We, women, are masters at hiding our thinning hair. We have wigs, hairpieces and weaves at our disposal that we can use to camouflage our impediment, and that’s why it’s not such a common issue as it is for male baldness or thinning hair. Although we can disguise our thinning hair, it doesn’t solve our problem. We’d much rather have a full and healthy head of hair, wouldn’t we? We need to find a good hair loss treatment.
Female Hair Loss Treatments Differ to Men’s for the Following Reasons:
- Causes of female hair loss often vary.
- Female hair loss can be caused by several factors:
- excessive dieting;
- sudden weight loss;
- a medical condition such as diabetes;
- an underactive thyroid or polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS); or
- traction alopecia (caused primarily by pulling force being applied to the hair, such as tight braids or ponytails).
- Hair loss in women is often associated with hormone changes such as discontinuing contraceptive pills, menopause and after having a baby.
- Men have a higher rate of progression and an earlier average age of onset.
- There is a much lower percentage of women who are affected by female pattern hair loss compared to men affected.
- The primary differences are that women tend to toward early detection of their hair loss than men and therefore seek early treatment.
Medication for Hair Loss
Anthralin cream is used to treat psoriasis of the scalp. Anthralin is a man-made version of a natural substance found in goa powder, which is from the araroba tree, which is quite commonly found in Bahia, Brazil. It is both safe and effective to use on the scalp but consult your doctor before use if the psoriasis is red or swollen.
To treat your scalp, you should wash your hair first with shampoo to remove any loss scales. Thoroughly rinse off the shampoo and then apply the anthralin cream as directed, only on the psoriasis area. You should continue with the treatment until the affected area is completely healed.
Tell your healthcare provider if the condition persists or gets worse.
Ketoconazole 2% shampoo is a prescription shampoo also known as Nizoral and is an antifungal medication commonly used to treat fungal infections. It can also treat tinea versicolor and tinea capitis. Tinea versicolor is a common fungal infection of the skin in adolescents and young adults and tinea capitis is a skin infection or ringworm of the scalp.
There is anecdotal evidence indicating that ketoconazole shampoo may help reduce hair loss or promote hair growth.
For hair loss treatment there are several different types of ketoconazole shampoos that are available over the counter and by prescription from a healthcare provider. Prescription ketoconazole shampoo is used to treat tinea versicolor and over the counter, ketoconazole shampoo is used to control flaking and itching of the scalp.
Brands available by prescription include:
- Ket Med
Brands available online or over the counter include:
- Boots Anti-Dandruff Ketoconazole
To treat your scalp, use a small amount of water to wet the skin around the affected area. Apply the shampoo to the affected skin, also to a large area around it. Rub the shampoo until it forms a lather than then leave it on your skin for approximately 5 minutes.
Alternative Hair Loss Treatment
Acupuncture is a form of Chinese medicine that has been practised for thousands of years. Although research does support its use to treat hair loss in women, women experiencing alopecia areata may see an improvement in their hair loss and regrowth. As hair loss relies on a good flow of blood to nourish the scalp, the tiny needles may help to stimulate the scalp and improve the chances of your hair growing.
Combining a hot towel massage with the acupuncture treatment will also stimulate the hair follicles.
Hair Growth Supplements
Supplements that help with hair loss
Biotin – a B-complex vitamin that strengthens the hair and nails. Although there is minimal research to show that biotin assists with hair loss, there is strong evidence that a deficiency will cause hair loss.
Folic Acid – aids in generating new blood cells.
Iron and Zinc – deficiencies in these vitamins may lead to hair loss and taking the proper supplements may help reverse the effects for a number of adverse hair conditions, such as alopecia areata.
Before you try any hair loss treatment, I suggest you visit your doctor to get a blood test to determine if you are lacking in these vitamins.
Foods that help hair loss
Here are 10 foods you can eat to promote better hair growth.
- Meat – is a staple food in many people’s diet and is rich in nutrients.
- Shellfish – if you are pregnant, make sure that it is completely cooked before eating to minimize the risk of food poisoning
- Legumes – such as chickpeas, beans, and lentils are a great source of protein, which is essential to hair growth.
- Seeds – seeds like pumpkin, squash, hemp and sesame seeds contain significant amounts of zinc and are a good source of fibre.
- Dairy – such as milk and cheese are two good sources of zinc as they can be absorbed by your body.
- Nuts – cashews are high in zinc. A one-ounce serving contains 14% of our daily recommended intake.
- Fatty Fish – fish like herring, mackerel and salmon have nutrients that are excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids.
- Spinach – a healthy green vegetable loaded with beneficial nutrients such as iron, zinc, calcium, folate and vitamins A and C. This is essential to hair growth. A cup of spinach provides up to 54% of our daily vitamin A needs.
- Avocados – healthy fats are essential to hair health. As our bodies don’t naturally produce omega-3, it’s important that we get these fats through what we eat
- Dark Chocolate – eating this every day will increase oxygen and blood flow to the scalp. It is full of copper, zinc and iron minerals that advance the cell renewal growth process.
What we eat can impact the effect on the health of our hair.
We all want strong and healthy hair and although we cannot change factors like our age and genetics, our diet is one thing we have control over. Correcting a deficiency in your diet may help assist in the rate of hair growth and may treat hair loss.
Try adding some of the above foods and supplements to your diet if you think you are lacking nutrients.
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