Baldness or loss of hair is referred to as alopecia. Alopecia totalis means loss of all the scalp hair. Alopecia universalis means loss of all body hair, including eyebrows and eyelashes. When the hair falls out in patches, it is termed alopecia areata. Factors that are involved in hair loss include heredity, hormones, and aging. Researchers have yet to determine the exact cause of hair loss, but some scientists believe the body’s immune system mistakes hair follicles for foreign tissue and attacks them. Many suspect a genetic component.
Women sometimes have the same type of hair loss, but it is not usually as extensive and most often does not occur until after menopause. All women experience some hair thinning as they grow older, especially after menopause, but in some it begins as early as puberty. In addintion, most women lose some hair two or three months after having a baby because hormonal changes prevent notmal hair loss during pregnancy.
In addition to heredity, factors that promote hair include poor circulation, acute illness, surgery, radiation exposure, skin disease, sudden weight loss, high fever, iron deficiency, diabetes, thyroid disease, drugs such as those used in chemotherapy, stress, poor diet, and vitamin deficiencies.
Eat plenty of foods high in biotin and/or take supplemental biotin as recommended under Nutrients, on this page. Biotin is needed for healthy hair and skin, and may even prevent hair loss in some men. Good food sources of biotin include brewer’s yeast, brown rice, bulgur, green peas, lentils, oats, soybeans, sunflower seeds, and walnuts.
Do not eat foods containing raw eggs. Raw eggs not only pose a risk of salmonella infection but are high in avidin, a protein that biotin and prevents it from being absorbed. Cooked eggs are acceptable.
Lie head down on a slant board fifteen minutes a day to allow the blood to reach your scalp. Massage your scalp daily.
Be careful of using products that are not natural on the hair. Allergic reactions to chemicals in these products occur frequently. Alternate among several different hair care products, using only all-natural and pH-balanced formulas.
Avoid rough treatment. Do not use a brush or fine-toothed comb, or towel-dry your hair. Also, do not use a blow dryer or other heated appliances on your hair let it dry naturally. Do not comb your hair until it is dry, as wet hair tends to break off. Use a pick to put wet hair in place.
If you are losing large amounts of hair, see physician