Thinning Hair in Older Women – Why Does Hair Thin with Age and What Can We Do?

thinning hair in older women

One of the chief complaints of women as they age is the appearance of their hair. Thinning hair in older women is something that many just accept as the way of life. What was once lush becomes drier, thinner, and less voluminous. There are several possible causes for hair becoming thinner as one ages, some of which can be helped.

Hormonal Changes: The Most Common Reason for Thinning Hair in Older Women

As women age, the levels of estrogen they produce begin to decline. Estrogen does several things that promote thick hair. Therefore, the loss contributes to thinner hair in several ways as well. First, estrogen lengthens the growth stage of hair. This means more follicles of hair are growing at a given time when estrogen production is at an ideal level. It also stimulates the growth of new hair, after the old hair has shed.

Estrogen plays an important role in the overall appearance of hair. It is easy to see why an imbalance could cause hair to begin to look thinner over time. There is very little that can be done to increase the natural production of estrogen once menopause has started. However, phytoestrogens, bioidentical, or synthetic estrogens can be utilized to support estrogenic activity in the body.

Nutritional Deficiencies: Nutrients are Processed Less Efficiently

As women age their bodies begin to process nutrients less efficiently. Many vitamins and minerals are necessary for hair growth. Iron and Vitamin C are good examples of this.

Iron deficiency has been linked to hair loss in several studies. As the body ages, it can become more difficult for it to obtain the iron it needs from foods. The deficiency can then lead to thinner hair. Interestingly, a Vitamin C deficiency can contribute to the iron deficiency. This is because, without enough Vitamin C, the absorption of iron from foods such as red meat becomes more difficult.

There are a great number of nutrients that play a part in thinning hair in older women. In addition to iron and Vitamin C, getting enough magnesium, B vitamins, selenium, niacin and zinc is important. Some deficiencies can be helped with a diet change or nutritional supplements. Nutrafol is a supplement that contains Vitamin C, Selenium and Zinc – among other things.

Stress Can be a Factor with Thinning Hair in Older Women

As we age our stress levels increase. Additionally, realizing that we are aging can cause additional stress. High levels of stress over a long period leads to increased cortisol production. This can have an negative impact on hair growth and lead to hair appearing thinner.

Cortisol is a hormone created in response to all types of stress. High levels mean that the body is busy producing this one hormone. And therefore producing less of the hormones that promote healthy hair growth. By reducing stress levels, it can be possible to reduce the cortisol levels and bring the body back to balance. Some methods for stress reduction include physical activity, enough amounts of sleep, and laughter.

As we age, it is not uncommon for women to become more aware of their physical appearance and how it is changing. While many women dread the changes, some steps can be taken to keep a youthful look. Healthy hair is one of the most visible signs of our appearance. With attention to diet and supplements, it can be possible to help hair regain some of the fullness of youth.


Featured image by Romana Klee

Did You Know the Importance of Hair Transplant Recovery?

Hair Transplant Recovery

A hair transplant procedure should be taken as seriously as any other surgical procedure, which means hair transplant recovery is an important factor. Your body will need time to recover, and you will need to be prepared for wound care once you are home. Take the time to discuss with your doctor what to expect after the procedure and what you should do to prepare.

Preparation

The most important step in hair transplant recovery and aftercare begins before the procedure. It is important that you are fully prepared for the transplant process and that your recovery space is ready before you return.

Make sure the phone numbers for the clinic and your medical provider are easily accessible on your phone, and also clearly visible for anyone who will be helping to care for you. Make sure you have enough pillows in place to comfortably sleep in a somewhat upright position for several nights following the procedure.

Rest

Rest is an essential part in hair transplant recovery. Plan to take several days off from work, and do not schedule other activities during this time. You should avoid being outside as much as possible as direct sunlight can negatively impact the transplant. Do not engage in exercise or other strenuous physical activity for at least two weeks after the procedure. Wait at least a month before resuming any contact sports activities.

