The Connection Between Hair Loss And Overall Health
Hair loss is a common condition that affects people of all ages and genders. But while many of us may view hair loss as a purely cosmetic concern, sometimes it can be an indication of underlying health issues.
Hair loss can be linked to a range of health problems, which is why it’s essential to address hair loss — not only to promote healthy hair growth but also to identify and treat any underlying health issues.
In this guide, we’ll explore the connection between hair loss and overall health, and provide tips on how to take care of your hair and your health.
Causes of hair loss
Understanding the root cause of hair loss is essential for determining the appropriate treatment plan.
There are several causes of hair loss, ranging from genetics to medical conditions. Some of these common causes include:
- Genetics – One of the most common causes of hair loss is genetics. Androgenetic alopecia, commonly known as male or female pattern baldness, is an inherited condition that affects many people.
- Hormonal changes – Hormonal changes can also contribute to hair loss. This can occur during pregnancy, menopause and thyroid disorders. These conditions can affect the production of hormones necessary for hair growth.
- Medical conditions – Certain medical conditions, such as alopecia areata (a condition where the immune system attacks the hair follicles), scalp infections and other autoimmune disorders, can cause hair loss. These conditions can affect the hair follicles, leading to hair thinning or complete baldness.
- Medications – Some medications can also cause hair loss as a side effect. These include chemotherapy drugs, blood thinners and medications used to treat high blood pressure and depression.
- Poor nutrition – A lack of essential nutrients, such as iron, zinc and biotin can contribute to hair loss. This is because these nutrients play a crucial role in the growth and maintenance of healthy hair.
- Stress – Stress can lead to a condition called telogen effluvium, which causes hair to prematurely enter a resting phase, resulting in increased hair shedding.
- Hairstyles and treatments – Certain hairstyles and treatments, such as tight braids, ponytails and chemical straightening, can cause hair breakage and damage, leading to hair loss.
- Age – Hair naturally thins with age and hair follicles can shrink, leading to less hair growth.
How to prevent hair loss
Preventing hair loss can be achieved by adopting certain healthy habits and lifestyle changes. Here are some tips that can help keep your hair healthy and reduce the risk of hair loss:
- Maintain a healthy lifestyle – A healthy lifestyle that includes regular exercise, adequate sleep and reduced alcohol consumption can contribute to healthy hair growth.
- Avoid harsh chemicals and treatments – Chemical treatments, such as bleaching, dyeing and perming, can damage your hair and lead to hair loss. It’s best to avoid harsh chemicals and opt for natural products.
- Protect your hair from damage – Avoid tight hairstyles and opt for loose styles that won’t pull on your hair.
- Manage stress – Find ways to manage stress with methods like exercise and meditation.
- Ensure proper nutrition – Make sure to eat a diet that includes a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein and healthy fats.
- Seek professional help – If you’re experiencing hair loss, it’s important to seek advice from a medical professional. They can rule out any underlying medical conditions and provide you with the appropriate treatment plan.
By adopting these healthier alternatives and seeking help when necessary, you can promote healthy hair growth and reduce the risk of hair loss.
Treatment options for hair loss
There are a myriad of treatment options for hair loss, but it’s important you choose the right one for you.
Medication can be an effective treatment for hair loss. Prescription medications such as Minoxidil and Finasteride are commonly given to promote growth and slow down hair loss.
Minoxidil is a topical solution that can be applied directly to the scalp, while Finasteride is an oral medication that works by blocking the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone — a hormone that can cause hair follicles to shrink.
These medications can be used alone or in combination to help stimulate hair growth and prevent further hair loss.
Hair transplant surgery
Hair transplant surgery is a surgical option that involves transplanting healthy hair follicles from one part of the body (typically the back or sides of the scalp) to the areas with thinning or no hair. This procedure is performed under local anaesthesia and can provide permanent results.
At The Treatment Rooms London, we offer advanced hair transplant techniques such as follicular unit excision (FUE), to achieve natural-looking results with minimal scarring.
Non-surgical hair replacements
Non-surgical hair replacement options are ideal for those who may not be suitable candidates for surgery. These options include hairpieces, wigs and hair extensions that can be customised to match your natural hair colour, texture and style.
Hair growth treatments
Several hair growth treatments are available, including low-level laser therapy (LLLT) and platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy. LLLT involves using a specialised device that emits red light to stimulate hair follicles and promote hair growth. PRP therapy involves using your blood to extract the platelet-rich plasma, which is then injected into the scalp to stimulate hair growth.
How are hair loss and general health connected?
The health of your hair is closely connected to your overall well-being. Various factors, ranging from your gut health to mental health to iron deficiency can all impact hair health and contribute to hair loss.
The health of your gut, which includes the complex community of microorganisms in your digestive tract, can affect your hair.
Poor digestive health, such as imbalances in gut bacteria or inflammation in the gut, can disrupt the absorption of nutrients, such as vitamins, minerals and proteins, that are essential for hair growth. This can lead to weakened hair follicles and increased hair loss.
Maintaining a healthy gut through a balanced, gut-friendly diet can positively impact hair health.
Stress, anxiety and depression can all affect hair health and contribute to hair loss. High levels of stress can disrupt the normal hair growth cycle, causing more hair to enter the resting phase and fall out prematurely. Additionally, stress can also trigger conditions such as trichotillomania (hair-pulling disorder) or alopecia areata.
Managing stress through relaxation techniques, exercise and seeking support for mental health can help improve hair health.
Iron is an essential nutrient for hair growth, as it helps carry oxygen to the hair follicles. Iron deficiency, also known as anaemia, can lead to decreased oxygen delivery to the hair follicles, resulting in weakened hair shafts and increased hair shedding.
If you suspect you have iron deficiency, it’s important to speak to your doctor for proper diagnosis and management, which may include iron supplements and dietary changes.
Cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy, can cause hair loss as a side effect. These treatments target rapidly dividing cells, including hair follicle cells, leading to hair thinning or complete hair loss.
Hair loss due to cancer treatments is usually temporary and hair often regrows after the completion of treatment. However, you can explore options such as scalp cooling, which may help to reduce or prevent hair loss during treatment.
Diabetes can also impact hair health. High blood sugar levels in diabetes can affect blood vessels, leading to reduced blood flow to the hair follicles and nutrient deficiencies that can weaken hair.
Additionally, diabetes-related hormonal imbalances can disrupt the normal hair growth cycle. Proper management of diabetes through lifestyle changes, medication and regular medical care can help improve hair health.
Book a consultation with The Treatment Rooms London
Taking care of your overall health is crucial for maintaining healthy hair. Many different factors can impact the health of your hair and contribute to hair loss, so it’s important that you manage them effectively.
If you’re experiencing hair loss or have concerns about the health of your hair, book a consultation with The Treatment Rooms London.
We offer expert consultations with experienced surgeons who specialise in hair loss treatment. You’ll be able to discuss your concerns and explore a personalised treatment option to help you restore your hair.
Book A Consultation