Hair Loss: What You Need to Know
Did you know?
- That the scientific name for hair loss is alopecia.
- More than 60% of men and 50% of women will suffer from a hair loss condition at some point throughout their life.
- The earlier the onset of hair loss, the more severe the outcome is expected to be.
- Hair loss may be caused by a number of factors, including aging, change in hormones, illness and family history of baldness. It is a myth that hair loss is caused by dandruff or wearing hats.
- The loss of between 50 to 100 strands of hair a day is considered normal.
What are the different forms of alopecia?
Depending on the cause, alopecia is classified into various types. Some of the common types of alopecia include:
- Female-pattern baldness: this includes a general thinning of the hair which rarely results in total hair loss.
- Male-pattern baldness: a hereditary condition which may start at any age and often begins at the front, sides and/or crown of the head.
The genetics behind the most common cause of hair loss
Male and female pattern baldness is related to the hormone called androgen which is required for normal male sexual development, yet also plays a role in regulating hair growth and sex drive in both men and women. Hair growth begins at the follicles, which push up the interlocked cells forming the strand, and lasts approximately two to six years before going into a resting phase. Following this resting phase, the hair falls out and the cycle commences again. A higher level of androgens leads to shorter hair cycles with the diameter of the hair strand gradually decreasing, leading to thinner and shorter strands which are eventually not replaced by new ones.
What can complimentary medicines offer?
Kidney and liver functioning are thought to influence growth and development of hair according to traditional Chinese medicine (CTM). The liver is associated with nourishment of the hair follicle and the hair itself (which is seen as an extension of the blood) and the kidney is linked with the growth of all body cells, including hair. CTM may assist in restoring healthy hair through blood tonics which nourish the blood and activate the circulation to reinvigorate the follicle. The immune regulating action of blood tonics may also assist in managing alopecia areata which results from immunological causes.
Polygonum multiflorum is a primary herb for nourishing blood, invigorating hair growth and inhibiting premature graying by tonifying both the liver and kidney. Research has shown a correlation between this herb and the inhibition of DHT (the potent form of testosterone) and may therefore be a useful treatment for androgenic alopecia. A combination of four highly respected Chinese herbs including White Peony, Dong Quai, Chinese Foxglove and Sichuan Lovage assist with blood circulation and improvement in blood quality. Research has shown that these herbs have significant blood and immune regulating effects and antioxidant effects.
Good nutrition is also vital for good hair growth. It ensures the nutrients required are available to the body in adequate amounts. However, as many individuals do not consume enough of these essential nutrients, a high quality multivitamin and mineral complex is also essential to support hair growth and development. Nutrient deficiencies in iron, zinc and essential fatty acids result in problems associated with hair growth, whilst other nutrients such as silica, vitamin D, biotin, vitamin B5 and protein result in issues with hair condition. Many herbal extracts are naturally high in minerals which further benefits hair growth and health. Fusion Health Hair Tonic contains special Chinese herbs which nourish and invigorate the blood, whilst replenishing the kidney and liver to help reactivate the hair follicles and promote healthy hair growth.