Few people look forward to the prospect of losing their hair. Many see balding as a loss of vitality in their professional and personal life. It was long thought to be primarily genetic, yet experts have found that genetic predisposition does not equal causation. Chronic stress, poor diet, lack of exercise, damage to the follicles, and certain diseases all contribute to hair loss.
If you are concerned about the prospects of keeping a full head of hair throughout life, the first step is to adopt the healthy habits listed below. Medications and surgical procedures can also help maintain and even improve existing hair.
The health of every cell in the body, including hair follicles, is dependent on blood flow. Since head follicles sit on top of the head, they receive inadequate circulation with a sedentary lifestyle. Vigorous exercise increases blood flow. It also reduces stress, stimulates growth of new capillaries in the scalp, and balances the hormones. Exercise routines with aerobic and resistance components also stimulate production of human growth hormone.
A lesser-known cause of hair loss is kidney disease, which impacts the metabolism of proteins in the diet. Protein is the primary ingredient of hair. If you have a protein-deficient diet, digestive difficulty, or disease that impacts metabolism, this will starve the follicles.
Another impact of nutrition on hair growth is oxidative stress. Free radicals are the toxic by-product of your interactions with the environment, negative emotions, and heavily processed or artificial foods. Free radicals damage the follicles the same as they damage every cell in the body. A diet high in a variety of antioxidants prevents most of this damage.
The cells of hair follicles undergo death and division the same way as all other cells of the body. Damage to the follicles from vigorous brushing, heat from drying, tangles, and chemicals in hair products makes it harder for cell division to keep up with cell death. Use natural care products, and treat the hair as gently as you treat sensitive skin areas.
Despite the best efforts above, some people are more genetically predisposed to balding than others. This results in greater production of a hormone responsible for turning off the growth of new hair. Propecia and other similar drugs work by stopping the production of this hormone. Controlled studies show a majority of men taking Propecia experience reduction in hair loss.
A new, non-invasive procedure uses a laser to stimulate hair growth. It appears to work by targeted stimulation of blood flow, which in turn encourages more rapid synthesis of proteins. Controlled studies with laser therapy show 40 percent of individuals grow thicker hair, and 80 percent of those treated experience decrease in loss.
Several medicinal and surgical options exist for repairing or replacing damaged follicles. Long-term success of these procedures relies on the health of the individual. Maintaining hair growth is aided by a healthy lifestyle.