Going Bald? Fear Not, Scientists are Developing a New Cure for Baldness

new research and possible cure for for male baldness

There are definitely some people out there who can pull off “the bald look”, but if we are going to be really honest – most of us would prefer to have the choice between a lush mane and shaving it all off. Today between 50 million men and 30 million women in the United States experience complete or partial loss of hair, a condition that can cause feelings such as embarrassment, low self esteem and even stress.

Throughout history, hair has always played an important roll in a person’s self-image, but also the image they present to others. For men, a healthy head of hair has been equated with vigor and virility; for women it has represented femininity and beauty. Losing hair can greatly alter those impressions.

But due to a number of researchers who believe in the magic of stem cells, there is increasing hope that the regrowth of human hair will soon be possible – all thanks to a few optimistic researchers, and some laboratory mice.

Dr. Cheng-Ming Chuong, professor of pathology at the Keck School of Medicine of USC in Los Angeles, California, is the senior investigator of a study published in August 2017, by the National Academy of Sciences and funded by the National Institutes of Health.

He and his team of researchers were researching a way in which hair follicles can be grown from skin cells reproduced in-vitro in the lab. In the study, the researchers outlined a step-by-step sequence of events in the production of hair follicles from skin. They were able to generate hair by uncovering the major molecular events that are needed for the growth of the skin. The discovery was made possible by testing the sequence on mice.

New research for male baldness
A team of researchers are discovering a way in which hair follicles can be grown from skin cells.

Many aging individuals do not grow hair well because cells lose their regenerative ability over time. With these new findings, the researchers were able to make adult mouse cells produce hair again, Dr. Chuong states in a press release.

The researchers at the lab cannot confirm when exactly human trials can begin, but they are optimistic that their findings can soon treat conditions such as alopecia and baldness. The procedure would use the patient’s own steam cells in order to grow skin that has hair follicles. This first step would happen in a lab, and afterwards the skin would be transplanted onto the bald areas of the scalp.

Lay the Groundwork for Healthier Hair by Taking a Supplement

The new stem cell research is very exciting, but this is not a procedure that will become an option for people with thinning hair today. By taking a supplement that works from within, strengthening the health of both your body and your hair, you can lay the groundwork today for future healthy hair growth! Nutrafol’s supplement is especially designed to provide the essential nutrients for growing hair as well as target the potential triggers of thinning hair. With thorough research, its team of doctors has been digging deeper to find the root causes of compromised hair health and uncover the underlying factors of hair thinning.

Nutrafol has been shown to raise levels of the body’s natural antioxidant defenses, combat aging, increase factors that support the follicles and boost the immune system. With this, the damaged follicles are given a chance to heal from within.

Balance is Key When It Comes to Healthy Hair

Each follicle has its own independent biological clock that ticks and signals the follicle to grow hair, lose hair or lay dormant. However, when it is out of balance, under attack, or its environment is altered, the process of hair production is disrupted.

New science proves how a multitude of internal and external triggers create an imbalance in the body’s immune system and metabolic pathways, making supplements a good future investment for your hair.

Dr. Cheng-Ming Chuong and his researchers are, like the doctors at Nutrafol, working hard to understand and combat hair loss. Take charge of your own hair health today by taking a supplement that provides essential nutrients to your hair and your body!

What You Need to Know When Dealing with Postpartum Hair Loss

Becoming a mother can be very rewarding and simultaneously very challenging. Your body is going through a whirlwind of changes, and in the middle of all this you do not expect your hair to start falling out in clumps. But for some women it does.

This is referred to as postpartum hair loss, telogen gravidarum, and telogen effluvium. This excessive hair shedding occurs most often between two and four months after giving birth, and according to statistics from the American Pregnancy Association, between 40 and 50 percent of women are affected.

But what is the reason for this postpartum hair loss? We asked Dr. Christine Carlan Greves, a board-certified obstetrician and gynecologist practicing in Orlando, Florida. Dr. Greves has been working with a lot of these cases and is familiar with postpartum hair loss.

