Thinning hair is probably the most common issue in American cosmetics today. It is such a prevalent issue that people have been searching for years to find a way to counteract it. It affects men and women alike the world over, much to their chagrin. However, success has not been so easy to find as there are far too many false solutions throwing us off the trail.
The search has not stopped despite this, and some options have come to the forefront of reducing hair thinning. The available solutions range from full-on medical operations to introducing a few new substances to your diet. Knowing the difference between what works and what does not is the real trick.
For the most part, the options available for undoing hair thinning and repairing your head of hair are not fully understood. The best solutions are often simpler as they minimize the risk of unintended side effects and the costs associated with the more invasive options. However, we still need to determine which simpler solutions are the best for the average American. Hopefully, this article provides you with the insight and information needed to decide your hair health needs.
#1: Platelet-Rich Plasma
One of the more well-known options for reversing hair thinning is a procedure known as platelet-rich plasma. The procedure itself is not overly invasive, but it does require a doctor to oversee the process. PRP therapy involves the extraction of human blood that is then put through a centrifuge to spin the sample at high speeds. This centrifugal force separates the blood from the plasma cells that promote cell generation in the human body.
Once the plasma is fully separated from the blood sample, the doctor takes the created solution and injects it into the afflicted area that requires the new plasma cells. The question is, how does this help with thinning hair?
When seeking out PRP therapy for hair loss, the plasma is injected into the scalp so the cells can interact with the hair follicles. This blood supply is thought to help enhance the thickness of the hair shaft and promote thicker, renewed hair growth. The procedure is still extremely experimental and not fully proven as a solution for hair loss. However, there have been follow-up studies to try and determine the full range of effects of restoring hair in humans. One major evaluation of PRP therapy was conducted in 2019, published in the Aesthetic Plastic Surgery that reviewed multiple studies regarding PRP.
The vast majority of the studies supported PRP results as an effective counter to thinning hair. The results showed that PRP reduced the rate of hair loss and even increased the density of hair growth. However, PRP seems to be a possible solution for thinning hair, but it is a costly and time-consuming option. PRP requires supplementary sessions every 3 to 6 months to maintain its effects, and the average cost per session is around $400.00 per injection.
One of the other pharmacological options for repairing thinning hair is a prescription medication known as finasteride. Finasteride, also known by the brand name Propecia, is not something you can get over the counter, but it has been shown to have benefits in treating hair loss. It does this by regulating the body's production of a hormone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT).
DHT is a male sex hormone meant to cause ovaries to become testes when male children are still gestating in the womb. However, DHT also doubles as an extremely important hormone to regulate hair growth across the body, with one catch. It does not do anything for head hair.
When too much DHT is being produced, it can interfere with hair growth on the head because it interferes with the growth cycle and causes weaker strands to form. Finasteride counteracts this by inhibiting the body's production of DHT and enabling a natural production of head hair in the one taking it. While finasteride can be useful, serious limitations make it less ideal for general hair care. Specifically, it is only applicable to men for obvious reasons.
Additionally, hormone regulation comes with a serious risk of severe hormonal side effects that could make your situation much worse than it was initially. It is likely a better option to rely on a supplement that is a little more natural and open to helping men and women alike.
Another common selection for countering thinning hair is biotin supplements to promote new growth. Biotin is another name for vitamin B7, a water-soluble nutrient we generally only acquire by consuming certain foods. It is surprisingly difficult to suffer a biotin deficiency if you enjoy a well-balanced diet.
However, for those who do happen to suffer a biotin deficiency, you might notice that your hair is thinning rapidly. This is because vitamin B7 is a primary component of what allows our bodies to produce hair. However, there is little evidence to suggest that supplementary biotin in patients who have a normal amount will enjoy superior hair growth.
Rather, biotin is used to help counteract thinning hair in people with biotin deficiencies. This makes biotin supplements extremely useful in helping to restore hair growth that is suffering from the lack of resources. With biotin's lack of effects in healthy people, it is not exactly the ideal solution for thinning hair.
If you suffer from a B7 deficiency, consider taking some biotin supplements. You should see your hair growth start to improve and return to the level it was before the deficiency took hold. Fortunately, there are still options available for those who are simply dealing with thinning hair without vitamin deficiency.
#4: Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Another potential tool for combatting hair loss is omega-3 fatty acids, which we cannot produce ourselves. Even though omega-3 fatty acids are considered essential fatty acids, the only way we can introduce them to our bodies is through the consumption of foods where they are the chief fat. One of the biggest issues that omega-3 acids fight is inflammation, leading to hair loss if chronic inflammation goes untreated. However, further research has shown the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids in their ability to help with hair growth.
