There are various causes and reasons for hair loss in men, ranging from genetics and auto-immune disease to stress and poor nutrition. Aside from the medical causes and physical symptoms, male hair loss can often affect one’s social agenda, professional appearance and quality of life.
Male pattern baldness or MPB, is the androgenetic form of alopecia which accounts for more than ninety-five percent of male hair loss in men. About one quarter of men experience MPB by the age of 21. Statistics project that by age 35, approximately sixty-six percent of American men will experience noticeable hair loss and a staggering eighty-five percent of men older than 50 will have significantly thinning hair.
What are the primary medical causes of male pattern baldness? Baldness can emerge due to hormonal changes, scalp irritation or hair follicle damage and slowed or shortened follicular growth. Primary, hair loss revolves around hair follicular growth cycles. Our hair goes through cycles of growth and rest periods, each varying by individual. At the end of the resting phase, hair strands fall out and new ones begin to grow in their place. Once a hair is shed, the growth stage begins again. While gradual thinning is a normal part of normal aging, when the rate of shedding exceeds the rate of hair re-growth rapid hair loss or balding will occur.
To promote thicker hair growth and a healthier scalp avoid greasy foods and incorporate more of the following into your diet:
Vitamins | Minerals:
Many men who suffer from hair loss are found to have zinc deficiencies. Zinc plays a key role in many of the body’s functions, from cell reproduction to hormonal balance, and all these functions affect hair growth. Perhaps most importantly, zinc manages the glands that attach to your hair follicles. When you’re low on zinc, these follicles become weak, causing strands to break off or fall out. To combat this problem, eat zinc-heavy foods such as red meats, poultry, mussels, shrimp, nuts, and oysters. Excessive amounts of zinc can eventually lead to hair loss, so it’s best to stick to a zinc-heavy diet rather than eat these foods and take a zinc supplement.
The B vitamins are the most important for healthy hair, especially B7 as Biotin. Biotin functions to activate certain enzymes that aid in metabolism of carbon dioxide as well as protein, fats, and carbohydrates.
B5 or ‘Pantothenic Acid’ gives hair flexibility, strength and shine and can help prevent hair loss and graying. B6 helps prevent scalp damage and dandruff. Both are primarily found in meats but are also present in cereals, egg yolk and liver. Vitamin B12, found in fish, eggs, chicken and milk can help prevent hair loss.
Omega-3 fatty acids
Omega 3’s from fish and fish oil sources, may help prevent dry scalp and dull hair color.
Vitamina A & C
Both vitamins help with the production of sebum, a natural oily secretion that acts as a natural hair conditioner.
Iron is important for your blood and likewise healthy blood flow to promote hair follicle growth. Anemia has been linked to hair-loss in both men and women. However, it is important to rely on a healthy diet for your main source of iron as opposed to a vitamin or supplement to prevent dangerous health affects. Since our bodies cannot process high amounts of dietary / elemental iron, they are susceptible to Iron toxicity.
Foods | Diet
Fish, Eggs And Legumes (Beans)
Since hair is primarily made of protein it makes sense to eat a protein-rich diet if you’re trying to maintain healthy hair. While protein is excellent for lean muscle growth, animal proteins that are high in fat can result in increased testosterone levels, which has been linked to hair loss. Try sticking to leaner proteins such as fish, tofu, soy beans, chicken, low-fat cheese, eggs, almonds, beans, and Greek yogurt.
Iron plays a key role in the development and maturation of red blood cells that carry oxygen to your body’s organs and tissues. When iron levels are low or anemia occurs your blood is less efficient at circulating oxygenated blood to the scalp to stimulate and promote hair growth. Iron’s in more than meat! Try eating dried fruits like raisins, craisins or cherries packed with iron. More so, incorporate eggs and dark green, leafy vegetables such as kale and whole-grain cereals for other high-iron options. Try eating fruits such as oranges, strawberries and lemons that are high in Vitamin C to help Iron absorption.
Bean sprouts are high in silica, which our bodies use to help more efficiently absorb vitamins and minerals. Silica can be found in bean sprouts and the skin of cucumbers, red and green peppers, and potatoes. Focus on eating raw, as opposed to cooked, to ensure reaping the maximum nutritional value.