Hair loss, or alopecia, can be a frustrating condition to live with. While it usually doesn’t pose a threat to your health, it can have devastating effects to your self-image and sense of well-being. This is because your hair has more significance than just regulating your body temperature and providing your scalp with protection. Rather, your hair might define your personality, style, and fashion.
Because of this, at Arizona Dermatology, we do everything in our power to ensure our patients leave our offices with thick, healthy, natural hair. We do so by first consulting with our patients, identifying the severity of their case, and defining an appropriate treatment plan for the given scenario. For example, treatment for mild hair loss can include several, simple lifestyle changes. Whereas treatment for severe hair loss cases can include various modalities such as hair laser therapy, hair transplantation, or plasma rich protein therapy.
This article shares eight simple ways to prevent and/or treat all forms of hair loss, both mild and severe. Follow along for more information or simply contact us to setup a consultation appointment tailored to your specific needs.
1. Maintain a proper diet
One of the best kept secrets for healthy hair is a healthy diet. A healthy diet filled with appropriate levels of protein, iron, and other nutrients can improve the health, look, and feel of your hair.
For example, if you find your scalp thinning, we recommend incorporating the following into your diet:
- Protein: A single strand of hair is composed mostly of protein, meaning your hair needs protein to grow.
- Iron: Iron deficiency can lead to hair loss. Make sure you’re getting enough iron to support the growth of your hair.
- Fatty acids: Food items that contain fatty acids, such as salmon, nuts, and seeds, help build the strength and durability of your hair. Try incorporating these acids into your meals, especially if you’re experiencing hair breakage.
2. Avoid stress
Stress can impact your body in many different ways including breakouts, bumps, weight loss, and hair loss. These changes you see on the exterior of your body are caused by the physical reactions occurring deep within your body.
When experiencing a stressful situation, your body releases various hormones such as adrenaline, cortisol, and norepinephrine. These hormones are responsible for a large percentage of stress-induced symptoms, hair loss being one of them.
To prevent stress-induced hair loss, we suggest avoiding stressful situations whenever possible by:
- Practicing deep breathing exercises
- Sleeping at least eight hours a day
- Exercising to stimulate blood flow
- Delegating tasks and projects when necessary
- Eating a well-balanced diet
- Knowing when to get help
While some stressful situations are unavoidable, these tips will help reduce the impact stress and hair loss has on your life.
3. Take vitamins
Hair loss can also be a sign that your body is lacking vitamins. The best way to determine if you’re deficient in certain vitamins is to get a standard blood test. The results of your test can reveal whether or not you need more zinc, vitamin C, etc.
However, the most common vitamins that impact hair growth include the following:
If you’re experiencing hair loss, we recommend adding these vitamins to your daily regimen to reverse the signs of hair loss and stimulate the growth of healthy, new hair.
4. Prevent heat damage
Another way to prevent hair loss is to reduce the amount of heat you put on your hair. Daily exposure to heated, harsh elements like blow dryers, curlers, and straighteners can take a toll on your scalp and cause damaged hair.
Try your best to avoid these heating products by air drying your hair or braiding your hair for a natural wave. When these heating methods are unavoidable, simply limit the amount of times you use them. For example, set a goal to blow dry your hair one to two times a week, rather than every day. Simple moderations like this can have a big impact on the overall health of your hair.
5. Avoid harsh hair products
Next, we recommend staying away from harsh hair products. This can include hair dye, hair spray, harsh shampoos and conditioners, or any other product that will strip your hair of its natural protein and oils.
Specifically, we suggest avoiding hair products and dyes that contain PPD, or paraphenylenediamine. PPD is a harsh irritant that can cause an allergic reaction, resulting in a rash on the face, eyelids, and/or ears. As it relates to hair loss, PPD can cause inflammation of your scalp, ultimately putting you at risk for telogen effluvium, a form of hair loss that thins the hair on top of your scalp.