It is best to avoid any activities that will result in excessive sweating. Perspiration can increase the risk of infection dramatically. This includes steamy showers and saunas.  

Hair Transplant Recovery
Pay attention to your doctor’s advice when recovering from a hair transplant. For example, don’t take vitamins or any blood thinning medicine.

Wound Care

It is important to follow all of the wound care instructions provided by your doctor after the hair transplant. This may include things like how to take medications, and what medications to avoid. For example, you should not take aspirin, vitamins, or other medications that cause the blood to thin as this could cause excess bleeding at the wound site.

If bleeding occurs, apply light pressure to the area with sterile gauze until the bleeding subsides. However, take care not to disrupt the grafts that have been placed.

Apply ice packs for about 10 minutes per hour to the incision area. However, it is important to put a barrier of sterile gauze between the incision and the ice pack to minimize the risk of infection. This should be done for three days following the procedure. It may also be necessary to apply ice packs to the scalp and face if swelling begins to occur in these areas.

Your physician will schedule follow-up appointments to check on the wound and gauge the results of the procedure. Do not miss your appointments as it is imperative to ensure the incisions are healing properly.

Grooming

It is important to leave the transplant area alone as much as possible at first. Do not wash or otherwise disturb the area for at least the first 24 hours. For the five days following, carefully wash and rinse hair according to your physician’s instructions. Styling products should be limited for the first few days, and if a blow dryer is used, the setting should be on low intensity and low heat.

Hair Transplant Recovery Check List

Your physician will have a detailed list of the best practices for you to follow after your hair transplant procedure. As each procedure is slightly different, it is important to follow the guidelines strictly. This will help to ensure the best possible results.

Photo Courtesy: Female beauty via Flickr

freestocks.org via Flickr

Healthy Hair and You – 5 Ways to Naturally Maintain It

Healthy Hair

A number of factors, including hereditary genetics, age, hormones, toxicity, certain medications, and nutritional deficiencies, can cause hair thinning and eventually loss. Here are 5 ways to naturally maintain healthy hair.

#1 Change Your Diet to increase your chances of healthy hair

That’s right, simply changing your diet and eating nutrient rich foods can help make your hair thicker and healthier. These foods are known to help against hair loss:

Spinach
● Greek Yogurt
Salmon
● Cinnamon
● Oatmeal
● Guava
● Eggs
● Lentils
Oysters
● Liver
● Lean Poultry
● Barley
● Nuts & Seeds
● Bok Choy
● Sweet Potatoes
● Halibut
Shiitake Mushrooms

#2 Eliminate Stress

Eliminating stress may not be as easy as it sounds, but your stress could be the underlying root of your hair health problems. Try to pinpoint where the stress might be coming from. Even if you can’t find out what is causing your stress, you can still manage it. You can help manage stress by incorporating some of these techniques into your daily life:

Meditation
● Breathing deeply
● Exercising
● Expressing yourself more freely
● Yoga
● Seeing a therapist or mental health professional

#3 Decrease the Heat

For years women have used plug-in heat sources to shape their hair to their liking, but heat exposure is not healthy for your hair. It can weaken and damage hair follicles, which can lead to shedding. Be mindful of potentially damaging heat sources like blow dryers, curlers and flat irons. If you have to use a hair dryer keep it on the cool setting.

Healthy Hair
Warm coconut oil or coconut milk is one of many remedies you can use to treat your hair.

#4 Hair Remedies

There are many remedies you can use to naturally help maintain and improve your hair. Here are just a few of them:

● Massage warm coconut oil or coconut milk into your scalp
● Onion juice is high in sulfur content, which can help hair growth by increasing collagen product. Let it sit for 15 minutes. Then rinse with mild shampoo and air dry. Use twice a week.
● Garlic is also high in sulfur. Crush a couple of cloves, add coconut oil, and boil for a few minutes. Let it cool to a comfortable temperature and massage it on your scalp. Leave on for up to 30 minutes, and then wash your hair. Do this two times a week.

