Baldness is a common phenomenon worldwide that affects one-third of the world’s population. It is also known as hair loss or alopecia on the head or any part of the body. The severity of the hair loss varies from one part of the body to the other. Both males and females can suffer hair loss. Baldness causes psychological distress in the people. Diversity in hormonal levels, medications, stress, pollution and genetic factors are some of the causes of baldness. The hair is very delicate and failure to give the care it needs can cause hair loss. There are no guarantees that you can prevent hair loss that is genetically programmed or hair loss caused by factors, not within your control. However, you can do the best to your hair by giving it the chance of staying in good condition. Here are tips on how to prevent baldness;
- Care of the hair
There are certain things to consider when you wish to care for the hair, especially to prevent damage to the hair follicles. To keep your hair healthy and prevent loss:
- Avoid using heat dryers to dry your hair. This is common among women who use the saloons. Heat weakens the hair protein and causes fragility of the hair. It is advisable to keep the hair with the natural air.
- Avoid using heated hair equipment like hot brushes, hot strengtheners and curlers as they can cause damage to the hair follicles especially if they come in contact with the scalp.
- Avoid using chemicals to strengthen the hair as it can make the brittle and weak.
- Wash hair carefully with mild shampoos to prevent infections that cause hair loss.
- Massage your hair with an essential oil like lavender or sesame oil to keep hair follicles active and healthy.
- Avoid brushing wet hair as it increases chances of hair loss.
- Use protein enhanced shampoos and conditioners to boost hair volume and makes it thicker and smoother.
- Look out for shampoos with good conditioning ingredients such as sulfosuccinates, sultaines and amphoacetate, Silicones, polyquaterniums which makes hair healthy and strong
- Use soft brushes with natural fibres to brush your hair in an underside out rather than top to bottom manner.
- The use of dyes and other chemical increases the chances of serious damage to your hair.
- Bleaching the hair changes the texture and structure of the hair causing hair loss
- Eat healthy foods
For a healthy hair, a nutritional meal balanced with a serving of fruits and vegetables is important. There are some foods that contain vitamins and minerals that help in promoting healthy hair and preventing hair loss.
- Iron-rich foods like red meat, chicken, fish, green vegetables (broccoli and spinach) supplies of nutrients which support the hair.
- Protein-rich foods like beans, yoghurt, milk, soybean, poultry, seafood, pork, eggs, tofu and nuts provide amino acids which sustain the hair.
- Vitamin C rich sources like citrus fruits, broccoli, papaya, peas, baked potatoes, tomato, blackberries and strawberries help to produce collagen which strengthens the capillaries which supply the hair shaft.
- Omega 3 fatty foods like tuna, salmon, mackerel, walnuts, cod liver oil, oysters, flax seeds and pumpkin seeds help to keep the hair hydrated and prevents brittleness.
- Vitamin B(biotin) like egg white, yeast, walnut helps to prevent brittleness that can lead to hair loss.
- Zinc food like whole grains prevents hair dryness and itching that can lead to hair loss.
Taking part in physical activities like brisk walking, dancing, skipping, jumping and cycling for 30 minutes in a day helps to promote blood circulation in the body. This also promotes healthy hair and prevents hair loss. It also reduces increased cortisol levels caused by stress that leads to hair loss. In addition, meditation to clear your minds and remove ill-thoughts and feelings reduces stress.
Make good lifestyle choices
Smoking cigarettes reduce the amount of blood that gets to the scalp and this causes a reduction in hair growth. Alcohol also aids hair loss. To keep healthy hair, you should adopt good health choices.
There are certain drugs prescribed by the doctor that helps to stimulate healthy growth;
- Minoxidil (Rogaine) is a topical solution that you apply to the scalp to stimulate and enlarge the hair follicles. It comes in 2% and 5% solution. You can apply it once daily. Women, especially breastfeeding mothers, should not use minoxidil as it is excreted in breast milk following oral administration.
- Finasteride (Propecia, Proscar) is a pill that contains the enzyme that converts testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT). The hormone may be a major culprit in male pattern baldness. DHT thins the hair of men who inherited baldness gene by shrinking the genetically sensitive hair follicles until those follicles can no longer grow hair. Men can use minoxidil and finasteride together for better results.
- Iron supplements are given to women who have anaemia due to insufficient iron in their diet or heavy menstrual bleeding.