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The mineral selenium can be found naturally in some meats and seafood, nuts, and grains. Essential to a healthy immune system, our bodies do not require large amounts of selenium. The average adult requires around 60 micrograms (mcg) of selenium a day, and one ounce of Brazil nuts contains 544mcg while three ounces of tuna is about a day’s worth of the mineral. However, a new review of selenium research by Margaret Rayman, a professor of nutritional medicine at the University of Surrey in England, shows that too much selenium may cause hair loss in some individuals.
The review showed that most Americans take in a larger amount of selenium than is usually recommended which may be due to our tendency to take more supplements than those in other parts of the world. Duffy MacKay, Vice President of Scientific and Regulatory Affairs for the Council for Responsible Nutrition, says there’s a U-shaped curve to the benefits of selenium meaning it’s a helpful mineral in the right amounts. Too much or too little selenium can have negative effects, though. The review showed that those “with the highest levels of selenium intake may have a greater risk of type 2 diabetes, non-melanoma skin cancers, hair loss and skin rashes,” according to an article on HealthDay.com.
Selenium helps the body create antioxidant enzymes—proteins that protect cells from damage caused by free radicals. Too much leads the body to attack its own hair, similar to the effects of alopecia areata. It’s important to seek guidance from a hair restoration specialist like Dr. Griffin to determine the cause of your hair loss because each person’s situation is different.
Pattern baldness is the most common cause of hair loss in men and women, though other factors can also cause hair thinning including medications, trauma, scarring, and chemotherapy. To determine the cause of your hair loss and which hair loss treatments may benefit your situation, contact The Griffin Center. You can also connect with us and stay up to date on the latest hair loss and restoration news through Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.
For individuals suffering from patterned baldness, hair restoration surgery is a big decision. We encourage patients to thoroughly research hair replacement options after the cause of hair loss has been diagnosed by a hair loss specialist like Dr. Edmond Griffin. One part of the research process is looking at and comparing hair loss surgeons’ hair transplant before and after photos and patient testimonials. Patients who have undergone the procedure you’re researching have honest, real-life perspectives on hair restoration. Check out our video patient testimonial below.
Q: How would you describe your overall experience as compared to the other hair replacement surgeries?
A: You know, I went to one of those infomercial places, and that was my only regret. I would have spent less money and one less procedure if I had just started out here. The overall experience was that really even people that I work with didn’t seem to recognize that I had had anything done. So it was sort of seamless and invisible except for myself and my wife.
The way we treat our bodies is often evident in how we feel and act. For example, if you eat junk food and then try to run a half marathon the next day, chances are your body will not react positively. You’ll feel sluggish, tired, and probably perform poorly. While some symptoms of mistreatment are obvious to us, like the stomachache and sore muscles after your junk food run, others are less obvious, but just as important to note.
Because you hair relies on a steady supply of nutrients and blood from your body, it is a fairly accurate barometer in determining your overall health. All the factors of wellness (like a balanced diet, adequate exercise, and a healthy lifestyle) contribute to producing a strong body as well as healthy hair.
A properly balanced diet helps all patients maintain healthy hair. Protein and iron consumption are imperative to the production of hair. Recently converted vegetarians, those on fad diets, as well as many post-bariatric surgery patients may have a hard time getting an adequate amount of protein, resulting in minor and temporary hair loss or breakage. As soon as the right amount of protein is added back into the diet, though, the hair loss typically ceases and hair regrows. Free radicals in polluted environments can also attack cells including those that help produce healthy-looking hair. Smoking produces similar results.
Those with patterned baldness (androgenetic alopecia) are genetically predisposed to hair loss, though, and will not benefit from diet and exercise regimen changes. To adequately treat your hair loss, it is important to receive a diagnosis from an expert in hair loss and hair replacement.
Circulatory problems can also cause hair loss. When the body lacks adequate circulation, it focuses on supplying blood to the organs within your torso, and extremities like your arms and legs suffer first in poor circulation. Because hair in the anagen (growth) stage is supplied with nutrients through blood flow, the body’s circulation priorities often miss supplying that necessary blood to the scalp resulting in hair loss.
If something is off balance in your body, your hair will show it. In fact, your hair can track the use of certain medications or drugs within the last 30 to 90 days. While not all hair loss is caused by external factors like diet and health conditions, the hair is a fairly accurate barometer of overall health in adults who do not have patterned baldness.
Whether your hair loss is caused by patterned baldness or an external factor, it is important to have the cause properly diagnosed before beginning treatment. Dr. Edmond Griffin is a board certified dermatologist and a recognized expert in the specialty of hair loss and hair replacement surgery.
A study published in the journal Dermatology shows that women lose more hair during autumn than they do in other seasons. Swedish researchers gathered a sample of 823 women and tracked their hair growth and shedding cycles.
Each person goes through the hair growth and shedding cycle. In the anagen phase also known as the growth phase of the hair follicle, new hair cells are produced. The catagen phase is where the hair is no longer growing but the follicle is shrinking. The final stage, the telogen phase, occurs when the hair is in a resting state, no longer growing, but on the verge of shedding. The hair stays in this resting state for about three months when it begins to shed, and the anagen phase begins gradually. Therefore, the average patient loses about 100 hairs per day. At the end of the telogen phase, the hair cycle of growth begins again, and if you could watch the follicular opening you would see a new hair emerge in a couple of weeks.
Though each individual’s hair growth and shedding cycle schedules will vary slightly, the researchers found that the women studied had the highest percentage of hair in the telogen stage at the end of summer. This means that after a period of time, these women will have some hair loss since the resting phase is always followed by a shedding. During this time, the patient may feel that his or her hair is thinning with the natural loss of hair that is occurring. The same sort of hair-loss phasing happens, though with a lower percentage of hair, in the spring as well. Researchers speculate that this extra amount of lost hair may be brought about by evolution, since the body seems to hold on to hair during the warmer months to protect the scalp from the summer sun.
For those people who experience hair loss with no growth to follow it, The Griffin Center of Hair Restoration and Research offers both non-surgical and surgical treatment and prevention options for women’s hair loss. Most commonly this hair loss is the result of female patterned hair loss, and the minuturization of hairs which eventually do not return. This process can be slowed and even in some cases reversed with treatment.
Contact us for more information on hair loss or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Edmond Griffin, hair restoration specialist. You can also connect with us on Twitter and Facebook for daily news and updates.