The Psychology of Hair Loss

Long ago, a full head of hair was valued as a means of protection, heat retention, and camouflage.

Today we value hair for other reasons. Whether we admit it or not, good hair still is associated with power, virility and youth.

Here's a brief discussion of the psychology of hair loss and its diverse hair loss effects to men and women.

Such associations date back to ancient times. Remember the story of Samson and Delilah? When Delilah cut Samson�s long hair he lost his power.

"And Delilah made him sleep on her knees; and she called for a man, and she caused him to shave off the seven locks of Samson�s head. . . and his strength went from him."
(Judges 16:19)

As �enlightened� as we are today, stereotypes associated with hair loss persist. The bald or balding are sometimes passed over and teased at work, in the media, and in the social scene. The media idolizes the young and the attractive and often lampoons the bald or balding.

Of course, it�s not fair. But at least loosing your hair is not health threatening. However, it can result in various psychological and emotional issues. These include insecurity, isolation, panic, a sense of loss, and even depression. But let�s first look at the role of hair (and the lack of it) in our society.

How is Hair Loss seen by Society?

So why does some thing as superficial as hair seem so important to so many men and women?

Studies have shown that hair is a symbol of social, professional, cultural, and/or religious affiliations. Good hair implies power, virility, strength and youth.

Studies reveal how baldness is perceived.

In a study done in 1971, a picture of one person was distributed to 60 people. But each picture had been altered by a commercial artist to reflect a non bald, balding, or bald condition. The results revealed some negative stereotypes.

When the person was shown with a balding head of hair he was rated as weak, dull, and inactive. This same person with a bald head of hair was rated as unkind, bad, and ugly. Yet this same person with a full head of hair was rated as handsome, virile, strong, active, and sharp.

Today, more than 30 years later, it is hard to know if things have really changed. But maybe some of these tired negative stereotypes about being bald are starting to change, at least in the media.

Shedding: Understanding the Hair Growth Process

If you want to know why your hair sheds, you must first understand the hair growth process.

Hair grows in a cycle that consists of three phases: Anagen, Catagen and Telogen

Anagen - This is the growth phase that lasts between two and eight years. During the anagen phase the growth cells in the papilla rapidly divide and produce the hair shaft which becomes keratinized as it pushes up and out of the hair follicle into the pore. At the same time, the hair follicle grows down into the deeper levels of the dermis (skin) to get nourishment.

Catagen - The Anagen phase is followed by a brief two to four week Catagen phase or transitional phase. This is part of a renewal process where the hair follicle is literally degraded and the hair stops growing but does not fall out. During the Catagen phase the hair follicle shrinks to about 1/6 of the normal length. The lower part is destroyed, the dermal papilla breaks away, the bulb detaches from the blood supply and the hair shaft eventually is pushed up as the hair follicle disintegrates.

Telogen - The hair follicle then goes into the Telogen or resting phase for two to four months, during this time the hair still does not grow but remains attached to the hair follicle while the dermal papilla is in a resting phase below. Approximately 10-15 percent of all hairs are in this phase at any one time.

After the Telogen phase the cycle is complete and the hair goes back into the Anagen phase. It is at this time when the new hair shaft is forming that the old hair is pushed out and lost. So when you start using a product like Rogaine or Propecia you stimulate the hair follicle to start producing hair. What often happens is that many hair follicles that are in the Telogen phase then go into the growth phase.

When the hair follicle starts growing a new hair it has to first get rid of the old hair, which is still attached to the hair follicle. When this happens to many hair follicles at the same time you see a lot of hair falling out which is what causes shedding. So instead of these hairs falling out gradually at different times, they all fall out together giving you the impression that you are losing more hair.

The reality is that this hair had stopped growing and was due to fall out anyway. So shedding is a positive sign and means that you are responding well to treatment. In fact its ironic that people who respond the best to treatments often lose the most hair in the beginning. This often leads to people going off their treatment program when they should stay on it.

Shedding should last no longer than 4-6 weeks and usually occurs about 6 weeks into a hair loss treatment program. If you are still shedding a lot of hair after 2 months you should consult with your physician, as it may not be a shed. Shedding can also reoccur periodically since hairs that were put into the growth cycle at the same time have a synchronized growth cycle so they tend to go into the resting phase at the same time. This tapers off after a while. However be aware that its normal to lose between 50-100 hairs every day due to this natural growth process.

