Many people, as they start to notice hair loss, wonder what factors could be causing it besides just genetics. One area of concern for many people is their diet. Depending on the person, it is possible a bad diet could be wreaking as much havoc on a person’s hair as any genetic factor. Let’s take a look at a few things that can affect the hair:
Protein: The hair itself is made up of protein. Therefore protein is a very important part of the diet in terms of supporting hair health and hair growth. A diet deficient in protein can result in thinning hair, brittle hair that breaks very easily, and even excessive shedding of the hair. However, some moderation is important too. It is possible to damage hair by eating too much protein as well. Excessive protein intake can lead to biotin deficiency which then can lead to thin, brittle hair that sheds excessively.
Minerals: Two common minerals among many that affect hair loss are iron and zinc. Iron deficiency is one of the most common causes of thinning hair and hair loss, especially in women. For women with diffuse thinning of the hair, testing iron levels in the blood is one of the first recommended screenings. Zinc is not produced by the body, so must be consumed in the diet. Studies have shown that too little zinc can cause acute shedding of the hair. There is a fair amount of zinc in healthy nuts, which is a common food source for zinc in the diet.
Vitamins: Vitamins A, B, and C are all important vitamins when it comes to hair health. Vitamin B (or biotin) has already been discussed and can cause brittle hair and shedding if a deficit is present. Vitamin C is imperative in the absorption of iron, and can be one of the causes of iron deficiency in the blood. Fruits, especially citrus fruits, tend to be high in vitamin C. Vitamin A is a little different, as it is important in hair health, but your body cannot efficiently excrete it, at least compared to other vitamins. Excessive vitamin A can interrupt the hair growth cycle and cause acute shedding of the hair.
These are a few diet considerations when looking at your hair loss. As always, hair restoration can assist, but maintaining a healthy environment for hair growth is essential in maintaining the best head of hair for yourself.
Because of a recent GQ article oral minoxidil has gotten a lot of attention recently as a good hair growth drug. Topical minoxidil was developed after oral minoxidil was originally developed as a drug used in treating hypertension. During clinical trials, they found that in addition to dropping blood pressure, patients were reporting increased hair growth all over their bodies. When applied topically, minoxidil can promote hair growth by increasing blood flow to the hair follicle.
Is Minoxidil Safe When Taken Orally?
When prescribed in small doses, oral minoxidil can be an effective way to combat hair loss. However, even at medium doses, there are some risks associated with it. Minoxidil has fallen out of favor as a hypertension drug due to its potency. It can drop a person’s blood pressure pretty significantly, which is why it is very important to monitor blood pressure when taking it. Things like irregular heartbeat, racing heart beat, and chest pain can be associated with it. One other down side for many patients is people tend to retain fluid when they take it, which can result in weight gain, sometimes significant weight gain. One last risk is an initial shedding of the hair. It is very common to see mild to extreme shedding of the hair when starting minoxidil, so many patients see significantly thinner hair when they start the drug for 6 months or so.
Does Solve Clinics Recommend Oral Minoxidil?
Most practitioners would recommend using finasteride over minoxidil if the patient is taking the minoxidil orally. For many patients, they prefer to avoid finasteride due to the possibility of sexual side effects. However, the studies show that finasteride does improve hair density (and protect the hair) significantly better than minoxidil does. Taking minoxidil is better than doing nothing for the hair, however there are some fairly serious possible cardiac side effects when taking minoxidil orally. Generally, it is recommended to use minoxidil topically before starting it orally. If taken orally, it is important to monitor your blood pressure and inform a general practitioner of any cardiac side effects you experience while taking it.
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