Eating nutritious foods and a balanced diet
Hair is a protein fiber, like your nails, which means that you need to eat protein to grow new strands and keep the existing ones strong. Protein is also required to produce keratin, a key structural component of hair. To achieve all of these, a smart choice is marine-based protein, like salmon, which has been shown to boost the health of your hair because of the omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins that it contains.
When used as a topical treatment, honey can improve the look of your thinning hair. In a study of patients experiencing seborrheic dermatitis, which manifests in scaling, itching, and hair loss, those who applied a solution of 90% honey and 10% water on their scalp every other day for 4 weeks reported a significant improvement in hair loss at the end of the study.
Nuts and seeds
Some of the most promising research on reversing hair loss was released in January 2015 in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology. Subjects in the study received a nutritional supplement containing omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids and antioxidants for 6 months. The results were overwhelmingly positive: after 6 months, 90% of the subjects reported a reduction in hair loss, 86% reported an improvement in hair growth, and 87% reported thicker hair. To achieve similar results, eat nuts and seeds high in omega-3s and omega-6s, like walnuts, flaxseed, and oils derived from grapeseed, sunflower, and sesame.
One study found that individuals with hair loss have significantly lower iron and vitamin D2 levels compared to age-matched controls. Spinach is a good bet because it is rich in iron and high in vitamin C which aids in iron absorption. Toss a spinach salad with hardboiled eggs or mushrooms, both of which are loaded with vitamin D, to give yourself the best shot at slowing hair loss.
Zinc seems to be a super nutrient when it comes to preventing and treating hair loss. Based on one study, researchers compared the zinc levels of 50 people with hair loss due to alopecia areata to healthy controls and found that all of the alopecia patients had significantly lower zinc levels. Another study examined the zinc and copper levels in 312 men and women experiencing hair loss. Regardless of the cause of the hair loss, all subjects had significantly lower zinc levels compared to the controls.
Fortunately, zinc supplementation and eating plenty of zinc-rich foods can slow hair loss in the majority of these cases. Thus, it is recommended that you add them to your diet. According to the National Institute of Health, oysters contain more zinc per serving than any other food. Hence, take oysters from time to time. Other good and rich sources of zinc are walnuts, spinach, eggs, sunflower seeds, green peas, wheat germ, oatmeal, and chickpeas.
Pumpkin, rosemary, and coconut oils all act as nectar to the scalp. In one study, researchers gave 400 mg per day of pumpkin seed oil or a placebo for 24 weeks to men with hair loss. Those who took the pumpkin seed oil experienced a 40% increase in hair growth.
Even if you do not take oils, when they are used as pre-wash and post-wash grooming product, coconut oil has been shown to protect hair against protein loss, and rosemary oil has been shown to increase hair growth comparable to minoxidil—the main ingredient of Rogaine—and to reduce itchiness on the scalp.
A recent study found that a supplement containing cistanche tubulosa—a desert plant used in traditional Chinese medicine—and laminaria japonica (an edible brown seaweed) promoted hair growth in people with mild to moderate hair loss. After 16 weeks of supplementation, volunteers saw a 13% increase in hair volume and a 27% increase in hair thickness. The supplement was also effective in treating scalp inflammation and dandruff.
Using combs with wider spaces between bristles
Use an inexpensive, plastic hair brush with widely-spaced needles. This is less harmful to your hair. In fact, it will not cause hair loss because the frictional force that could uproot your hair from your scalp is lesser. Expensive natural boar bristle brushes are often promoted as the “best” type of brush to use for your hair. This is not true. In fact, it could cause extreme damage to your hair because it creates a lot of friction as it slides through your hair, rubbing against its natural grain.
Avoiding unhealthy hair styles and harsh treatments
Unhealthy hair styles
Traction alopecia is a type of hair loss than happens over time. It is caused by putting your hair under constant strain or tension for prolonged period of time. This is caused by one or more of the following:
- Very tight ponytails or pigtails
- Tight braids or cornrows
- Extension (single) braids
- Hair weaves or wigs attached with glue, clips, or tape
- Certain hair clips, slides, or barrettes that hold the hair tightly and are worn in the same position every day
- Headbands—even fabric ones—worn day after day
- Tight hairpieces
- Tight headgear like cycling helmets that are worn frequently or for long stretches of time and tend to rub or pull repeatedly on the same area of hair
- Repeated use of hair rollers
- Repeated pulling of the hair with the hands (trichotillomania)
If you use or do any of the above, then you may find that the constant tension that it produced will lead to the thinning of your hair in some areas of your head—usually around your temples or behind your ears. In some cases, you will notice that hairs in certain part of your scalp looks wider than it used to be. If you observed these changes, then very likely you have been suffering from traction alopecia.
