Hair Strength Density

Preventing Hair Loss

  • HOME
  • Preventing Hair Loss

Hair Physiology

A better understanding of the physiology of hair will provide a clearer picture of what happens to the hair shafts and hair follicles during hair loss, and more specifically how Androgenetic Alopecia evolves. Hair Anatomy Root Shaft Follicle Bulb

“Dr Nel explained everything very clearly and was most helpful. He never tried to force me into anything or pressed me into any treatment. He gave his expert knowledge and advice freely and I'm most grateful.” - Desiree

A) The Root

The root is enclosed in the hair follicle and is submerged in the dermis of the skin (about 2-5mm below the skin), ending at the base of the follicle (bulb).

The dermal papilla cells at the base of the hair follicle help nutrients in the blood reach the follicle, which is essential for hair growth.

B) The Shaft

The visible part of hair is called the shaft, and comprises of three layers:

Hair Shaft Medulla Cuticle Cortex

1) Cuticle

This is the outer layer of the shaft. It consists of scale-like cells that overlap each other. They are flat and colourless. The ultimate strength of your hair is determined by this layer. The cuticle is susceptible to damage from excessive heat, over-exposure to the sun, harsh brushing, chemicals, etc.

2) Cortex

This layer can be found in the middle of the hair shaft. It is formed of elongated cells filled with Keratin (protein) that are joined together. These cells give your hair flexibility, and adds to its tensile strength. The hair pigment (melanin) that determines your hair colour can be found in the cortex, and it is also where your hair type – curly or straight – is determined.

3) Medulla

This is the innermost layer of the hair shaft. This section is made up of thin cells and air bubbles.

Keeping Your Hair Healthy

Maintaining a full head of healthy hair need not be an impossible task. You can start by making sure you incorporate a balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals into your daily life.

Proteins and iron are essential for hair growth. Any drastic change in your diet could lead to hair shedding (Telogen Effluvium), so try to adhere to a stable, healthy eating plan.

Healthy hair is a way of life more than a quick fix brought on by a pill to swallow or cream to apply.

Of course, these things do help, but essentially, it is how you live your life that will determine whether your healthy head of hair is maintained or not.

Contrary to popular belief, it is not only genetics that play a role here. By incorporating habits into your lifestyle that are beneficial to hair growth, you will see results in several other areas of your physical health as well.

Balanced Diet

A balanced diet high in nutrients that are specifically related to hair growth, like the ones listed above, will help to stimulate growth.

Hair Loss Habits That Help Hair Growth


The right amount of sleep every day will not only do wonders for your overall well-being, but it will also reduce general stress, which has been connected to stunted growth and even hair loss.

Hair Growth Stunted Sleep Pattern

Regular Exercise

Regular exercise will help to improve overall circulation of blood, including along the scalp. This ensures hair follicles will adequately be nourished – a vital requirement for hair growth.

Hair Growth Regular Exercise

Pre-Shower Oils

Apply Aloe Vera or Rosemary essential oil to your hair at least 30 minutes before taking a shower. This method protects your hair from unnecessary damage, but also stimulates hair growth.

Hair Growth Essential Oils

“Dr Nel's systematic and pragmatic approach instilled confidence and belief in the process. Restoring my hair has given me a quiet sense of confidence and great satisfaction. It has been one of the best decisions of my life! “ - Mark

Diet & Foods to Stop Hair Loss & Promote Healthy Hair

Hair Growth Nutrient Diet

New and healthy hair growth requires nourishment and the right nutrients on a continuous basis.

It is a common perception that once you experience hair loss, there is nothing you can do about it.

Luckily, for many individuals, this is not the case. Sudden hair loss can be caused by a lack of the right nutrients that your hair shafts, hair follicles and surrounding skin needs for functioning effectively.

Altering your diet and adding a few beneficial foods that stimulate hair growth, can help achieve a lower rate of hair loss, even if hair loss is in your genes.

Just as your diet is important to help maintain your everyday health, it plays an essential role in promoting healthy hair and hair growth.

So if you are seeing more strands of hair in your brush than usual, or feel that you are losing more hair than you normally do when washing, then you might want to analyse your diet.

Amending your diet and adding a few essential foods to your daily intake will help to prevent hair loss, preventing the onset of Alopecia. Although hair loss is mainly determined by your genes and how your hair follicles react to certain hormones, a healthy diet that contains the right foods can help keep hair loss at bay.

A poor diet can lead to early hair loss, which can actually speed up the occurrence of genetic Alopecia.

A healthy diet will thus ensure that you get the right nutrients to promote healthy hair growth, and in turn, help prevent hair loss and thinning.

1) Diet

A full head of healthy-looking hair with good growth needs the right nourishment.

Your diet directly affects what your hair looks like, and how it behaves.

In order for your hair to receive the nutrients it requires, it is essential for your diet to contain specific vitamins and minerals.

It has been proven that a good diet can stimulate hair growth, and in some cases, even reduce the rate of hair loss in individuals.

