Recently, I posted a few of my top tips on hair growth and how to avoid hair loss on my social media account. The post got quite a bit of attention as well as lot's of questions from women who are struggling with hair loss. As this is something I have experienced, I thought I would go into a little more detail about my experience and elaborate on my insta post.
My experience with hair loss came at a time in my life where I was very stressed and really just not having the best time. Add losing chunks of hair in the shower in to the mix and I bet you could imagine just how much I was freaking out. (The thought of being a 26yr old single gal with very little hair stressed me out to the max!). Although this completely freaked me out, I took this as an opportunity to learn a lot more about hair growth and how to avoid hair loss. I have tried several different products, treatments and supplements so I thought I would share with you what I have
found to be most helpful for me.
*Please keep in mind that although these treatments may have worked well for me, they still may not be quite right for you and you and when it comes to your treatment It is suggested you speak to a health care professional to get to the root cause. Re-growing your hair takes lots of time and patience. In majority of cases the cycle of hair growth is a 3-6 month period.*
Firstly, let's chat about the most common causes of hair loss in women:
STRESS! This is a HUGE factor! Stress can actually have a direct impact on your hair follicles leading them to a “resting” phase where no new hair is produced as well as causing hair to break and fall out far easier than usual.
The goal here is to reduce stress as much as possible. Try daily meditation, yoga, breathing exercises, nature walks etc. Anything that helps you to feel calm and reduce your daily stress levels. If you are already experiencing high stress levels, avoid adding stimulants in to your diet like excessive amounts of coffee.
Nutrient Deficiencies - are you eating a wholesome diet rich in all food groups? Do your meals contain a portion of fat, carbohydrates, protein and a range of micronutrients? If not, your body will be missing out on important nutrients required for hair health. Some of the most beneficial nutrients found in wholesome foods that support hair health include:
- Zinc (Oysters, Pumpkin Seeds, Chickpeas)
- Vitamin B12 (Red Meat, Salmon, Eggs)
- Iron (Green Veggies, beans, lentils, cashews)
- Selenium (Brazil Nuts, eggs, shellfish)
(I would just like to add that Iron & Zinc are the two most common nutrient deficiencies and are both required for healthy hair follicles. I suggest having your iron studies and zinc levels tested by your GP).
Toxic Chemical Exposure- (just as bad as a toxic boyfriend) - Are you using hair care products and skin care products full of nasty chemicals? These endocrine disruptors can mess up your hormones causing hormonal imbalances. A significantly lower level of estrogen and excessive levels of androgens lead to hair loss, brittle and dry hair. I suggest that you seek out hair care, skin care and cosmetics that are as natural as possible. A great way to find natural alternatives is to simply search for products with minimal ingredients and with words that you can easily read (and don’t need to google because they are 14 letters long).
Hormonal Imbalances - Have you just come off the pill? Perimenopause? Pregnancy? PCOS? High testosterone? Hormonal imbalances can lead to hair loss (as mentioned above). When addressing any health concern, including hair loss it is very important that you get all appropriate testings done. I encourage you to seek advice from a professional who can help you understand the results so you can get to the bottom of things.
Hypo/Hyperthyroid Function - Hair loss can indicate that your thyroid is not functioning at an optimal level. Get your thyroid completely tested by your health care professional. Here is how you can nourish your thyroid every-day:
- Eat foods rich in Iodine – Seaweed, Fish, Dairy
- Eat foods from all food groups – Healthy Fats, Protein & Complex Carbohydrates
- Reduce stress levels
- Reduce toxin exposure – Get clean with chemicals & avoid highly processed foods
- Exercise regularly
High Levels of Inflammation - An elevation of inflammatory markers in the blood/body is a significant contributor to hair loss in women. Inflammation in the body can eventually start damaging healthy cells, tissues, and organs as well as impact our digestion and absorption of nutrients due to the damage it has on our gut. Inflammation can be caused by smoking, poor-dietary patterns, excessive alcohol use, stress and an unhealthy lifestyle. To reduce Inflammation I suggest adopting a Mediterranean style diet that is rich in plant based foods, healthy fats and significantly low in processed, high-sugar foods. It is important to practice stress-reducing practices daily such as exercise, meditation etc. Oh and of course no smoking and very little alcohol (with the exception of a delicious red wine here and there).
Low Vitamin D Levels - Surprisingly, not getting enough sunshine can actually lead to hair loss! Vitamin D deficiency is one of the most common deficiencies in Australians and has been linked to hair loss, spot baldness and alopecia. I recommend getting 15-20mins of direct sun exposure daily.
What else can I do:
Invest in a good quality shampoo and conditioner that is not full of chemicals. I recommend @davroe volume shampoo, conditioner and hair protein. The hair protein is used once a week at the most and just like a good protein powder supplement that we use for our muscles, it supports the growth, development and maintenance of strong hair.
Treat your hair once a week, it deserve some love, care and extra attention. Use a hair mask and don’t brush your hair when it’s wet! I recommend the @bondiboost caster oil based mask.
Try using a dermal roller to stimulate the hair follicles and promote growth. Do this once a week.
Avoid brushing your hair when it’s wet or when you are in the shower as this leads to excessive hair loss! Also invest in a good brush that doesn't pull out your hair. I use the a Bamboo wood bristle brush - https://www.bassbrushes.com/the-green-brush
Avoid applying heat to your hair every day. Allow it to dry naturally without the hair dryer and avoid styling with heat every-day, this burns the hair and makes it brittle causing it to break easily.
In regards to supplements, I highly suggest first adjusting your lifestyle, reducing stress and adopting new dietary patterns that includes a range of wholesome foods and nutrients. This is your primary, long-term sustainable fix to hair growth. However, if you did want extra support I suggest the JS Health Hair and Energy vitamins.
If you are struggling with hair loss and feeing a little bit unsure about where to start and what to do next, please contact me for a consultation as I would love to help you re-grow and nourish your beautiful hair.
I hope you found this blog post helpful! if you have any questions or would just like to get in touch to say hello, you can find me here - firstname.lastname@example.org - I am always up for a good chat!