Nutrition & Beauty

8 Factors That Affect Hair Growth

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Hair loss affects 40-50% of men and women. 80% of men have noticeable hair loss by the age 80, but regardless of age it can affect anyone. Hair loss can have a physical and emotional effect contributing to emotional distress and low confidence.

Here are 8 common factors that can affect hair growth:

Genetic or hormonal imbalances and medications: our hormones are essential for hair growth. If there is a slight change in our hormones, it can affect our body and hair health. This also goes for any medications you take as they can have an impact on our hair.

Stress: it can be difficult to stop stress from taking over, but it’s vital you learn to manage it as it can lead to conditions that cause hair loss. The bright side is that not all hair loss cases are permanent, so it can be fixed.

Nutritional deficiencies: are essential you maintain a healthy balanced diet. If we’re not putting the right nutrients into our body, we’re not fuelling our bodies functions to give the best results. This includes ensuring our iron levels (or ferritin levels) are not low. Ferritin is the extra storage of iron that has not gone into haemoglobin production. 

Nutritional intake becomes even more important during specific periods when hair really needs that extra support. For instance, during the summer, or after pregnancy (when around 50% of women lose more hair than usual) or during menopause (when the body is running low on certain supplies, so an increased nutritional intake is vital).

Low biotin or Vitamin H levels: is another cause of decreased hair growth. Biotin is a complex of B Vitamins that are required for us to reach elastin and collagen formation. It works best when combined with zinc.

Low protein or crash diets: protein or amino acids are the building blocks of hair, cells, collagen etc. Low dietary intake means less building blocks. When our protein stores are low, the body immediately shifts hair growth into the catagen resting phase where it can remain for months.

Cosmetic procedures and excessive hair cleansing: certain cosmetic procedures and excessive hair cleansing can have a harsh effect as it strips our hairs natural oils that help to regulate it.

Hair ageing: includes the weakening of the hair shaft, ageing of the hair follicle and ageing of the hair scalp. Hair ageing can be caused by external factors such as oxidative stressors from the environment (i.e. UV radiations), smoking, nutritional deficits, pollution etc. Intrinsic factors are familial premature greying and androgenetic alopecia. Another hair ageing factor can be medical conditions such as cancer, kidney disease, skin rashes or allergenic reactions on the scalp, chemotherapy, anaesthetic and more.

Sun exposure:  can cause hair photo-ageing and dryness. Sunlight on human hair causes photo-degradation. In addition, free radicals form in the hair fibres due to UV rays and change the hair physical properties and chemical composition. Free radicals damage results in bleaching due to melanin oxidation and induces keratin impairment, protein degradation, tryptophan degradation and lipids peroxidation, making hair fragile, dry and dull.

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