“When a woman is pregnant, she has a lot of extra hormones in the body, including estrogen,” she says.

postpartum hair loss
Shedding hair as a post-baby reaction is something that cannot be prevented but it is however a condition that is a temporary one.

“The estrogen helps protect us from losing our hair. Then when she has the baby, there’s a sudden change in the hormone levels, including a drop in the estrogen. And this shift can cause a response in the body that may affect the hair cycle,” she continues, adding that breastfeeding might also be a contributing factor to excessive hair shedding.

“When breastfeeding, the prolactin levels are increased. That hormone, that is responsible for breast milk production, has been associated with hair loss as well”, Dr Greves explains.

Shedding hair as a postpartum reaction cannot be prevented but is however a  a temporary condition. While it does correct itself after some time, it certainly does not hurt to take extra care of your hair during this period. The following remedies are ones that you can easily do at home.

 

Things To Do When Dealing with Thinning Hair

    • Use a Volumizing Shampoo
      Volumizing shampoos tend to contain something called dimethicone. Dimethicone is a silicone-based polymer and the ingredient coats and seals the hair. While this is not stopping hair from shedding, it will give your hair an illusion of looking fuller to compensate for the temporary thinning.

 

    • Condition Light
      When conditioning your hair, make sure to only condition the roots. If you condition the strands further out as well, it will weigh the hair down, making it easier to break and fall off.

 

    • Stimulate Your Scalp
      Use massage to increase the blood flow to your scalp, but also invest in a scalp treatment that will help you clear all the dead skin cells around the hair follicles. This will make the hair follicles stay open, which will promote hair growth.

 

    • Choose Softer Hairstyles
      Do not pull your hair back too tightly, as the traction can lead to hair loss. Try to put a scarf over your hair instead of ponytailing it.

 

  • Invest In a Supplement
    Biotin seems to be the natural choice for many people looking for a supplement to help with their hair. But why not try a hair supplement that contains biotin AND other natural ingredients? Nutrafol’s supplement contains enzymes naturally found in the body which help nurture healthy hair growth. It is designed to provide essential nutrients for growing healthy hair and targets the potential triggers of thinning hair.

So if you are currently experiencing postpartum hair loss and are in the process of growing your hair back, Nutrafol may be a great addition to help your hair remain healthy and strong as it begins to naturally regrow.

How To Avoid Seasonal Hair Shedding During the Cold Months

Seasonal hair change

The colder season is upon us, and during these winter months it pays off to spend a little extra time and effort on your hair. In a previous post, three experts explained why seasonal hair shedding is occuring. We are continuing with this subject by asking dermatologists Jeremy Fenton and Emily Wise Shanahan what precautions you can take to avoid experiencing seasonal hair loss.

How to Keep Your Hair Health During the Winter Months

“It is always a good idea to make an extra effort in the winter months”, Dr Emily Wise Shanahan tells Nutrafol. “Keep the hair hydrated and moisturized. Use a deep conditioning mask. Likewise, limiting heat styling can be helpful for the same reasons,” she continues.

Dr Jeremy Fenton is of the same opinion: “To prevent breakage of winter hair it is recommended to moisturize with a conditioner. And avoid too much friction from prolonged wearing of hats.”

Another way to give your hair a helping hand when the temperature drops a few degrees is to do what your mother has been telling you since you where little: Take your vitamins!

“You can strengthen the hair that you have by taking supplements”, says Dr Fenton. “Biotin is one of the most effective options out there. And it is available over the counter at most drugstores. It may not prevent shedding, but it can prevent breakage, and also make the hair you do have actually appear thicker.”

What To Look For in A Supplement

seasonal shedding
One way to prevent breakage of winter hair is to moisturize with a conditioner.

