Your Cart is Currently Empty
FREE Standard Shipping Over $99 (US Only Includes AK & HI)
This is the most common type of hair loss and affects 30 percent of women.((http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22171680))) The typical pattern for hereditary female-pattern hair loss, or androgenic alopecia, is a widening part or noticeable thinning of hair, particularly over the mid-frontal portion of the scalp.
Sometimes women with androgenic alopecia have polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Typical signs and symptoms are ovarian cysts, irregular periods, weight gain, blood sugar problems, infertility and hair loss. The problem may be exacerbated in some patients taking drugs for thyroid problems. Approximately 22 percent of women with PCOS have androgenic alopecia.((http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24534277))The good news is that you can often stop and even reverse the symptoms of hair loss once you balance your hormones. Do this: Run the full blood panel (see below). This is where evening primrose oil can help. Besides inhibiting DHT, the main culprit behind androgenic alopecia, evening primrose oil is a good source of essential fatty acids, and the symptoms of hypothyroidism are quite similar to those for insufficient essential fatty acids. See The Hormone Cure, chapter 9, for the full protocol. Berberine and inositol may be helpful to reset hormones. As always, I advocate a “food first” strategy along with taking targeted supplements. If changing your food and supplement plan doesn’t result in more hair on your head, then discuss with your functional medicine practitioner if minoxidil might be a good idea. (Minoxidil or Rogaine is approved for women for this type of hair loss and available over the counter.)
If you don't get enough protein in your diet, your body may enter famine mode and shut down your hair growth. This may occur about two to three months after a drop in protein intake.
Do this: Eat clean protein from fish, grass-fed meat, eggs, and quinoa. Read The Hormone Reset Diet, page 232, for a more complete list.
Maybe you just started taking a new multivitamin, or started on a supplement containing vitamin A. You may have driven your vitamin A levels too high, which may trigger hair loss.
Do this: Total intake of vitamin A should be no more than 5,000 International Units (IU) per day. When you remove excess vitamin A, your hair should grow normally again.
Any kind of physical or emotional trauma can trigger telogen effluvium: surgery, weight loss, eating disorder, car accident, illness, troubled marriage, sick kid. Hair grows on a programmed cycle that involves a growth phase, rest phase, and shedding phase. Big emotional and/or physical stressors can cause the hair to lock down in the shedding phase.
Do this: If you clear the stress, the telogen effluvium usually clears in three to six months as your body recovers.
This may also cause telogen effluvium, especially if you have a family history of hair loss.
Do this: Keep hormones as stable as possible by mitigating stress. In pregnancy, if you lose more hair post partum than before you got pregnant, see your healthcare professional and run the blood panel (see below) to see if there’s an underlying thyroid and/or autoimmune condition.
Sadly, hair follicles can shrink in menopause, making hair finer and more likely to shed. It’s called “miniaturization,” and it’s totally unfair. One study suggests that the ratio of estradiol-to-testosterone may influence in hair loss in women and that low ratios may be the culprit in some cases.((http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18333699))
This ratio typically decreases during menopause. Not surprisingly, another study showed that women treated with bioidentical estradiol had less hair loss. ((http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22879713))
Do this: If you’re over forty, talk to your functional medicine practitioner about whether bioidentical estrogen may be right for you. You need to be followed by a gynecologist to make sure you stay safe and don’t develop side effects and adverse events, such as blood clots, endometrial cancer, stroke, breast cancer, heart disease.
This can be exacerbated by stress or taking birth control pills, both of which deplete B vitamins in the body.
Do this: Between food intake and supplementation, you should be able to correct the problem. Rich sources of vitamin B include meat, fish, starchy vegetables, and some fruits.
If you go low-fat in your food plan, you may consume fewer calories, nutrients, and more carbohydrates than your body requires. Most importantly, you may miss out on essential fatty acids, omega 3 and 6, which nourish the scalp and stabilize hair growth. The stress of restricting a macronutrient such as fat (or carbs or protein) may force more hair follicles to enter the telogen phase. Similar to the low thyroid state, your body gets the message to ration; there isn’t enough fuel to support the growth phase.
Do this: Maintain a balanced diet rich in “good” fats such as from coconut, avocado, and nuts—good for your hair and your health. Don’t skip out on macronutrients, but find the matching diet for your locks.
