genetic components and hormonal shifts.
By age 50, nearly 90% of men have significantly thinning hair. This is a natural part of life, but that doesn’t change the fact that it can still can be embarrassing, or feel emasculating and less attractive.
Some men attempt to hide or mask hair loss, while others choose to shave their heads in anticipation of further baldness. Women lose hair, too, but often at slower rates than men. Menopause can strongly affect hair loss, as changes in hormones alter body chemistry.
The Many Culprits Contributing to Hair Loss
Truth is, hair loss can happen for a wide variety of reasons, including in otherwise young and healthy individuals. Some contributing factors include:
- High levels of physical or emotional stress
- Vitamin imbalances, like too much Vitamin A, a Vitamin B deficiency, or a lack of protein
- Autoimmune disorders
- Extreme weight loss
- Overstyling, like tight braids or heavy extensions
- Anabolic steroids
While some of these situations require attention from a medical doctor, others can be addressed through lifestyle changes, like a proper regimen of vitamins and minerals.
General Supplements for Hair Loss
Due to the many dietary and nutritional factors involved in hair loss, supplementation can make a significant difference. What follows are the best supplements for hair loss.
Fish oil, a substance derived from the tissue of varieties of oily fish, can provide significant benefits in both hair loss and overall health. It contains a high level of Omega-3 fatty acids, a beneficial compound that can lower risks of heart disease, depression, dementia, and arthritis.
These polyunsaturated fatty acids in fish oil are also highly beneficial for hair growth and shine. In addition, fish oil can promote skin health, ensuring a healthy scalp and follicles.
Zinc is a naturally-occurring mineral that is a key part of a healthy diet. In addition to supporting the absorption of other vitamins and minerals, cell reproduction, protein synthesis, and production and maintenance of hormone levels, zinc can play a fundamental role in healthy hair growth.
Zinc supports the hormones that promote follicle development as well as the efficacy of absorption of other stimulating supplements.
Vitamin B is one of the most important vitamins for overall health, providing a source of energy, support for red blood cells, development of brain and nerve cells, and enhanced metabolic function. In addition, numerous varieties of Vitamin B can benefit hair health; Vitamin B can slow hair loss, stimulate hair growth, improve hair strength, keep the scalp moisturized, and delay the onset of graying.
Vitamin B comes in numerous shapes and sizes, but a standard B Complex vitamin contains most essential compounds.
Biotin is among the most important supplements for hair growth, facilitating the development of key nutrients into energy. In addition, biotin supports keratin infrastructure; keratin, a fibrous protein that is a structural component of hair and nails, can keep hair at its best.
In one clinical study that gave men supplements featuring biotin, those taking biotin versus the placebo lost less hair and saw notable growth in areas of loss. While true biotin deficiency is medically rare, a little extra never hurts, with a recommended dosage of 30 mg per day.
Vitamin C, also known as L-ascorbic acid, is a vitamin present in many foods, most notably citrus fruits like orange and lemon. Unlike some animal species, Vitamin C does not occur naturally in the human body, so it must be included in diet or a vitamin routine.
Vitamin C helps build collagen, a structural protein important in hair growth, and also is critical in absorbing iron. Iron can keep you feeling awake, alert, and energized, staving off anemia and keeping your body – and your hair – at its best.
Best known as a vitamin derived from sunlight, Vitamin D is a big part of keeping your bones strong and your bodily systems working as they should. More specifically, Vitamin D is key in the regulation of calcium and maintenance of phosphorus levels in your bloodstream, promoting bone and immune system wellness.
Vitamin D’s benefits also extend to your hair, helping to create new follicles through which hair can grow. Those with hair loss can benefit most from Vitamin D.
Iron is most closely associated with healthy red blood cells, keeping your circulatory system functioning properly and boosting your immune system. However, iron is also linked to anemia, a condition that can cause weakness, fatigue, and hair loss.
Ample iron boasts many benefits to your hair; by supporting the development of hemoglobin, a red protein that transports oxygen, iron facilitates rapid cellular regrowth and repair throughout the body, including in your hair.
Specialized Hair Loss Supplements
There are a great many non-prescription products that you can use as well, including over-the-counter supplements. Many will contain ingredients already mentioned, or a combination of them, as well as proprietary ingredients.
Most of the more effective products will consist of a pill supplement combined with some form of topical treatment.
It’s important to remember that these supplements take time to work before results begin to show, and there’s no guarantee that what works for one person will work for you. Consistency makes all the difference.
See Also: Hair Regrowth For Men
Fighting back against hair loss may seem like a losing battle, but taking vitamins, minerals, and hair loss supplements can truly make a difference. By incorporating these products into your daily routine, you can work to prevent hair loss and improve your approach to health and nutrition.
While there’s no way to stop age, making the right choices now can benefit you for years to come.