Assuming that you are not losing hair due to stress or physical damage, what’s probably causing your hair to fall out is testosterone. Other than this, the only thing you can really do to avoid damage is to stay away from harsh chemical hair care products. Many styling products and treatment methods expose your scalp to chemicals that can burn and damage your roots.
Note that the physical damage created by chemicals is far different from the pattern baldness caused by testosterone. Pattern baldness is hereditary, and while it can be slowed by plenty of vitamin D and a careful approach to keeping your testosterone balanced, it can’t, really, be stopped.
Rather, you can reverse the hair loss process with minoxidil. Initially developed as a blood pressure medication, minoxidil has been the go-to chemical for hair growth for decades now due to a side effect of thick hair growth.
The funny thing about minoxidil is that it can grow hair anywhere your body can produce it. If you placed some on your cheeks, you could easily have a thick beard in a month’s time.
Outside of testosterone and minoxidil, there aren’t many chemicals out there that can, on their own, slow or speed up hair loss or growth. Rather, the chemicals that we expose ourselves to only play a small part in a broad series of behaviors and habits that may have one effect or the other.
Interestingly, your body produces more testosterone the more time you spend exposed to direct sunlight. If you want to slow hair loss, you may see some effect by wearing sunscreen and staying out of harsh sunlight.
Soy beans can cause your body to produce higher levels of estrogen, but this doesn’t necessarily counteract the testosterone that your body naturally produces.
Staying hydrated is important as hair loss can be sped up by a dehydrated scalp, and to that end, you should likewise take the time to shampoo and condition your hair regularly. Hydration is important to a healthy scalp.
Hormones and vitamins can help to slow hair loss, in particular vitamin B3 can be a tremendous help. White vinegar can also help to fight bacteria on the scalp that can cause dandruff and other conditions that may eventually speed up hair loss.
Ultimately, when hair loss is hereditary, there’s little that you can do to stop it but rely on minoxidil based treatments to reverse the hair loss process. On the other hand, simply good hair care habits can be a tremendous help in slowing down or stopping altogether hair loss due to chemical and physical damage.
Perms are one of the worst offenders, as the noxious chemicals and high heat used can damage the scalp. Hair bleaching is another offender. Pure peroxide turns the hair blonde by chemically burning the color right out of it, and it can do similar damage to your scalp if you’re not careful. Avoid the excessive use of either of these treatments.
Wearing a hat in harsh sunlight and simply avoiding too much dying and other treatments is ultimately going to do your scalp a lot more favors than trying to find that one magic chemical to use or not to use on your hair. Just take care of your scalp and you should be okay.
About the author: Adam writes for Dr. Tim Love, one of the top plastic surgeons in Oklahoma City.