#5 Switch To Mild Shampoo

Your shampoo, ironically enough, may also be to blame. Some shampoos are too harsh for your scalp. Simply switching to a milder shampoo can help hair health. There are certain shampoos that can inhibit the healthy promotion of hair growth. Use a shampoo that doesn’t contain sulfates. You want to be on the lookout for SLS and SLES free formulas – the ones you’ll want to use for your hair.

SLS or Sodium Laureth Sulfate and SLES or Sodium Lauryl Sulfate are lathering agents that are added to soap products to help us think that we are really cleaning our hair. What you’re actually doing is stripping your hair and causing frizziness and dryness to occur. SLS and SLES can cause severe irritation to the skin and scalp when used regularly. Stock up on sulfite-free hair products and save your hair from looking dull and lifeless.

By making a few changes and following these tips, you maintain healthy hair naturally and stop it from falling out.

Seven Ways Scalp Exfoliation Can Help Improve Your Hair Health

Scalp Exfoliation

Did you know that scalp exfoliation offers numerous benefits for the health of your hair? Most people are familiar with the benefits, some would even say necessity, of regularly including exfoliation into your skin care routine. However, many people never consider exfoliating their scalps. Read on to learn more, and make it part of your hair care routine!

Increases Circulation

Scalp exfoliation can help increase the circulation of blood flow to the scalp. You can do this at a salon, but just as well at home. Massage your scalp with your fingers and an exfoliating product. This helps ensure the hair follicles are receiving all the nutrients and the oxygen they need for gorgeous hair.

Removes Product Buildup

The severity of product buildup is directly tied to how many products you routinely use on your hair, the amount of each product used, and the type of product. If you are regularly using a lot of products the buildup on your scalp will be more extensive than someone who has a wash and go routine. Product buildup can result in clogged hair follicles and drying of the scalp. This could cause dandruff or hair thinning. The same goes for those who wear heavy makeup on a daily basis vs. those who rarely wear makeup. Remove product buildup for the same reasons you remove your makeup.

Deeper Cleansing

It is not just leftover products that are removed with exfoliation. It is also the sweat from your daily gym session and environmental stressors such as second-hand smoke and smog. The extra time spent exfoliating your scalp is far more efficient than a typical hair washing session.

Scalp Exfoliation
Exfoliating your scalp will give it a deep cleansing and remove product buildup so your hair is ready for new products.

Reduced Acne

Just as exfoliation can help reduce facial acne, it can also reduce acne on the scalp. While not as immediately visible, scalp acne can make hair feel and look oilier. Make sure to use a gentle shampoo to get rid of excess oil and pick a hair exfoliator that contains a small amount of salicylic acid.

Reduced Dandruff

Scalp exfoliation can remove the top layer of dry skin that may be contributing to your dandruff problem. It can also help remove the flakes immediately and reduce the appearance of dandruff.

Helps Promote Healthier Hair Growth

Many of the benefits listed above ultimately support healthier hair growth. Making sure the follicles on the scalp are as healthy as possible facilitates a greater rate of growth. It also promotes healthier hair as the oils produced are better distributed throughout the hair.

One of the reasons our hair thins as we age is because cell turnover begins to slow considerably. Exfoliation can remove the buildup of dead skin cells and oil buildup, helping mimic the conditions of younger hair.

Scalp Exfoliation Can Help Make Products More Effective

Finally, scalp exfoliation can contribute to improving the effectiveness of the other cleansing and styling products you use on a regular basis. A cleaner scalp helps allow for products to better penetrate penetrate the scalp. Many people find less product is needed after they have exfoliated their scalps.

How often you may want to consider exfoliating your scalp depends on a variety of factors, including overall hair health, the number and types of products regularly used on the hair, and what usual maintenance and cleansing routines you have. As a starting point, the general recommendation by experts is to include scalp exfoliation into a regular hair care routine once a month. You can then increase or decrease frequency based upon personal results.

