Keep Your Hair Health as You Age

I see a number of patients who are worried about maintaining their hair health as they age. They are losing hair or it is thinning. They may think it is a phase and so they wait to see what happens and may even get concerned enough to try a few things on their own. By the time they come into my office for care, they are really concerned. Sometimes patients bring a bag of hair into the office that they show me or a bag full of supplements they have tried. Not only do we want to understand why the hair loss started but we want to rule out any contributing medical conditions, then provide nutrients for building good hair.

Types of Hair Loss

There are several types of hair loss.
Non-Scarring Hair Loss Types include:
Alopecia areata
Androgenetic hair loss
Telogen effluvium
Anagen effluvium

Scarring Hair Loss Types include:
Lupus- the discoid variant
Lichen planopilaris
Central centrifugal cicatricial Alopecia
Radiation-related hair loss
Mixed Hair Loss includes:
Traction alopecia

Vitamins and Proteins for Hair Health

Hair is constantly replacing itself. At any given time, 2% of hair is falling out and being replaced. Active growth lasts 2-6 years. This is why most hair health treatments take a while to implement. Many women and men are trying to figure out ways to get that thick hair back or fill in bald spots. There are some basic good for your hair tips that all of us can do. A diet rich in plant-based foods helps with healthy hair growth as well as adequate protein. Oral hydration is often forgotten. Adequate sleep drives the circadian rhythm, sex hormones and inflammation which all play a part in driving healthy hair growth. On top of these basics, we like to check basic labs to be sure everything is optimal. Thyroid and iron levels are important since both hypothyroid and anemias can cause hair loss.

  • Biotin can strengthen what you have in your hair and nails but doesn’t really help with new growth. We don’t want to take more than necessary because it can affect our thyroid or heart medication efficacy; 2.5-5 mg is plenty. More than 10 mg is not needed. You may have to take it for 6 months before it gets integrated in.
  • Vitamin D on the other hand appears to stimulate dormant hair follicle. Testing Vitamin D levels is discouraged nowadays in doctor’s offices but is a good idea when we are taking it as a supplement.
  • Vitamin A is tricky because too much preformed Vitamin A can prevent hair growth so no more than 25,000 IU daily but in general, there should be a purpose that you are on Vitamin A for more than a month.
  • Zinc can influence cell differentiation. Patients with hair loss generally have lower zinc as well.
  • Silicon, particularly cs-OSA can influence hair growth after 9 months or so but the absorption is highly dependent on digestion.
  • Selenium can be particularly helpful if thyroid is involved.

Other options depending on the individual such as DIM, Maca or topical miroxidil in either liquid or foam used before bed. Low level laser light therapy (LLLT) or red and near infrared light aimed at the scalp have been shown to be helpful with 26-week minimum use. There are several FDA approved devices. Platelet Rich Plasma has also been helpful for bald spots but also genetic hair loss. Often patients see results after 3 treatments even though the goal is 6 treatments. Annual maintenance is needed to maintain the results but patients seem to be quite satisfied with the results. Cosmetic tools or Camouflage is something else that can be used along the way. Scalp coloring with pens, pencils, sprays or powders to make thinning or balding less obvious. Hair pieces can be helpful too but the cap fit is the most important element. Extensions and weaves are yet another options.

If you are looking for natural options for hair loss or the best ways to stop hair loss or prevent hair loss and maintain hair health, please reach out.  We specialize in this kind of thing so it’s not a new idea for us. Getting the right care tailored for you and your situation is key to success in your health.  At Journey of Health Naturopathic Clinic we are dedicated to finding the right integrative solutions for each patient. We proudly serve the San Diego area, providing some of the best service in Naturopathic medicine. If you wish to further your own journey of health with Naturopathic solutions and Alternative medicine, give us a call at (619) 772-1164.  We offer free 10 minute consults so you can see if we are the right fit for you and you family.  Reach out and learn more about your holistic medicine options today!

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