NINETEEN?! Almost half of us will experience hair loss at some point, too. That’s a pretty big deal.
Sure, you might have a family history of receding hairlines or a balding crown, but what about the other 18 we mentioned?
Hormonal changes can cause temporary hair loss. For example, optimal levels of estrogen help to grow full thick hair. So, if your estrogen drops significantly, your hair might begin thinning.
Now, women do naturally go through various cycles of higher and lower estrogen. Every 7 years, our hormones fluctuate significantly.
Pregnancy increases many hormones PLUS increases the number of hair follicles in the growth cycle. After birth, though, moms typically experience a quick drop in estrogen. A higher percentage of hair follicles enter resting phase and then shed. Postpartum hair loss is a normal – and temporary – postpartum change. And it’s also important to note that this hormone change is unrelated to breastfeeding. Typically, this process begins about 3 months postpartum.
If it’s been a year since you’ve delivered, and you still notice more hair in the drain then normal, it’s a good idea to go ahead and talk to your doctor. He/she may want to check your thyroid function, as hypothyroidism or iron-deficiency could be the root of your scalp not returning to equilibrium (pun intended!)
The last natural life cycle in which women might experience estrogen drops is menopause. This is actually the largest drop you’ll experience naturally in life, which is why most women complaining of hair loss are post-menopausal.
Find nourishment in your diet, extra self-care efforts, and find ways to reduce overall stress. A great hair health hygiene routine will help, too. Herbal remedies such as Gleditsia Australis Fruit, Holy Basil, and Indian Goosegrass promote circulation and restore the pH and skin barrier for sebaceous glands on your scalp. A shampoo/conditioner combination like Nature Queen (https://naturequeenbeauty.com/collections/all/products/complete-haircare-system) that combines these herbs can help keep your follicles functioning at their fullest, even during times of hormonal changes.
Although not necessarily a natural life cycle, changing or discontinuing the use of birth control pills can affect your hair growth, too. So, if you’ve recently changed up your birth control routine, it might be the cause of any changes in your scalp, too.
Stress affects the balance of your hormones, which ultimately affect your hair growth cycle.
Physical or emotional shock can especially trigger noticeable hair loss. So, if you’ve recently experienced any of the following, you might know where to blame recent hair loss:
- A physical accident or body trauma
- Extreme weight loss
- Death in the family
- A lingering extreme illness
What about long-term stress to the hair itself, as in from wearing your hair pulled back tightly or cramming it into a hat every day? You guessed it – it could stunt the hair growth cycle. Putting pressure on the hair follicles over long periods of time can cause traction hair loss.
Lastly, if your stress causes you to pull your hair out – literally – you might have a more deeply-rooted issue to address. Trichotillomania is a disorder in which a person obsessively pulls out their hair, eyebrows or eyelashes.
Because your diet affects your hormone cycle, it can also affect your hair growth cycle. For example:
- Insulin helps to regulate blood sugar levels, which affects fat storage and hormone balance. Fat storage and hormone balance play a role in hair growth because fat storages will secrete excess estrogen in the body and can desensitize hormone signals.
- A low-protein diet can cause your hair to grow more thinly.
- An iron-deficient diet can also cause thinning, brittle hair.
Some People Experience Hair Loss as a Symptom of a Medical Condition
Some of the medical conditions that do cause hair loss include thyroid imbalance and alopecia. Some are easily treatable, such as a scalp infection like ringworm, while others are lifelong battles, such as scarring from lichen planus and lupus.
Hair Loss May Be a Side Effect of Medications
Medications that are used in the treatment of high blood pressure, cancer, arthritis, and even depression can have a hair thinning side effect.
How Can You Arm Your Follicles for Their Best Fighting Chance at New Growth?
When dealing with hair loss from any of these reasons, the best thing you can do for yourself is to arm your follicles for their best fighting chance at promoting new growth.
- Evaluate your diet and vitamin routine.
- Take care of your scalp with a healthy hair hygiene routine.
- Practice self-care, reduce your overall stress, and let your hair down (literally).
Consider talking to your doctor or a nutritionist to ensure your diet is well-rounded and contains the right balance of the following hair-health-boosting components:
- Protein: Before you go beefing up your beef intake, consider alternate sources of healthy protein, like bone broth, eggs, legumes, spirulina and chlorella. Try your local smoothie shop for a boost in protein in a tasty treat.
- Iron: Time to load up on the leafy greens! Spinach, spirulina, and nettle leaf, for example, are high in iron. You can also switch to grass-fed lamb and beef to help your iron levels.
- Whole grains: Grains are rich in iron, zinc, B vitamins and biotin – all of which boost healthy hair and nails. That includes oats, amaranth, buckwheat, brown rice, millet, and quinoa.
- Fish oils & nuts: Try wild-caught salmon and anchovies to amp up the production of the healthy oils on your scalp. Raw nuts like walnuts, and seeds such as flax and chia are other good sources.
- Vitamin A: This vitamin is critical for sebum production on your scalp to maintain a healthy equilibrium. Carrots, sweet potato, butter, eggs, spinach, leafy greens, and pumpkin are all great sources. (Sorry, but pumpkin spiced flavored everything doesn’t count!)
- Biotin: While biotin supplements are common for anyone wanting stronger hair and nails, you could also try natural sources of biotin, such as eggs, almonds, cauliflower, mushrooms, sweet potato, and spinach.
- Vitamin C: Citrus and tropical fruits are great for getting Vitamin C, which is a MUST for your body to properly absorb iron and put it to work on a healthy scalp.
- Vitamin E: Healthy fats like avocado, almonds, sunflower seeds, and walnuts will lend Vitamin E to your healthy hair bundle – maintaining your scalp’s pH and improving blood circulation for new growth.
- Ghee butter: This clarified butter is packed with vitamins A, D and E. There are plenty of great snacks that can be topped with ghee butter, but you can also simply use it as a conditioning treatment directly on the scalp.
- Zinc: For overall skin health (and don’t forget, the scalp IS skin!) consider more chickpeas, cashews and pumpkin seeds to provide more zinc. Good news: dark chocolate also has zinc, but don’t take that as my recommendation to replace healthy nuts and green veggies with dark chocolate every day!
Healthy Hair Herbal Hygiene
Say that 3 times fast! These four H’s might be the key to unlocking your hair’s fullest potential. A hair care routine that is jam-packed with growth-promoting herbal botanicals, such as the healthy hair growth bundle from Nature Queen, is a great way to treat your scalp naturally for rejuvenation and renewal. Check out how all 9 herb packed into the healthy hair bundle work to promote your hair growth, reduce hair loss, and keep your scalp healthier than ever.