Hair Loss

Partial or complete hair loss is called alopecia. It usually occurs on the scalp, but can also occur elsewhere on the body, including the eyebrows. The patterns of alopecia can vary, as well.

The most common type of hair loss is called male pattern baldness, also known as hereditary alopecia or androgenic alopecia, meaning it is more common in men and is usually inherited. In this condition, hair is lost from the crown and temples and is often replaced by a more fine, downy type of hair. Female-pattern baldness, a variation of hereditary alopecia, can also strike women, especially after menopause. The incidence of female-pattern baldness is on the rise.

Another form of hair loss, known as alopecia areata, refers to a sudden loss of circular areas of hair for no apparent reason or as a result of systemic disease. Alopecia universallis is another type of hair loss, in this case of hair over the entire body. This condition usually corrects itself, but it is prone to recurrences.

What To Consider

Hair loss can occur due to low thyroid functioning, poor digestion, parasites, nutrient deficiencies such as iron or biotin, hormonal problems, aging, trauma, post-pregnancy, skin disease, diabetes, chemotherapy, and stress. All of these factors must be considered and ruled out to be sure hair loss is not part of a more serious, underlying condition.

Caution
If you begin to lose large amounts of hair suddenly and for no apparent reason, seek prompt medical attention to rule out the possibility of an underlying disease.

Self-Care Tips

Diet
Eat an organic, whole foods diet high in potato (with skins intact), green and red peppers, sprouts, and unpeeled cucumbers. Such foods are high in silica, which gives strength to hair and nails. Foods high in iron, such as some lean meats and raisins, are also important. Sea vegetables such as kelp are also good for the hair and support proper thyroid function. Be sure to check for and eliminate any foods to which you may be allergic or sensitive.

Nutritional Supplementation
The following supplements are essential for healthy hair growth: flaxseed oil, biotin, niacin, vitamin B complex, folic acid, biotin, vitamin B5, PABA (para-aminobenzoic acid), silica, iron, trace minerals, and zinc. Free form amino acids, especially cysteine, can also be helpful, as can kelp tablets, dessicated liver, and thyroid glandulars.

Although elevated levels of copper can lead to brittle hair and split ends, low copper levels can also result in hair loss, and should therefore also be considered.

Aromatherapy
For temporary or severe hair loss, massage lavender, rosemary, thyme, or sage essential oils directly onto the scalp.

Ayurveda
The Ayurvedic herbs ashwagandha and amla can help stimulate hair growth in cases that are not due to genetic predisposition.

Herbs
Massage the scalp nightly with an oil made of one part rosemary oil and two parts almond oil.

Homeopathy
Sepia, Arnica, and Acidum nit. Are useful homeopathic remedies

Juice Therapy
Drink the combined juice of carrot, beet, spinach, nettle, and alfalfa, adding a bit of onion.

Topical Treatment
Rub castor oil into the scalp for ten minutes, then apply a hot damp towel for 30 minutes, and then cover your head with a plastic shower cap and keep in place overnight. The next morning, wash out your hair. Do this for two nights, then, repeat this using extra virgin olive oil for two nights, then use wheat germ oil for two nights. Rest one night and repeat seven-day cycle.

Apple cider vinegar used as a hair rinse can also help stimulate hair growth.

Caution

If your symptoms persist despite the above measures, seek the help of a qualified health professional.

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