Natural Ways to Fight Hair Loss

Losing your hair? Don’t despair! Although 50 percent of men and 40 percent of women suffer from genetic, age-related hair loss, you can take steps to preserve crowning glory and even restore it!

Stress and certain medications such as antidepressants, psoriasis drugs, contraceptive pills, hypertension beta blockers and even the common pain reliever ibuprofen can cause hair to thin and fall out. But thankfully, in many cases. Hair loss can be reversed Dr Larry Shapiro, director of Dr Shapiro Hair institute in Florida, tells GLOBE.

If you believe your hair loss has been triggered by medication, ask your doctor for an alternative that doesn’t have that side effect. Secondly, change simple grooming practices, says renowned anti-aging expert Dr D. Erika Schwarts.

Dyeing your hair, styling it too often, especially in tight braids or weaves, or using chemical relaxers, can also take a toll on your hair. Even pulling your hair too tight in a ponytail can cause hair loss, she says.

Using a conditioner regularly and limiting use of curling irons and hair dryers can reverse hair loss.

You can try certain medications like Rogaine and Propecia to ease hair loss, but experts say they have limited effectiveness and can have serious side effects. Instead, try these natural supplements:

Iron: Dermatologists from the Cleveland Clinic link iron deficiency, with or without anaemia, to hair loss. Iron-rich foods include red meat, dark leafy green, whole grains, eggs and oysters.

Magnesium: Too little magnesium in relation to calcium intake can also thin out your hair. Reduce sugar intake and eat spinach, pumpkin seeds, mackerel and lentils.

Selenium: This mineral stimulates hair follicles. It’s found in Brazil nuts, tuna and sardines.

Biotin: Several B vitamins are important for hair growth, especially biotin, says Schwartz. In fact, some experts believe it can regrow hair and reverse greying. Swiss chard, brewer’s yeast, walnuts, eggs and sardines contain generous amounts.

Whey Protein: Shapiro says this protein, available in powder and shakes at health food stores, is one of the most important supplements to take because your hair is 97 percent protein.

Iodine: People with low thyroid levels tend to suffer from hair loss. Have your thyroid checked or add iodine supplements. But check with your health care practitioner before taking this or any other supplement.

By Lynn Allison

Globe Health Report January 6th, 2014