Photo credits: Ike ofSpain via Flickr

Mainstream via Flickr

How to Start Your Own Hair Health Program

Hair Regrowth

Often, we expect men to go bald or have thinning hair as they age, but women are often shocked and embarrassed to find the same happening to them. Because so much of a woman’s identity comes from her hair, women often look for what are often advertised as hair regrowth programs. You can find a lot of options and online advertising, but many of them have found to be ineffective or incredibly overpriced. Because of this, we recommend starting your own hair health program. Here’s how.

Multi-Targeting Hair Health Programs

For hair loss or thinning, there are often multiple causes and therefore multiple possible resolutions. Don’t attempt to just find one solution and throw everything you have into that; try putting your eggs in different baskets. Here are a few things you can try:

Minoxidil

Minoxidil: This is a product, most commonly referred to as Rogaine, which helps stimulate hair follicles to promote growth. You can pick up a 2% solution of the product and try it out for at least 4 to 6 months.

Laser Hair Therapy

You may have heard of laser hair removal. But did you know that there are low light lasers that can help stimulate hair growth? Look into this at local salons or even in handheld home versions that you can use daily.

The Right Shampoo

There are many, many reviews out there for recommended shampoo that can prevent and reverse hair loss. It’s recommended that you at least give up shampoo with high sulfates and parabens, as these can agitate your scalp and cause damage. Don’t be afraid to try a few hair growth shampoos out; you might have to try a few before you find your favorite.

Take Supplements

You know how prenatal vitamins help pregnant women’s hair and nails grow? There are plenty of supplements that combine some of the same vitamins and minerals that can help you support and maintain healthier hair. A supplement that has Niacin, Biotin, Zinc, vitamins A, B, and C, boosts collagen, and supports amino acid metabolism is a great option depending on your personal needs.

Eat Well

The real clincher for most women on a path to regenerate hair growth is eating a proper, balanced diet. We often underestimate the power that food has over our bodies. Simply introducing more fruits and veggies, less red meat (especially for women), as well as healthy fats like avocado, nuts, and fish can help hair grow faster and healthier than ever before. It’s also important to drink more water, as our bodies contain 80% of it, dehydration is shown in our hair. You can even use healthy foods directly on your hair as an additional way to reap the benefits of their vitamins and nutrients!

Hair Regrowth
Using the right shampoo, supplements and eating well are three things you can do when you start your own hair health program.

Visit a Hair Loss Specialist or Dermatologist

If you feel like you’ve tried everything in this do-it-yourself program and you’re still not seeing results, you should go see a specialist. If you see a hair loss specialist, they may recommend hair implants (or plugs), or may provide over-the-counter medicines to help balance out hormones, thyroid, etc. Knowing the state of your health and options that can be medically provided can often be the best hair health program out there.

 

 

L-cysteine Benefits For Healthy, Beautiful Hair

MEDICALLY REVIEWED BY
DR. NICOLE KLUGHERS, ND

on February 14, 2017

Do you know what L-cysteine is or how it can contribute to beautiful hair? Below, we’ll go through the basics of this amino acid that is necessary for the health of our body and hair.

L-cysteine is a protein-forming amino acid that helps protein building in the body. It is a non-essential amino acid, which means our body can create it. In order to cover the daily intake, dietary supplements may be a great option. This is because L-cysteine is directly formed from L-methionine, which happens to be an essential amino acid that we must get from food.

What Does L-cysteine Do?

L-cysteine plays an important role in keeping the overall hair health. L-cysteine is one of few amino acids that has the ability to form disulfide bonds in the body. These disulfide bonds hold together the keratin strands within the hair, which provide the hair with its fibrous properties that hold on to moisture and prevent hair dryness. Also, L-cysteine directly helps in maintaining the texture and thickness of hair.

The hair consists of three layers: the cuticle, cortex and medulla. The outer layer – the cuticle – surrounds the inner layers of the cortex and the medulla. The medulla in its turn is also surrounded by the cortex, and is present right at the center of the hair shaft. The medulla is responsible for the natural hair thickness through genetic signaling.

