Information and Solutions for Men and Women

Answers and Suggestions for Thinning Hair

Answers to some common hair loss questions.

Fun facts, answers to FAQs, and some suggestions on hair health.

The Pellagra Puzzle Solved

Why didn't the epidemic of hair loss caused by niacin deficiency (pellagra) in western frontier settlers who adopted maize as a dietary staple affect the indigenous native tribes? Because the Mesoamericans added wood ashes to the cornmeal, and the alkali in the ashes made the niacin bioavailable. 117

How Much Sleep Do I Need for Healthy Hair?

Get 7-8 hours of sleep a night—your body needs it to regulate cortisol levels. Chronic cortisol levels can not only cause adrenal gland dysfunction, it can also lead to insulin resistance, diabetes, and weight gain—all of which can cause hair loss. 207

Puberty Estrogen Boost

Hair grows faster (on the scalp) in women — but before puberty it's the opposite! 22

Is Balding Caused by Recessive Genes?

No, baldness is a dominant genetic trait. 2

How Do I Get Rid of Niacin Flush?

Bothered by the flushed skin that can occur with niacin supplements? Try taking a non-flushing form—inositol hexaniacinate. 222

Can Tea Tree Oil Help?

Take care not to use topical tea tree oil on the scalp. As a potent photosensitizer, it can increase the effects of UV radiation on sun-exposed areas. 135

What's a Good Food for Hair?

Grapes are one of the most hair-healthy foods you can eat — not only do they have potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, but they are also full of essential fatty acids and can stimulate hair growth.135

The Cholesterol Connection

Did you know that hair contains cholesterol? Some drugs used to treat high cholesterol can cause temporary hair loss. 14, 32

Can Aloe Help with Hair Loss? Are There Any Cautions with Aloe?

Aloe comes in gel, juice, latex, and whole leaf form. Be careful not to use the latex form as a home remedy for hair loss — in this form aloe is primarily used as a powerful laxative! 198

According to the ancient Papyrus Ebers dated 1550 BCE and a Mesopotamian clay tablet from 2100 BCE, aloe was used by the ancient Greeks, Egyptians, and Assyrians for a number of different skin conditions, including hair loss. 299

Can Crohn's Disease Cause Hair Loss?

If you have Crohn's disease, you may be at risk of zinc deficiency, which can cause thinning hair. 198

Is Hair Loss Inherited from My Mom?

Blaming your Mom's side of the family for hair loss is just a myth — genetically, balding can come from either or both parents. 2

Are Ponytails and Pigtails Safe for Hair?

Actually, both hairstyles may be linked to thinning hair. Rubber hair bands can put too much pressure on hair and contribute to hair loss. 2

"Big Hair" May Actually Be Harmful

Although it is tempting to tease or back-brush hair because it makes it appear fuller, doing so can cause permanent hair damage and should be avoided. 2

Should I Load Up on Iron to Grow Hair Faster?

Iron is considered to be the most common nutrient deficiency in the world, and has been associated with hair loss. The United States recommended daily allowance is 18 mg/day for adults — including pregnant or lactating women — but be careful to not take any more than 45 mg/day or you risk developing serious health conditions and more hair loss! 29

Should I Stick to a High-Protein Diet Only If I Have Thinning Hair?

Actually, no. There are plenty of good reasons to add vegetables and fruit to lean protein in your diet. For example, beta carotene, a nutrient found in bright orange and dark green fruits and vegetables, turns into vitamin A in the body — an essential nutrient for hair health. 5

Can Bacteria Cause Hair Loss?

The same bacteria associated with gastric ulcers — Helicobacter pylori — may also be implicated in alopecia areata hair loss. Although study results are few, in at least one case study a 43-year old man with H. pylori infection and the characteristic alopecia areata bald patches grew back the hair after curing the infection. And the bacteria are associated with auto-immune diseases that are also linked to this type of hair loss. 300

Herbal Tea Help, Even If You Hate Tea

Don't like herbal tea? Experts suggest that applying an herbal blend of nettle tea, sage and rosemary topically may help improve hair growth by increasing scalp circulation. 2

Is It Normal for a Baby to Shed Hair?

Humans shed all their scalp and body hair twice before they are even a year old — once before they are born, and once around 3-4 months old. The first time the hair lost is a fine, long, pigmented hair called lanugo; the second is the fine vellus hair that covers much of the body. 14

How Was Hair Loss Treated in Ancient Egypt?

The quest for hair loss remedies is centuries old — archaeologists have found ancient Egyptian scrolls describing treatments for balding, including a crocodile and hippopotamus fat ointment. 192

Can Facial Hair Transplants Be Done?

Hair transplants aren't just for the top of your head — they can be implanted into hairless spots in beards and mustaches — including helping cosmetically cover up cleft palate surgical repair scars.192

Can Hair Loss Drugs Really Make a Difference?

Propecia® increases the amount of hair by 10% in addition to stopping further hair loss in most men with common balding. 22

History of Hair Transplants

The first documented hair transplants were done during World War II in Japan to help burn victims. 192

Is There an Herbal Alternative to Hair Loss Drugs?

Saw palmetto works in the same way as Propecia® and may be safer for older men to use since it doesn't artificially lower PSA values. 96

Saw palmetto berries contain 5α-reductase enzyme inhibitors that can help with hair loss. However, an herbal tea made from the berries probably won't work since it's the oils in the berries that contain the active ingredients, and tea is a water-based extract that won't contain much of the oils. 96

Will I Have to Grow All My Hair Back to Make It Look Better?

Even though hair thinning treatments rarely regrow all hair lost, the results can be dramatic. That's because the appearance of fullness can be maintained even when up to 50% of the hair is lost. 2

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