Diet & Gym Gains: Two Non-Hereditary Hair Loss Culprits
Nutrient Deficiencies & Hair Loss –
While effects of a poor diet may go unnoticed for a while, they will likely take an eventual toll on your hair and skin. Your scalp is skin. If failed to be nourished with vitamins, minerals, fats, and proteins, the scalp will become dryer, hair will become weaker, and the growth cycle may slow due to lack of proper circulation of nutrients to the scalp.
Vitamins, Minerals & Nutrients for Hair Growth –
Just like for strength and gorwth of muscles, hair and scalp require adequate consumption or supplementation of vitamin B, vitamin D, and biotin along with minerals of zinc and iron, calcium, and omega-3 fatty acids.
Biotin is important for metabolizing amino acids, protein, fats, and carbs into usable energy sources for your whole body including hair and scalp. It incorporates into the tensile strength of hair and skin.
Amino acids are the building blocks of protein necessary for muscle and hair growth and strength. Hair structure requires protein to stimulate and produce hair follicles. Proteins further help strengthen and protect the hair from breakage.
Fatty acids are necessary to hydrate and nourish the scalp helping it absorb other vitamins as well.
The right balance of vitamins and minerals can help increase blood flow and the supply of proper nutrients to the scalp. Stay consistent with a diet of whole foods to provide your body with a wide range of bioavailable vitamins and minerals. Seek advice from a physician or dietician to determine the cause of and best treatment for your hair loss.
2. High Testosterone
Testosterone & Hair Loss –
Increased levels of free testosterone may be desirable for muscle growth, fat loss, energy levels, and that “manly confidence”. However, a high level of testosterone or DHT in the body, especially if caused by a supplementation, is another factor from lifestyle choices contributing to male and female pattern hair loss.
Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) is made from testosterone by the enzyme 5-alpha reductase and is five times more potent than testosterone. Therefore, the effects of DHT on sensitive hair follicles has an even greater hair loss effect. Depending on the sensitivity of your hair follicles, the scalp’s receptors may be too sensitive to the actions of DHT resulting in negative effects from testosterone on the growth of your hair. What’s worse would be it’s sensitivity to DHT-mimicking supplements. DHT is considered the hormone behind hair loss.
Dihydrotestosterone does not convert back into testosterone, so a DHT supplement will actually possess less anabolic or muscle-building capability. It will fail to produce many of the desired effects of testosterone but may contribute more significantly to male pattern baldness by miniaturizing hair follicles.
Treatments that interfere with production and actions of DHT are effective to combat hair loss. These include Finasteride (Propecia), saw palmetto,and Ketoconazole. In addition to DHT and testosterone, age, stressors, genes, and nutrition all play a role in hair loss. These additional triggers may require more holistic treatments such as diet restrictions and supplementations, regular exercise, and rest or stress reduction. Other treatment options include Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) treatmetns to combat the miniaturization effect.
Diet & Testosterone –
For those looking to maintain a healthy, natural level of testosterone as well as healthy hair, your diet is still the best site for change.
Increase testosterone by eating foods rich in vitamin D and zinc. Foods like Tuna, milk, salmon, sardines, egg yolks, and ground beef are rich in vitamin D. Shellfish, salmon, oysters, cashews, and pumpkin seeds are rich in zinc. Try eating these particular foods a couple times a week. Healthy fats such as olive oil and coconut oil can both help reduce body fat and produce healthy hormones. Broccoli and cauliflower may help men get rid of excess estrogen allowing testosterone to be more available. Finally, lowering your sugar and carb intake may help reduce blood sugar, regulate insulin, and in turn increase testosterone.
Regular exercise paired with the right intake of macronutrients will further boost testosterone production. For optimal testosterone levels, prioritize compound lifts like the squat, deadlift, bench press, and military press with lower repetitions and heavier weights. If you enjoy cardio, practice high intensity interval training to elevate testosterone as opposed to prolonged aerobic exercises. The trick will be to require your body to build strength and elevate testosterone levels without stressing it to the point of increase cortisol. Increased amounts of cardio have been shown to increase stress and cortisol and inversely decrease testosterone. A prolonged caloric deficit may also increase stress and cortisol and decrease muscle mass, further decreasing testosterone levels.
Be sure to eat an adequate amount of calories for your activity level while keeping body fat fairly low and strength training a regular habit. A conscious intake of various vitamins and minerals along with adequate amounts of each fats, proteins, carbs and overall calories will do wonders to help you maintain optimal hormone and hair health!