Hair Loss and Depression

Hair loss is not a typical symptom of depression, but depression can indeed be responsible for hair loss in severe forms of depression. Learn about hormonal balance and how this is affected by depression with help from a psychotherapist and licensed mental health counselor in this free video on depression.

Learn more about this from expert David Thomas, a licensed mental health counselor in the state of Florida since 1986 and the National Board of Certified Counselors since 1987.

How to Measure Your Hair Loss

Doctors created a series of charts categorizing various stages of hair loss. The charts are very useful when describing your hair loss to someone or as a yard stick to measure your own hair loss progression or regrowth. The charts are only relevant to Male and Female Pattern hair loss since the hair loss occurs in a predictable pattern.

Here is the most effective way to measure your hair loss!

The most commonly used chart for men is the one developed by Dr Hamilton and then later modified by Dr. o'Tar Norwood called the Norwood-Hamilton scale.

Women who suffer from Androgenic Alopecia have a pattern of hair loss called Female Pattern Baldness. This loss does not occur in the same pattern as men but appears as a diffuse thinning throughout the scalp. There is a chart designed to classify Female Pattern loss called the Ludwig Scale. There are however always exceptions and in some cases men may suffer from a diffuse type thinning and women may experience a similar hair loss pattern to men.

There you go, check these chart out for both men and women and measure your hair loss now.

Bad Eating Habits that Lead to Hair Loss

Here are 5 Bad Eating Habits that are scientifically proven lead to hair loss:

1. Drinking Soft Drinks

Most soft drinks are loaded with sugar.
Even diet soft drinks have a lot of sugar in them. The average diet soft drink has the equivalent of 10 cubes of sugar. Non-diet soft drinks have considerably more.
That�s for a 12 ounce cup! They aren�t considering the 32 ounce super sized drink you get at your local fast food restaurant.

2. Mass Consumption Of Processed Foods
Processed foods often lack the vitamins and minerals you need to maintain healthy hair. Foods often lose much of their nutritional benefits when they are cooked or microwaved. Without those nutrients your hair will suffer.
The best way to get some of those lost nutrients is by eating some uncooked raw vegetables. You could have a salad for example. You can also get some of your foods from natural health food stores like Whole Food Market or Trader Joe�s.
You can also take vitamin and mineral supplements instead. However, unlike food sources, you can overdose taking supplements.

3. Eating Too Much sugar
Most people don�t realize just how much sugar they consume every day. The average person consumes 20 teaspoons of sugar a day (the average teenager 34).
Sugar can deplete the body of nutrients and raise adrenal levels. The elevated adrenal levels cause the body to produce more androgen and cause androgenic hair loss.

4. Eating Too Much Salt
Table salt has also been linked to hair loss. Some people often take idolized salt for Iodine supplementation. Fish is a better source of Iodine than table salt. Sea Salt is also a good alternative.

5. Eating Too Much Saturated Fat
Eating foods with saturated fat could cause increased DHT levels in the body. You should limit the amount of saturated fat you consume while taking prescription hair loss treatments.

3 Easy Tips to Prevent Hair Loss

Here are 3 Tips to prevent hair loss caused by stress and poor blood circulation.
Lay Down with Your Feet Up - for poor blood circulation

Lying down on your back with your feet propped up against a wall for about 20 minutes is a good way to get blood flowing to the scalp. Your feet should start to fall asleep while you do this and you should feel more relaxed after it is done.

Massage Your Scalp - for stress

Massaging the scalp is a great way to relieve stress and stimulate blood flow. Massage your scalp with the tip of your fingers (not your fingernails). Make sure that you are moving the hair line back and forth when you are massaging the scalp and don�t do it for longer than 5 minutes. Also don�t use your palms because you could potentially damage your hair by massaging roughly.

Proper and Deep Breathing - for stress

Deep breathing could also help you deal with stress. Breath deeply in at a count of 1-4-2. If you breath in for 4 seconds you must hold it for 16 then breath out for 8 seconds. If you breath in at 8 seconds then you must hold it for 32 seconds and breath out for 16 seconds.

