Dr. Kassam Getting to the Bottom of Hair Loss in Women

 

Getting to the Bottom of Hair Loss in Women

 

 

 

Hair plays a big role in who we are and how we see ourselves when we look in the mirror. Hair is a reflection of your health history over the last 6-18 months. Both men and women can experience hair loss with the causes of it being multifactorial. It is important to note that a certain amount of hair loss occurs naturally with ageing. An average woman loses about 50-100 strands of hair per day. More hair loss can be observed on days hair is washed and/or combed. So you may notice less hair loss on days these activities are not performed. Pay attention to the daily loss of hair and not on the days you just wash your hair.  On the other hand, losing clumps of hair, noticing bald spots or patchiness can be more of a serious issue that needs to be addressed.  In order to get to the root cause of hair loss, it is important to review your general health status and lab work so that treatment can take an individualized approach.

Top reasons for hair loss in women

  • NUTRITIONAL DEFICIENCES
    • Vitamin D
    • Zinc
    • Iron
    • Essential Fatty Acids
    • Protein
  • LOW FUNCTIONING THYROID
    • Low selenium can cause hair thinning
  • HORMONE BALANCE
    • DHEA, testosterone, estrogen, progesterone
    • Pregnancy, PCOS, insulin resistance
  • STRESS
    • Can deplete vital vitamins and minerals
  • SHAMPOO USE
    • A sensitivity to sulphates and/or other chemical additives can contribute to hair loss
  • DRUG-INDUCED (ex. Antibiotics, Antidepressants, NSAID’s, Oral contraceptives)

 

What can you do to get to the root cause?

  • CHECK THYROID LEVELS
    • There is a big difference between “normal” and optimal levels
    • Make sure you have a complete thyroid panel run and not just TSH!
  • CHECK FERRITIN LEVELS
    • Make sure your ferritin levels are at least a 40 ug/L
  • CHECK VITAMIN D LEVELS
  • ENSURE YOU ARE EATING ADEQUATE PROTEIN
    • Amino acids are the building blocks of protein and it is required for the production of keratin (the protein that makes up your hair)
    • Aim for 0.8 g/kg of body weight
  • TEST YOUR HORMONES
    • If you have signs of irregular hormones, painful/heavy periods, PMS take a look at Estrogen, Progesterone, Testosterone and Cortisol levels

 

Natural ways to improve hair vitality

  • MASSAGE SCALP WITH ESSENTIAL OILS TO INCREASE CIRCULATION TO BRING FRESH NUTRIENTS AND OXYGEN TO THE AREA
  • PROVIDES HAIR WITH THE BUILDING BLOCKS IT NEEDS
    • Biotin – B vitamins are crucial for the growth of hair, skin and nails
    • EFA’s – Important for hair growth and maintenance
    • Iron – Needed for oxygenation of blood
    • Vitamin D3 - Deficiency can lead to hair loss
    • Zinc – Plays an important role in thyroid hormone production

 

 

Treatment of hair loss first and foremost depends on the cause, whether it be improving nutrient intake and absorption or enhancing production and function of various hormones. Be sure to be thorough in the work-up in getting at the root cause of hair loss before just supplementing! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

**Disclaimer

The advice in this article is for informational purposes only. It does not replace the care of a Naturopathic physician.