Sometimes the problem is alopecia areata, which appears as hair loss in round patches on the head, and sometimes the problem is autoimmune thyroiditis. Either way the cause is an overactive immune system. The body misidentifies the hair as foreign and attacks it.
Do this: Work with a functional medicine clinician to reverse autoimmune thyroiditis. Consider starting an autoimmune protocol for food. In some cases, you may need to see a dermatologist for steroid injections.
Some medications such as beta blockers, antidepressants, lithium, blood thinners, methotrexate, NSAIDs (such as ibuprofen) can cause hair loss.
Do this: If you’re taking one of these medications, talk to your medical professional about alternatives.
Hair dye, frequent shampooing, other treatments, products, and vigorous styling can traumatize your hair follicles and lead to hair loss.
Do this: Wash your hair less often. The American Academy of Dermatology suggests that you let your hair air dry and limit hot devices (like flat irons and curling irons) to once per week or less. I know, I know, I love blowouts, too. Once per week, max!
Insulin, that helper hormone in charge of regulating blood sugar levels, also affects hair growth. Half of female patients and 60 percent of male patients with androgenic alopecia have a constellation of signs and symptoms related to insulin resistance, blood sugar abnormalities, hypertension, and abnormal cholesterol.((http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20619491)) Another study found that androgenic alopecia may be an early marker of insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, and cardiovascular disease in men.((http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26585114)) So it could be for women as well.
Do this: The good news is that cutting sugar and artificial sweeteners, being active, and losing weight can reverse insulin resistance and lower your chances of hair loss.
While the aging-related cause isn’t totally clear, it probably has to do with the hair follicle slowing down and getting depleted.
Do this: Well, we are all getting older. The key is your biological age as opposed to your chronological age. To learn more about an upcoming ecourse on how to slow down aging and prevent hair loss, complete this quick questionnaire.
Grab my free guide, Optimal Lab Ranges, to see if your numbers measure up.
I have a food-first strategy when it comes to hair loss. You can help hair loss with your fork. Start by dialing in your macronutrients and micronutrients. If you’ve been low-carb for a while, add a ½ sweet potato to dinner. Make sure you get adequate fat from avocado, hemp seeds, and nuts. Add 5 to 7 Brazil nuts to your green smoothie to get the selenium your thyroid needs.
Grains contain small quantities of lysine, but legumes contain even more; therefore, meals that combine the two—Indian dal with brown or black rice, beans with black rice and tortilla, falafel and hummus with gluten-free crackers—are a good way to get complete protein in your diet and keep hair on your head.
When it comes to filling micronutrient gaps, you may want to take a multivitamin while you perform testing to see what nutrients may be missing. This will ensure that you get the B vitamins, copper, zinc, and selenium that you need.Another natural treatment strategy includes a 1,000-mg daily supplement of evening primrose oil, which as I mentioned, blocks the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Sometimes you have more than one cause of your hair loss, and these are simple and natural strategies that won’t harm you. If you are wigging out because of hair loss and need to do something while investigating root causes, the only drug approved for women by the Federal Drug Administration is minoxidil.((http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26411201; http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22592723)) You can buy minoxidil without a prescription. It’s actually a drug for lowering blood pressure, but when applied topically, it slows hair loss and promotes regrowth. It dilates blood vessels, allowing more oxygen, blood, and nutrients to reach the hair follicles, resulting in new, thicker, and better hairs. Minoxidil comes in two doses: 2 percent (for women) and 5 percent (for men). There’s some debate about which strength is better for women. According to the research, 5 percent appears superior to 2 percent in women, although some women report greater adverse scalp reactions with 5 percent.((http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15034503))
How to Use MinoxidilOnce you decide to commit to daily minoxidil, I recommend parting your hair down the middle, snapping a few photos to document the width of your part and your hairline. Make sure your hair is dry when you start.
Surface Awaken therapeutic treatment is a drug free system that really works. It uses saw palmetto which is an herb that stops the production of DHT. Other micronutrients and d. Biotin are also utilized. The styling products contain amaranth, a flexible plant protein that keeps existing hair strong and thick. You can follow Surface hair on Instagram or Facebook. Cheers!
Last July I drastically started losing it. It was after I cut out dairy and greatly increased my exercise to train for something. (I’m 45 and have always had thick hair) My doctor started me on “the pill” and I increased my protein. Within a few weeks you could see new hair growth. But, I’ve quit the pill and am hoping this reset will keep my hair healthy.
Leave a Reply