Healthy Hair Growth after Female Pattern Hair Loss
It’s often said that "Beauty is on the inside," and that looks don’t matter. However, for women suffering from hair loss, the reality can be painfully different. Despite our winning personalities, for most of us appearance does matter, and hair loss can take a toll – emotionally and psychologically.
That said, we are not in this alone! According to the American Academy of Dermatology, 40 percent of women will experience hair loss by the time they reach the age of 40.
Top Issues for those Suffering from Androgenic Alopecia
Below we address some common concerns regarding androgenic alopecia (also known as female pattern hair loss or hereditary hair loss), along with natural alternatives for supporting healthy hair growth. If your question is not addressed, feel free to contact one of our experts by clicking to the left.
What causes androgenic alopecia (also known as female pattern hair loss, genetic hair loss, hereditary hair loss)?
Androgenic alopecia is the most common type of hair loss in women.
It begins when an enzyme (called type II 5-alpha-reductase) in our hair follicle converts testosterone to the hormone, dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT then binds to receptors in the hair follicle. This occurs naturally in every woman, but the degree of production of DHT, as well as the sensitivity of the follicle to its effects, are genetically influenced.
Genes that code for production of 5-alpha reductase can become more active upon changes in the hormonal environment during perimenopause and menopause, when progesterone levels decline. Progesterone provides protection against DHT-related hair loss because it is a natural inhibitor of these genes. When progesterone levels decline, there is reduced hormonal opposition to production of the enzyme, leading to increased DHT conversion from testosterone.
DHT causes the hair follicles to dramatically shrink, reducing the flow of blood and nutrients to the cells that are building the hair shaft. This results in production of progressively finer and thinner hair until the hair is simply too fine to survive.
The stages of the hair cycle also become affected in a DHT-laden hair follicle: the active growth (anagen) stage begins to shorten while the resting (telogen) stage extends. With a progressively shorter growth stage and longer resting stage to each hair cycle, fewer new hairs are available to replace those that are lost.
Receptors in the follicles may also become more sensitive to DHT and/or increase in number, increasing the overall effects of DHT.
The end result is increased hair loss, less new hair growth to replace that lost, and the hair that is produced becomes narrower (thinner) in diameter.
Androgenic alopecia (female pattern hair loss) is indeed natural, in that it is your body’s response to DHT in the hair follicle. Your doctor most likely concluded this after ruling out other causes of hair loss, which is good news.
But it’s hard not to worry about hair loss. No one would choose to lose their hair – whether from natural causes, or otherwise. Thankfully, several natural options are available for combatting hair loss, repairing hair follicles, and stimulating healthy hair growth.
Medications including minoxidil (Rogaine), the androgen receptor–blocking drug spironolactone (Aldactone), and 5-alpha reductase inhibitors such as finasteride (Propecia) may be recommended by your doctor. While they can be effective, the long-term effects of these pharmaceutical treatments are unknown. In addition, because they artificially stimulate hair growth or reduction of hair loss, hair is likely to fall out when these treatments are interrupted or discontinued.
Other courses of treatment may include hair replacement surgery, hair additions (weaves and extensions), or laser light therapy treatment. All of these options can have undesirable side effects as well as being extremely time-consuming, costly, and inconvenient.
More and more women are turning to natural therapies as a solution to hair loss. You may wish to supplement conventional treatment(s) such as those suggested by your doctor, or consider an all-natural approach with a balanced diet and hair-healthy nutrients. Natural ingredients such as the herbs, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients found in Hair Essentials™, help restore balance to the body and encourage natural healing. Unlike chemical medications that can accumulate in the system, become toxic, override the body's innate intelligence, and potentially cause hormonal or immune system imbalances, natural ingredients provide the body with what it needs to heal itself. With proper nourishment, the body can naturally reduce production of DHT, inhibit binding of DHT to the hair follicles, repair damaged and inflamed follicles, reinvigorate dormant follicles, and grow healthy hair.
Androgenic alopecia in women does not usually follow the same thinning pattern as seen in men. Clinicians typically use the Ludwig Classification to describe female pattern hair loss: Type I is minimal thinning that can be camouflaged with hair-styling techniques; Type II is characterized by decreased volume and noticeable widening of the mid-line part; and Type III describes diffuse thinning, with a see-through appearance on the top of the scalp.
