A good head of hair is something that most of men would like to maintain as long as possible.
Thick locks signify youthfulness and great health, whereas hair loss suggests an ageing body and mind. For those reasons, even if just on a subconscious level, an abundance of head hair is often considered attractive to any potential mates.
It’s no wonder that so many males do all they can to prevent any form of hair loss. It’s such a common issue that there’s even an entire industry built upon it.
Alas, despite their best efforts, for most men it can sometimes seem like they’re fighting a losing battle, and that nothing can stop the inevitable outcome of baldness.
In this article we’ll take a look at the main reasons why we tend to lose our hair, and whether there’s anything we can do about it!
What are the reasons behind hair loss?
There are a number of different reasons why one might start to lose their hair, and they can vary depending on the symptoms and the situation. The causes can be loosely grouped into three main camps:
1. Natural hair loss
The first explanation is that hair loss is a natural process. From the time we wake in the morning to the time we hit the hay at night, the average male adult will lose around 100 hairs from their head.
Most of these hairs will be replaced by new ones, but some may not, and that’s all part of the natural ageing process.
Natural thinning can seem a little more drastic if you have longer hair than the average, but the rate is typically the same.
2. Sudden or patchy hair loss
For some people it may be more than a few hairs falling out every time they shower. Sudden or patchy hair loss may be a sign of stress, or even an underlying disease or condition.
If you’re experiencing these symptoms, your best bet is to see a doctor as soon as possible, just to be on the safe side.
Probably the most common explanation behind why men lose their hair is genetics. If your father started going bald in his forties, the chances are that you will start to as well. Estimates indicate that more than 80% of cases of male pattern baldness are hereditary.
The main mechanism in male pattern hair loss seems to be the enzyme 5 alpha-reductase (5-AR), which converts testosterone into the hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT then shrinks the hair follicles in men with a genetic predisposition, and over time, the smaller follicles produce shorter and thinner hair.
How to prevent hair loss
There are a number of reported ways than men can minimize their risk of balding, ranging from simple common sense, to downright obscure.
The hair transplant are very expensive but if you are considering a more natural way to solve the problem of hair loss, you can try out the natural herbs that are easily available to you in your garden and they have the least side effects in comparison to the chemical laced products that you use in hopes that your hair will magically grow back and be as healthy as it once was.
Let’s take a look at a few of them…
Step 1: Clean up Your Diet
Regardless of whether you’re concerned with balding or not, we all know that we should be eating a healthy diet.
For optimal health, adopt a diet based mainly on whole plant foods – plenty of fruits and veggies. These are the foods that contain the most health promoting micronutrients per calorie.
A well as promoting all round health, reducing your consumption of processed foods, processed sugars and fried foods may reduce the build up of plaque around your hair follicles.
Once you have established that foundation of a healthy, balanced diet, you may then choose to include certain foods that have been linked specifically to hair health and hair loss prevention:
- Iron rich foods such as dark leafy greens, wholegrains and beans have been shown to help improve circulation to the scalp, helping to deliver essential nutrients and amino acids to the hair follicles.
- Zinc is another important mineral that is involved in tissue growth and repair. Find it in chickpeas, wholegrains, and oysters.
- Vitamin C boosts the availability of iron, helping to increase the blood flow to your hair. Find it in berries, leafy greens, and just about any other fruit.
- Vitamin B-12 has also been linked to hair health. A common sign of a B-12 deficiency is thinning of the hair. You can either source it from a supplement, or find it in meat.
- Selenium encourages the growth of hair follicles, and can be found in brazil nuts, seeds, and shrimp.
- Magnesium is another important trace mineral that encourages hair growth. You’ll find it in leafy greens, almonds, and wholegrains.
- High protein foods like broccoli, legumes and game can also boost your hair health. Your hair consists mainly of the proteins keratin and collagen, which need amino acids to form.
- Omega three fatty acids not only boost your brain power, they also help to maintain hair health and elasticity, reducing the likelihood of your hairs breaking off. You can get plenty of omega threes from flaxseeds, leafy greens, and walnuts.
- Green tea is thought by some to help suppress DHT production, reducing the likelihood of hair loss. It is also an anti-inflammatory and can reduce stress levels. Although some people swear by it, there has yet to be any conclusive evidence to suggest that green tea can be used as a viable treatment option.
As well as considering the food you put into your body, it may be worth reviewing the medications you are currently taking.
Any pills or potions that interfere with hormone levels, lower your blood pressure or bring you cholesterol levels down, may have an impact on the health of your hair. Whilst it is not a good idea to come off of these medications if you have an underlying condition that they are treating, it may be worth talking to your doctor about alternative treatments or preventative measures.
Step 2: Try Herbs Which Stop Hair Loss
When it comes to using herbs to prevent hair loss, there are vast options for one to choose from. There are, however, five herbs that are most effective, popular and have the best results for preventing hair fall and baldness. Here goes:
1. Saw Palmetto
Saw Palmetto (SerenoaRepens) is a small palm native to the southeastern states of the US. Its growth is slow but it lives for a long time.
It has fan-like fronds with spines. Its flowers are yellowish white whereas the leaves are green or sometimes silver. Its fruits are large and their color is reddish-black.
The extract from the Saw Palmetto used in medicines is taken from the fruits. They are rich in fatty acids and phytosterols. The testosterone which converts into DHT causes hair loss. Saw Palmetto effects the conversion of testosterone to DHT and this result in the prevention of hair loss and baldness. This herb is often paired up with other herbs in herbal hair loss remedies.
2. Aloe Vera:
Aloe Vera is a short fleshy plant with thick leaves. It is found in most parts of the world.
Their succulent form enables it to survive in desert areas with low rainfall.