Amla Oil Indian Natural Hair Loss Treatment

According to Ayurveda, Amla is one of the best drug meant for the treatment of viccited Pitta-dosha. The same Dosha is also responsible for hair problems such as hair loss and premature graying of the hair. So Amla in form of oil is of great use in these cases.

Amla Oil is one of the world's oldest natural hair conditioners. As an Indian herb, amla oil has been used in India since a very long time. As Indian Ayurveda says, it is used as hair oil basically for its cooling effect.

Amla oil is an ancient hair loss remedy from India made from Indian gooseberries. These berries are mixed with coconut oil then boiled. After cooling, the Indians would spread this tonic on their hair. Amla oil contains many essential fatty acids that promote skin and hair health. These fatty acids may help reverse hair loss. It also contains large amounts of vitamin C which also helps promote healthy hair.

What are the Benefits and Uses of Amla Oil

1. Amla Oil enriches hair growth and pigmentation. It prevents premature graying of hair, dandruff, increases the strength of hair follicles (and thus preventing hair-fall). Customarily, a small amount of Amla oil is applied to the hair after washing. This not only brings forth a rich, natural shine and soft texture to the hair, but also helps rejuvenate hairs that are dull and damaged. It also prevents split hair ends.
2. Application of Amla oil over the scalp has a cooling effect. As such, it keeps the mind cool and promotes sound sleep.
3. Amla oil along with various other formulations such as drugs like Brahmi, Shikakai and Reetha are very beneficial for mind, hair and body.
4. Amla oil is useful for increasing memory

What are the Contents of Amla Oil?

1. Amalaki fruit (Emblica officinalis)
2. Brahmi leaf (Bacopa monnieri)       
3. Ela seed (Elettaria cardamomum)
4. Gulab petal (Rosa Centifolia)
5. Kapoor Kachri rhizome (Hedichium spicatum)
6. Bhringraj whole plant (Eclipta alba)
7. Musta rhizome (Cyperus rotundus)
8. Natural sesame oil as base

How to Use Amla Oil?

1. Part your hair and apply oil all over the scalp
2. Massage the scalp gently with fingers in a circular motion, so that the oil gets absorbed into the scalp, gradually
3. Leave for an hour or more before washing with an all-natural shampoo.

Stop Hair Loss with the Right Vitamins

A, B, C, plus E!
Improper diet added with too much stress can be very obvious just by looking at your hair. In fact, the hair mirrors your over all body health brought about by what you eat. So now, its all about A, B, C, plus E the all natural vitamins that would prevent and treat hair loss.

Here they are:

B Vitamins: The Way to Healthy Hair

The best vitamins for hair growth include the B vitamins. These are usually found in whole grains, fresh fruit, brewer's yeast, eggs, fish, turkey, meat, and milk. These vitamins are water-soluble, which means they don't build up in your body like vitamin A does.

* Para-aminobenzoic acid may prevent your hair from graying.
* Inositol can help prevent hair loss.
* Niacin (vitamin B-3) promotes blood circulation to your scalp.
* Panthenol (vitamin B-5) may stop hair loss and help to regrow hair.
* Biotin can also prevent your hair from graying prematurely. It's also an essential vitamin for preventing hair loss.
* Vitamins B-6 and B-12 have also been shown to play a role in healthy hair growth.

How Vitamin E Helps Hair Loss

Dr. John Anne is an herbal specialist who has done extensive research on herbs and alternative health. In his article, Vitamins for Hair Loss that Help in Hair Regrowth, he says that vitamin E is "one of the most beneficial vitamins for hair loss."

Vitamin E is an antioxidant that stimulates the scalp by increasing blood circulation. An increase in blood circulation makes more nutrients available to the hair follicles so they can grow stronger, healthier hair.

Most Americans get enough vitamin E in their diets, but it doesn't hurt to eat plenty of green leafy vegetables, whole grains, and nuts, since these foods contain other vitamins for hair growth.

Match Your Hair with Vitamin A

Vitamin A is important for over-all good health. It's also beneficial to hair follicles, as it keeps the hair root lubricated. Vitamin A is found in red, yellow, and orange vegetables, green leafy vegetables, liver, and eggs.

Be careful with vitamin A. Your body doesn't break this one down like it does the B vitamins. Vitamin A can build up in your body to dangerous levels, so don't take more than you need.

