Author: Darrell Miller
Loss of hair or baldness is often referred to as alopecia. Alopecia totalis means loss of all the scalp hair, while alopecia unviersalis means loss of all body hair, including eyebrows and eyelashes. If hair falls out in patches, it is termed alopecia areata. This condition is temporary and does not usually lead to baldness. Heredity, hormones, and aging are all factors that are involved in hair loss. Researchers have not yet determined the exact cause of hair loss, but some scientists believe the body's immune system mistakes hair follicles for foreign tissue and attacks them. On the other hand, many suspect that hair loss is simply a genetic component.
A less dramatic, but much more prevalent type of hair loss is androgenic alopecia (AGA), which is also known as male pattern baldness. AGA is extremely common in men. As the name implies, a genetic or hereditary predisposition to the disorder and the presence of androgens, which are male sex hormones, are involved in this condition. Research has shown that the hair follicles of individuals who are susceptible to AGA may have receptors that are programmed to slow down or shut off hair production once they are influenced by androgens.
Women can also experience the same type of hair loss. However, it is usually not as extensive and most often does not occur until after menopause. All women experience some form of hair thinning as they grow older, especially after menopause. With some, it begins as early as puberty. Additionally, most women lose some hair two or three months after having a baby since hormonal changes prevent normal hair loss during pregnancy.
Demodex follicularum, a species of tiny mite, may be the cause of, or at least a contributing factor, to balding. These mites are present in almost all hair follicles by the time a person reaches middle age. In most cases, these mites cause no harm. Researchers believe that the difference between people who lose their hair and those who do not may be in how the scalp reacts to the presence of these mites. If the body initiates the inflammatory response as it tries to reject the mites, this can close down the hair follicles, which in turn, kill the mites and also kill the hair.
Additionally, hereditary factors that promote hair loss include poor circulation, acute illness, surgery, radiation exposure, skin disease, sudden weight loss, high fever, iron deficiency, diabetes, thyroid disease, drugs such as those used in chemotherapy, stress, poor diet, ringworm and other fungal infections, stress, chemicals such as hair dyes, and vitamin deficiencies.
The following nutrients are considered to be very important for dealing with and preventing hair loss: essential fatty acids, raw thymus glandular, vitamin B complex, vitamin C with bioflavonoids, vitamin E, zinc, coenzyme Q10, DMG, and kelp. Additionally, the following nutrients are helpful in dealing with hair loss: copper, grape seed extract, l-cysteine, MSM, and silica. The following herbs can also help prevent and deal with hair loss: apple cider vinegar, sage tea, ginkgo biloba, horsetail, green tea, pygeum, saw palmetto, and tea tree oil.
With proper diet, nutrition, and dietary supplements, one can rule out whether hair loss is dietary verses hormonal or fungal. Some supplements like evening primrose and omega-3 can help regulate inflammation hormones and hormones that can affect the immune system and hair follicles. Your local or internet health food store can better help you select the right products for each persons hair needs.
More information on vitamins and hair loss is available at VitaNet ®, LLC Health Food Store. http://vitanetonline.com/