Constant pulling-pressure will not simply break off your hairs. Worse, the constant and sustained tension in the affected area either pulls out the hairs’ roots completely or causes follicles to be inflamed. As days and months elapse, the damage to the follicles causes them to become atrophied (wasted away). If you do not release the damaging tension, time will come when the follicles will no longer produce hair at all, and you will find yourself bald in some areas of your scalp, if not totally bald.
Avoid applying chemical products, such as dyes, bleaches, straighteners, or permanent wave solutions, on your hairs. Depending on the strength of the product that you used, you could correspondingly inflict damage to your hair: mild damage, moderate damage, or permanent hair loss.
Switching and shifting medications to avoid their side effects
To reduce the side effects of some medications, you can follow the following guidelines:
- Know the side effects of the medications that you have been using or you plan to use;
- If hair loss is one of the side effects, then you can scout for other medications that could take its place;
- If all the medications that you need have hair loss as one of their side effects, then select the one with the least severe adverse effect on your hair;
- If you have finally selected the drug that you will take and such drug could cause hair loss, then use said drug with the least effective dose and use it with the least number of days or months (shortest duration as much as possible);
- Never start a medication without consulting your medical doctor.
Avoiding pulling or twisting your hair
When you twist your hair, the damages that you inflict include cuticle chipping, tangling, and breakage. At low to moderate levels of twisting, your hair is unlikely to break and recovers its initial state. However, at high levels of twisting, your hair cannot fully relax back to its original length, and it can break. Thus, avoid twisting your hair. It is better that you leave them as they are, without much tinkering and harsh touching.
As mentioned in the preceding, trichotillomania is a psychiatric disorder wherein, if you are afflicted with it, you release your anxiety by pulling your hairs. It is beyond your control because you are afflicted with an impulsive disorder that could only be corrected if you consult a professional counsellor or medical doctor. As a result of your constant pulling, a number of hairs are broken. You may want to stop doing it, but you cannot control yourself! You need to see a psychiatrist, psychologist, or a family doctor then so that you could be given a medication and a therapy known as cognitive behavioural therapy.
Another way of pulling your hair is by having hair style that in effect pulls a number of your hair. With constant pulling, sustained and persistent for a long period of time, you will suffer from hair loss well described in the preceding and known as traction alopecia. While, in trichotillomania, you were helpless, in this second way of pulling your hair, you are well aware of it, and you can control yourself. Hence, stop from pulling your hair by using unhealthy hair styles as well discussed in the preceding.
Strive to reduce your stress
It has been mentioned in a number of scientific journals that stress plays a great role in causing hair loss in men. As such, to prevent hair loss, you need to have some behavioural changes so that the stress that you will encounter in every day of your lifetime could be reduced. Following are the recommended and means of doing it:
Develop effective time management
One factor that could produce stress is the mere thought that you still have a lot of things to do in a day. Remember that you only have 24 hours in a day; therefore, you need to prioritize your daily activities. There are activities that could wait for another day or two! Do not squeeze them in a day which is already loaded and bursting at the seam! As much as possible, schedule a certain number of activities in a day where there is still breathing space. If your target for the day is highly achievable, you feel relaxed, and you can do your job well.
Iron out kinks in a relationship soonest
It is a well known fact that men are socials beings. A man and a woman enter into a relationship with the hope that their being together will bring happiness and contentment to both of them. Sometime though, as days go by such relationship a wanes in terms of closeness and quarrels between them erupt! It is necessary and of paramount importance that problems in relationship should be ironed out as soon as possible, because it will surely lead to stressful situation if left to fester.
Problems in relationship could go beyond the realm of marriage. It could spill over in the corporate world and other organizations where competitions and intrigues abound. There can be conflict between the boss and the subordinates, misunderstandings between the staff of equal rank, and fights about who got which promotion. Friendships end and deteriorate—without obvious reasons! All of these produce stress until the sources of conflict are resolved. Communication is key here.
Engage in relaxing activities
There are a number of activities that one can engage into in order to defuse a very tense life. Some of these activities include reading books and magazines, watching entertaining movies and shows, taking care of plants and pets, doing carpentry and painting work. One criterion that must be satisfied is that you should have natural liking and enjoyment of the selected activity; otherwise, it will not redound to reducing your stress level.
