Reversing Androgenetic Alopecia
Many people assume thinning hair is a problem exclusive to men. The reality is that either gender can experience hair loss or alopecia. While traction alopecia is a condition that occurs because of poor hair styling practices, androgenetic alopecia refers to when an individual begins to experience thinning. In men, the condition is often called male-pattern baldness, and hair can start to thin and fall out in a defined progression. Can supplements help prevent hair loss?
Why is my hair falling out?
For most individuals, hair loss is caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Although considered a multifactorial condition, androgenetic alopecia is often found in family clusters. An elevated presence of androgens or hormones is often present in people with the condition. While research is still in the early stages, a link between hair loss and the presence of health concerns like polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and coronary heart disease (CHD) exists. Unfortunately, female-pattern baldness cannot be prevented, but the following supplements can aid in slowing the condition’s progression.
1. Iron supplements
For some people, hair loss can often be linked to an iron deficiency. Also known as anemia, women within menstruating years are prone to developing low iron because of routine blood loss. Vegetarians and vegans can also be at risk of anemia. A common symptom associated with low iron is hair loss. However, taking iron supplements when no deficiency exists will not aid in slowing hair thinning.
Another critical mineral linked with a variety of essential bodily functions is zinc. Specifically, the component supports immune function, wound healing, and deoxyribonucleic acid. (DNA) synthesis. In individuals with a zinc deficiency, hair loss is a commonly reported symptom. However, research doesn’t yet support the theory that taking zinc supplements specifically can address thinning hair. Instead, people may be advised to consume foods rich in the mineral, such as meats, shellfish, legumes, nuts, and whole grains.
3. Vitamin D
Often referred to as the sunshine vitamin, vitamin D is another all-purpose nutrient that supports a wide range of functions throughout the body. Most notably, the vitamin is linked with immune health and aiding the body in processing calcium. Like zinc, individuals with a vitamin D deficiency may also be susceptible to hair loss. Again, no evidence suggests that supplements will reverse or slow androgenic alopecia. Instead, opt for fatty fish like tuna, salmon, or sardines. Eat fortified cereals, or juices and dairy fortified with the vitamin, and consider adding egg yolks to a regular diet.
Take control of hair loss
While not exactly a supplement, strong evidence does support using prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) versions of proven hair growth medication to regrow hair. This product consistently yields results by stimulating the scalp to boost hair growth. Any woman experiencing androgenic alopecia who wants to tackle the issue should consider speaking with a dermatologist for professional guidance.