My maternal grandfather and paternal grandmother suffered from hair loss. Does this mean I have an increased chance of androgenic alopecia?
Research indicates that the susceptibility to premature hair loss is largely the result of inherited genes – but which genes, and how many, is still being studied. Despite the staggering number of people that androgenic alopecia impacts, there is a surprisingly small number of scientific studies on this topic.
Absolutely! With proper nourishment, your body can naturally reverse hair loss, prevent future loss, and stimulate healthy hair growth. Along with a balanced diet, supplementing with a natural dietary supplement like Hair Essentials™ provides an abundant supply of hair-healthy nutrients.
While it may not be possible to completely prevent androgenic alopecia if you are genetically predisposed to developing it, you can significantly reduce the likelihood and severity of female pattern hair loss by reducing stress, eating a balanced diet, maintaining a healthy scalp environment, and taking a hair- healthy, all-natural dietary supplement like Hair Essentials™. Hair Essentials™ can reduce the production of DHT, inhibit the binding of DHT to hair follicles, repair and revitalize hair follicles, decrease scalp inflammation and nourish healthy hair growth.
Natural Remedies for Androgenic Alopecia
If you have been diagnosed with androgenic alopecia or hereditary hair loss, natural remedies are available that can reverse hair loss, prevent future hair loss, and encourage healthy hair regrowth.
Consume Green Tea.
Green Tea (Camellia sinensis) has been well-documented for its many health benefits. It contains powerful antioxidants called polyphenols which scavenge free-radicals that can cause oxidative stress and damage to the hair follicles. Recently there has been some suggestion that Green Tea has an anti-androgenic effect in the body. Studies have shown that a higher intake of Green Tea leads to higher levels of sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG), a protein which prevents testosterone from converting to DHT (the underlying cause of androgenic alopecia). Research also suggests that Green Tea can help reduce inflammation, providing a healthier environment for hair growth. By drinking Green Tea or using a Green Tea extract, or even rinsing your hair with Green Tea, you can benefit from its healing properties.
Use healthy oils internally as well as on your scalp.
We've all heard the health benefits associated with consuming omega-3 essential fatty acids (EFAs) including fish oils, algae-derived fatty acids, and hemp or other seed oils. Cold-pressed oils from plants such as jojoba, argan, evening primrose, borage seed, and coconut are also rich in fatty acids including omega-3, omega-6 (especailly gamma-linolenic acid, GLA), and omega-9 fatty acids, along with many other phytonutrients. Massaged onto the scalp, they reduce inflammation within the follicles, encourage circulation to the scalp, regulate sebum (oil) production to create a healthier environment for hair to grow in, moisturize and protect the scalp and hair, and repair and rejuvenate damaged hair follicles. In addition, essential oils (not to be confused with pressed oils) including rosemary, lavender, chamomile, helichrysum and many others, provide therapeutic benefit to the scalp and follicles. Add a few drops of essential oil(s) to your jojoba, coconut or other oil and massage your scalp a few times a week, or use in a weekly hot oil treatment. You can also add a few drops of essential oils to your shampoo and conditioner.
Eat green apples.
Clinical trials have revealed that procyanidin B-2, an ingredient found in apple skins promotes growth at the hairline as effectively as extra strength minoxidil does at the vertex.The skin of the immature (baby) green apples is the richest known source of this procyanidin.
Exercise increases blood circulation to all areas of the body, the scalp included. Studies have shown that increased blood circulation to the scalp can assist in stimulation of the follicles and encourage them to begin producing hair again.
Supplement your diet with Hair Essentials™.
Hair Essentials™ provides more than 20 hair-healthy herbs, vitamins, minerals, amino acids and other nutrients that are delivered to the scalp where they quickly work to:
- Reduce the production of DHT
- Inhibit the binding of DHT to hair follicles
- Stimulate inactive hair follicles
- Reduce scalp inflammation which can lead to hair loss
- Encourage hormones responsible for hair growth to stay in balance
- Regulate the time hair remains in the dormant stage
- Provide vital nutrients for the structural development of healthy hair
- Protect hair follicle cells against oxidative stress and damage
- Seed follicles with the nutrients they need for new hair growth
Hair Essentials™ customers often notice decreased shedding or hair loss within the first few weeks. Most customers report dramatic improvement and faster hair growth by three months. Many customers report that their hair grows 75% to 100% faster, in as little as 3 months!