To avoid this complication, The American Academy of Dermatology suggests testing your sensitivity to hair products before use through a patch test. You should also check the ingredient list of your hair products to ensure they’re irritant-free, fragrance-free, and PPD-free. These precautions will help you avoid damage to your scalp and hair follicles.
6. Wear your hair down
Reversing the signs of mild hair loss can be as simple as avoiding styles that pull your hair back. For instance, too tight of a ponytail, harsh backcombing, and excessive hair gel can lead to thinning, fine hair. Be conscious of the friction and tugging some hairstyles cause and avoid them whenever possible.
7. Perform at-home remedies
At Arizona Dermatology, we’re not the biggest advocates of at-home remedies and treatments. Oftentimes, they can do more harm than good. However, in some cases, certain natural at-home remedies can help. For example, we’d recommend the following for preventing further hair loss:
- Hair oil treatments: Oil treatments can assist hair loss that’s caused by a dry, flaky scalp. For best results, massage the hair oil into your scalp and apply pressure using your fingertips. Most hair oil treatments use natural ingredients such as coconut, almond, or olive oil.
- Hair masks: Hair masks can improve the health of damaged hair. They’re also effective because they take advantage of natural ingredients and are completely customizable. For example, if your hair is dry, you can create a hair mask using olive oil as your base to replenish moisture. If you experience a lot of breakage, almond oil is meant to nourish and strengthen your hair.
When partaking in at-home remedies, make sure the ingredients are safe, natural, and are proven to be effective before use.
8. Know when to seek professional treatment
The previous tips listed above can be impactful when treating and preventing the signs of mild hair loss. However, it’s crucial to know what to do if your hair loss becomes more severe.
On average, most individuals lose around 50-100 strands of hair a day. This is completely normal and can be combatted and prevented with lifestyle changes, such as at-home remedies and proper nutrition. However, if you see an abnormal amount of hair loss on a daily basis, we recommend you see a dermatologist.
At Arizona Dermatology, we combat severe hair loss with several state-of-the-art treatment modalities, including hair laser therapy, hair transplantation, and plasma rich protein (PRP) therapy.
Hair laser therapy
Hair laser therapy is a painless medical treatment that reverses the signs of severe hair loss. The technology uses low-level lasers or light-emitting diodes (LED) to alter the cellular function of your hair follicles. It also works to increase blood flow, nutrient delivery, and energy to your hair cells. The increase in these variables help promote new, healthy, thick hair you can call your own.
Hair transplantation is another treatment modality offered at Arizona Dermatology for hair loss. Hair transplantation is a highly sophisticated surgical procedure that guarantees the growth of your own hair in an otherwise balding area.
The procedure is done by transplanting your natural hair in groups of one to four follicles, which we refer to as follicular units. These follicular units are taken from the healthy areas of your scalp and transplanted to areas that are affected by extreme hair loss. This transplantation ensures new hair growth that lasts a lifetime. Once your sessions are complete, you’ll never lose your transplanted hair again.
Plasma Rich Protein (PRP) therapy
Finally, the last primary hair loss treatment we offer at our offices is plasma rich protein, or PRP therapy. PRP therapy promotes healthy hair growth by using resources already present in your body.
PRP therapy starts with a sample of your blood. That sample is then placed in a device called a centrifuge. The centrifuge spins your blood and separates its various elements including platelets. Your platelets are elements that have abundant growth factors. The platelets are then injected directly into your scalp where thinning is present, helping the area restore any lost hair.
Your next steps
If you’re experiencing minor hair loss, we suggest beginning with the first seven tips listed above, including maintaining a proper diet, avoiding harmful hair products, etc. These tactics will help prevent hair loss at a minute level.
However, if you find these tips don’t work for your situation, or you’re being impacted by severe hair loss, seek professional treatment. Professional, medical treatments such as those offered at Arizona Dermatology—hair laser therapy, hair transplantation, and PRP therapy—are the only way you can guarantee complete hair restoration and natural hair growth of your own.
For more information on hair loss, hair loss prevention, or our hair restoration services, contact the experts at Arizona Dermatology today.