nutrition-food-hairWhile good nutrition may help to slow or avoid hair loss caused by deficiencies in diet (extremely rare that diet causes hair loss), it will not affect or reverse hereditary or genetic balding. Some experts believe that by eating right, men and women can delay or slow the rate of hair loss and keep the remaining hair healthy and viable. So, tending to good nutrition is generally a good idea. However, great care must be exercised when using natural nutrients since some have been proven to cause irreversible hair loss. If you doubt this, look at the bald gyn imstructor who eats his proteins and vitamins, changes are that you will see quite a few of them with bald or thinning heads on the other spectrum you have the size 6 models that don’t eat at all often with great hair so there seems to be little connection between eating habits and hair loss.

Over the years, the pros and cons of steroid use has been debated by professionals and non-professionals alike. Look for more information on anabolic steroids and hormones in the Drugs section of this chapter and how they can cause hair loss (See Chapter 3 – Drugs).

Environmental issues, as well as diet, can contribute to loss even though their consumption has to reach extremes in most cases for this contribution to become noticable. Some substances – even if they are generally good for us – may be dangerous for your hair if overdone, or if your hair is exposed to them in excess in the environment. Let’s take a closer look at these.

Selenium – A powerful anti-radical found around the world in food and water. However, if over-dosed to the point of toxicity, hair loss results.

Minerals – Lead, cadmium, mercury, iron, aluminium, and copper. Some of our most common minerals can cause hair loss. For instance, lead is often found in hair dyes and paints, despite attempts at outlawing lead paints. Also, fish contain overdoses of most of these elements, which reflects the pollution of our oceans. Overdosing causes hair loss, but scientists are not certain how much is considered “too much” and the average person is unlikely to be experiencing this issue.

Air pollution and smoking – Both of these have been known to make worse or bring on an early onset of genetically-induced balding even though are not responsible for hair loss on their own. Experts believe the toxins we inhale and ingest in air pollution can block our bodies from producing the protein necessary to maintain hair.

Vitamins are necessary to our overall health. They are organic compounds that we need to survive, but they are also important nutrients for healthy hair. However, deficiencies or overdoses can impact our health and hair in a negative ways. Here some examples:

Vitamin A – A powerful substance that protects the body from free radicals – atoms with unpaired electrons – which have been known to encourage cancer cells. Too much Vitamin A, though, has been linked to hair loss. Since it is a fat-soluble vitamin, the body retains any excesses that are unable to be discharged in urine. Therefore, it’s therefore recommended to stay within the recommended dosage of 900 micrograms for men and 700 micrograms for women per day.

B-Complex Vitamins – B Vitamins are essential for nourishing the hair follicles. Deficiencies of these vitamins have been associated with anaemia and neurological problems. Let’s take a closer look at three types of Vitamin B complexes.

Pentothenic acid – Also called pantothenate or vitamin B5, this is a water-soluble nutrient, which is essential for many animals. The nutrient is used for the synthesis and metabolism of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats and is used by the hair follicle for this synthesis.

Biotin – This water-soluble substance is also known as B7 and is required for metabolism of amino acids (proteins), used for cell growth of hair follicles. Biotin deficiency has been linked to hair loss, not only in the scalp, but also in eyebrows and eye lashes in more severe cases. Interestingly, eating lots of raw eggs can also cause lack of B7. The daily recommended dosage of this nutrient is 30-100 micrograms.

Folic acid – This vitamin, also known as folate, is necessary to maintain cell division and growth in the hair follicle. Signs of deficiency include greying hair, anaemia, and increased fatigue. Excess exposure to ultraviolet light, such as in tanning beds, can result in a deficiency. The recommended dosage of folic acid is 400 micrograms per day.

Vitamin C Hair follicles require healthy collagen tissues. Typically, the collagen settles at the base of each follicle and acts as a strong anti-radical that contributes to aging and other problems in many body systems. One of the most famous conditions caused by lack of Vitamin C is scurvy, which ceases the proper function of collagen. The recommended daily dosage is 90 milligrams to 2 grams daily.

Vitamin E This nutrient is made of a group of related fat-soluble vitamins, which act as strong antioxidant substance. It also strengthens and stabilizes the membranes of hair follicles. The recommended daily dosage is 8-10 milligrams.

Healthy hair can be maintained and non-hereditary hair loss avoided by paying special attention to nutrition. Be sure to consult a physician to help you determine what may be causing hair loss or if you have a unique diet which you suspect may be causing problems.

Understanding Hair Loss – Nutrition