If you have found yourself asking, “Why won’t my hair grow?” then this article is for you. Poor hair growth is a common problem and has many causes, from poor diet to unbalanced hormones. The good news is that some causes of hair loss are reversible.
Here’s a rundown on some of the most common causes of reversible hair loss and what you can do to improve growth.
1. Vitamin deficiencies or excesses: What you eat affects the growth and strength of your hair. Hair growth is a complex metabolic processes requiring many vitamins, nutrients, and oxygen. Having the right balance of nutrients is essential. Having too little can be just as bad as having too much.
Vitamin C is important for collagen production and iron absorption. Iron is essential for the production of red blood cells. Hence, insufficient vitamin C can lead to dry, damaged hair.
Biotin is also a vitamin for hair growth because it supports the growth of thicker, stronger hair. Hair loss has also been implicated with depleted antioxidant levels. Vitamins that have antioxidant activity neutralize free radicals such as Vitamin E can help support hair growth.
Other nutrients that help prevent hair loss include flaxseed oil, rich in omega-3 fatty acids, and zinc, which lower inflammation and maintain scalp health.
Be careful though, as taking too many vitamins such as vitamin A can cause hair loss. If you are taking a hair supplement that has vitamin A, make sure that it was formulated by a knowledgeable professional.
2. Stress: The stress hormone cortisol signals to cells to stop growing and to conserve energy. Cortisol is released by your adrenal glands as a part of the “fight or flight” response. This means that when you’re stressed, the body gets ready to use energy instead of investing energy into hair growth.
Try relaxation or meditation techniques that can help you cope with stress. Lack of sleep can also contribute to stress so try to get a good night’s sleep by going to bed at a regular time.
3. Poor circulation: Good circulation is important so that hair follicles receive vital nutrients. Poor scalp circulation is a major cause of hair loss and a receding hairline. Tight hairdos can actually cut off circulation to hair follicles and cause hair loss. This condition is called traction alopecia.
The role of circulation in hair growth was actually discovered on accident by researchers working on the blood pressure medication minoxidil. Researchers noticed the side effect of growing more hair in people being treated with minoxidil. It works by widening blood vessels to allow more oxygen, blood, and nutrients to the hair follicles. DrFormulas™ HairOmega® Serum Foaming Topical Minoxidil supports hair growth with its proprietary DHT-blocking formula with minoxidil.
4. DHT: The answer to the question “why is my hairline receding?” is dihydrotestosterone, or DHT for short. DHT is a culprit in both male and female pattern baldness and stunts hair growth in a specific pattern. In Men it typically causes hair loss at the front of the scalp and the very top or vertex. In women it can be a cause of female pattern hair loss which affects the part of the hair (where the hair splits in two on either side of the head). While you can’t do much about your genetic makeup and predisposition to hair loss, you can help excessive DHT levels with DHT blockers.
The natural herbs beta-sitosterol, saw palmetto, and pumpkin seed are effective herbal DHT blockers and are included in HairOmega® 3-in-1 and HairOmega® DHT Blocker hair vitamins. By blocking DHT you can support fuller, thicker, and stronger hair growth. If your father or mother experienced male or female pattern baldness, you may be more prone to hair loss caused by DHT.
5. Infections: Several fungal infections can cause hair loss. One of them is tinea capitis which, if it occurs on the scalp, can result in patches of hair loss. Typically it begins with a small sore, which gets bigger in size and leaves scaly patches. The fungus attacks the hair shafts, causing them to break easily. Shampoos with ketoconazole can help hair loss because they are used to treat fungal infections. It is also used to control dandruff and relieve flaking and itching skin.
Another infection that affects hair is folliculitis and is usually caused by bacteria. This condition causes inflammation around the openings of hair follicles. As the infection progresses, hair in the affected area frequently falls out. If the condition is very severe, the inflammation can permanently destroy hair follicles. Bacterial infections will require treatment with antibiotics.
See your doctor if you believe you have an infection of the scalp.
6. Poor diet: Hair loss can also be due to insufficient protein intake. Hair is made up of proteins. Crash dieting, eating too much processed food, and illness can cause protein deficiency. The best way to keep your diet balanced is to obtain your protein from a variety of sources such as skinless chicken breasts, salmon, eggs, low-fat cottage cheese, leafy greens, legumes, soy, tuna, yogurt, and turkey breasts. An ideal protein intake is 0.8-1.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight as part of a balanced diet.
