When people begin to lose their hair, they are often mocked and told to accept it, that it is just nature taking its course and that nothing can be done. Such reactions are both unkind and unhelpful. Hair loss can be a profoundly disturbing and upsetting experience. Those who undergo it may feel their looks are spoiled, or take it as symbolic of a decline into old age. But you need not resign yourself to this, as have previous generations. With patience and effort, hair loss can be resisted and even reversed. By reducing stress, altering your diet, using supplements, and experimenting with various new medications, extraordinary results can be achieved.
Before you begin the fight, however, you must know your enemy. So what causes hair loss? Genes and hormones are the main culprits. As a person ages, hormonal activity in the scalp changes. Some people are genetically programmed to respond badly to those changes, which often leads to hair loss. Put simply, if your hair is sensitive to the DHT hormone, it may begin to thin. The answer is to find way to either calm this sensitivity or stimulate growth in spite of it.
Perhaps the best place to start is a support group. Here you will escape the mocking, defeatist attitude so common among friends and work colleagues. The members of such a group will not only offer sympathy and support, but experience and advice.
Pharmaceutical treatments already exist, and others are under development. If you join a discussion group, you can ask fellow sufferers which remedies have most helped them. Some, such as the tablets Minoxidil and Finasteride, are best obtained through a doctor. But others are available online. The treatments can be divided into four categories: those that stimulate hair growth, those that stop the DHT reaching your follicles, those that prevent the DHT being created at all, and finally, those with an anti-inflammatory effect.
There are of course other explanations for hair loss, and other treatments. Stress, for example, can lead to hair loss. Reduce your stress levels in any way you can: leave a high-pressured job, end a toxic relationship, maybe take up yoga, or begin a routine of exercise and meditation. Identify the biggest stress triggers in your life, and do all you can to remove them.
Dietary changes may also help. Cut down on sugar and refined carbohydrates; these deplete the nutrients required for hair growth. Try reducing caffeine as well, no matter what the source. Caffeine increases stress by triggering the release of adrenaline. Instead, consume more protein, such as chicken, fish, eggs, and lean meat. If you are a vegetarian, eat more nuts and seeds instead. Oily fish has an anti-inflammatory effect, so try eating more of that as well. If you dislike fish, you could take fish oil capsules.
Finally, there are dietary supplements. Zinc is essential for hair growth, and when taken as a supplement, can also boost libido. The B vitamins are vital as well. Most health food stores sell these in tablet form, but make sure you invest in a good quality brand. The herb ginkgo biloba may also be worth trying, as it increases blood circulation to the scalp.
Hair loss is not something to which you must submit. First, join a support group. Here you will be given advice on which medications to try and which to avoid. You will benefit from the experiences of others, and possibly save yourself a great deal of time and money. Visit your doctor and ask his or her advice on the best medications available. Also, using the advice of others fighting hair loss, you could experiment with the many shampoos, lotions, and tablets now available online. Next, draw up a plan to reduce stress and increase exercise. Alongside a new stress-busting and fitness regimen, it would also be wise to alter your diet, cutting down on sugar and caffeine and increasing protein and oily fish. Finally, visit your local health store; zinc, B vitamins and ginkgo biloba tablets are all worth trying. The key is to learn from the experiences of others, to be patient, and above all, to persevere.