Even if a supplement will not stop seasonal hair shedding, giving your body the nutrients it needs will show in the health of your hair. Nutrafol’s supplement is all natural and when regularly taken helps ensure your hair is as healthy and strong as possible throughout the year. One of the benefits of Nutrafol nutraceuticals is that they stimulates the follicles to enter into the anagen (growth) phase of the hair cycle. This can prevent some of your hair from entering that telogen phase of summer that we have mentioned in previous texts, and ultimately reduce the cold season hair shedding. When using the Nutrafol supplement, it is important to note you might have to give it a few months to notice a difference. As always when starting to take a new supplement, it takes time for the body to adjust to the change.

How Do I Know If It Is Seasonal Hair Shedding?

Make sure to pay extra attention to the part of your hair that is shedding. That way you will be able to tell if the hair shedding is seasonal or if there is a bigger underlying problem – like female pattern baldness. By looking closely, you will also be able to see if what you are experiencing is shedding or hair breaking off.

“With the winter months comes drier weather and hats rubbing against the hair. Dry, brittle hair is more likely to break, and the friction of hats can further contribute to this. Although this is not true hair ‘loss’, it can make your hair appear thinner,” says Dr Fenton.

When Should You Worry About Hair Shedding?

“There is no need to panic if you find a few strands on your pillowcase or clothes”, says Dr Wise Shanahan.

There is no need to push the “panic button” unless you find local bald patches, or if your hair shedding is focused to a specific area, such as the front of your hairline or the top of your head.

“This may represent a different type of hair loss and should be evaluated by a doctor”, Dr Wise Shanahan explains.

 

Thinning hair? We Talked Some to Experts About the Habits That May Cause it

Thinning hair

Even if many people are working hard to loose a few inches around their middle, hearing the word “thin” is never desirable when it comes to your hair. But if you suffer from thinning hair, it is never too late to save your strands. The most important thing to understand is that it is never just one thing that’s causing you to lose your hair. Nutrafol reached out to 3 experts to see what they had to say about it.

“Many aspects of our lifestyle – from what we eat to how we style our hair – affect the strength of hair fibers”, says Dr. Alan Bauman.
Dr. Bauman is a Boca Raton-based hair transplant surgeon and physician and has been specializing in hair loss for many years.
“And that’s good news”, he continues. “Thicker hair is just about making a few simple tweaks to your lifestyle.”

But what habits are contributing to thinning hair?

    • 1 Steamy showers

Oh, how we love those hot, steamy showers, especially when the thermometer drops.
“But hot water dehydrates strands [just like skin], leading to dry, brittle hair that is more prone to snap and fall out”, explains Ryan Welter, MD, a Boston-based hair transplant surgeon. “Not only are you washing your hair’s protective oils down the drain, Ryan continues. The heat also throws your scalp’s pores into overdrive to keep up with oil production, which can damage the root and lead to additional shedding.”

But you can avoid this by…

…lowering the temperature a few degrees. You can still take a warm shower but try to rinse your hair with the coolest temperature possible.

Thinning hair
Some of the most common habits and hair routines may be the reason for thinning hair.
  • 2 Using hot styling tools

    Even though many of us live for our styling tools, the heat damages our hair when used too often.
    “Scorching temps damage the proteins that make up your hair and its protective cuticle. Once the cuticle is damaged, the moisture balance is disrupted and your hair is more prone to breakage”, explains Dr. Alan Bauman.

But you can avoid this by…

…using but not over-using. Make sure to limit your hot tool usage by using it only two or three times a week. Instead of the hot setting, try to switch to the coolest possible. And always apply a heat-protection spray. Heat-protection spray’s creates a thermal barrier to reduce friction, which spares your hair from damages and any future thinning.

  • 3 Unhealthy diets

    When you set your body into starvation mood, you force it to direct its energy towards essential functions. Essential functions like helping your heart and brain work instead of making hair.
    “In fact, when diagnosing anorexics, one of the top symptoms is severe hair loss”, says Dr. Paradi Mirmirani, a Vallejo, California dermatologist specializing in hair disorders.

