Hair loss affects more than 80 million people in the U.S.1 But despite being a common condition, there are a number of ways you can preserve hair growth and prevent further loss, especially if you're just starting to notice your hair thinning. From making tweaks to your diet to using a targeted hair serum, explore eight ways you can increase hair growth and protect and extend the health and longevity of your hair.
Why Does Hair Fall Out?
Though we lose between 50 to 100 strands of hair a day, there are some reasons why people lose more hair and at a faster rate than others.
Causes of hair loss include:
- Genetic conditions like androgenetic alopecia
- Certain medications like beta blockers or antidepressants
- Cancer treatments
- Medical conditions like anemia, lupus, or thyroid disorders
- Hormonal imbalances
- Pregnancy or menopause
- Stress and trauma
- Nutrition deficiencies
- Sudden weight loss
- Some skin conditions like psoriasis
- Too much vitamin A
- Overstyling hair with hot tools or using abrasive hair care products
Whether you are just beginning to notice your hair thinning, you’ve already lost a substantial amount of hair,or you simply want to avoid having to deal with hair loss down the line, read on to find out what stimulates hair growth and how to stop hair loss from progressing through eight actionable steps.
When it comes to regrowing hair, don’t overlook your diet. Eating a variety of foods provides your body with a wide range of vitamins and nutrients, but when your diet is not as varied, you may end up with deficiencies. Hair loss is associated with a number of nutritional deficiencies, such as folic acid, riboflavin, biotin, vitamin B12, iron, and vitamin D.2 To address these deficiencies and give your body the fuel it needs to produce healthy hair, incorporate the following foods into your diet:3
- Eggs: High in protein, biotin, zinc, and selenium
- Berries: Has antioxidant properties and rich in vitamin C
- Nuts and seeds: Provide a wide variety of B vitamins, zinc, essential fatty acids, and vitamin E
- Leafy greens like spinach and kale: Rich in folate, iron, and vitamins A and C
- Fatty fish like salmon and mackerel: A great source of omega-3 fatty acids, and high in protein, selenium, vitamin D3, and B vitamins
- Avocados: Loaded with vitamin E
- Sweet potatoes: Provides vitamin A through beta carotene
- Oysters: Rich in zinc
2. Hair Growth Supplements
It’s not always possible to address all of your nutritional deficiencies through your diet and some hair-healthy nutrients may be difficult to find in your local supermarket. This is where hair growth supplements come in.
The Foundation Skincare UnTangled Hair Supplement contains clinically proven vitamins, minerals, acids, and herbs to help revitalize a stagnant hair growth cycle by increasing the production of keratin in follicles. The supplement not only helps to address deficiencies, but it can also give your body the building blocks it needs for visibly thicker, fuller hair. The superstar ingredients in UnTangled include marine collagen, vitamins A, C, D, E, biotin, niacin, folic acid, iron, selenium, zinc, and pantothenic acid, also known as vitamin B5. The supplement also contains saw palmetto, which blocks the enzyme that is responsible for both male and female pattern hair loss, and horsetail extract, an antioxidant-rich herb shown to promote hair growth and diminish split ends.
3. Non-Drying Shampoo & Conditioner
Shampoos and conditioners laden with harsh chemicals that dry out the hair can exacerbate hair loss. One such chemical is formaldehyde, a carcinogen which is commonly found in keratin hair products. While the results of a keratin product using formaldehyde may give the impression of shiny, hydrated hair, many people have reported hair loss and scalp irritation after using these products.4
Some experts say that using dry shampoo can also lead to hair loss because it builds up on the scalp and prevents nutrients from being able to reach the hair follicle.5 Dry shampoo has also been linked to inflammation of the scalp, which can weaken the hair follicle and cause hair shedding and thinning.
4. Gentle Styling
To preserve hair growth and prevent hair loss, avoid harsh hairstyles, such as tight braids or high ponytails, which can lead to a type of hair loss called traction alopecia. Hair extensions and weaves can also lead to this type of hair loss, which tends to occur along the hairline, and can be permanent if not treated quickly.
Some tactics to employ when styling your hair include gentle brushing, wearing loose hairstyles, and changing up the way you style or part your hair to avoid too much pulling in the same areas.
5. Less Hot Tools
Thinning hair is more vulnerable to damage and using hot tools will only make matters worse. Avoid hair dryers, curling irons, and flat irons as much as possible. If you must use them, opt for ceramic or titanium tools and use a lower temperature to prevent breakage. A heat protectant spray can also help lock in moisture. If you have to use a hair dryer, try your best to create distance between your hair and the device to avoid direct contact.
6. Hair Serums
Finding the right hair serum can also help you encourage new hair growth and prevent further loss. Foundation Skincare Hair Serum offers a custom blend of proven ingredients that can help hair loss, without Minoxidil. Science-backed ingredients like saw palmetto, sodium DNA, niacin, and apple stem cells work in tandem with potent antioxidants and a growth factor peptide to stimulate the hair root to grow new hair and nourish hair cuticles to prevent breakage. The hair serum is fast-drying, which means you can apply it twice a day without worrying about hair becoming oily. Gently massage each drop into your scalp for a few seconds to boost circulation and use consistently. Some users have seen improvement within 30 days, though visible results can appear within three months.
7. Meditation & Exercise
Keeping your stress levels low through meditation and regular exercise can also help boost hair growth. The Mayo Clinic reports that stress and hair loss are related, but it doesn’t have to be permanent.6 Research suggests exercise effectively reduces stress hormones and stimulates production of feel-good endorphins, which can keep stress from wrecking your hair (and your heart).7 Some experts suggest that exercise helps to increase hair growth by improving blood circulation and oxygen, which nourishes the hair follicle, though more research is needed to confirm this.8
Other studies show that meditation can improve the results of certain hair loss treatments by effectively lowering stress.9 After all, meditation is clinically proven to lower your body’s response to stress and even boost your immune system.10
8. Check Your Iron Levels
Iron plays a key role in hair growth and hair health, which is why it’s important to eat foods that are high in iron like leafy greens, red meat, poultry, and fish. But it’s not always apparent that your iron is low, which is why it’s best to get checked by your doctor. Some clues may be having symptoms like extreme fatigue, pale skin, brittle nails, lightheadedness, and, of course, hair loss. According to the Cleveland Clinic,11 some individuals are more prone to iron-related hair loss than others. These include women, vegetarians and vegans, and those who follow a heavy or intense exercise routine.
Hair Loss FAQs:
1. Is hair loss permanent?
Some types of hair loss are permanent if your hair follicle has been irreversibly damaged. This includes untreated male pattern baldness and female pattern baldness, scarring alopecias caused by inflammatory skin conditions, and traction alopecia caused by abrasive or tight hairstyles. But hair loss is also reversible to a certain degree when caught early through lifestyle changes, nutritional adjustments, and hair growth products. However, it is much easier to preserve your hair than it is to reverse it.
2. Do hot showers cause hair loss?
Hot showers do not directly cause hair loss, but they can make your hair more vulnerable to breakage. Hot water may damage the keratin protein and strip away natural oils, making your strands dry and weak.
3. Can stress cause hair loss?
Yes, stress is linked to hair loss, which is why finding ways to lower your stress levels (like meditation and exercise) should be part of every hair care routine.
4. Does caffeine help thinning hair?
Caffeine may help thinning hair. Some research indicates that caffeine helps to block the effects of DHT in hair follicles, which may elongate the hair root and extend the hair growth process. It also helps to stimulate blood circulation, which can strengthen hair.12
Find more tips on caring for your hair and skin in the FS Journal.