Balding is one of the first signs of aging that begins appearing for some men and women, but there are steps you can
take to prevent it. According to the Mayo Clinic, normal hair loss is 50-100 hairs each day. These hairs are continuously replaced by new growth, so that no thinning occurs. Hair loss greater than normal occurs due to hormone levels, hereditary traits, medications, and other medical conditions. Understanding balding can help you get your own risk factors under control to keep the hair you have.
The majority of hair loss that occurs is simply a part of your family gene pool. Men tend to have receding hairlines, while women’s hair is more likely to thin overall. Hormonal and medical condition hair loss is usually temporary and will be solved with the condition it is a symptom of.
There are a few risk factors that you can control:
- Hairstyles that pull the hair tightly back
- Excessive heating treatments
- High Vitamin A intake
- Rapid weight loss
- Poor scalp care
Reducing these risk factors for baldness can help you fight back against hair loss, even if you have a family history of baldness. If you are in good health and have minimized your risk factors for balding, some advanced treatments can help if your hair loss continues.
You may simply choose to wear a wig or hairpiece to easily cover your baldness without medical intervention. Laser therapy and surgery may also stimulate hair growth and help you keep the hair you have from continuing at the rate of loss that has been occurring.
A wide variety of medications are also available for preventing and curing baldness. One of the best known of these is Minoxidil, which is the active ingredient in Rogaine products. With regular use, these products will slow hair loss and may encourage regrowth. Advantages to this option is that the products are available without a prescription and come in a variety of forms, so that you can choose to apply it in the way that works best for you.
Finasteride, found in Propecia, is a prescription medication for baldness that is available only for men. Users report reduced hair loss and encouraging regrowth for as long as the pills are taken. Propecia is not safe for women.
Followers of alternative medicine often suggest oil of lavender and rosemary for reducing hair loss. The oil is regularly rubbed into the scalp to stimulate hair growth, but studies have not been able to confirm these results.
It turns out that the best thing you can do to prevent hair loss is to optimize your health through exercise and a balanced diet. If you are noticing excess hair loss, talk to your doctor to stop hair loss before balding patterns become noticeable. Slowing hair loss is possible, but replacing hair that is gone is much more difficult.
NOTE: Please consult your physician if you’re considering taking or stopping supplements or medications.
Written by: Samantha Wilcoxson