But you can avoid this by…

…always eating a healthy diet with plenty of lean protein. Fish, chicken, lentils and beans are good dietary choices to avoid thinning hair and at the same time keep a healthy metabolism.
“Hair is primarily made of protein”, Dr. Mirmirani explains. It is the one thing that can make or break your hair if you are not getting enough. Aim for 46 grams per day (or about 25 to 30% of your total calories), to make sure you eat right. Round it off with a supplement designed to provide essential nutrients for your hair.

  • 4 Treating wet hair wrong

    Hair strands are most fragile when they are wet. They are prone to breakage when they are saturated with H2O since the protective cuticle is slightly raised. So if you are brushing your hair in the shower, stop immediately. Brushing it combined with rough towel-drying creates the perfect storm for snapping it off.

But you can avoid this by…

…brushing your hair before hitting the shower rather than when in the shower. Then blot (do not rub) the hair with a soft towel after your shower.

What are Formaldehyde-releasers and how do they work in terms of shampoo ingredients?

Shampoo ingredients

You can commonly find formaldehyde-releasers in shampoos and cosmetics, despite decades of public concern. Is this concern backed by research, or is it just a myth? In this post, Nutrafol will review how to identify formaldehyde-releasers. We’ll explain why they’re used as shampoo ingredients – but also the potential risks.

What are formaldehyde-releasers?

Formaldehyde-releasing preservatives, or more commonly referred to as formaldehyde-releasers, help to prevent microbial growth. What does this mean and why are they routinely added to cosmetics? Formaldehyde is added to prevent anything nasty from growing. There are over 40 formaldehyde-releasers, and countless branded derivatives, but the most common are:

  • Quaternium-15
  • DMDM Hydantoin
  • Ureas (imidazolidinyl, or diazolidinyl)
  • Benzylhemiformal

Unfortunately, you can’t just turn your shampoo bottle around and look at its ingredients to try identifying them – there’s no universal naming system. However, a formaldehyde-releaser will typically be one of the last ingredients on the label.

How do they work?

All formaldehyde-releasers work differently but there are two broad categories. Firstly, a formaldehyde-releaser can be synthesized directly from formaldehyde. The second mechanism is a chemical that decomposes to produce formaldehyde over time. The chemistry behind this can seem a little confusing and hard to understand, but the important thing you need to know is simply this: Formaldehyde is a strong antimicrobial which helps extend the shelf-life of shampoos.

Are there any risks using formaldehyde as a shampoo ingredient?

Formaldehyde is known to be carcinogenic and a strong irritant. The EU lists formaldehyde as a category 1B carcinogen. This means that it is a substance presumed to have carcinogen potentials for humans. But why is it not banned in shampoos you may ask? It is not banned in shampoos because it is used in extremely low concentrations and is not left on the skin. But as it is strongly irritant, people with sensitive skin should avoid products that has a label saying contains formaldehyde.

Shampoo ingredients
Formaldehyde is a shampoo ingredient and a strong antimicrobial which helps to extend the shelf-life of shampoos.

Alternatives to formaldehyde-releases

There is not many antimicrobial alternatives to formaldehyde-releasers. This is part of the reason why formaldehyde-releasers are still so prevalent and also a part of why the EU has continued to permit their use at low concentrations in cosmetics. Finding a natural solution to products containing formaldehyde isn’t easy. For example, everyday ingredients such as salt, sugar and honey can help preserve shampoos. From a manufacturer’s perspective, they’re not sufficient as they dramatically shorten the shelf life of the shampoos.

However, there are two natural solutions…

One of them being the no-poo method. It’s known to be free from harmful chemicals and has been praised by stylists all over the world. The other solution is natural supplements. Nutrafol is a nutraceutical supplement with many natural ingredients that can strengthen and nourish thinning hair from within. Read about the supplement from people who use it before you decide if it’s worth to ditch your current shampoo or not.

