Losing hair every day is normal as new hair growth replaces older hairs. However, waking and finding a lot of hair on your pillow or washing and finding clumps of hair in the bottom of the sink is not normal. Excessive hair loss can be due to a number of factors and certain hormones can play a big role in that, as hair looks its best when oestrogen and progesterone are in balance. The good news is there are many natural remedies to help reverse hormonal hair loss.
Reasons for hormonal hair loss
There are a number of different reasons for hair loss including nutrient deficiencies, hormonal imbalances, stress, and medications. In addition, genetic predisposition can play a role however we know from epigenetics that our environment, diet and lifestyle play a huge role in genetic expression.
Being on the pill can cause hair loss for some, others will find that after coming off the pill they lose hair. This can be because our natural production of oestrogen and progesterone is shut off and progestins (the synthetic version of progesterone) found in some pills actually resemble testosterone which causes damage to the hair follicles.
During pregnancy, we have high levels of oestrogen and progesterone and as a result, thick, healthy hair. After pregnancy, when hormone levels drop it is normal to lose a lot of hair. This should naturally rectify once hormones come back into balance.
PCOS is usually associated with high levels of androgens. Testosterone (an androgen) is normally metabolised into oestrogen, but it can also be metabolised into a more potent androgen which is known to cause hair loss.
Both an underactive and overactive thyroid can cause hair loss. The thyroid controls our metabolism and our metabolic health is a good barometer for the amount of stress in our life. When our stress levels are high and the metabolism slows as in the case of an underactive thyroid, there is less energy to go into hair growth.
Lower oestrogen and progesterone (and elevated testosterone for some) in the peri-to-post menopause can result in hair thinning and growing slower.
Chronic stress levels affect all our hormones – it impacts oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone and has a direct link to thyroid health.
Healthy hair requires several important nutrients: Zinc, Vitamin A, D and E, omega 3 fatty acids and B vitamins. Hair follicles are made from protein, so adequate protein intake is essential.
Nutrition for Hair loss
Protein, specifically keratin, is needed for healthy hair follicles. Protein-rich foods that are high in keratin include eggs, red meat, chicken, fish, pork, beans and quinoa.
Sulphur rich foods
Sulphur is one of the main compounds of keratin and sulphur rich foods are beneficial for hair growth. Sulphur rich foods include onions, shallots, garlic, leeks and cruciferous vegetables like brussel sprouts, cabbage, broccoli and kale.
Zinc is an important mineral for hormone balance and for hair growth. Food high in Zinc includes red meat, shellfish especially oysters, lentils, chickpeas and pumpkin seeds.
Omega 3 fatty acids
Salmon, tuna, mackerel, nuts and seeds, avocado, olive oil are high in omega 3 fatty acids which nourish hair follicles, strengthens hair and promotes growth. Also consider tinned fish with small edible bones like sardines, mackerel, anchovies for the extra it of calcium.
Low levels of certain B vitamins can lead to hair loss. Food rich in B vitamins include eggs, red meat and chicken including the liver and kidneys, chickpeas, black beans, whole grains and dark green leafy veg like kale and spinach.
Vitamin E has been found to support hair and scalp health. Vitamin E rich food includes sunflower seeds, almonds, avocado and oily fish.
Natural Remedies for Hair Loss
Adaptogen herbs help to reduce stress levels and together with stress-reducing practices can help to lower cortisol levels and balance the entire endocrine system. My favourites for stress reduction are ashwagandha and Rhodiola.
Vitamin D stimulates new hair growth. Spending time in the sunshine daily helps with Vitamin D absorption as does eating many of the abovementioned foods. Supplementing with Vitamin D in winter is a good option for many.
Silica Tissue Salt
Tissue salts are mineral compounds that work with the body’s biochemistry. Silica is essential for hair growth and helps with the absorption of all nutrients. It is said, we aren’t what we eat, but instead, we are what we absorb!
Alongside the above, there are many homeopathic remedies that cover hair loss. These remedies need to be individualised to you. If you would like to know more, book a free discovery call today.