Have close friends
A personal problem becomes lighter when it is discussed and shared with someone close to you. The mere sharing of said problem spontaneously frees you from a seemingly insurmountable misery. Wittingly or unwittingly, by sharing your problem, you are expecting your listener to utter a reaction in the form of advice on how you could possibly overcome it. These would-be listeners who could greatly help you with your problem are your close friends. Sometimes we don’t even want advice, we just want someone to listen and understand us. Knowing that you have someone, or circle of friends, to lean on in times of distress will relieve you of your stress.
There is one activity that most modern men cannot afford not to do: driving their vehicle. No doubt, it is a necessity these days! With increasing number of activities to be done each day, every motorist tends to drive fast in order to cope with the increasing demand of daily living. When you drive so fast, a lot of physiological changes take place in your system. Some of these are: (1) there is increased release of adrenaline in your system such that your heart, respiratory and metabolic rates go up; (2) with increased heart rate, your blood pressure rises, and (3) your muscles in the neck and other parts of your body become tense and stiff such that later on you will experience bodily pain. Thus, when you drive very fast, your stress level increases, and, when you drive slowly, stress level goes down.
Regular physical exercises
Regular physical exercises does not only improve your physical stamina; it also relieves you from stress. The exact mechanism as to how it relieves you is still unexplainable at the moment, but the point is, by engaging in physical exercises, you momentarily forget your worries and problems that soon you feel great, relaxed, and relieved! In fact, it is possible that as you do your regular physical exercises, you are at the same time solving and figuring out your problem; it has been the experience of some people that as they end their exercises, they have solution(s) to their problem(s)!
Select work near your home
It has been found out and established in a research that if your place of work is so far away from your place of residence, you will have more stress than if you live nearby. The stress comes mainly from driving fast. Living near your place of work has many advantages: (1) you save time, energy, and money, and (2) you are less stressed.
Organize your file and place of work
One situation that could irritate and stress you is when you cannot find a thing or two, which you need very badly at the moment! It could be a missing document; it could be a missing raffle ticket which won you a prize; it could be a billing statement which you need to pay soon! To avoid all of these, organize your file! You should know exactly where you placed your things! By having an organized file, you will spend no time at all in retrieving what you need, and you will not be stressed!
Organizing your file is one thing; organizing your place of work is another. If your table, computer, cabinets, chairs, and sofa in your working room are not well placed, it could, consciously or unconsciously, distract you. Unknowingly, the poor set-up in your room has been stressing you, and it could be manifested in the form of: (1) headache, (2) poor concentration in your work, (3) irritable mood, (4) less tolerance to provocation, and (5) sleepiness. If you experience one or two of the aforestated symptoms of stress, try to re-arrange the furnitures in your working room; improve the ambiance in terms of lighting and spaciousness. Appropriately lighted room perks up your psyche; avoid cluttering; remove a lot of display items that could crowd! When your working room is relatively spacious, you feel unrestrained, and your thinking process feels free to absorb and exude new ideas!
Face your problem squarely and solve it
There is one facial salon whose company name is “Let’s Face It!”. The name was so striking because for a reader it could mean: (1) figuratively, solve your problem squarely, (2) literally, have treatment of your facial problems like warts, acne, and blemishes! In this discussion, however, it is the first meaning that needs some degree of discussion.
Every day, personal problems arise, and they may need to be solved immediately, depending on what problem it is. However, the point is once a problem arises, it has to be examined closely and solved it once and for all! If solving it is delayed, the said problem may get worse, and exact more stress upon you. Solve while it is still easier to do!
Be alone from time to time
Being alone in some occasions is not bad at all. In fact, it is needed by your psyche to renew its vigor and productivity! It is a time when you could say to yourself: “This is where I am at the moment; where do I want to go next?” It is a personal re-assessment of some sort of what you have achieved so far in your life and what you plan to do in the days, months, and years to come! You may have not realized what you have achieved so far in your life! This is the time you can do it—when you are alone! You will eventually realize that your life has been time well spent! It was not wasted! It was put to good use! Productive and useful for those around you! You will feel great, and you will be de-stressed!
Vary your interests
Every person has several talents and skills that need to be developed and to be honed. Knowing this, every day, you need to engage in activities whose performance will lead to the development of your inherent capabilities to perform a particular task, or group of tasks. If your working capabilities are limited, if you were dismissed from a particular job, for instance, it will be very hard for you to look for another job. Thus, you need to prepare for eventualities by equipping yourself with other capabilities outside of your profession. For instance, if you are a food technologist by profession employed in a company, it is not enough that you know the technicalities of food technology. If you have a natural bent on technical writing, you need to develop your talent on writing! If you like painting, join activities or trainings that will further enhance and hone your skill in painting! If you love music, why not engage—from time to time—on song writing?