 

Experiencing Male Pattern Baldness? 11 Ways to Support Your Hair

male pattern baldness

Male pattern baldness occurs because of genetic factors and hormonal imbalances. Over time, hair follicles begin to shrink and eventually stop the production of new hair. However, the follicles remain alive allowing them the potential to grow hair again at some point. There are many steps one can try to stimulate the regrowth of hair.

Power Food that can help to stop Male Pattern Baldness

Nutritional deficiencies can be a contributing factor in hair loss. Some foods contain nutrients that are especially vital to overall hair health. Foods that can be included to promote healthy hair include: fatty fish, spinach, yogurt, egg, plant and animal protein. Other great sources are: seafood such as oysters and lobsters, as well as red, yellow, and orange fruits and vegetables.

Water

Dehydration can be a main factor in hair loss. Sufficient hydration is essential for healthy cells, including hair cells. Most adults need between 9 and 13 cups of water daily. Alcoholic and caffeinated drinks should be limited, and replaced with water, natural juice, or herbal teas.

Hygiene

One part of good hair health is keeping the hair and scalp clean. Doing this with a gentle product that will not stress the hair follicles is ideal. The other component of good hair hygiene is not using too many products. Gels, hairspray, high heat, and other styling agents can cause damage to the hair if used too often.

Reduce Stress

Male pattern baldness is not a result of stress. However, stress can lead to increased hair loss. Avoid stress triggers to prevent further hair loss. Proven methods of stress reduction include; meditation, time in nature, the right amount of sleep, and listening to music.

Scalp Massage

Scalp massages promote the flow of blood to the hair follicles and help strengthen the roots of the hair. A massage of 5 to 10 minutes, two to three times per week is recommended according to anecdotal evidence.

Supplements

Several supplements can respond to nutritional deficiencies which may be triggering poor hair health or hair loss. Some of the most common choices are: Vitamins A, B, C, D, and E.

Male Pattern Baldness
Peas contain a lot of B-vitamins, a vitamin that is good to eat when suspecting pattern baldness.

Natural Remedies

There are several all-natural solutions recommended to men who are trying to fight male pattern baldness. Some research shows that onion juice applied directly to the skin may help promote hair growth. Other studies have shown that applying saw palmetto to areas where hair growth is desired can be effective.

Physical Exam

It is important to visit a healthcare provider if you are concerned about your hair loss, as many conditions may lead to baldness, including male pattern baldness. So, it is important to make sure there are no serious underlying health conditions that need to be treated.

Medications

Finasteride was created to treat enlarged prostates, a side effect of this treatment was hair growth. It was later approved in 1 mg oral doses, to be prescribed for the treatment of male pattern baldness. Minoxidil was the first medication approved by the FDA for treating male pattern baldness when applied directly on to the head.

Hair Transplant

There are two primary methods for hair transplant surgery currently being used; follicular unit extraction or follicular unit strip surgery. The method used will depend on a variety of factors, including the type of hair, and the amount of the scalp that is affected.

New Style

Some men find it liberating to shave their hair entirely when faced with male pattern baldness. The look is embraced by celebrities and men all over the world. It is easy to maintain, and can give a sense of freedom to men who are terrified of losing their hair.

If you are suffering from male pattern baldness, there are several steps you can try to address the issue and help encourage healthy hair growth. Medical intervention and assistance are necessary for some men, but others find lifestyle changes and natural remedies preferable. Experiment with the methods you feel most comfortable with to fight male pattern baldness.

The L-Lysine Benefits in Hair Growth

L-Lysine benefits

L-lysine is an essential amino acid. It plays a major role in the production of several hormones, enzymes, and antibodies in the body. It also helps in the support of hair growth for both men and women. Let’s take a look at the L-lysine benefits for your hair.

L-Lysine benefits to Stop Hair Loss and Promote Hair Growth

Collagen


Collagen
is a protein which forms the basic structure of hair follicle, along with keratinThe formation of collagen depends upon L-lysine. L-lysine is responsible for collagen formation since it helps absorb a vital mineral – calcium.