The most prominent of these layers is the middle one; the cortex. It makes up almost 80 – 90% of a single strand of hair. The cortex is abundantly supplied with keratin molecules bundled together that give strength to the hair follicles. Each bundle of this fibrous filament structure contains almost 75% of L-cysteine. Many topical hair care products such as hair oils and shampoos contain L-cysteine as a major ingredient. The L-cysteine will maintain and promote the keratin and disulfide bond formation.

Also, in case of L-cysteine deficiency due to decreased absorption from the gastrointestinal tract, or decreased dietary intake, oral supplements of L-cysteine are available to help restore its normal levels in the body. Foods that are high in L-cysteine include soybeans, beef, lamb, sunflower seeds, cheese, oats and chick peas.

Scientific Research On L-cysteine Benefits

A German research study from 2000 examined the role of L-cysteine in hair loss and hair regrowth. Researchers divided people who were suffering from massive hair loss into two groups. One treated with a combination of L-cysteine, millet seed extract, and pantothenic acid, while the other group received a placebo.

After four weeks of continuous treatment, researchers observed the initial results with a microscope. Three months in it was observed that the group treated with L-cysteine combination therapy showed a decrease in hair loss and their natural hair growth was restored. Whereas there was no improvement in hair loss in the control group that received placebo.

Dermatologists linked L-cysteine to promotion of natural hair growth and hair regeneration.  So there you have it; L-cysteine benefits are in fact crucial for a healthy growth and for strong and healthy hair. If you think that you do not get enough of it through your food, there are plenty of natural hair supplements contain L-cysteine you might wish to consider.

What Happens When You Start to Grow Gray Hair?

gray hair

The first gray hair can come as a complete surprise. All of a sudden, there it is – you spot it as you look at yourself in the mirror and you see that the roots near your temples have started to fade and turn gray. Why is that?

It must be the stress at the office, you think, or that bad color job at the salon last month. There could be a dozen reasons running through your head, but there are only two things you really feel: you either love it because that salt-and-pepper style can make you look a hundred times smarter and more distinguished, or you hate it because it can make you look older than you really are.

Professor Ralph Trueb of the Center for Dermatology and Hair Diseases in Switzerland writes about what is now known as the Rule of 50 in his book, The Difficult Hair Loss Patient: Guide to Successful Management of Alopecia. He says that by 50 years of age, 50% of people will have 50% gray hair regardless of gender or hair color. That seems natural if you’re aging, but what if you’re in your 30s – or even 20s?

Going, Going, Gone

Generally, race seems to play a role in premature graying. Hair begins to lose color as early as the age of 20 for Caucasians, 25 for Asians, and 30 for Africans. This relates to the observation that the lighter the skin color, the sooner that hair will turn gray. Graying can be genetic so the exact age when it starts is individual.

At the root of this aging process are hair cells called melanocytes that produce a dark pigment called melanin, which comes from the Greek word melanos meaning “dark.” This pigment is what gives color to hair, skin, and the iris of the eyes. Hair color would depend on two groups of melanin. Eumelanin contains brown and black pigments while pheomelanin have red and yellow pigments. Variations in the amount and ratio of each result in a variety of colors and shades.

Unfortunately, though, we do not get to look young forever. As we age, our melanocytes produce less melanin, making our hair fibers start losing its original color. Aging hair, as Professor Trueb calls it, is not just a matter of deteriorating hair color but of decreasing production and declining appearance as well.

Relative scalp coverage – which measures the average number of hair fibers in a cross-section multiplied by the number of fibers per square centimeter, usually peaks at age 35. Hair density peaks in the late 20s, but hair diameter can increase until age 45, after which hair growth slows down and fibers grow thinner and coarser. This is why gray hair is more resistant to artificial color.

