Are you eating your way promote or destress your hair growth?
Is it just aging?
Whilst hair loss (Follicular Miniaturization) is associated with aging, which yes it often is, as a culture, there has become a disconnect between the aging process and establishing a relationship whereby one recognizes how to slow down the aging process to support these symptoms. So; naturally we accept “Im getting old” thus take on age associated symptoms as an unsettled emotion, bringing on all sorts of panic bells, turning to the latest trend or quick fix available to us.
What's the alternative?
So on a nutritional forum… Ta daa – theres no surprises here, food plays a huge and pivotal role. The western diet contributes to an over consumption of foods which coherently over feed our cells! Feeding these trillions of cells that make up our organs – our skin being the biggest one, with processed oils, trans-fats, commercial sugars, low fibre diets and fast foods over recent years as it evolved in to a trend, has consequently resulted in a rise of disease state. All which present as enhancing aging signs much sooner.
These nutrients, or lack of even; often show on our skin, hair and nails. However what we often see on the surface is the latter signs of something deeper rooted happening internally. Usually a matter of undernourished cellular function.
So whilst hair conditions are influenced by hormones, taking a step back, our food and lifestyle massively influence those little hormones which ultimately are messengers. Feed these messengers with foods that sacrifice their performance, they will inevitably deliver a compromised outcome – or in fairness…can only perform to the best of whats available to them.
What to consider? am I self aware?
Primarily – The main thing one needs to consider is absorption – we are not only what we eat but zooming in further ado, we are what we absorb. If our digestion is compromised by insufficient bowel habits, prolonged measures of stress where our hormones and cells are competing for nutritional measures in order to function optimally , our body will priorities its ability to survive and use reserves from this imbalance to keep us alive. Our bodies truly are astonishing – more the reason to serve it well.
What is going on with my hair loss / thinning hair?
Dihydrotestosterone (D.H.T) is a hormone that stimulates the development of male characteristics (androgens). Almost 10% of the testosterone produced by an adult each day is converted to D.H.T by the testes and prostate (in men) and the ovaries (in women).
As we age D.H.T declines hence follicles shrink, and the blood vessels place further from the hair follicle. Result being – hair thinning. On average we can loose between 70- 100 hairs a day, however when this process is accelerated or sensitivity to the D.H.T hormones on our cell receptors are in place, our hair becomes fine/thinner and in some cases baldness exists.
Hormonal changes following childbirth, pregnancy loss, menopause
Prolonged stress. In measures of stress, our digestive system is not the bodies priority, it will be managing our cortisol levels – which is our stress releasing hormone. So when we are under prolonged stress, the glucose enters our blood stream allowing sugar availability to our muscles for us to produce enough energy to get through that challenge. – the saying – ” i was running on adrenaline‘ has substance. Whilst this survival instinct is great when we need to act upon instinct when under threat, under a prolonged period, our absorption, amongst nutritional insufficiencies occur. Further more, when one is highly stressed the scalp can become tight, restricting circulation and the follicles become malnourished resulting in further hair loss.
A poor diet lacking vital macro and micronutrients robs us of major nutrients essential for a healthy cellular cycle. This can be extremely common post pregnancy or pregnancy loss where women can neglect themselves.
Under active thyroid,
Certain prescription drugs including the oral contraceptive pill .
Hair loss and genetics
The medical term for genetic pattern hair loss is androgenetic or androgenic alopecia. Alopecia is hair loss, and androgenic is androgens (male hormones) plus genetics.
The enzyme (a protein that speeds up chemical reactions in your body) 5-alpha reductase is present in small amounts in muscle and converts testosterone to D.H.T. If you’re genetically susceptible to hair loss, DHT can bind to receptors in your hair follicles and cause them to shrink, weaken and eventually die.
Increase fruit and vegetable consumption – The high anti oxidant levels in these have shown to support longevity. The mineral content are rich in these foods which is vital for hair nail and skin.
Include good quality low saturated fat proteins.
Include Lycopene rich foods .Cooked tomatoes is a great option. specially cooked in olive oil and seasoned with black pepper as this increases absorption.
Increase intake of zinc rich foods – zinc inhibits 5 alpha reductase and inhibits prolactin (a hormone in our pituitary gland thought to contribute to hair loss when levels are high).
Include iron rich foods – Green leafy veggies.
Decrease coffee and avoid transfats completely (margarines, processed fats)
Remove any foods causing you any sensitivities. Be sure to replace these sources with healthy alternatives.
Polyphenols with 5 alpha-reductase inhibitory action:
Organic strawberries, apples and grape
Flaxseeds. *Be sure that these are not pre milled due to the high heating process which oxides the beneficial oils of flaxs.