Calcium

This is the major ingredient required for the production of collagen in hair, nails and skin. If you have a lack of L-lysine it stops the production of collagen. This, in turns can lead to massive hair loss.

DHT

DHT is extremely harmful for hair growth because it stops it. L-lysine helps stop this process, with the result that DHT is not formed in the body. Therefore, L-lysine supplements are recommended to help with poor hair health by supporting a healthy environment for hair to thrive.

Dietary Sources of L-Lysine

Foods rich in L-lysine include fish sources such as cod, sardines, and salmon. Other sources are poultry, dairy products, legumes, red meat, pork, nuts, pulses and spirulina. Daily intake of protein from these sources can prevent the lack of L-lysine in the body. People at high risk of developing L-lysine deficiency include; vegetarians, and athletes who have high protein requirements.

L-Lysine benefits
Spirulina is a good supplement to help prevent hair loss.

L-Lysine Supplements

If lack of L-lysine can’t be fulfilled through dietary intake, then supplements are recommended. The usual recommended dose is 1-1.5 grams per day. It also depends on the level of deficiency and health conditions of each individual. But be careful not to consume too much of it. When L-Lysine is consumed in large amounts for a long time period, it can increase the cholesterol level and the L-Lysine benefits are lost. So make sure to only consume L-lysine supplements after proper consultation with a medical practitioner.

 

How to Prevent Dry Scalp and Hair Loss

Dry Scalp and Hair Loss

A lot of how we look depends on the health and condition of our hair. A healthy scalp provides nourishment for your hair and its roots. It also keeps our hair looking healthy, where an unhealthy one can cause dry scalp and hair loss. But when problems with our scalp arise, so do problems with our hair. They are both linked. You cannot have healthy hair without a healthy scalp.

One of the biggest factors that surround dry scalp and thinning hair is the weather. You will notice that your scalp feels drier in winter, and your hair is more brittle. A dry scalp will decrease the health of your hair, and you will see more breakage during the winter.
While a dry scalp may not necessarily directly cause hair loss, the problems that accompany a dry scalp may contribute to the thinning of hair, as well as hair loss.

Dry scalps are itchy, and what do we do when we are itching? We scratch. When you scratch your scalp, you dislodge the dead skin cells which are produced during the normal hair growth cycle.
An itchy scalp also causes dandruff due to dryness. Dandruff is a problem that plagues many people, but this could also be a sign that your scalp is not healthy. If left untreated, a dry scalp could cause long lasting damage to your hair, so don’t wait too long before you take action.

Causes of Dry Scalp and Hair Loss

There are many reasons why your scalp gets dry and itchy, one of them being stress. Many people do report dry skin and scalp issues after a period of tremendous stress, so make sure to evaluate your life when you start losing hair and your scalp starts to itch.
Another big factor that causes dry scalp is the hair products you use. Some of them contain chemicals and ingredients that could be harsh for your hair and scalp. If you are sensitive to perfumes in hair products or to certain chemicals, your scalp could react to them, causing dry scalp.
Skin conditions like atopic dermatitis and Psoriasis could also cause hair problems, but this can be treated; consult a dermatologist.

Unhealthy lifestyles can cause hair loss as well. If you eat poorly, never sleep, or never take care of medical conditions, your hair may start to fall out, or your scalp may begin to dry.

Dry Scalp and Hair Loss
Make sure to invest in a good hair oil – the perfect cure to prevent a dry scalp.

How to Avoid Hair Loss Due to Dry Scalp

Our hair plays a huge role in our self-esteem. So factors like our diet and hair care play a vital role in preventing a dry scalp from forming. Moisturize your scalp by using certain oils, and condition the skin in your scalp. Avoid overuse of electrical hair appliances that dry out your hair and skin cells.

Eat a well-balanced diet so that your body receives enough nutrients to moisturize the scalp and maintain a healthy oil level. If you are uncertain if you are getting all the vitamins you need through your diet, taking a supplement that supports healthy hair growth can be a good way of making sure. Last but not least, avoid scratching your scalp. The rubbing causes friction, which dislodges the hair and can cause hair loss.
Often, your hair loss can be easily rectified by simply working to moisturize and hydrate your scalp. Don’t ignore dandruff – or you could start losing your hair!

