10 Ways To Make Your Hair Grow Back
Many people view healthy-looking hair as a symbol of health and beauty. As such, hair loss is one of the most dreaded conditions, now affecting a whopping 50 percent of men and women over the age of 40 (Women’s Hair Loss: Causes and Solutions). But it isn’t merely age-related. In fact, hair loss can be the result of several different factors, including genetics, hormones, medications, nutritional deficiencies and general lifestyle choices.
Most life stressors, including illness, emotional trauma, protein deprivation (during strict dieting), and hormonal changes like those in pregnancy, puberty, and menopause may cause hair loss, according to Tiche Florence, our resident Tricologist and Columbus, Ohio Hair Loss Specialist.
The good news is there are many ways to rectify (and even partially reverse) the shedding that’s begun. From eating the right foods (and avoiding the wrong ones) to supplements, and stress reduction are just a few of the ways to stop and potentially reverse your hair loss. Perhaps worth mentioning, the earlier you address the symptoms of hair loss, the more likely you are to avoid irreversible damage.
10 ways you can make your hair grow back
1. Eat plenty of protein
Consuming protein is not only great for the muscles, but it also benefits your hair growth. Hair consists of keratin, a type of protein and to keep your hair healthy you need to consume the right amino acids – the building blocks of the protein – in order to grow healthy hair.
Protein is crucial for hair growth for one simple reason; hair follicles are mostly made of protein. If you’ve experienced increased hair shedding and/or hair loss, it could be the result of a diet is lacking in protein. Lean meats, eggs and fatty fish like salmon, herring, and mackerel are all great ways to get your quota. Supplementing with essential amino acids is also a great way to support hair growth, strength, elasticity and texture. We recommend Pure Encapsulations Essential Aminos. For more on this topic, read How Protein Impacts Hair Growth.
2. Take the right vitamins
Many nutrients are essential for good health, and it should come as no surprise that there are a number of nutrients that are essential to the health of your scalp and hair. Nutrient deficiencies are incredibly common due to nutrient depleted soils as well as our increased consumption of highly processed foods.
Low levels of zinc, iron, and biotin may all contribute to hair loss.
Iron is a critical mineral for many bodily functions including transports oxygen to our cells and tissues throughout the body. Iron deficiency is the most common nutrient deficiency in the world and can lead to anemia and hair loss. Menstruating and pregnant women are most susceptible to deficiencies. Additionally, vegetarians and vegans have an increased risk of deficiency.
Zinc, another important mineral contributes to proper immune function, DNA synthesis and healing. Zinc deficiency can lead to hair loss and contribute to autoimmune conditions such as Alopecia areata, a condition that causes the immune system to attack the hair follicles falsely identifying them as foreign bodies. Additional autoimmune conditions that can cause hair loss include: Lupus, Hashmoto’s Disease, Graves’ Disease, Psoriasis, and Crohn’s Disease.
Biotin assists in hair growth by supporting metabolic functions including supporting the breakdown of dietary proteins into amino acids thereby enhancing keratin production.
Vitamin C boosts the body’s ability to absorb iron while also protecting the hair follicles from oxidative stress and increasing collagen production, which contains amino acids used to build keratin (it provides the added benefit of preventing wrinkles).
Vitamin E promotes blood circulation in your scalp, which in turn helps to nourish your hair follicles allowing them to stay healthy and productive.
Vitamin A is crucial for maintaining healthy skin and cell membranes, it also serves to balance sebum production in the scalp (a natural oil).
We recommend Pure Encapsulations Hair/Skin/Nails Ultra as a source of Vitamin C, Biotin, and Zinc. OptiFerin C for Iron supplementation,Vitamin E, B-Complex Plus, Ascobic Acid for Vitamin C. For a excellent multi-vitamin we recommend Women’s Pure Pack and Men’s Pure Pack.
3. Make sure you get enough sleep
You may have already heard the adage that sleep is at the heart of all repair; this is completely valid. When we sleep, our body releases growth hormones that help accelerate cellular repair and reproduction which in turn can reduce hair loss and improve hair growth. A solid seven to nine hours each night is ideal, and this should be your nightly the goal.
To ensure you get the most restful, deepest sleep, it is recommended that you avoid eating at least 3 hours before, avoid blue light exposure from screens (televisions, phones, and other devices) 2-3 hours before bed and it best to avoid these once the sun goes down or to set your device in night mode to reduce the levels of blue light. It is also best to sleep in a cool room between 70-74 degrees.
4. Get your hormones tested
The most common type of hair loss in both men and women is androgenic alopecia, also called androgenetic, or male or female pattern hair loss. According to a 2020 study published in the International Journal of Molecular Science, androgenic hair loss begins after puberty. Androgenic alopecia can be genetic but it’s also hormonal.
A 2020 study published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences reveals that both the hair cycle and hair follicle structure are highly affected by hormone levels. In fact, an imbalance of hormones is the most common cause of hair loss in both men and women. And in both sexes, the incidence of hair loss increases with age.
According to the American Hair Loss Association, the following hormones can cause hair loss:
- High testosterone
- High cortisol
- High or low thyroid hormone
- Unbalanced estrogen and/or progesterone
Your doctor can check your testosterone, cortisol, and thyroid blood levels to determine if one of these hormone imbalances could be causing your hair loss.
