About one-third of women suffer hair loss at a point in their lives, and, as many as two-thirds of postmenopausal women suffer bald spots or hair thinning. Unlike men, women experience a greater impact due to hair loss because hair loss is not socially acceptable. So, a condition like alopecia can damage the emotional well-being of a woman.
But similar with men, women can suffer hair thinning or loss due to factors such as age, hormonal changes, or infection. This is referred to as androgenetic alopecia – male (or female) pattern hair loss. Among men, hair loss manifests through a receding hairline that creates an “M” shape. In women, hair loss can begin at the top of the head, but women’s hairline rarely recedes, so women rarely experience baldness due to androgenetic alopecia.
To understand how you can reverse hair loss, it’s vital to learn what causes hair loss.
What Causes Hair Loss?
Different problems can trigger hair loss. Some are internal such as a shift in hormones, a genetic condition, recent pregnancy, or an inflammatory condition. In other cases, the problem is external such as stressful events like surgery, taking some medications, or even hairstyles that pull your hair too tight.
However, in many situations, the cause of hair loss is genetic. In women, androgenetic alopecia manifests through a widening on the top of the head. This condition often starts to affect women in their 40s and 50s because new strands of hair grow slower. Also, the follicle changes, so new hair is less robust and finer. Androgenetic alopecia can affect you because you inherited specific genes from both or one of your parents. Hormonal changes that kick in during menopause could also cause your hair to shed.
In women, hair loss can also occur because of an inflammatory condition that affects the scalp. This includes psoriasis, eczema, or frontal fibrosing alopecia, which usually causes hair loss and scaring above one’s forehead – sometimes permanent.
Other reasons for hair loss include overuse of hair products or tools that affect the scalp. Illness, nutritional deficiencies, and hormonal imbalances can also trigger hair loss. So, before you embrace any treatment, you need to know what is causing the problem to prevent a reoccurrence after treatment.
How to Diagnose Hair Loss
If your hair loss is persistent, it could be because of an underlying health issue. Your dermatologist or doctor can identify the cause by doing a physical examination or reviewing your health history. If you’re taking prescription medication, the doctor may recommend a change.
How to Reverse Hair Loss
The correct remedy for hair loss should be informed by the underlying condition causing shedding. It can be something as simple as embracing the right diet or requiring extreme measures such as addressing a medical condition. Although there are invasive treatment methods, these suggestions are an excellent place to begin your journey of reversing hair loss.
To succeed in reversing hair loss, start with the most superficial fixes. Also, while doing so, understand there’s no quick fix, so patience is necessary.
1. Fix Your Diet
While some people will right away recommend hair care products, it would be wasted effort if you’re losing hair because of a mineral deficiency. Your hair is mostly composed of protein, so consuming a protein-rich diet can prevent hair loss and promote hair growth. A balanced diet will generally make your body strong and healthy.
A proper diet should include fruits and vegetables. Foods like eggs, nuts and seeds, berries, spinach, oily fish, beans, peppers, lean meat, and lentils should form your diet. However, this does not mean you’re protected against all other causes of hair loss. In the case of genetic reasons, you might require intervention like a hair transplant.
2. A Regular Scalp Massage
A scalp massage serves as a relaxant that stimulates blood flow to your scalp. A good flow of blood will help your hair to grow. The massage is effective because it expands arteries, which boosts the flow of blood to hair follicles.
Understand that this is different from a head massage. A scalp massage for hair growth focuses on the scalp and could be done with essential oils or quality hair oils. The oil can be warmed to ensure better absorption.
To do a scalp massage, begin from the middle of your scalp and massage the oils following slow circular movements. Slowly massage moving towards the base of your head until you finish massaging the entire scalp. For better results, consider doing a scalp massage twice a week. The process should last between 5 to 10 minutes. It’s even better if you can find someone to help.
You can address stress-induced hair loss with aromatherapy. When you’re stressed, your body switches to survival mode. Most of your body’s nutrients and energy are used to run essential functions. So, your hair is deprived of nutrients and protection, thereby leading to hair loss.
To do aromatherapy, start by brushing your dry hair using a soft-bristled brush. Brushing helps to invigorate the scalp. Then you can add three drops of lavender essential oil while still brushing the hair gently. The oil offers a balancing and calming effect and is an excellent aid to sleep. Also, essential lavender oil has anti-anxiety properties.
Also, understand that the results don’t show up immediately. It can take several months to achieve full hair re-growth. It would help if you had patient application and stress reduction to achieve results. The average growth rate of hair is about half an inch a month, so don’t expect instant results.
4. Medication to Treat Hair Loss
The most effective way to reverse hair loss is to fix the underlying issue causing shedding. There are over-the-counter products that you could apply directly to the scalp. But before you use any product, ensure you have consulted your doctor and received directions on what should work to fix your problem. In addition to creams, you might require oral medication to deal with an illness or a condition that affects your health. Also, there are medications designed to slow down hair loss that you could try.
5. Hair Re-growth Products
If you’re in perfect health and your hair loss is hereditary, using hair re-growth products can be a viable solution. Only consider FDA approved products with the right ingredients to avoid harsh side effects. You can also use proven products that can trigger hair re-growth and revitalize your scalp.
6. Change Your Hair care Products
Sometimes, the hair care products you’re using are the cause of hair loss. Harsh chemicals on different hair care products can destroy your scalp. It’s advisable to switch to softer hair products, particularly those designed to slow down thinning.
7. Surgical Remedies – Cosmetic Options
As a last resort, you can go for surgical treatment for hair loss. The part of your scalp that has no hair is removed, and the area closed with a patch of the scalp that has hair. This could also be done by folding a part of the scalp with hair over the bald patch.
Also, a surgeon can use tissue expansion to restore lost hair. For this operation, the surgeon places a tissue expander beneath the scalp next to the balding area. In a few weeks, the expander will stretch the area with hair out. Surgical remedies are usually costly and carry many risks, including bleeding, wide scars, infection, and patchy hair growth. Therefore, this should only come as a last resort after careful consideration.
How to Prevent Hair Loss
Preventing hair loss is a sure way to ensure you don’t go through the hassle of finding the right remedy. If there’s a history of androgenetic thinning hair or alopecia in your family, consider an appointment with a dermatologist to discuss the way to prevent hair loss. Besides, you should maintain a healthy diet along with scalp hygiene. A healthy diet will keep the existing hair healthy.
Also, be conscious about the hair care products you choose for your hair as these can wreak havoc if they contain harsh ingredients. Some styling tools are also a culprit in hair loss. Such tools include hair strengtheners, perms, relaxers, bleaching agents, heated combs, and blow dryers. If you have to use these tools, consider using the lowest settings possible.
Tight hairstyles such as ponytails, braids, and buns that apply a lot of pressure on your hair can also cause hair loss. Over time, the strain created permanently damages hair follicles.
Going through hair loss can be frustrating, but as demonstrated, there are remedies for this problem. Advancements in medicine have made treatment more effective, and you can also use protective measures to protect your hair. Take advantage of the available treatment methods to reverse hair loss. And remember, you’re not alone. Millions of people suffer hair loss at some point in their lives, and the remedies discussed above are some of the solutions that helped them reverse hair loss.