The Best Hair Growth Supplements

Your daily diet has an impact on your overall health and well-being, and your hair deserves good nutrition as well – something it can get through the best hair growth supplements. Many people fail to realize that their hair is also affected by their dietary choices. In fact, many vitamins and minerals play an important role in the growth of healthy hair. Some of the best hair growth supplements contain vitamins A, B, C, and E as well as iron and folic acid.

Vitamin A Can Make a Positive Impact on Hair When Used Properly

Vitamin A can be a little bit tricky to deal with. On one hand it is one of the most vital of the vitamins for healthy hair. On the other hand, because it is so important, many supplements and foods are enhanced with the vitamin, and too much of it can lead to hair loss. Some of the hair benefits of vitamin A are that it will strengthen the hair, moisten the scalp and fight free radicals that may could have a negative impact on hair growth and health.

 

Vitamin B Complex – A Collection of the Best Hair Growth Supplements

Saying that Vitamin B is essential to hair growth is a little misleading. In fact, several types of B vitamins contribute to the health and vitality of your hair. This is why some of the best hair growth supplements and dietary guides will refer to them collectively as Vitamin B Complex. Some of the most important B vitamins are Biotin, B6 and B12. However, all eight different B vitamins play an integral role in reducing hair loss, increasing the rate of hair growth and promoting shiny hair.

best hair growth supplements
Folid Acid is an important vitamin for healthy hair growth. Apart from dark leafy greens, papaya fruit and oranges contain are great sources of folic acid.

Folic Acid Can Greatly Reduce Breakage

Folic acid gets its own special mention, even though it is technically part of the vitamin B family. It’s the artificial form of B9 added to foods. Folate is the nutrient naturally found in foods. Folic acid plays a critical role in numerous bodily functions including mental and emotional health. It also has an often overlooked impact on the health of your hair. It can add moisture to your hair, something that reduces the amount of breakage that occurs. This allows you to go longer without having to trim or cut your hair, leading to longer hair overall. Folic acid also makes hair shinier and thicker.

Vitamin E Promotes Blood Circulation

Vitamin E is well known for its positive effect on the skin, but it’s also beneficial for hair. It helps promote adequate levels of blood circulation, which includes the circulation in your scalp, facilitating hair growth. A healthier scalp will lead to softer hair, fewer split ends and improved hair growth.

Other Ways to Promote Hair Growth

Many people overlook the impact your overall well-being has on your hair. Reducing stress is a very effective tool when dealing with hair loss. Yoga, meditation, and other calming activities can greatly improve your overall health, and lead to increased hair growth.

An individual with a vitamin deficiency in one or all of these areas will find it difficult to sustain healthy hair, much less promote increased hair growth and health. Because many of these vitamins and minerals work together to enhance hair growth, it can be beneficial to find one that contains the most important vitamins as well as works on your overall health. Especially if you are unable to get the necessary amounts through your dietary choices.

Anti-depressant medications and hair loss

medications and hair loss

There is a link between certain medications and hair loss (telogen effluvium) such as acne medications, antibiotics, antifungals, anti-hypertensive medications, cholesterol-lowering drugs, and anti-depressant and mood disorder medications. Among anti-depressants, those classified as SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors), are one class of these drugs shown to cause telogen effluvium.

Hair loss can occur when your body undergoes a stressful event such as childbirth, mental stress, illness, surgery, poor nutrition, or due to side effects from medications. Your hair follicles enter the resting phase (telogen) prematurely due to these triggers, causing hair loss.

The link between certain SSRI medications and hair loss

Some SSRIs that have been linked to hair loss include Prozac (Fluoxetine), Lexapro (Escitalopram Oxalate), and Zoloft (Sertraline hydrochloride), among others. These medications have been used for a wide variety of psychiatric disorders including mood and anxiety disorders.