Studies suggest that omega-3 acids can provide essential proteins to the hair follicles while also reducing the inflammation around them. Undoing the damage to the follicles promotes improved growth by itself, but there is also evidence suggesting that it also increases the flow of blood to the follicles to promote hair growth further.
Studies have even been conducted to support the claims behind omega-3's effects on hair loss. For example, a study in 2015 reviewed the effects of a fish oil supplement on hair growth in women. The results indicated that the omega-3 in the fish oil promoted enhanced hair growth and reduced hair loss.
In addition, omega-3 fatty acids can benefit skin health and the follicles found within. Maintaining a healthy dermis is essential to ensuring that your hair follicles can form healthy hair strands without interference.
Research has found that omega-3 acids can:
- Manage the production of skin oils to maintain healthier dermis hydration.
- Prevent the hyperkeratinization of the skin, manifesting as red bumps that can block follicles.
- Reduce the risk of acne, which can also prevent hairs from growing properly through the follicle.
By maintaining your skin and follicles, omega-3 acids can promote healthier hair growth. This makes it a highly valued tool for many who suffer from thinning hair and skin conditions.
Another study in 2018 conducted on mice had mackerel oil applied to their fur. Despite being applied topically rather than ingested, the results were equally promising. The mice showed significant hair growth after the researchers applied the oil, indicating that fish oil is the tool you need to combat hair growth.
The omega-3 within the fish oil is the chief reason for this effect, and the acquisition of omega-3 supplements is extremely easy compared to PRP therapy and more reliable than biotin. The better news is that omega-3 supplements are not the only simple option available.
Another popular option to help repair hair health is a compound known as collagen. Unlike the other options we have listed, collagen is a naturally occurring compound in the human body. It is the building blocks our bodies use to produce our nails and skin and produces another compound known as keratin. Keratin is the main ingredient our bodies use to produce hair, meaning that an intake of collagen can help to bolster the levels of keratin our body can draw on to produce hair in the first place. Collagen supplements have often been used in the pursuit of revitalizing hair, with scientific evidence supporting their validity.
Keratin might be the building block for hair growth, but even it requires certain compounds to form. This is where the collagen comes into play, as keratin is composed of several amino acids that collagen can supply. The three amino acids collagen provides are the nonessential acids:
Proline is one of genuine value since proline is the primary ingredient of keratin. Using collagen supplements rich in proline gives your body what it needs to produce keratin. By providing keratin, you give your body what it needs to revitalize your overall hair growth.
Another reason collagen is an important part of hair health is that it composes 70% of our skin and contributes to the elasticity of the skin. As we age, the elasticity is lost as our collagen production slows down, and hair cannot grow as fully as it did in our youths. Researchers evaluated this effect in an 8-week study on women between the ages of 35 and 55. The 69 subjects were divided into groups where one received collagen supplements while the research staff gave the other a placebo. The results showed that collagen improved the skin's overall elasticity and opened up the way for renewed hair growth.
Finally, collagen can be used to prevent additional damage to the hair follicles that might be inhibiting your normal hair growth. One of the main enemies of hair growth is free radicals that are known to damage cells and can be introduced through poor diet and environmental hazards.
One of the only known ways to fight damage from free radicals is the use of antioxidants. Fortunately, recent research has shown that collagen, marine collagen specifically, is an extremely powerful antioxidant that can fight off free radicals as effectively as more well-known antioxidant compounds. Between the benefits of marine collagen and omega-3 fatty acids, the moral of the story seems to be that fish are friends.
Keep it All Natural
Finding the resources you need to undo the thinning of your hair can be extremely difficult when our medical field wants to use chemicals for everything. Given that some pharmacological tools for hair loss can lead to more severe complications, finding alternatives can be in your best interest to ensure healthy hair and a healthy body.
While this is not to say that some mainstream hair care products are not effective for some, they are not for everyone, and you might need a solution that is more aligned with your lifestyle choices. For the most part, omega-3 acids and collagen are among the top options for people who want a more naturalistic approach. However, it falls to you to choose the tool best for your needs. If you want a natural supplement, the issue becomes one of acquisition.
We at Bella All Natural have made it our goal to offer naturalistic supplements that can help with cosmetic and health needs. While we cannot offer PRP or finasteride, we do offer supplements for collagen, biotin, and omega-3 fatty acids designed to offer all the benefits for your skin and hair they are known for.
The best part is that our products focus on the natural side of these compounds, allowing you to restore your beauty on your terms. So, if you want to take a stand against thinning hair, check out our website for the many options we have to offer. And, as always, remember to keep it All Natural!