Life is a road of continuing education. A section of that road for me has been the field of Cosmetology. It didn’t surprise me when I was asked to blog about Hair Loss.
We all have hair, or not – but what is hair? The Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary describes hair as “a slender thread like outgrowth of the epidermis of an animal, mammal, human head.” The standard text-book of Cosmetology describes hair as “an appendage of the skin. It is a slender, thread-like outgrowth of the skin and scalp of the human body.” It goes on to tell us that there is no sense of feeling in the hair of the head or body, due to the absence of nerves in the hair. And, that the chief purposes of the hair are adornment and protection of the head from heat, cold and injury.
This all sounds good to me. However, humans tend to abuse their hair. They perm it, color it, bleach it, and men just plain shave it off if that is the fad of the day or year.
Hair is composed of a protein called keratin. Hair varies in color. Hair has a root – found beneath the skin surface and is enclosed within the follicle. The part of hair that extends above the skin is called the hair shaft. There are other terminologies used to describe hair – such as oily hair, dry hair, hair structure, long hair, short hair, bristly, soft, coarse hair, and etc., but that could take me all day to write about. The question I am trying to address is ‘hair loss’.
To understand ‘hair loss’, you need to understand hair growth. I tell my clients that if the hair is normal and healthy, each individual hair goes through a steady and continual cycle of growth, fall and replacement. Natural hair loss occurs usually in the spring and in the fall. Healthy hair is determined by the persons diet, blood circulation, emotional disturbances, endocrine glands, lymph system, kidney filtration, Adrenal glands, too much acid in the body, because of the foods you eat, drugs being taken for various health issues, hair treatments, and etc.
The formation and growth of hair cells depend upon proper nourishment and oxygen which only the blood stream can supply making the function of blood indispensable to the health and life of hair. When you are healthy, the hair flourishes. When you are ill or have any kind of health issue, the hair weakens and as with other vital organs eventually dies causing ‘hair loss’.
Clients tell me “my hair didn’t grow much this month, my hair really grew a lot, my hair didn’t grow at all.” And then ask me why? The normal hair growth per month should be one-half inch. Basically, hair growth can be influenced by seasons of the year, nutrition, hormones, and climatic conditions. Hair growth is not influenced by the way it is cut, the application of ointments, shampoo, conditioners, etc. Hair does not grow after a person dies.
So, what about ‘hair loss’. A certain amount of hair is shed daily. This is natures way to make way for new hair to come in. Dogs shed, cats shed, birds molt, other animals shed. Why wouldn’t humans shed. If the hair was pulled out by the roots, it would grow back. However, there is a part beneath the root called the papilla from which what is needed for the growth of the hair comes. Should the papilla be destroyed, it will never grow hair again. New hair is formed by cell division, from the growing point at the root of the hair around the papilla. Now the question should be what destroys the papilla? The answer – dis-ease, or diseases in and on a not so healthy body.
There is no one answer that fits all. Dis-ease is different in everyone. As I study the body the same things I talk about in my blog when it comes to diseases of any kind can be an influence on hair loss. These include: Dermatitis – an inflammatory condition of the skin; Eczema – a more acute inflammation of the skin; Psoriasis – cause unknown; Herpes simplex – again, the origin is unknown; Alopecia – of which there are many different types to include senilis (old age baldness – permanent), prematura (a slow thinning process before middle age – in this type the new hairs coming in are weaker ones), areata (the sudden falling out of hair in patches) – causes can be anemia, scarlet fever, syphilis, or the nervous system being compromised. New to some of you, but not to others, contagious disorders such as parasitic infections (ringworm – all types, mites, head lice, inflammation anywhere in the body for any reason, and staphylococci infections can be causes for hair loss. Other causes can include dandruff – long neglected dandruff often leads to permanent hair loss (baldness). Dandruff is waste trying to get out of the skin which is acidic; pulling long hair back on the head to make pony tails; tight braids; use of elastic bands; extensions; wearing of wigs on a regular basis smothers the root which needs air to grow, the result – thinning hair; and even the use of hair rollers.
Last but not least, especially today, is the taking of prescription medications for various health issues. When I got my cosmetology license in 1979, medications taken the most were over the counter drugs, penicillin and the sulfa drug. As the years have progressed, the list has had phenomenal growth, not just for drugs, but diseases. Every drug on the market today has an effect on not only the part of the body that is diseased, but on all the other organs of the body as well. These medications, which include all chemo therapy, have contra-indications which affect the whole body which is made up of millions of cells – some of which make up our hair. Is it not reasonable to say that one’s health affects one’s loss of hair. With everyone’s physical and chemical makeup being different, everyone experiences different reactions to the medications, foods, drinks and/or anything else put into or onto their bodies.
What about genetics – people ask? European researchers chalk ‘male pattern baldness up to genetics – saying “mothers may unwittingly put their sons on the path to baldness.” (from the maternal grandfather). It is called ‘androgenetic alopecia – which is related to male sex hormones. This is only one factor that may be the cause of hair loss. Male pattern baldness is usually accompanied by dandruff (see above paragraph). Again, dandruff is the skin trying to get rid of waste material on it, and in it, which is very acidic. Dandruff is a symptom of something more serious – usually lymph system issues, kidney filtration not working properly, adrenal gland failure, etc. all caused by too much acid in the body.
Genetics only play a part in the natural loss of hair which is gradual as you age. In summary sources of hair loss definitely include: health issues, stress, medications, and etc.
Quoting from ‘The Detox Miracle Sourcebook’ by Robert Morse, N.D.
“Your hair is little different from any other tissue in the body, requiring virtually the same elements for growth and repair. Since the hair is second most metabolically active tissue in your body, it can be used as a “record” of metabolic activity. An inch or so of your hair can give you a good picture of the last two months or so of your body’s metabolic activity. As it grows, it “locks in” the history of intra’and extra-cellular metabolic activity.” In other words, your hair is the history of your body’s health – to include your hairs health. “Hair analysis is more reliable than blood analysis in indicating tissue (cellular) level utilization, storage and excretory factors.” Hair, therefore, can be contaminated by hair treatment products, such as dyes, bleaches, and shampoos, and I will add conditioners, oils, hair sprays, etc. This is in opposition to what I said before, which is what we were taught 35 or more years ago. I know, I am allergic to all the hair care products that I put on my hair or put on clients – but then, how do you steer clear of using them? You use natural or organically produced products – which are available, but are hard to find because there are too few.
The cellular level is where it is all happening folks. The hair is very sensitive to everything you do to your body. You need the correct nourishment, to include vitamins, minerals, amino acids, etc. to aid in having and maintaining a healthy growth of hair. You need to understand the systemic conditions of your body, and fix them. Detoxification (ridding the body of toxins), can drastically change the condition of the hair. It will bring the body’s chemistry back into balance by removing the toxic metals, elements and substances that don’t belong there. A fruit diet is a good start, along with herbal formula supplements.
Recently, the latest ‘scientific information’ claims hair loss can be fixed with stem cell re-nourishing products. I checked out the product and you can try it for around $99 per hair spray can size container. But know that without continual use, your hair loss will come right back. The same happens with the use of other hair growth products.
In summary – These are the facts as I see them. I cannot tell you what to do as you are all different genetically, chemically, and reactionary to life in general. It is up to each of you to determine what might be the cause of your loss of hair, and how much you are willing to do, and to pay, to get your hair back.
MAY GOD BLESS YOU ALL DAILY!