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Thu 21 Aug 2014 09:25 AM

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The bald truth: 10 reasons why you are losing your hair

Every person who works in a stressful environment knows that it comes at a high price.

The bald truth: 10 reasons why you are losing your hair

Stress not only affects your sleep cycles, memory and mood, but it also has a direct correlation with hair loss.

This news is more likely to increase your stress levels rather than cure it! It’s not exactly simple to eliminate all sources of pressure from our lives.

So if you cannot be in a continuous state of Zen and still want to have a healthy head of hair while going through life’s challenges, here are 10 main sources of hairloss that you can eliminate from your life today.

1. Excessive exercising: Telogen Effluvium (TE) is a condition in which hair follicles enter the resting phase prematurely, which causes more hair loss than usual.  It is probably the second most common form of hair loss dermatologists see. The good news is that it is fully reversible condition. The hair follicles are not permanently or irreversibly affected; there are just more hair follicles in a resting state than there should normally be. Excessive exercise can make the body experience chronic stress conditions, which is the second highest reason for TE. Keep your exercising sessions to a maximum of five times a week, one hour sessions and listen to your body especially when it comes to heavy body building activities.

2. Red meat: Although red meat is one of the most potent sources of  iron, it can have the reverse effect if eaten in excess. Too much iron in the body accumulates in tissues and organs and affects their normal function. The most susceptible organs are the liver, heart and endocrine glands and symptoms include chronic fatigue, joint pain, abdominal pain, irregular heartbeat, loss of period, lowered libido, skin colour changes and hair loss. One milligram of iron is lost daily through hair, fingernails, dead skin cells but humans have no easy way to excrete excess iron other than by giving blood or with medical treatment. Even for women, the average daily loss during menstruation is one and a half milligrams. At high doses, iron is toxic and research shows that iron levels tend to rise with age and once you absorb too much iron it stays with you for life. A second important point to not about red meat is to make sure it is organic, most beef you find is laden with antibiotics which can pose many health risks including hair loss.

3. Lack of proper nutrients: With iron, we’re in a sticky situation; if we overload on iron we lose our hair but not enough iron will lead to anemia which can in turn causes hair loss. Striking a balanced diet is important. In addition to iron, other vitamins and nutrients essential in keeping our hair growing healthy are: Omega-3 (3500mg), Folic Acid (400mcg), Vitamin B12 (24mcg) Biotin (30 mcg), Vitamin D (600 IU), Calcium (1200mg), Zinc (8mg), and Vitamin C (90mg). If you cannot get enough of the above vitamins throughout the week there are several whole food multivitamins that can be found in Dubai.

4. Over Grooming: Touching and pulling your chronically can certainly cause significant hair loss and combing through it while it is wet is also a bad idea as it might lead to weak and brittle hair. A build up of hair styling products, such as gel, wax, spray, can block the pores and hinder hair growth.

5. Smoking: Collagen is not only found in our skin, it is also in our bones, blood vessels, corneas and hair. Smoking negatively affects your circulation in general which means impaired blood flow to your hair follicles and development of collagen. This disrupts the normal hair growth/loss cycle which occurs on a daily basis and results in hair thinning and eventual loss.

6. Fried Food: The culprit in male pattern hair loss seems to be the enzyme 5 alpha-reductase (5-AR), which converts testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT shrinks the hair follicles and in time, the smaller follicles produce shorter and thinner hair.

Consumption of high fat, fried foods and hydrogenated oils has been linked to elevated levels of DHT. Hydrogenated oils are thought to affect hair growth by suppressing essential fatty acids needed for healthy hair.

7. Underactive thyroid: Having a low level of thyroid hormone affects your whole body. It can make you feel tired and weak. If hypothyroidism is not treated, it can raise your cholesterol levels, cause dry skin and hair loss. A deficiency in thyroid hormones can be treated with hormone supplements. It's important to take your medicine just the way your doctor tells you to. Eating certain foods, such as Salmon and high fiber options, and incorporating light cardio workouts can also help activate your thyroid in mild cases.

8. Poor hygiene in humid climates: While being victim to the overly humid climate in Dubai is unavoidable, neglecting the necessary hair hygiene for these conditions is. Allowing sweat to accumulate on the scalp for too many days leads to salty buildup on the scalp. This causes hair to shed or just break and get dull and dry. You can prevent sweat damage to hair, however, by controlling salt buildup and moisture, according to the Harvard School of Public Health, by washing hair with a shampoo that is mild and pH-balanced at least twice a week. Keeping your scalp clean is essential to your hair’s health.

9. Sugar- free food: According to the FDA, the artificial sweetener aspartame can cause hair loss and thinning hair as well as a number of unpleasing symptoms such as arthritis, bloating, depression and impotency. Read the labels carefully and don’t reach out for the zero sugar “healthier” options assuming that they will help control your weight.

10. Dieting: A lack of a mineral, vitamin, or essential amino acid can certainly cause TE, so will a sudden drop in your daily caloric intake. Weight loss may be achieved, but resulting hair loss is unwanted. Your body will switch to starvation mode and will hold onto the calories and nutrients by slowing down your metabolism. This will not only have an adverse effect your hair, but also your bone density.

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