Aging hair is also more sensitive to ultraviolet rays which cause hair proteins such as keratin to break down and make hair more prone to breakage. The production of sebum, the oily substance secreted by the sebaceous glands through ducts that open to the hair follicles, also decreases after age 50. The increase of sebum starting from puberty until it peaks from ages 45-50 is what keeps the hair moisturized, shiny, and soft. Declining amounts in older ages translates to hair that lacks luster and is coarse and dry.

Gray Hair
Though coloring your hair will cover up gray strands, there could be other factors than aging behind premature gray hair.

Causes of Premature Gray Hair

Some start to grow gray strands in their 20s and some in their 50s. Important to know that while genetics seems to be the major determinant of when and how our hair goes gray. Other factors also come into play:

Drugs. Certain drugs such as those that prevent malaria can lead to bleaching or loss of hair.

UV radiation. Constant exposure to ultraviolet rays, such as those from the sun, can damage melanin and gradually bleach hair.

Smoking. Studies have linked smoking to oxidative stress that damages the melanocytes.

Internal damage. For people who bleach their hair with hydrogen peroxide, it is interesting to note that the chemical already naturally occurs within our hair but is broken down by an enzyme called catalase from the fruits and vegetables we eat. When catalase levels decrease, hydrogen peroxide builds up and the hair turns gray.

Nutritional deficiencies. Hair follicles and their pigments are dependent on nourishment provided by a healthy diet. Insufficient calcium, iron, and iodine in your diet can lead to poor hair structure and premature graying.

The bad news is that aging will inevitably bring about thinning, drying, breaking and fading of hair. The good news is that whatever color we start with, everyone will eventually lose their hair color anyway. It might be all white – but it’s all right.

 


Text by Anne Sarte

Photo credits: Maria Morri via Flickr

Francesca Cappa via Flickr

What does Aloe Vera do to your hairdo

Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera is a type of succulent which grows wild in different tropical places around the world. We now grow aloe vera for numerous medicinal and decorative purposes and it has showed great success in transitioning to other environments. The earliest references can be traced back to ancient Egypt, where it was known as a plant of immortality. Traditionally, aloe vera has been used to treat a variety of conditions, and is now found in the ingredients of many hair and skin care products.

Ways that aloe vera can help combat hair loss

Moisturizing: Aloe vera has enzymes which promote cell regeneration. When used as a conditioner, it makes hair appear shiny and smooth. This moisturizing effect is also experienced on the skin of the scalp and can help promote a healthy environment for hair follicles. The moisturizing properties of aloe vera help reduce hair breakage and improves the overall appearance and health of hair.

Supports healthy hair growth: The lifecycle of hair occurs in 3 stages; anagen, catagen, and telogen. The anagen phase is when active growth occurs. During this phase, the cells at the root of the hair are dividing rapidly and hair growth averages about 1 centimeter per month. This length of the phase is genetically determined, but it lasts for between 2-7 years. After this, hair growth stops and then begins to shed due to an internal signal. Aloe vera can help improve the health of the scalp and lengthen the growth phase of hair.

Cleansing: When the pores on the scalp are not cleaned thoroughly, they can become clogged. The dirt and oil that are clogging the pores can increase the chances of the skin of the scalp becoming infected. Aloe vera is an excellent cleansing agent that effectively removes these impurities. This allows the hair to push easily through the scalp, which can improve hair density and minimize the appearance of hair loss.

 

Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera moisturizes, can help stimulate hair growth and cleans the scalp – leaving the hair smooth and shiny.

Using Aloe Vera

Aloe plants are easy to grow. Because of this, many people decide to grow their plants and apply the gel directly to their scalp. Depending on how often one wishes to apply it to their scalp, this can require a significant commitment of time and energy in growing and harvesting the plant.

Due to this, many companies now include aloe gel in their hair care products. Others sell the gel of the plant in an easy to dispense container.

Aloe vera can help support hair growth and minimize hair loss in a number of ways. There are many delivery methods available to help individuals integrate aloe vera into their hair care routine. Choosing the right one for your hair is a matter of personal preference.