The main advantage of having other capabilities is that if you lost your job, you can have other fall back preoccupations that may help you earn a living. This will enhance your self-confidence, and you will not be worried—day in and day out—about losing your job. This will reduce your stress.
Ask help from others
Each person has his/her strong and weak points. There are jobs that you can do so well, but there are others wherein you find difficulty in discharging. One source of stress is that you insist on doing things wherein you lack the expertise to do them. For instance, you might be good being an employed person doing a specific set of jobs in a company, but you lack the talents needed in running your own company. If you decide to leave your work and start your own company, then you may need to hire other people who are experts in doing specific activities. It is unwise that you insist on doing all the jobs, in spite of being a successful worker in your previous company. To continue doing all the work, without help from others, will really stress you!
The preceding example may not be applicable to all since it is based on corporate level. To make it more understandable and practical, you need to look at your own family members, friends, and neighbors. For instance, if you want to cook a particular food wherein you have no knowledge about it, then it is probably wise and practical that you ask one of your neighbors or friends to teach you how to do it, instead of immediately plunging yourself into doing it without advise from the experts! You might end up having a cooked food which is not appreciated by everyone! It is a waste of time, effort, and money! It is stressful! To avoid this, ask help from others.
Join social organizations
In the preceding, it was mentioned that one of the strategies in reducing stress is to “Have close friends”. The very reason why this was suggested was that close friends could give you advice on matters wherein you find difficulty with. In addition, they may involve you with their existing businesses and thus help you boost your financial income. In both ways, your stress will be reduced! If you join social organizations related to your work and profession, you are enlarging your circle of friends, and your network is enlarged! More people will give you advices and hints, and more people may be able to engage your services in their businesses! Again, in both ways, your stress will be reduced.
Be prepared to face and meet failures!
There are perfectionists individuals. In every project and activity that they engage in, they want that such project is implemented with no mistakes and shortcomings! As such the preparatory activities are done in such a way that every nook and corner is closely looked at, and they follow the adage that says “no stones left unturned!” If you belong to this group of people, with the same working philosophy and principle, you may have stressed yourself to the hilt because you cannot afford to commit mistakes and failures! To avoid being stressed, allow yourself to fail to some degree, although in a well calibrated manner.
Manage your finances well
One source of stress is financial difficulties. When your expenses are more than what you earn—thus having the difficulty of paying your debts, credit cards, and your other needs—you will be under stress. One of the remedies to solve this problem is for you to monitor your expenses, and prioritize your needs. Rank your needs according to urgency. Thus, you may classify your needs into (1) essential and necessary that it cannot be delayed, (2) essential but can be delayed, (3) nice to have. After you have classified your needs according to the preceding categories, then the first things that you need to buy are those falling under the “essential and necessary that it cannot be delayed”. Some examples of these are foods, medicines, and clothing. By doing this, your limited earnings will not give you problem.
Improper use of credit cards is one of the most notorious causes of overspending! This takes place because credit cards give you the false impression that you still have money when, in fact, you have been using borrowed money. If you are not fully aware of this, you will put yourself into trouble because when your bill arrives, your debt is very much higher than what you can afford to pay. If you cannot control your use of your credit cards, then resort to paying what you buy in cash. If you do not have enough money, then do not buy non-essential goods and items. Give priority to the essential ones.
If you cannot afford not to use your credit cards, then the next best thing to do is to monitor your expenses. Write down the expenses that you have so far made, and have a partial total. If the partial total is approaching your limit, then be more strict and very keen in prioritizing what you will buy; slow down in your expenses; limit your expenses to what you can afford to pay. If you can very well do these, you will not be under stress.
Choose your friends well
In the preceding, it was mentioned that you need to “have close friends” to fight stress. On one side, “close friends” could support you by listening to your problems and giving you advices. On the other side, if you are not careful in the selection of your friends, they could also serve to disturb you. There are people who devote much of their time having parties, outings, and travels. These activities, if done frequently and unchecked, will not only get much of your limited time; it will at the same time exact additional expenses on your part. If you happened to have friends like these, then you will be involved in their “unnecessary” activities that you will have—without your knowing—additional stress! Select your friends so well. Join people who could help you and whom you could help. Avoid those who could stress you!