One of the most emotionally devastating concerns that I hear voiced from women is normally regarding hair loss. We understand that a woman’s head of hair is her crowning glory — and losing too much hair can be a serious and frightening blow to her self-esteem.
Placing so much importance on the state of your hair may seem like a vanity, but it is not. Your hair is one of the first areas, along with skin and nails, to display signs of hormonal imbalance, poor nutrition, or illness. Understanding how hair regenerates and paying attention to any changes in your own hair growth and appearance are important parts of taking care of yourself.
The truth is that a reasonable amount of hair loss (50 – 100 strands a day) is normal. More than that is an indicator for a serious underlying illness. Many rule hair loss as an inevitable part of the aging process and suggest treating the situation with topical solutions like Rogain instead of getting to the source of the issue to slow down or stop the problem causing the hair loss.
How do I know if the amount of hair I’m losing is normal?
One way to test if your hair loss is normal is the “pull test”. Run your fingers through about 60 strands of hair (no, you don’t actually have to count them, just guess.). You should end up with 5 – 8 strands of hair in your hand. Reflecting the average 10% of hair follicles that are transitioning towards the resting phase at any one time. More than 15 hairs may indicate a more unusual period of hair loss called telogen effluvium (sudden, unlocalized loss of hair).
Some possible causes for abnormal hair loss
If you are suffering from hair loss, it is imperative that you find what is causing it and change your habits. To find what may be the cause of your hair loss, think – what has changed in your life or routine? Are you stressing out more? Has your diet changed? Have you stopped exercising?
The most common causes are:
- Stress (emotional and physical)
- Hormonal imbalance, specifically androgen sensitivity
- Change in hormonal birth control
- Immune system irregularities
- Yeast overgrowth or fungi
- Thyroid disorders
- Crash or liquid protein diets leading to sudden dramatic weight loss
- Nutritional deficiencies (especially vitamin D, vitamin A, iron, and protein)
- Cosmetics (allergies and harsh treatments)
- Dental treatment
- Blood loss
- Medications (including anticoagulants, anti-convulsants, anti-thyroid medication, and hormone therapy)
- Severe psychological distress or life-threatening situations
Natural Hair loss Solutions
When I am shedding more hair than usual, I find that garlic rinses work wonders. This is the recipe that I use:
Garlic based hair loss remedy: Ingredients: 1 tablespoon of aloe gel, 1 tablespoon of honey, 1 tablespoon of garlic juice, 2 egg yolks, 3 tablespoons of chamomile (tea bag content is fine to use), 24 fluid oz of water; Method: Squeeze juice out of garlic using a garlic press and mix it with honey and place the bowl in the fridge. Boil water with chamomile tea for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Next take the bowl with honey and garlic juice out of the fridge and stir in an egg yolk. Add Aloe Vera gel to the mix; Method: Use the mix and gently rub it in your scalp. When you run out of the paste, wrap a towel around your head. Keep on your head for 20 minutes and wash once with a neutral shampoo. Rub in the second egg yolk and wash off using only warm water. To finish off, wash your hair off with the previously prepared chamomile tea. Use this mix once a week. If you don’t notice any improvement within a month or so, please see a professional dermatologist and also consider taking a Biotin supplement. Some say that the smell is just INTOLERABLE, but with a good shampoo, I can usually manage to wash away the smell. If you gag at the idea of rinsing your hair with garlic, then I suggest garlic supplements. I hear that they have the same effect, but it takes longer.
Some cases of hair loss are a bit more difficult in which to find solutions. Sometimes they aren’t caused by health issues, but instead by tension on the hair follicles from pulling and/or extensions. This kind of hair loss, Traction Alopecia is sometimes irreparable. The added hair is normally too heavy for the hair follicle and in turn, it dies, or stops growing normal hair.
Hair loss is devastating for many women. If you feel like you are suffering from hair loss and have bald spots, don’t lose hope. If the bald spot isn’t shiny, you may be able to stop it before things start to get expensive. Many women have found success in treating their bald spots with Jamaican black castor oil mixed with a carrier oil (I have heard of people having more success with peppermint oil as a carrier) and daily scalp massages. If the bald spot is shiny, you will probably have to find a dermatologist and seek help.
Do whatever it is you need to do to put an end to your hair loss issues, but remember – don’t stress it! Stressing about the issue will do nothing, but worsen it. Relax and be positive. It can and will get better!