The Role of Vitamin D in Hair Loss and Overall Hair Health

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin which is naturally produced in the body when sunrays convert the skin’s chemicals into Vitamin D. The vitamin is very important for the health of bones, muscles, teeth and hair, and it also plays its role in the prevention of different diseases, some of which are Diabetes, Hypertension, and Stroke. Little to no sun exposure can lead to Vitamin D deficiency.

Effect of Vitamin D on Hair Loss

There are many diseases such as; thyroid dysfunction, diabetes, and lupus, which can increase hair loss. Sufficient amounts of Vitamin D play an important role in preventing these diseases, which in turn reduces hair loss. If you lack the vitamin, it may lead to hair shedding. Hair shedding is normal if a person sheds about 100 hairs per day. However, if a person sheds 200 to 300 hairs per day, this could indicate a potential medical disorder.

Vitamin D
Fish is a great source of Vitamin D, especially salmon. Very nutritious and easy to cook.

Daily Dietary Intake and Vitamin D Supplementation

The daily dietary intake should be up to 15mcg or 600 IU per day. Foods with great amounts of the vitamin include; blue fish, catfish, cod liver oil, egg yolk, and milk.
Other good sources are mushrooms, oysters, salmon, shrimp, tuna, and sardines. Fish is an excellent source because it contains omega-3 which is part of the Vitamin D production process. If the dietary intake and sun exposure is not enough to cover the vitamin deficiency, then supplements may be able to help. However, it is important not to consume more than the recommended dose as it can lead to several side effects including loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, constipation, increased heart beat, muscular weakness, and constipation.

What Role Does Aging and Your Thyroid play with Hair Loss?

Thyroid

Estrogen and hormones linked to the thyroid gland play an important role in the health and vitality of hair for both men and women. While many people believe that testosterone levels also play a significant role in hair loss linked to aging, it is usually the changing relationship between testosterone and estrogen that plays a much greater role.

Low Thyroid

New research has shown a strong link between low thyroid levels and excessive hair loss. Especially the effect the T3 and T4 hormones have on the growth phase of hair follicles found on the scalp. T4 was found to increase the creation of cells which controlled hair growth. T3 reduced the overall rate of follicle death. Combined, the two worked to create thicker hair in individuals who had experienced hair loss linked to aging and low thyroid levels.

Low thyroid levels also slow your metabolism. This causes weight gain that is so often related to thyroid problems. The metabolic rate also affects the hair follicles in the scalp and can cause them to release the root too early, and then delay the production of new hair. This leads to hair that appears thinner.

There are several types of supplements and natural remedies that can help support thyroid function. L-Carnitine, iodine, and glucomannan have all been put forth as natural options for poor thyroid function.

Estrogen

What people refer to as estrogen are several hormones that are grouped together under the single label. Estrogen does several things for women such as reducing bodily hair while promoting hair growth on the scalp. It does this by lengthening the growing phase of hair, by preventing the loss of hair, and by stimulating new growth. This is why women’s hair tends to become thicker and fuller during pregnancy when estrogen levels are higher.

Estrogen production often begins to decrease as women age and enter menopause. The decrease can lead to weight gain, depression, fatigue, and hair loss. As the estrogen levels drop, hair follicles become more influenced by testosterone which reduces the growth phase of hair. While this results in a gradual loss of hair, the overall effect is still quite noticeable.

There are several natural ways to boost estrogen levels in the body through diet and supplements. Typically, this is done by eating foods high in phytoestrogens. Phytoestrogens are compounds found in plants that act much like the estrogen found in the body. Plants with high phytoestrogen content include; soy, berries, flaxseeds, nuts, grains, fruits, and legumes.

Thyroid
Eating food that has a high phytoestrogen content can help you boost your estrogen levels.

As we age many things about our bodies change. This is simply part of the aging process, and there is nothing to be done but gracefully accept the change and learn to live with the new reality. With hormonal imbalances, however, there are natural and medicinal solutons that can be used. By making sure that you have the correct balance of these hormone levels can lead to thicker healthier hair.