Did you know that 65% of men by age 60 and 40% of women by age 40 will have visibly noticeable hair loss? Many people think that hair loss is something that only affects you as you age. In fact, the majority of people actively searching treatments to reduce hair loss or restore their hair are between the ages of 30 and 50 years old. Not as old as many people may think.
The truth is hair loss can affect both men and women at any age, and can dramatically affect an individual’s appearance and confidence. There are many different factors that can play a role in hair loss.
In both men and women hormonal imbalance can be a major contributing factor for hair loss.
As a physician, one of the first things that come to mind when patients mention hair loss is thyroid function. This is especially true in patients who may be experiencing other thyroid suggesting symptoms like weight gain, low energy and dry skin. The tricky thing with thyroid is that in many patients a simple prescription may not be enough. There are many nutrients needed at a cellular level for you to properly utilize and convert thyroid hormone in the tissues. Some patients will find that although they are properly medicated and their thyroid levels are optimal, they still have not had all of their symptoms resolve. In some of these patients the nutritional aspect of thyroid conversion might be exactly what is missing.
In women, as estrogen declines so can the appearance of their hair. As they enter menopause they may find that hair becomes more brittle and loses fullness. On the other end of the spectrum, testosterone can also play a role in hair loss. This is true in both men and women. In some patients testosterone is converted into the active form of testosterone called DHT. In both men and women testosterone conversion can play a major role in hair loss, especially in patients who experience “male pattern baldness”.
When most people think about nutrition needed to maintain and promote healthy hair growth, they automatically think of Biotin. While biotin can be helpful to maintain healthy hair, it is not the only nutrient that is required. In fact, one of the most important things to think about when it comes to promoting healthy hair growth is your mineral status. In some patients with hair loss iron deficiency can be a contributing factor. In order to growth healthy hair vitamin A, vitamin E, biotin, zinc, magnesium and iron are all needed in proper levels.
What if nothing seems to work?
In some patients with hair loss it is not enough to simply get the body back in balance and expect new hair growth. Many times balancing hormones and optimal nutrition will prevent further hair loss, but for patients where thinning hair is negatively affecting their confidence and life that may not be enough. PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma) Hair Regeneration can be a good option to consider in these patients. This treatment allows growth factors to get directly to the hair follicle, stimulating hair growth. This option coupled with nutritional and hormonal evaluation can be a safe and effective treatment for men and women suffering from hair loss.