Hair today, gone tomorrow
Men face a plethora of health issues, one of which is hair loss. Yet unlike women, men are often their own worst enemies when it comes to solving their health problems, as avoidance seems to be the action of the day.
To make matters worse, men tend to delegate the task of buying personal care items and toiletries to their nearest and dearest, which can often mean they don’t get the correct products for their condition or needs.
Understanding or at least being familiar with the general causes of male hair loss is a good starting point. There are a few common causes of hair loss including intense stress, poor diet and disease or trauma as a result of an accident.
It’s easy to simply say 'stress less for a good head of hair' but how does stress affect hair growth? Well, there are 3 parts to the hair growth cycle: the Anagen (growth) phase, the Catagen (transitional) phase and the Telegen (resting) phase.
For most people hair sees a growth spurt during the Anagen phase, however, stress can result in the production of chemicals, which causes the hair to transition to the Telegen phase. This means that the hair falls out but no new hair takes it place as the Anagen phase has been missed.
The result is thinner hair and if a prolonged period of extreme stress is endured, the consequence can be eventual hair loss and balding.
If hair loss isn’t a big enough problem in itself, the other issue is that the experience of losing hair can cause additional stress resulting in a vicious cycle. Knowing the causes of hair loss teamed with trusted advice can help reduce stress, which can facilitate the hair follicles to re-enter the Anagen phase and put you back on the path to a healthy head of hair.
We live in a time-poor, crash-diet-crazy society, so it’s not surprising that links have been found between poor diet and hair loss. Too much of any one food is not good for the body. High-calorie eating habits, diets that rely too heavily on processed foods and a general lack of nutrients can affect hair health and growth.
The body needs protein, iron, zinc, magnesium and essential fatty acids to ensure the hair grows at its optimum rate and is healthy. A healthy eating plan that is rich in protein, vitamins A, C and E, iron, zinc and B vitamins can help ensure a health body, resulting in optimal hair health.
Illness or trauma
Hair loss caused by disease or an accident can be worrying but the good news is that it’s temporary.
This type of hair loss is usually identified through clumps of hair coming out in the shower, appearing on the pillow or in a hair brush and the hair may feel thinner.
If the loss of hair is caused by a side effect of a drug the hair growth will generally return to its original pattern once the medication is stopped or the illness is treated.
The Daddy of hair loss culprits
By far the most common cause of male hair loss is androgenic alopecia. Frequently termed 'male-pattern hair loss' and referred to as 'common' baldness, androgenic alopecia is caused by increased sensitivity to the male sex hormone and is a result of good old genetics.
The male hormones (androgens) cause the hair follicles to produce fine textured hair and can stall the growth rate, causing thinning hair.
Prescription medication may be able to help with genetic-related hair loss, while supplements and shampoo that is free from sodium lauryl sulphate may help promote healthy hair follicle function, as will a healthy and varied diet.
by Leanne Philpott