It is always alarming when you start losing your hair and can be a very challenging to remedy. There are tons of hair loss vitamins and shampoos available all making claims of restoring your lovely locks. The problem is not all hair loss can be easily fixed without doing a deep dive into what is causing it. All of these can play a part:
- Hormonal changes
- Vitamin deficiencies
- Side-effects of medications
- Effects of hair products/styling
- Digestive diseases
- Endocrine imbalances (like thyroid)
There are specific pathways that when altered hair loss might be more prevalent especially when something else in the system gets off. Let’s take a look at all the moving parts and learn about a brand new test that will help guide you on what path you need to focus on to restore your hair. READ ON….
- Hormones/endocrine changes: You are most likely familiar with the hormonal and endocrine etiology of hair loss. If testosterone converts to dihydrotestosterone then hair loss will occur in men and women. This is why high dosed testosterone replacement can lead to hair loss (in women, even low doses testosterone can have this effect). When the thyroid is off then lots of changes can occur with your hair including dry, brittle hair and hair loss. Specific genetic pathways with hormonal influence can predispose you to even more hair loss when hormonal shifts occur. Medications like Spironolactone, hormones, Finasteride and supplements like saw palmetto as well as several others can all target these. In addition, getting the thyroid levels balanced can play a huge role.
- Vitamin deficiencies: Vitamin deficiencies play a part especially zinc, magnesium, B vitamins, iron, selenium and biotin to name a few. There are several genetic pathways that if altered will make it harder to absorb the vitamins making even slight deficiencies more problematic. Supplements like Nutrafol provide a broad array of the nutrients needed for healthy hair follicles. Collagen products can also be beneficial.
- Inflammatory: Inflammatory conditions are notorious for causing hair loss and unless you can figure out what is causing the inflammation then the hair loss continues. I have seen women who have significant inflammation from hair dye & topical hair products. One of the worst nationwide causes of hair loss was a highly advertised shampoo/conditioner that was all natural and this combination just so happened to cause hair loss in many people so don’t think your products are truly ok. Products that build up on the scalp can also smother the follicles and contribute to hair loss. In addition, food sensitivities can manifest on the scalp as well as other skin issues resulting in hair loss. An inflammatory hormone called prostaglandin has been associated with increased hair loss. Prostaglandins can increase during times of stress and injury. Targeting this cascade can be helpful in some hair loss cases. Medications like Prostaquinon, Latanoprost, Minoxidil may help with these pathways. Natural anti-inflammatories like curcumin, fish oil, Boswellia & bromelain may help underlying inflammation in general. Dermatologist will also inject steroids into the scalp which can help in many cases.
- Blood circulation: Decreased blood circulation to the hair follicle basically can starve it causing decreased growth and increased loss. Copper peptides applied topically may be beneficial in these cases. Medications/supplements that target blood flow like certain blood pressure medications and supplements like Diovasc and L-arginine may help with blood flow to the follicle.
- Gut issues: Small intestine bowel overgrowth and yeast can cause an unusual type of hair loss. In addition, an unhealthy gut decreases absorption of key nutrients. Addressing these becomes an important part of the treatment plan.
- Medication side-effects: I have seen antifungals, antibiotics, cholesterol lowering medications, birth control pills, anti-clotting drugs and blood pressure medications all cause hair loss. There are a variety of mechanisms involved and depends on the type of medication. If your hair loss started after adding a new medication then discuss this with your physician and find an alternative to try.
- Genetics: Even if there is no family history of hair loss, could you have a genetic predisposition to losing hair? The answer is yes! Technology is always on the cutting edge and there is a brand new test called the Trichotest that looks at the genetic pathways of inflammation, androgens, collagen synthesis, insulin metabolism, blood circulation, prostaglandin metabolism as well as vitamin metabolism. It is a DNA oral swab test that analyzes 48 different variants on 13 genes associated with hair loss. Using these results, custom recommendations using medications, supplements and shampoos can be made specifically for your issues.
- Stress: during high stress times we get lots of hormonal changes that can all cause hair loss. In addition to working on each individual area it is important not to forget that you also need to work on stress reduction. Supplements like Synovx Calm, Calm CP, GabaTrex, RelaxMax can all be helpful. Key ingredients would be theanine, gaba, lemon balm, passion flower and phosphatidylcholine to name a few.
When you are trying treatments for hair loss then be patient. You often won’t see a full result of a product for 3-6 months so unless you are having a side-effect then just stay on the treatment protocol.
We are now doing the Trichotest so if you are interested in your genetic predisposition that may be contributing to your hair loss issue then call us today!
To your health,