Hair loss, known as alopecia, is a common disorder affecting more than 80 million Americans.
On average, most people lose about 100 strands of hair a day. And with new strands growing to take place of the ones lost, most won’t notice a difference.
But if fewer or no strands grow back and you start noticing a receding hairline or thinning areas, you might have alopecia.
Dermatologist Wilma Bergfeld, MD, talks about ways to stop hair loss, what may cause it and whether it can be reversed.Losing your hair not only affects your appearance, but it can also cause emotional stress and affect your confidence. There are a few things you can do to help stop hair loss, though.
Especially if you’re vegan or vegetarian, you may need to increase the amount of protein you consume.
“You need 40 to 60 grams a day,” says Dr. Bergfeld. “You can drink your protein, you don’t have to eat it in a food substance.”
Other ways to hit your daily protein requirement include eating beans and legumes, eggs or Greek yogurt.
Dr. Bergfeld has found success with prescribing biotin forte with zinc, a supplement that helps maintain healthy hair, skin and muscle tissue.
“There are new ones that include saw palmetto, calcium and selenium,” says Dr. Bergfeld. “All these are good. Just look for ones that come from a reputable company.”
Eating fruits, vegetables and protein — the main ingredients in the Mediterranean diet — can be helpful, especially compared to other trendy diets.
“When you go on these restrictive diets, you may lose weight but it’s probably something you can’t maintain,” says Dr. Bergfeld. “And they’re usually lacking in something that your hair follicles need.”
You might start seeing more hair loss than normal thanks to the following:
- Hormonal changes like pregnancy or menopause.
- Certain hairstyles.
- Damaging haircare like perms or bleaching.
- Medications like chemotherapy.
- Medical conditions like fungal infections or thyroid disease.
Working with a dermatologist, you can begin identifying what might be causing your hair loss. Your doctor will ask about your health, your medications and your family history.