For many women, “hair” is more than a four-letter word, but a rather serious beauty issue that requires strict attention and care. Men, on the other hand, are infamous for all but ignoring their hair until it turns gray or some goes missing. Androgenic Alopecia is looked upon as the cause of around 95% of hair loss. Androgenic refers to androgens, which are “masculine hormones” present in both men and women – dominant in males but vital to both – and alopecia means simply “baldness.” In men, we call it male pattern baldness – hair loss on the crown of the head. The female version of thinning hair is sometimes referred to as female pattern baldness. In order to take a holistic stance on hair, we’ll need to expand our vision to include overall health. Hair loss – or unhealthy hair in general – can be brought about due to the following factors:
- Hormonal imbalances
- Poor diet
- Lack of exercise
- Vitamin and mineral deficiencies
- Drugs and medications
- Other factors, like stress or lack of sleep
We can’t change who our parents were, and we can’t turn back the clock, but everything else we can do something about. Some suggestions for promoting healthy hair:
- Avoid meat and poultry that has been injected/fed hormones. If you stick to items marked “organic” you should be in the clear.
- The same foods that make people break out (acne) can affect the scalp. If it’s fried or greasy and you know isn’t good for you skin, skip it.
- Exercise regularly. Vital for your overall health.
- Certain supplements (and foods) known to promote healthy hair growth:Vitamin C (citrus fruits, oranges, lemons, green peppers)
- B Vitamins (bananas, avocadoes, tuna)
- Iron (apricots, raisins)
- Vitamin E (sweet potatoes, dark leafy greens, cantaloupe)
- Vitamin A (eggs, kale, squash, carrots)
- Omega-3(fish and fish oil)
- Drink lots of water
- Get enough sleep
- Reduce stress
Of course, using quality shampoos and conditioners is a must for healthy looking hair, and if you blow dry, use very low heat. If you really want to go all out, specialized treatments exist to rejuvenate hair, including topical niacin and menthol formulas. Holistic means “characterized by the treatment of the whole person, taking into account mental and social factors, rather than just the physical symptoms of a disease or problem.” Time and time again – from healthy hair to increasing energy, from allergies to depression – the holistic answer requires some lifestyle changes. Eating whole, organic or natural foods, regular exercise, a positive outlook, paying attention to your spiritual side – all these things play a part in what we term the holistic approach. We’ve all heard the complaint, “you’re making my hair gray,” and the role stress can play in one’s appearance. Rather than give in to the impulse to retreat, we instead strengthen our bodies and minds so we can deal with our lives effectively. This means a healthier and happier YOU – from head to toe!