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.
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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:
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.
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.
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.
A balanced diet high in nutrients that are specifically related to hair growth, like the ones listed above, will help to stimulate 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.
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.
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.
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Diet & Foods to Stop Hair Loss & Promote Healthy Hair
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.
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 Rosemary
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. Peppermint
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. Aloe
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.
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. Zinc
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. 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. Iron
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. 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.
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