Hormonal imbalance hair loss can occur for a wide variety of reasons. Sometimes it is triggered by hormonal changes, such as pregnancy or menopause. In other cases, factors such as stress or irregular thyroid levels may be affecting your hairline.
In some cases, this kind of hair loss is temporary, while in others, it can be permanent. Treatments vary depending on the type of hormonal imbalance and the type of hair loss you are experiencing. Thus it is important to have your hormones tested and to get a diagnosis from your dermatologist or endocrinologist. If you believe your hair loss is related to a hormonal imbalance you should get tested as possible to avoid further hair loss and as a first step to begin treating any existing losses.
5. Try to reduce stress
By far, the worst, and most common hormone responsible for hair loss is cortisol — by way of stress. Stress can cause telogen effluvium, sending all hairs into the resting phase, followed by shedding. This is also seen after delivering a baby, surgery, or rapid weight loss, as the body views these as stressful events.
Hair loss is the only effect of elevated stress levels. When too much cortisol is present in the bloodstream, the body responds with physiological symptoms such as fatigue, weight gain and bone loss. Emotional symptoms such as anxiety, mood swings and irritability can also result from excess cortisol. Elevated levels of cortisol over a long period of time can burn out the adrenal glands, thus leading to adrenal fatigue. This can lead to an accelerated rate of aging, sleep disorders, depression and a suppressed immune system.
While reducing stress is easier said than done however, supplements such as Cortisol Calm can help to reduce stress, promote relaxation and a healthy cortisol response which in turn can support healthy sleep, positive mood and improved cognitive function. Coritsol Calm contains adaptogens including ashwagandha extract, Rhodiola and Magnolia extracts.
Adaptogens are natural herbs that have the ability to help respond to stress by normalizing the body’s metabolic functions and support the adrenal glands (which produce the stress hormone, cortisol). These herbs have been used in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine for hundreds of years and modern-day scientists are only beginning to understand their benefits. Read 5 Adaptogenic Herbs That Can Help Balance Cortisol for additional info.
6. Get regular scalp massages
Apart from being a lovely luxury, a scalp massage increases hair thickness by stretching the cells of hair follicles. The process stimulates your hair follicles, resulting in thicker hair. There are also theories on how regular massages could help dilate blood vessels that lie directly under the skin, which also encourages hair growth by nourishing the hair follicles.
According to a small 2016 study, researchers concluded that regular scalp massages may lead to thicker hair. This study involved nine men who received a 4-minute scalp massage each day for 24 weeks. At the end of the study, it was found that the men had thicker hair than at the start.
Additional research from 2019 supported these findings. This study was based on survey responses from 340 participants who had followed specific instructions by doing twice-daily scalp massages to improve hair loss.
According to the self-reported findings, approximately 69 percent of participants reported that their alopecia had improved.
7. Red Light Therapy
Red light therapy is a safe, effective, and natural treatment option for hair loss that’s gaining popularity. Backed by a strong base of peer-reviewed clinical research, red light treatments have increased hair count, hair density, and hair thickness for men and women alike. And all of these benefits come without any negative side effects.
The therapy used light in the 650 nm range to stimulates hair growth by speeding up cell division and reducing inflammation. Red light therapy may also encourage hair follicle stem cells to produce new strands, Read more about Red Light Therapy for Hair Loss and Regrowth here.
8. High-Frequency Hair Treatment
High-frequency treatment is a therapy used to treat hair loss, hair thinning, alopecia and dandruff. The therapy uses ultra-violet and high-frequency rays applied to the scalp to stimulate the hair follicles.
High frequency treatment improves the blood circulation in the scalp, improving nutrient delivery and helping to revitalize the dormant hair follicles. This stimulates hair growth, controls hair loss, and helps with dandruff issues as the treatment also has a germicidal action. The treatment also enhances cellular turn over, further stimulating hair growth.
This treatment may be used as a standalone therapy or in conjunction with other therapies to help with better absorption of the treatment serums.
9. Check with your doc about Finasteride
If you’re looking to go down a prescription med route that involve little to no work, have a chat with your doctor about whether Finasteride can work for you. What it essentially does is block the 5-alpha-reductase enzyme, which causes hair loss specifically in men by converting testosterone to a different hormone, thereby reducing it. Finasteride promotes testosterone levels in the body, which then increases hair growth on the scalp.
10. Treat your hair as little as possible
To put it as plainly as possible; the less you put your hair through the wringer, the more it’ll grow and flourish. When you subject your hair to various treatments (straightening, smoothening, regular blow drying, hair coloring), it takes a toll on your hair. The more intensive heat and chemicals your hair is exposed to, the more it’ll fall.
11. Avoid tight hairstyles
Do you currently sport a man-bun? Sweep your hair back in a neat little ponytail? Pile it all up in an out-of-the-way top knot? If any of these are your usual go-to, you might want to change tack. Tying your hair back tightly can cause traction alopecia; hair loss from repeatedly pulling on your hair. It can, however, be reversed; so literally let your hair down ASAP.
12. Look for shampoos with these ingredients
While there are tons of harmful chemicals that can be hard on your hair, there are counter ingredients that can treat it especially kindly. Keep an eye for products–serums, shampoos, conditioners, reparative masks–that have certain ingredients in them. Fruit and seed oils (think jojoba, coconut, olive, argan), protein, essential oils (rosemary, peppermint), aloe vera, caffeine and keratin are the best.
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