For those experiencing hair loss, finding a way to promote healthy growth is an important undertaking. The good news is there are multiple ways to go about achieving a healthier scalp and hair follicles. In fact, there is a whole industry dedicated to products specifically for promoting hair growth. To ensure your hair is as strong and healthy as it can be, options include nutritional changes, shampoos, medications, and more.
There are many factors that impact your hair growth, and lifestyle and genetics play a huge role in this. Whether you’re attempting to gain back hair or prolong the life of what you have, these factors matter. Keep reading to learn more about what might be influencing hair loss. You’ll also learn a few tips for prolonging and strengthening those luscious locks.
3 Factors Impacting Hair Growth
Both men and women can suffer from thinning hair and receding hairlines, though it impacts women at a significantly lower percentage. Some factors are outside of your control, like genetics and age. And others like lifestyle, hair care, and nutrition are reasons that you have some control over.
Genetics can be a factor that impacts your hair loss. But don’t just blame your mom because studies now show you can inherit this trait from both sides of the family. Androgenetic alopecia, or male pattern baldness, is the most common of hair loss. According to the American Hair Loss Association, before 35, two-thirds of men will be impacted by the condition at some level.
Smoking is one lifestyle choice that can cause hair loss. Smoking can affect your blood circulation and weaken your immune system. Externally, the smoke can even affect your hair follicles.
Believe it or not, stress also plays a role in hair loss. Telogen effluvium is the type of hair loss that can happen after your body experiences a severe trauma, like childbirth or a high fever. Alopecia areata is another type of hair loss, related to the immune system, that has been associated with stress. Trichotillomania is another type of hair loss related to stress, and those with the condition get the urge to pull out their own hair. In all cases, finding ways to reduce your stress levels can be beneficial.
3. Hair Care and Nutrition
How you take care of your body and treat your hair can be a contributing factor in hair loss. For example, dyeing your hair a lot or bleaching it can lead to unhealthy strands. Similarly, constantly using high heat styling methods, like blow drying and straightening, can cause damage. If you constantly wear your hair in tight styles, like braids or cornrows it can result in hair loss called traction alopecia.
Nutrition is important as well for healthy hair. Poor diet and nutritional deficiencies can contribute to weakened hair. This is especially true if your diet is missing key nutrients like protein, B, B6, and B12 vitamins, and folic acid.
3 Tips for Promoting Healthy Hair Growth
Though the picture painted above seems bleak in terms of the occurrence of hair loss, there are ways to promote healthy hair growth. You can opt for medications and shampoos to help with this. Proper nutrition and hair care can promote growth as well. Changing up some parts of your lifestyle can make a big difference too.
1. Medication and Medicated Shampoos and Conditioners
Just because you’ve started losing hair or it’s begun thinning, all might not be lost. There are different prescriptions, topical ointments, and topical foams you can try. Finasteride and minoxidil are two FDA-approved medications for hair loss with proven results. You may even be able to request it through an online consultation.
2. Lifestyle Changes
You read that smoking and stress can be contributing factors for your hair loss. If you’re a smoker, look for ways to lessen how much you smoke or quit altogether. It will not only help your hair, but your overall health as well. Improving your diet might also be able to help with regrowth.
Work on your stress management as well to get your cortisol levels in check. You can do this through meditation, yoga, or other forms of exercise. Sometimes deep breathing and grounding techniques can be helpful too.
3. Changing Hair Care and Nutrition
If you use harsh bleaching or styling methods, it might be time to change up your style. Save your locks and go for gentler ways to get the color and style you want. Adding in consistent trims with your favorite barber can help too. Taking cooler showers and shampooing less can help some too. Work on areas you may be nutrient deficient as well because it can help your follicles and overall wellness too. For example, if you’re struggling with your iron levels, you might consider taking a supplement.
Though thinning hair and hair loss can be mitigated in some ways, keeping it healthy before loss is important too. Whether you’re trying to regain hair or prevent loss, there are options for you. Medications, shampoos, diet, and exercise can all help you feel and look your best.
As a bonus, a lot of the tips for promoting healthy hair also will help with your overall health as well. Take care of yourself and work on controlling the areas you can. And no matter your level of loss, there’s nothing to be embarrassed about because you’re not alone. If all else fails, embrace it!
Lynn Martelli is an editor at Readability. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University and has worked as an editor for over 10 years. Lynn has edited a wide variety of books, including fiction, non-fiction, memoirs, and more. In her free time, Lynn enjoys reading, writing, and spending time with her family and friends.