Vitamin C's Role in Your Hair's Health

Everyone has heard of the benefits of vitamin C in preventing colds. But did you know it's also a good vitamin for your hair? Eat lots of citrus fruits, kiwis, strawberries, pineapples, tomatoes, and green and red peppers, and you'll never have a deficiency in this nutrient.

Eating a balanced hair loss diet solutions with lots of whole grains, fresh fruit, and vegetables will not only keep you healthy, but it can help to prevent thinning hair and premature graying.

The Power of Aloe Vera Against Hair Loss

It�s no secret that Aloe Vera is helpful for your hair and scalp. Aloe Vera shampoos have been around for years. When it comes to hair, the fewer chemicals you expose your hair to is better. Aloe Vera acts as a natural hair conditioner and can be used in place of chemical based conditioners. So if you are suffering from excessive hair loss you should reduce the amount of chemicals in placed applied to your hair.

Here are 4 Steps In Using Aloe Vera:

1. Begin by taking your favorite shampoo (herbal shampoos seem to work best)

2. Pour about half the amount you would normally use into a bowl. 

3. Add about twice that amount of Aloe Vera gel to the bowl and mix well. You may use Aloe Vera directly from an Aloe Vera plant but we recommend the use of a 100% stabilized Aloe Vera gel.

4. Once you are in the shower, wet your hair and simply shampoo your hair as you normally would. There should be no need for a conditioner afterwards.

If you have long hair and feel that you need for further conditioning, use only about half the amount of conditioner that you normally would. For short hair that needs more conditioning, after you wash your hair, take half a teaspoon of Aloe Vera and run it through your hair with your fingers. Let it stand for a few minutes and then rinse it out.

Aloe Vera Hair Gel Products

Beyond simply using pure Aloe Vera gel, there are also a few Aloe Vera hair gels on the market. These hair gels are not shampoos. They are specifically designed for treating excessive hair loss. Additionally, they are also a good treatment for scaly/itchy scalps, oily hair and dandruff. Typically, Aloe Vera hair gels contain no preservatives or coloring agents. They are non-greasy, easy to apply and leave no lingering smell.

Years of research have gone into perfecting Aloe Vera hair gels and the results can be quite exceptional, especially in the treatment of seborrhoea. Seborrhoea is caused by the accumulation on the skin of sebum which mixes with dirt and forms a distinct incrustation. It is most commonly seen on the head and may interfere with the nutrition your hair receives, causing partial baldness.

Seborrhoea is caused when the body produces excess amounts sebum. Sebum is a naturally occurring oily substance secreted by hair glands. This excess sebum spreads over the surface of the scalp can lead to the loss of hair if the infection becomes severe enough to damage the hair follicles. If this happens, the scalp becomes red and itchy and the hair will become thin and fragile. That's why it is so important to react quickly as possible once the first sign of hair loss is noticed.

Seborrhoea is considered by doctors to be a mild bacterial disease and can be brought on by a number of different factors. The most common attributing factors are stress, fatigue and hormonal changes but some research suggests that genetics and environmental pollution also play a role.

Aloe Vera hair gels not only curb excessive hair loss by reducing seborrhoea but they can also renew the follicular cycle, helping the scalp return to a physiological balance. Aloe Vera hair gels activate fresh growth and stimulate the growth of existing hair. They are especially effective if used at the first sign of excessive hair loss.

Like with many other hair loss treatments, Aloe Vera hair gels should be applied for at minimum of two to three months before any really positive results can be seen. During this time, dead hair follicles will continue to fall out but should be replaced by new hair growth which has been stimulated by the hair gel. The hair should become thicker and healthier.

The Essential Diet to Prevent and Treat Hair Loss

One factor that many people don�t even realise can affect hair health is their diet. So here is the essential diet that prevents and treats hair loss.

There are lots of vitamins and nutrients that your body needs in order to produce healthy hair. If your body lack these, your hair shafts can become weak resulting in massive shedding,- hair loss. Sometimes, simply altering your diet to include healthy foods can decrease the amount of shedding you experience. So what are they?

Fruits�melons, berries, bananas, oranges, apples and many other fruits can supply your body with the proper vitamins to reduce hair loss.