Vitamin deficiencies, malnutrition, and all-round poor diets play a huge role in hair loss.

Adjusting your diet appropriately will tackle the problem at its root, so to speak, directly affecting the hair follicle and hair root, by providing it with the nutrients it requires for optimal growth and maintenance.

2) Herbs


An essential oil applied to areas of thinning and balding helps to stimulate hair growth.

It also slows the rate of graying, and nourishes follicles.

Hair Growth Foods Rosemary


This herb stimulates the hair follicles and improves circulation of blood, binding the roots of the hair to the scalp. This greatly reduces hair loss.

It can be applied as an essential oil directly to the scalp.

Hair Growth Foods Peppermint


Aloe is an age-old remedy for promotion of hair growth. It improves circulation of blood along the scalp, which provides hair follicles with the rich nourishment they require.
Applying Aloe Vera Gel to the scalp on a regular basis will stimulate hair growth.

Hair Growth Foods Aloe

3) Vitamins and Supplements

Fish Oil

Foods rich in Omega-3 and 6 fats actively work to nourish hair. Fatty acids promote hair thickening, and reduces inflammation – known as a contributing factor to hair loss.

Hair Growth Foods Fish Oil


Oral supplements directly benefit the health of the hair follicle. It slows down the regression of the follicle, and also works to speed up follicle recovery.

Hair Growth Foods Zinc

B-Complex Vitamin

Biotin and Vitamin B5 have long been used as treatments for hair loss. Biotin rebuilds damage to the hair shaft brought about by excessive shampooing, over-exposure to sun, ironing, and blow-drying.

Vitamin B5 acts as support to the adrenal glands, stimulating hair growth. Foods rich in Biotin and Vitamin B5 include eggs, nuts, and potatoes.

Hair Growth Foods Vitamin B Complex


An acute deficiency in iron has been linked to several types of hair loss. It is important to include iron-rich foods in your diet, like spinach, egg yolks, and black beans.

This can also be supplemented by a daily multivitamin that provides the correct dietary allowance for iron.

Hair Growth Foods Iron

Vitamin C and D

Vitamin C reduces the effects of oxidative stress on your hair, fighting graying and hair loss as well. Direct sunlight is one of the best ways to absorb Vitamin D, which plays a role in restoring hair cycle dysfunction.

Foods rich in Vitamin D include swordfish, halibut, and portabella mushrooms.

Hair Growth Foods Vitamin C D

“Dr André Nel is honest and very professional. In a world where so many are in it for the money, I was lucky to find Dr Nel. A surgeon with true skill and a man who keeps his promises“ - Tim


Hair Growth Foods Proteins

What exactly does a healthy diet for good hair growth look like?

A healthy diet means a sufficient intake of essential vitamins and minerals you get from eating a variety of foods.

This means that you should stay away from ‘fad diets’ that promise quick weight loss and usually require that you don’t eat certain foods. Fad diets will literally starve your hair follicles and deprive them of the essentials vitamins and minerals needed for healthy hair growth.

Here are a few essential nutrients, vitamins and minerals that you need to include in your diet for healthy hair growth, as well as natural sources:


Your protein intake is probably the most important factor when amending your diet to accommodate healthy hair growth.

Because your hair strands are mainly built out of protein (called Keratin), adding protein to your diet is highly beneficial.

Proteins are found in red meat, eggs, soya, fish and dairy products such as milk, cheese and yoghurt.

Red meat is also a good source of iron, which is essential in helping the body to produce hair cell protein.
Hair Growth Foods Vitamina

Vitamin A

Moderate sources of Vitamin A in your diet, will help to prevent hair loss. Vitamin A assist in the development of healthy cells, and help to prevent the fair follicles and hair to dry out, causing the hair to break or fall out. Vitamin A is found in cod liver oil (fish oil), spinach and carrots.
Hair Growth Foods Vitamine

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is beneficial in promoting blood circulation, which as a result will increase the oxygen supply to the hair follicles, needed for healthy hair growth.

Most leafy greens, soy beans, nuts and some cereals contain Vitamin E.

Other essential Vitamins include B complex (B6, B12 and Biotin), Vitamin C, Folic Acid and Zinc.
Hair Growth Foods Caffeine


Caffeine is known to increases cellular metabolic activity.

The theory is that caffeine could reduce the shrinking of the hair follicle, which will, effectively, help prevent male pattern baldness and hair loss.

Studies have already been conducted in this regard, showing that caffeine actually stimulates hair growth in cell-cultured follicles, in the following manner:

Promoting a longer hair shaft in both male and female cell-cultured follicles.

Increasing the amount of hair matrix keratinocytes (the cells that form the hair shaft and its surrounding protective structure in both male and female cell-cultured hair follicles).

Increasing the stimulation of a hair growth factor called IGF-1 in both male and female cell-cultured hair follicles.
hswclinic logo mobile phone

Request a


call back from our team