In response to one of my recent articles, a frequent reader, Janina Odell commented asking about how to deal with dry, brittle hair.
I gave her a recipe in my response that should help her out. This got me thinking though, how many other people have the same issue?
So I did some research.
|hair follicle (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
Your hair is made of keratin (the same protein that makes up your nails and the outer layer of your skin). The part you see and style is called the hair shaft. It's actually dead tissue made by your hair follicles tiny bulb-like structures beneath your scalp's surface.
We've all heard of thinning hair problems, but do we really know how common this problem is?
Let's take a look at a few interesting numbers....
- Approximately 70 million Americans have fine or thin-looking hair and it's growing (pardon the pun)
- 4 million women and 5 million men will have noticeably thinner-looking hair before they reach age 60
- By age 65, 48% of all women reported thinning hair and 75% of all men also reported they have noticeably thin-looking hair.
- Research has shown that the problem of thin-looking hair can begin as early as age 17.
- This problem will only intensify as our population ages.
How much hair are you supposed to lose?
Daily hair loss is a normal occurrence. On the average, you lose about 50 to 60 hairs each day from a healthy scalp. The problem comes when you start losing more than 60 hairs a day.
In laymen's terms this is called excessive hair loss which leads to progressive thinning of the hair. Hair becomes fine in texture. Loss of hair in men is often determined by heredity or by the Alopecia Androgenic Hormone.
Hair loss in women is often caused by pregnancy, stress, fatigue or medical treatment.
Thyroid medication causes hair loss too?
Hyper or hypothyroidism may also cause hair loss. One may get their hormone levels in order after beginning a regimen of thyroid medication. However, there have been reports of women experiencing significant hair loss from thyroid prescription meds.
How Do You Combat Excessive Hair Loss?
Unless you are not genetically predisposed to thinning or brittle hair there is no easy answer to that question. The best solution is to use an "inside out" approach. In other words, your diet can help to mitigate massive hair loss. First, let's deal with the inside:
- Eat foods that contain Omega 3 fatty acids like wild caught salmon, herring, sardines or if you prefer to go meatless try avocado, pumpkin seeds, and walnuts.
- Try foods that are rich in vitamin C, iron, folate, and beta carotene like spinach, broccoli, and kale.
- Genuine Greek yogurt contains vitamins D & B5 which are extremely effective in fighting hair loss
- Poultry like chicken, turkey, and duck contain zinc and iron which are also powerful against mass hair breakage.
- Boil 6-8 medium potatoes (red is preferred) in a large pot containing 6 cups of water along with a tablespoon of dried rosemary. Allow it to cool and strain the starchy liquid for use as a daily hair rinse.
- Coconut oil applied liberally to the scalp and hair can also keep you from losing a mass amount of hair. It works best when worn under a non-porous, water-resistant shower cap while you sleep. Coconut oil naturally contains lauric acid, an agent which actively fights microbes that may promote hair loss.
- Get your hair trimmed every 6-8 weeks to get rid of split ends. Splitting hair is weakened hair which leads to hair loss. Also getting a haircut every 60-90 days can actually promote stronger hair as well.
- Meditation and exercise can also help you control your hair loss. Stress is one of the key reasons as to why people lose a significant amount of hair. If you can reduce your stress levels, your body can reproduce the hormones necessary to promote hair growth & reduce hair loss.
What do you use to fight massive hair loss? Let us know in the comments below!
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