Almost every woman I know at some point in her life will worry about hair loss. As many reasons as there are to hair loss, there are just as many treatments. Like every other health concern, hair loss needs to be addressed by getting to the root cause -literally and figuratively 🙂 – as there isn’t a magic pill or a nutrient or even a drug that will work for everyone!
Here are a number of common causes for hair loss:
Hypo/hyperthyroidism, PCOS, low Iron stores (and other nutritional deficiencies), high cortisol levels (in times of increased physical or emotional stress), heredity, scalp infections & other skin disorders & certain medication. A few causes considered to be a normal occurrence are postpartum and seasonal losses (mostly in the fall).
If you’re wondering whether one of the above conditions may be contributing to your hair loss, your naturopathic practitioner will first assess your medical and family history and based on other concomitant symptoms will order blood work checking your thyroid, sex hormones, iron & B12 stores, cortisol, etc. as necessary.
With proper diagnosis, treatment is then directed to addressing the root cause. If there are simple nutritional deficiencies present, supplementation of specific nutrients will be prescribed. With hormonal imbalances, treatments will address normalizing thyroid, pituitary, and adrenal function. If necessary, you’ll be referred to your family doctor for further tests & medication as it is occasionally essential to get things under control with medication first. If hair loss is simply following a period of high stress, recommendations for emotional & physical nourishment will be given along with the option to begin a series of acupuncture treatments to help the body cope with any stress still present.
Paying attention to your health and overall wellbeing is of utmost importance and every sign and symptom experienced is a warning to take heed and get things checked-out! However, if you’re generally healthy, here are a few basic tips to ensure your hair and scalp’s best health:
- Ensure proper intake of essential amino acids (good protein intake) of especial importance to vegetarians!
- Ensure adequate intake of essential fats: Saturated fats & Omega 3’s. We tend to get more than enough Omega 6’s through intake of vegetable cooking oils. However, saturated fats, although essential have been made to be a villain and it would not be uncommon among some to be lacking and deficient. If you need help with your diet and assessing whether you’re getting all your essential fats, consider seeing your naturopath (and don’t forget to bring in your diet diary)!
- If you’re menstruating regularly, you’ll likely be on the low end of normal for ferritin levels. Most menstruating women could use a little help through iron supplementation. Consult your healthcare practitioner however before beginning any supplementation regiment.
- Do not shampoo your hair daily and consider replacing one shampoo session a week with a baking soda & vinegar wash (see here).
- Give your hair weekly treatments with hot oil. Simply take 1 tbsp coconut oil & 1 tbsp olive oil (for medium length hair), warm slightly on low heat and apply to head and scalp. Leave overnight, shampoo as usual in the morning.
- Add 10 drops of rosemary essential oil to the above hot oil mixture to increase circulation to your scalp.
Give these tips a try and let me know how it works for you!
Yours In Health,