Vegetables�while all vegetables will provide your hair with additional vitamins, the ones that offer the most benefits are those of the green leafy variety, including spinach, cabbage, etc.

Dairy�increasing your dairy intake, including milk, eggs and cheese, can increase your hair�s overall health by providing it with the vitamin B-12 as well as protein.

Lean, healthy meats�this includes chicken, nuts, fish, and organ meats (such as liver). By adding these to your diet, or increasing your intake of these items, you will supply your hair follicles with the vitamins they need for optimal operation and hair growth.

Water�consuming at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day will help transport the needed nutrients to your hair and help keep your hair strands hydrated and strong.

As you can see, the foods necessary to have healthy hair are the same that are necessary for overall body health. By regulating your intake of sweets and fatty foods (which should be avoided), and increasing your intake of the healthy foods listed above, you can reduce the severity of hair loss and improve your overall health.

In order to reduce or avoid hair loss, eating healthy to acquire the necessary vitamins is the first step. But sometimes it can be difficult to reach the necessary vitamin intake through food alone. This is particularly true for those who have a problem digesting a certain type of food (such as those with allergies or lactose intolerance). In this case, it is often best to take a supplementary vitamin to reach your daily goals and promote the health of your hair. You can either choose to take only the vitamins your diet is lacking as a supplement, or choose a multivitamin that contains all (or as many as possible) of the following:

* Vitamin A
* Vitamin C
* Amino Acids/Protein
* Iron
* Folic Acid
* Vitamins B-6 and B-12
* Copper
* Zinc

By flexing out your diet to include the proper nutrients, or by supplementing your diet with vitamins to achieve these goals, you will reduce the amount of hair loss you experience and will instead have healthier hair than you ever thought possible!

17 Daily Power Tips to Care Your Hair and Scalp

As said prevention is always better than cure 17 Daily Power Tips to Care for your hair and scalp

1. Remember that your hair is what you eat. (more hair loss diet) There�s food that contains all nutrients, vitamins and minerals that are necessary for your hair (fish, nuts, meat, eggs, fruits, vegetables, milk, rice, etc.). Avoid food that doesn�t feed but poisons your organism and makes your hair suffer (tea, coffee, alcohol and so on). Unfortunately, the majority of modern civilized people prefer food that is far from being healthy.

2.  One of the main things to stop hair loss is good blood circulation in the scalp, that can be achieved with the help of massage.

3. Comb your hair not less than 2 times a day.

4. Wash your hair not less than 2 times a week with a good shampoo.

5. Wash your hair according to the following principle: cover your head with shampoo 2-3 times and wash it off first with warm water then with cold water to stimulate blood circulation.

6. Dry your hair with the use of your hands and a warm towel. It is recommended to do it outdoors in sunlight.

7. Your comb should have even and smooth teeth.

8. A brush should have stiff and long bristle to make good blood circulation in the headskin. A soft-bristled brush is used to make hair shiny.

9.  If your hair is dry you can rub egg-white into the headskin before covering it with shampoo. Also you can rub nut, olive or castor oil into the scalp one hour before washing your hair. Essential oils can also be used. You can rub in oils before sleep.

10. Bathing in the sea has a very positive effect for your hair. But don�t forget to rinse it with sweet water.

11.  Walk bare-headed as often as possible. Early sunlight can stimulate hair growth. Don�t be afraid to catch a cold walking with an uncovered head. You will make yourself fit.

12. Don�t put beauty above health! Some women don�t comb their hair for days because they are afraid to spoil their hair-do that they made in this or that beauty shop or salon. All this creates terrible conditions for hair and they start to drop out.

13.  Find some time for relaxation. Even 10 minutes a day of lying on some incline or just on the floor creates blood inflow to the scalp that brings nutrients to your hair.

14. It is necessary to have deep and sound sleep to restore your body�s ability for everyday activity.

15. Consult a dermatologist before dyeing your hair.

16. Never use metallic hair-curlers as they make hair brittle.

17. Using hair spray is not recommended. As a last resort, use the least toxic hair spray and in the smallest amount.

Starting today, try these  17 Daily Power Tips to Care Your Hair and Scalp and you will see great results in less than a week!

PS. You might want to discover how to measure hair loss - click here!
For men, click Norwood-Hamilton scale.
For women, cick Ludwig Scale


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