The extract found in the leaves of Aloe Vera is often sold as gel form. Its use in modern medicine is recent. It has some side effects when applied directly or orally but the concentration of Aloe Vera in herbal hair loss remedies is too low to cause any type of side effects.
Aloe Vera is one of the safest natural methods to prevent hair fall. Aloe Vera’s gel can be applied directly to the scalp but it is also available in the form of shampoos and gels that help prevent hair fall and baldness.
3. Chinese Herbs
It has been a long time since Chinese herbs are being used to prevent hair loss.
They are usually bought in a group of combined supplements that include other herbs like fleece, flower root etc.There are a number of Chinese herbs that are used in modern medicine today. Some of these herbs have been used for centuries.
The most popular of them are goti kila, foti and he shou wo.Different herbs are used for a common cause that is to prevent hair los and baldness. He shou wu is one of the oldest herbal hair loss remedy. These herbs improve the body’s health and make the scalp and hair follicles stronger which encourages healthy hair growth.
Horsetail is another form of natural hair loss remedy that people are turning to in an effort to prevent hair loss.
This plant is known for its rich amino acids and phytosterols like Saw Palmetto which strengths hair. It is also called snake grass. It is a perennial plant.
Horsetail extract is in the form in which the herb is solid. It is obtained from dried or fresh stems of the plant. Its extract contains aluminum salts, alkaloids, biters and silica. The silica is useful in hair growth as well as improving the improving and strengthening the hair scalp. It is also known to reduce the build up of excessive oil on the scalp which blocks the follicles and compromises the health of hair.
5. Green tea
I would like to suggest green tea again as it has become one of the popular methods to use in order to prevent hair loss. It is one of the most successful herbs in the modern medicine to be approved widely.
It is made from the leaves of camellia sinensis. Constituents of green tea are tocopherol, vitamin C, zinc and selenium, etc. These are majorly known to prevent hair loss.To obtain its maximum benefits, most of its polyphenol and antioxidants are retained. Green tea is called a powerhouse when it comes to blocking DHT, which leads to hair loss.
Hair loss sufferers can drink green tea or take pills with these ingredients to prevent hair loss and baldness.
Herbal hair loss remedies take time to show results and they have to be used on daily basis. Now, the key for the herbs to work their magic is to have patience.
Step 3: Develop Effective Hair Care Habits
In order to nourish your hair and protect your scalp, your body naturally secretes oil called sebum through the skin on your head. Sometimes this sebum can combine with environmental pollutants, hair products and even dead skin cells to produce a layer of plaque.
If the plaque builds up too much, it can clog the pores of your skin and prevent the proper growth of hair. Removing the layer of plaque is not always easy, but it can be achieved with careful attention. If the plaque is kept at bay, the hair follicles can once again grow freely.
Performing regular scalp massages with herbs such as rosemary, or even apple cider vinegar may help to break up the plaque. The massage may also increase the blood flow to the head, delivering more amino acids and micronutrients needed for proper hair growth.
Showering in the morning may also help. As mentioned in our previous article on How to Stop a Receding Hairline, a Japanese study showed that those who showered in the morning had less plaque build up and sebum production throughout the rest of the day.
Aloe vera has also been linked to a reduction in plaque. Some people choose to use aloe vera based shampoo and conditioners. The plant has properties that are thought to encourage the plaque to rise to the surface where it is then broken down.
Step 4: Optimise Your Lifestyle
Chronic stress is a big contributor to hair loss, and just about every chronic disease known to man.
When we are stressed, the hormones cortisol and epinephrine that are released. In response to short term stressors such as having to run form a wild animal, these hormones can help us, but when their levels remain elevated over longer time periods as a result of stressful lifestyles, they can do some significant damage.
As well as increasing your risk of developing a chronic illness, the stress hormones have been shown to alter the natural growth cycles of normal, healthy hair. If there is already a genetic tendency towards baldness and you’re facing a lot of stress, you can almost guarantee some form of hair loss.
But all is not lost. Although you may not be able to eliminate stress completely, thankfully there are many techniques you can use to change your relationship with stress.
Some of these techniques are classed as ‘hard’ techniques, and may involve intense exercise, listening to music, or throwing yourself into an exciting project. Then there are also softer techniques such as journaling, breathing exercises and meditation.
The key is to strike a balance and find what works for you.
Step 5: Consider Taking Supplements
There are a number of supplements that claim to be useful for preventing hair loss, but only a handful that seem to be effective.
A good amino acid supplement may help. Your hair is made primarily form the structural proteins keratin and collagen. These proteins are made up of amino acids, joined together by peptide bonds.
Some of these amino acids are classed as essential, including methionine and lysine. This means that they are not produced in the body, and need to be sourced from the diet. There are also four other inessential amino acids involved in hair growth that the body already produces, which are cysteine, arginine, glycine and proline.
With a varied diet you should be able to get all the amino acids you need, but you could also consider taking an amino acids supplement to keep your levels topped up.
Another supplement that seems to be effective for many people is Ginkgo Biloba. It has been used for thousands of years in the East to improve blood flow to the head and improve the thickness of hair. Some even believe that it can help to improve brainpower and creativity!
Minoxidil is another popular treatment, available either as foam or in tablet form. It acts as a vasodilator, increasing blood flow and nutrient supply to the scalp. A thick head of hair may not come with the side effects however, as minoxidil has been linked with chest pain and blood pressure issues. It’s up to you to weigh up the pros and cons, and take responsibility for your decision.
The hair loss industry is growing rapidly; so more and more research is being funded to search for effective cures for male baldness. Until one is found, your best bet for maintaining a full head of hair is to seek treatment from a professional at the first sign of thinning. Used alongside some of the techniques above, it will maximize your chances of minimizing hair loss.