Hair Loss: causes

Many people have hair or scalp problems. Hair may thin or fall out, break off, or grow slowly. Dandruff or an itching or peeling scalp may cause embarrassment and discomfort. Hair and scalp problems can be upsetting, but they usually are not caused by serious medical problems.

There are few things so immediately distressing to people as losing their hair. For women, for whom it is far less acceptable to be bald, it can be seen as a life-shattering calamity from which they will never recover.

There are many possible reasons for hair loss, so here is a brief outline of possible causes:

Stress

It uses up valuable nutrients such as the B vitamins, a lack of which will have a knock-on effect on hair growth. Stress also causes scalp tension, which tightens the follicles and may cause shedding, and which restricts the amount of oxygen and other nutrients being delivered to the scalp in the bloodstream.

Childbrith

Whilst pregnant, hair that would normally have been shed stays put, due to different hormone levels. When hormone levels drop after childbirth, large amounts of hair may suddenly be lost. This will rectify itself naturally after a period of several months, provided that sufficient nutrient levels are present, so don’t starve yourself slim again. Aborting or miscarrying a baby may have a similar effect, and again this situation should right itself naturally. The stress accompanying such an event may, however, cause another type of hair loss, as discussed next.

Becoming vegan or vegetarian

This may be a factor if the change is sudden. The body takes time to get used to picking up zinc and iron from plant rather than animal sources. Supplements might again be an option initially.

Sugar

Some recent studies have linked male-pattern baldness (seen in both men and women) with a lowered ability to tolerate sugar. This ‘pre-diabetic’ condition has been labelled ‘Syndrome X’ and the answer is to avoid refined sugar and treat your taste buds to fresh and dried fruit instead.

Diet

If so, then it is often connected to your digestive system, and will improve if you get your liver and bowel working better. When these two slow down, the body accumulates toxins and the skin tries to compensate by eliminating them. The excess toxins will then have a tendency to block pores and get infected, creating pimples. The additional benefit of this is that your stomach flattens out and you lose a few surplus pounds.

A lack of silica

Silica is necessary for the rebuilding of all connective tissue, including hair, skin and nails. A preparation containing nettles (natural source of calcium and minerals) and silica may be used to speed up hair growth. It works quickly and also strengthens brittle nails by improving the way the body absorbs calcium.

Thyroid imbalances

Both over and underfunctioning of the thyroid gland can contribute to hair loss. Check with your doctor and consider having acupuncture to help rebalance your thyroid.

Hormone imbalance

Some women find that as their oestrogen levels fall during the menopause, their hair condition worsens and their hair may become thin. A preparation containing nettles and silica or silica alone will help, and the herb Black Cohosh can boost oestrogen levels, so long as no other hormonal treatment is being taken.