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.