How to stop hair loss in its tracks

Hair loss is a big concern amongst men and women. Thirty percent of women report hair loss by age thirty. By age fifty, that statistic climbs to about 50 percent. This is a major problem and it is demoralizing, and conventional medicine often pats you on the back and say, “You’re getting older; you need to get used to it.”

Causes of Hair Loss

1.  Low Vitamin 

Vitamin D is very important in hair growth and maintenance.   A lack of vitamin D can lead to hair loss.    Vitamin D stimulates hair follicles and a lack there of can stunt hair growth.

2. Low thyroid

This hair loss will slow and eventually stop once your hormone levels are stabilized. Sometimes the problem continues even after treatment, especially if you are taking levothyroxine, a synthetic hormone often used to treat hypothyroidism. Prolonged hair loss is a known side effect of this drug.

Get a full thyroid blood test. Often micronutrient deficiencies such as low selenium or zinc are a reason for faulty thyroid function, or you may have autoimmune thyroiditis (Hashimoto’s thyroiditis). Some people find their hair loss diminishes if they take natural thyroid hormone medication. Thyroid levels must be checked every six weeks until levels have normalized.

3. Low iron, low lysine

One study proved that 90 percent of women with thinning hair were deficient in iron and the amino acid lysine. Lysine helps transport iron. Your ferritin levels should be checked with blood to prevent an iron overload. You need a minimum ferritin level of 40 to grow new hair, and a healthy range is 70-80. Make sure you get your daily dose of iron from grass-fed red meat and greens. Good sources of lysine are foods rich in protein or you can take a supplement if you are vegetarian or vegan. Add lysine to your diet with foods rich in protein like: meat, poultry, soy, eggs, cheese (especially Parmesan), and some fish (cod, sardines).

4. Androgenic alopecia

This type of hair loss affects 30 percent of women.  The most common pattern for hereditary female-pattern hair loss, or androgenic alopecia, is a widening part or noticeable thinning of hair, particularly over the mid-frontal portion of the scalp. Often women with androgenic alopecia have polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Typical signs and symptoms are ovarian cysts, irregular periods, weight gain, blood sugar problems, infertility and hair loss. The problem may be exacerbated in some patients taking drugs for thyroid problems. The good news is that you can often stop and even reverse the symptoms of hair loss once you balance your hormones.

Evening primrose oil can help. Besides inhibiting DHT, the main culprit behind androgenic alopecia, evening primrose oil is a good source of essential fatty acids, and the symptoms of hypothyroidism are quite similar to those with insufficient essential fatty acids.  Berberine and inositol may reset these hormones.

5. Low protein diet

If you do not get enough protein in your diet, your body may enter famine mode and shut down your hair growth. This may occur about two to three months after a drop in protein intake.

6. Excess vitamin A

A high vitamin A levels may trigger hair loss.

Hair loss is a big concern amongst men and women. Thirty percent of women report hair loss by age thirty. By age fifty, that statistic climbs to about 50 percent. This is a major problem and it is demoralizing, and conventional medicine often pats you on the back and say, “You’re getting older; you need to get used to it.” 

7. Stress hormones — physical and/or emotional stress

A big factor related to the causes of hair loss are emotional and/or physical stressors.

8. Fluctuating female hormones of pregnancy, peri-menopause, going on/off birth control pills can affect hair loss

If you lose more hair post-partum than before you got pregnant, see your healthcare professional.

9. Menopause

Hair follicles can shrink in menopause, making hair finer and more likely to shed. One study suggests that the ratio of estradiol-to-testosterone may influence in hair loss in women and that low ratios may be the culprit in some cases. This ratio typically decreases during menopause. Not surprisingly, another study showed that women treated with bioidentical hormones had less hair loss.

10. Vitamin B deficiency

This can be exacerbated by stress or taking birth control pills, both of which deplete B vitamins in the body and enhance hair loss.

11. Lack of fat

If you follow a low-fat diet, you may miss essential fatty acids, omega 3 and 6, which nourish the scalp and stabilize hair growth. The stress of restricting a macronutrient such as fat (or carbs or protein) may force more hair follicles to enter the telogen phase (hair loss during washing your hair). Always maintain a balanced diet rich in “good” fats such as from coconut, avocado, and nuts—good for your hair and your health.

12. Autoimmunity

Sometimes the problem is alopecia areata, which appears as hair loss in round patches on the head, and sometimes the problem is autoimmune thyroiditis. Either way, the cause is an overactive immune system and you have to have a blood test for autoimmune thyroiditis. 

13. Medications 

Medications such as beta-blockers, antidepressants, lithium, blood thinners, methotrexate, NSAIDs (such as ibuprofen) can cause hair loss.

14. Overdoing hair care and products 

Hair dye, frequent shampooing, other treatments, products, and vigorous styling can traumatize your hair follicles and lead to hair loss. Wash your hair less often. The American Academy of Dermatology suggests that you let your hair air dry and limit hot devices (like flat irons and curling irons) to once per week.

15. Insulin resistance and blood sugar problems 

Insulin can also affect hair growth. Half of female patients and 60 percent of male patients with androgenic alopecia have a constellation of signs and symptoms related to insulin resistance, blood sugar abnormalities, hypertension, and/or abnormal cholesterol.   Androgenic alopecia may be an early marker of insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, and cardiovascular disease in men. The good news is that cutting out sugar and artificial sweeteners, being more active and losing weight can reverse insulin resistance and lower your chances of hair loss.

16. Aging 

Following a balanced diet and managing your stress can help you have hair for longer. 

Recommended blood tests

  • Complete blood count
  • Ferritin
  • Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), free T3, free T4, and possibly, reverse T3, thyroid peroxidase antibodies and anti-thyroglobulin antibodies
  • Cortisol, free and metabolized in a 4-point measurement in the urine
  • Fasting insulin and glucose
  • Testosterone: total and free testosterone
  • Antinuclear antibody (tells you whether the hair loss is related to an autoimmune condition)
  • Vitamin D


  • ½ sweet potato at dinner.
  • Make sure you get adequate fat from avocado, hemp seeds, Brazil nuts so that your green smoothie has the selenium your thyroid needs.
  • Lysine from legumes – Indian dal with brown or black rice, beans with black rice and tortilla, falafel and hummus with gluten-free crackers—are a good way to get complete protein in your diet and keep hair on your head.
  • Multivitamin – this will ensure that you get the B vitamins, copper, zinc, and selenium that you need.
  • Natural treatment strategy includes a 1,000-mg daily supplement of evening primrose oil, which blocks the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT).
  • Minoxidil lotion for application.
  • Vitamin D – 5000IU daily

See hair loss as an important message from your body that needs to be identified. Often when you rectified your hair loss, you heal other systems in your body, such as your gut, immune system, and endocrine system.


If you suffer from serious hair loss please consult your Healthcare Practitioner to establish what the causes are.

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