With all the extra stress caused by Covid 19 we have a number of clients who are currently experiencing higher than normal hair loss. We thought with so many people currently experiencing this new and disturbing phenomenon we would dig a little deeper into the causes and remedies.
Hair loss and thinning is an issue half of all women will face, so we thought we’d examine exactly why hair loss happens and the steps we can take to hold on to our strands. Specifically, we want to know whether supplements can really help, or whether they make promises they simply can’t keep.
Hair Loss Causes
Hair loss can be caused by a wide range of factors – from stress and short-term illnesses (such as the flu) to genetics, long-term illnesses (such as a thyroid disorder), hormonal imbalances (particularly post-pregnancy), auto-immune disorders, mechanical trauma, and of course general ageing too. Seasonal shedding is also real – in Europe for example, hair loss has been shown to peak around August and September when the fewest follicles are in the Anagen (growth) stage of the hair cycle.
Diet is another very common cause. This is because hair is, physiologically, a non-essential tissue making it the last part to receive the nutrients we ingest and the first to suffer when our diet is lacking.
Can a supplement really boost hair growth?
A supplement can most definitely boost hair growth if you are losing hair due to nutritional factors and supplements containing protein and biotin can also bolster the strength of newly growing strands. However, if your hair loss is completely unrelated to diet, supplements are not going to fix it.
What ingredients should you look for in a hair supplement?
Hair is made of protein and because many people don’t eat enough, a protein supplement is a safe and easy way to support hair growth. In terms of other ingredients, it depends on your individual requirements. You definitely don’t want to be popping loads of supplements if you don’t need them! If you’re concerned, a yearly blood test will give you an accurate indication of any nutrients you’re lacking, allowing you to base your supplement intake on those results.
Can you get the same effect from changing your diet?
Hair cells are the second fastest growing cells the body produces, it means strands need a consistent supply of energy in order to grow which means it can be difficult to give it all the nutrients it needs through diet alone. Supplements can therefore be incredibly handy as they provide an extra boost of readily available vitamins and minerals but it should always be a combination of the two.
While incorporating meat, eggs and oily fish will provide you with the key ingredients for healthy hair, those following vegetarian or vegan diets, or their lifestyle is too busy to incorporate these food groups into the diet daily, may benefit most from a supplement.
Other ways to boost hair growth
1. Try to manage your stress levels as stress can affect the hair growth cycle. Yoga, meditation and Pilates are all good options.
2. If your hair is breaking at the ends, it won’t be able to grow past a certain length so use a weekly pre-shampoo conditioning treatment to strengthen strands.
3. Scalp health is key to healthy hair growth. Try to shampoo regularly to keep your scalp clean and flake-free as a flaky scalp can cause hair loss. Once weekly use an exfoliating scalp mask to gently lift away dead skin cells as like the skin on your face, your scalp benefits from gentle weekly exfoliation.
4. Never skip breakfast – it’s the most important meal of the day for your hair as it’s when energy to form hair cells is at its lowest. A ‘hair-healthy’ breakfast will include a portion of protein and a complex carbohydrate.
5. Snack between meals. Energy to form hair cells drops four hours after eating. To keep energy levels sustained, snack on a nutrient-dense food to keep your follicles happy between meals.