Hair Loss Facts And Hair Loss Remedies
Hair Loss Facts
Hair Loss FactsThe best start to preventing hair loss is understanding the basics of hair, and what can cause it to stop growing. Hair is the fastest growing tissue of the body, made up of proteins called keratins. Every strand of hair is made up of three layers. Hair grows from roots, which are enclosed in follicles.
Below this is a layer of skin called the dermal papilla, which is fed by the bloodstream carrying nourishments vital to the growth of hair. Only the roots of hair are actually alive, while the part of hair you see really dead tissue, and therefore unable to heal itself. It is vital then to take care of the scalp and body to prevent hair loss, and promote hair growth and maintenance.
Hormones called androgens, usually testosterone, can cause hair follicles to shrink, causing thinning of hair or eventual hair loss. Reportedly only bone marrow grows faster in our body than hair does. The average scalp contains 100,000-150,000 hair follicles and hairs, with 90% growing and 10% resting at any given time.
It is natural for follicles to atrophy and hair to fall out, and this is called the catagen phase. Natural hair loss is considered to be in the range of 100 hairs per day. It is not apparent to most people that hair is actually being lost until more than 50% of a person’s hair is actually lost.
Although both men and women can suffer significant hair loss, over 50% of men will suffer with Male Pattern Baldness (MPB), also known as androgenetic alopecia, at some point in their lives. The reason behind hair loss is a genetically inherited sensitivity to an enzyme and a hormone. The enzyme 5-alpha-reductase converts testosterone, a male hormone, to DHT(Dihydrotestosterone), the substance identified as the cause of hair loss.
Hair loss has been noticed and studied throughout the ages, and some interesting discoveries were made in ancient times. For one it was noticed that eunuchs: those males without genitals-never had hair loss. Men who were castrated as a result of accidents in battle also never had hair loss. This was the first indication that testosterone had something to do with hair loss. It has also been found that the more recessive the hair gene, the more probability of hair loss one has.
Blond-haired persons have a greater hair loss than darker-haired people, and therefore Caucasian persons have a greater propensity toward hair loss than non-Caucasian people.
Hair Loss Remedies
Although there is no way to prevent all hair loss, there are some hair loss remedies that can help. Massage and aromatherapy have been used with some success. In minor hair loss, hair growth can be stimulated by massage, since blood and oxygen flow to the scalp must be healthy in order for hair to grow.
Try a blend of six drops each of lavender and bay essential oils, in a base of four ounces of either almond, or sesame oil massaged into the scalp and allowed to sit for 20 minutes to stimulate the scalp. Next, wash your hair and scalp with your normal shampoo mixed with three drops of bay essential oil. Massaging the scalp in general, for a couple of minutes a day, can stimulate blood flow to the hair follicles and in mild cases stimulate hair growth. Of course, one must be careful to massage gently, and without long fingernails. There are several electric massagers on the market that have an attachment for scalp massaging.
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An oriental method called Qi Gong (pronounced Chi Kung) has been used to increase circulation to the scalp and face also. The fingers should be placed at the center of the skull base and then begin to tap approximately 30 times. Work your way outward toward the ears continuing to tap gently. After reaching the ears go back to the center of the skull a little higher up and work your way around to the ear region. Keep going up about eight levels, each time repeating the process.
Recent studies have studied Saw Palmetto Berries for its effectiveness in treating Hair Loss. The herb has been found to work by lowering levels of DHT, which is a known cause of hormonally related hair loss(androgenetic alopecia). Saw palmetto berries and pygeum contain a unique class of fatty acids which have the ability to inhibit the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone in the prostate.
Nettles are rich in vitamins A and C, several key minerals and lipids that can be beneficial to the hair. Nettle Root Extract has been used successfully in Europe as an inhibitor of 5-alpha reductase in treating BPH.
As mentioned earlier, 5-alpha reductase is a key component in turning testosterone into DHT, the substance that causes the atrophy of hair follicles. Therefore there is great promise in its use as a component in natural hair loss treatments. Nettle Root Extract is available at health food stores over the counter, and has few side effects.
Rosemary and sage are two herbs that have shown benefit traditionally when used externally. It is suggested that to promote a clean scalp, stimulation of the hair root, and thickening hair one should boil together in water rosemary, sage, peach leaf, nettle and burdock.
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Then strain the loose herbs from the liquid and use the liquid to wash the hair daily. Also recommended is steeping one ounce of ground rosemary, two ounces of ground sage, and a half ounce of ground nettles in one pint of ethyl alcohol for a week, straining the solution and adding one ounce of castor oil and one ounce of water to the liquid. This makes a great hair loss treatment to apply before bed or shampooing.
Aloe Vera can help the scalp by healing it and balancing the pH level of the scalp while cleansing the pores. A common preparation of Aloe Vera gel with a small amount of wheat germ oil and coconut milk is used as a shampoo.
Polysorbate-80 is an FDA approved surfactant that is also approved as a food additive. Although it is not proven, Polysorbate-80 is said to remove deposits of DHT and cholesterol from the scalp. Polysorbate-80 is a common additive in shampoo and is available in health food stores. It is recommended 15 minutes prior to shampooing.