Over the years, several cases have been reported worldwide of people who took SSRIs and experienced distressing hair loss as a side effect (see a list of medical case studies below).

medications and hair loss
There are natural alternatives to prescription SSRI medications.

Alternative solutions for anti-depressant related hair loss

If you have taken or are currently taking an anti-depressant and have experienced excessive hair shedding or hair loss, there are alternative solutions. Sudden hair loss can be distressing. It can make you overly anxious, worsen effects of depression, non-compliance, and relapse.

The first recommendation may be to incorporate a multi-vitamin while on medication, as reported in one case study. In the case study, a female patient aged 50 undergoing citalopram treatment took a multi-vitamin formulated for adults ages 50 and over, which stopped her hair loss.

 

The second alternative may be consulting with your doctor about lowering the dosage of your anti-depressant or switching to another medication, if possible. In one case study, the physician observers noted that hair loss increased when the anti-depressant dosage increased. However, you must report your personal side effects to your physician and determine if lowering the dosage or making a switch is right for you.

The third alternative is to consider using a hair health supplement concurrently with your anti-depressant. Hair health supplements are a great way to replenish the needed vitamins and minerals your hair needs. However, look for a supplement specifically for hair – one that also contains ingredients that help support healthy hair in a comprehensive way from the root. One such ingredient to look for is Ashwagandha.

Ashwagandha: A natural reliever of anxiety, depression and stress

Ashwagandha is a powerful herb used for thousands of years in Ayurvedic medicine to treat a number of diseases, including depression and anxiety. Ashwagandha has powerful protective effects on the central nervous system, specifically our brain cells. In an experimental study, Ashwagandha suggested it as effective as prescription anti-depressant medications and some tranquilizers. The study suggested that a five-day ashwagandha oral regimen had anti-anxiety effects similar to the anti-anxiety drug lorazepam (Ativan) and anti-depressant effects similar to imipramine (Tofranil).

Researchers reported in another study published in a 2009 issue of “PLoS One,” that participants who suffered stress and anxiety and undergone treatment with 300mg of ashwagandha and naturopathic care saw significant improvements to their mental health, social functioning, fatigue and overall quality of life compared to those who took other forms of treatment. The researchers noted that ashwagandha was a safe and effective natural treatment for stress and anxiety.

Additionally, ashwagandha is a powerful antioxidant and destroy free radicals, known to have damaging effects on hair follicles. It also has benefits for hair thinning.

Ashwagandha lowers cortisol, thus lowering corticosteriod levels, a prime factor in hair thinning and stress.

A double-blind placebo controlled study with chronically stressed patients who took 125mg to 500mg of a patented form of ashwagandha (Sensoril), saw significant improvements to their stress, and biomarkers associated with cardiovascular health, blood pressure, and C-reactive protein. Those who took 500mg of ashwagandha had cortisol levels 30% lower than those who took a placebo.

Ashwaghanda is also believed to get rid of dandruff and improve scalp circulation for improved hair quality. Nutrafol for Men and Women are both formulated with Sensoril Ashwagandha to help improve your hair’s health that may be affected by elevated stress hormones.

Case studies on anti-depressant medications and hair loss:

 

References:

1. Life Extension: Ashwagandha Stress Reduction, Neural Protection, and a Lot More from an Ancient Herb – http://www.lifeextension.com/magazine/2006/6/report_ashwa/page-01

2. Livestrong.com: Is Ashwaghanda Good for Anxiety & Depression?- http://www.livestrong.com/article/435585-is-ashwagandha-good-for-anxiety-depression/

3. Adaptogen Reviews.com: Ashwaghanda Benefits for Men and Women – http://www.adaptogenreviews.com/ashwagandha-benefits-for-men/

4. Life Extension: Stress Management: Alternative Stress Management Strategies – http://www.lifeextension.com/protocols/emotional-health/stress-management/page-02