In addition, consuming a few nuts daily, such as walnuts or Brazil nuts, will provide you with adequate amounts of zinc and selenium, a mineral that helps prevent hair loss. Rid your diet of any junk and sugary foods. They are harmful to your overall health, and that’s reflected in the condition of your hair.
7. Hair pulling (Trichotillomania): This impulse control disorder causes sufferers to compulsively twist and pull out their hair. It is a chronic condition, and for some people it can come and go for weeks, months, or even years at a time. For some, the hair pulling is a nervous, habitual tic. For others, it is an obsession. Diagnosis requires a visit to a doctor, and treatment for this disorder involves a combination of behavioral therapy and medications.
8. Traction alopecia: Unlike many other types of hair loss, this kind is completely under your control. It is caused by putting the hair under tension or strain. It’s usually caused by very tight ponytails, dreadlocks, tight braids, hairpieces or headbands, hairclips, or barrettes. Ballerinas who wear their hair in a bun may develop traction alopecia, and the same holds true for guys with man buns. The hair doesn’t just break off. The constant strain cuts off circulation to the hair follicle and the hair follicle stops producing hair.
Early signs of traction alopecia include hair loss in patches that are under tension from your hairdo. If you frequently tie your hair back, clips that often become undone or ties that work loose may indicate thinner hair. To prevent this type of hair loss, avoid putting undue strain on your hair.
9. Thyroid problems: Your thyroid gland lies beneath your Adam’s apple and in front of your windpipe. The hormones produced in the thyroid gland affect most of the body’s metabolic process, and when the thyroid gland is out of whack, all sorts of issues may ensue.
If your thyroid is not functioning properly, it can also lead to hair loss. Hypothyroidism is an abnormally low production of thyroid hormones, while hyperthyroidism is an over-production of thyroid hormone. Signs of hypothyroidism include low energy, sensitivity to cold, poor hair growth, thickened tissue on the shins of the legs, and weight gain. Hyperthyroidism is the opposite: high energy, sensitivity to heat, protruding eyes, and weight loss.
If left untreated, both of these conditions can cause thin hair and poor hair growth. See a doctor if you have any questions. Your doctor would be able to run tests for thyroid disease and treat the root cause of your hair loss. Fortunately, both forms of thyroid disease are treatable with daily medication.
10. Immune problems: Alopecia areata, also known as spot baldness, occurs when the immune system attacks hair follicles, causing hair loss2. The exact cause is not known. Unfortunately, there is no cure for this type of alopecia. This disease requires a visit to the doctor to diagnose and treat. Treatment involves corticosteroids or other immunosuppressants that stop the immune system from attacking your own body. They can be administered orally, topically, or by injection.
Minoxidil is another option for alopecia areata treatment, but is generally used in conjunction with other therapies. Other medications for this condition include anthralin, a tar-like substance applied to the skin for up to an hour at a time. The medication affects skin immune function. Diphencyprone (DPCP) is another medication applied directly on the bald patches and stimulates an immune response which actually inhibits the autoimmune reaction that causes hair loss.
11. Heat and Chemicals: Applying heat and chemicals to your scalp can actually cause hair loss. Examples include using harsh dyes or dyeing your hair too often. Keep chemicals away from your hair as much as possible, and that includes perms and straighteners. Dying your hair actually involves the use of peroxides (bleach) which oxidize not only your hair but the scalp as well which causes free-radical damage.
The use of heat on your hair is another source of damage, and the damage goes beyond heat styling. Avoid blow drying your hair in one spot for extended periods of time. Keep the heat setting on medium or low and take your time.
Many causes of hair loss can be addressed through diet and habit changes. HairOmega® products are formulated with these causes in mind. HairOmega® 3-in-1, DHT, Serum, and Shampoo all are infused with natural DHT blockers to help stop pattern hair loss. HairOmega® 3-in-1 and DHT are doctor formulated products that contain just the right amount of vitamins and nutrients to support hair growth and circulation to hair follicles. HairOmega® Gummies are great tasting gummy vitamins for hair growth that address the most common vitamin deficiencies that cause thin hair and poor hair growth. No matter what kind of hair loss you have HairOmega® has you covered.