RESEARCHES
RESEARCHES

Lifestyle changes to reduce hair loss & thinning

02 February, 2021

We ingest tiny capsules of vitamins and supplements in hopes of restoring the volume and strength our hair. But if you look closely at what these pills are made of, you will notice that they contain the very nutrients we can obtain in our diets and are produced in our bodies. However, many are avoidant of making lifestyle changes to reduce hair loss or thinning. 

It is easy to say that the journey towards hair growth is nothing more than nourishing the scalp and hair shafts, ensuring ample hydration, nourishment, and cleanliness to encourage healthy hair growth. 

But in the devastating face of hair fall, one instead looks to external methods to inhibit the amount of hair fall, when - as with all sickness and ailments - the most helpful solutions begin with ourselves.

Will changing my diet help to reduce hair loss?

Studies encourage addressing nutritional deficiencies in patients to prevent and stop hair loss instead of resorting to supplements to support hair growth. What does this tell us?

hair loss caused by poor diet

The hair makeup

An oversimplification of the hair makeup is that it is made up of proteins called keratin, when, the hair is simply an amalgamation of old or dead stem cells. These cells are pushed up from the hair follicle and exposed as the hair shaft above the skin.

The cells here then go through keratinization, where they are combined with proteins to produce what we call hair. 

structure of hair diagram

How are these cells nourished? Just like our bodies, cells need to receive nutrients, proteins, and molecules to regulate the cell multiplication process, so called the “reproductive” process, allowing them to birth newer and healthier cells.

The more nutrient-rich foods we consume, the healthier and stronger our body and in turn, cells become. 

Similar to how bodybuilders increase their protein and carbohydrate intake to strengthen their muscles and grow their pecs, diet makes up a big part of growth and development in the body, including our hair. 

What should you eat more of?

Nutrients like protein, vitamins, and minerals are essential in our everyday lives. They provide energy, regulate our body metabolism, and maintain our body’s health in every way possible, and they contribute to the health of our hair and scalp. 

food to help hair regrowth

Keeping a protein- and vitamin-rich diet is vital in growing out longer and healthier hair. Proteins like eggs, fish, and chicken are noted to contribute to hair regrowth, as well as vitamins A through D. Some types of food that are rich in these vitamins include: 

  • Vitamin A: Known to help boost hair growth. Found in spinach, carrots, and lettuce.
  • Vitamin B: Specifically biotin, increase rate of red blood cell production to transport nutrients to hair follicles. Found in a wide range of foods such as whole grains, meat, and seafood.  
  • Vitamin C: Antioxidants that are needed to produce collagen. Found in broccoli, tomatoes, and cauliflowers. 
  • Vitamin D: Deficiency in this vitamin has been linked to non-scarring alopecia. Found in red meat, dairy products, and fish.

Some studies have also noted that mineral deficiencies such as iron or zinc may contribute to the amount of hair fall in participants, especially in women. Important minerals are critical in helping to maintain many bodily functions; hence it is necessary to stock up on minerals in our diets. 

How about hair-washing frequency?

Excessively washing the hair can lead to brittle, weakened hair shafts. Some studies have shown that overgrooming or using excessive amounts of shampoo wear out the fibers in the hair. 

Hair care products contain chemicals that can damage our hair; hence it is important to look for hair products for our type of hair. Specific ingredients used in some products can dry out hair strands, and this leads to fragile ends.

deformed hair shafts from hair dryers and curling irons(source)

Other than shampoo formulas and frequency of hair-washing, it is important to identify possible areas of improvements in your hair care routine. For example, if you find yourself with frizzy hair very often and still resort to using hot curling irons or hair straighteners every morning, you might want to rethink heat styling tools. These burn the hair fibers, creating unwanted split ends and resulting in frizzy, unkempt hair. 

Change up your daily hair care routine with some good hair care practices

Does smoking have an effect on hair loss?

Yes, it does. Smoking cigarettes already has negative long-term effects on our immune and respiratory system, not to mention the negative influence on our other bodily functions, including healthy hair growth. With a poor immune system, the rate of hair loss can increase significantly. 

Researchers studying the effects of smoking have associated hair loss with the toxins in cigarettes and cigarette smoke, including the impact on the hair follicles, dermal papilla, and regeneration of healthy hair cells. 

Understanding the cause behind hair loss

lifestyle changes to help hair loss

Hair loss is an extremely complex, multifactorial but natural occurrence that happens to anyone regardless of age, and there can be several underlying causes that lead to significant hair fall or thinning. Some common causes include hereditary factors, medical conditions, and poor nutrition. 

When some natural remedies or hair treatments fail to address hair loss, make an appointment with your doctor or hair specialist for practical and customized hair loss solutions that are tailored to your needs. 

Schedule a consultation with our trichologists for an assessment of your scalp and the suitable scalp treatment plan for you today.