Causes of Hair Loss
There is a wide range of hereditary and lifestyle factors that can cause men’s hair loss or affect healthy hair growth in men. By understanding these various causes of hair loss, you can act now to help prevent thinning hair.
If your diet lacks specific nutrients, it can affect hair growth. Male pattern baldness occurs when dihydrotestosterone (DHT) is produced, which inhibits hair growth by preventing the supply of nutrients to the hair follicle. This ultimately can lead to male hair loss.*
A diet rich in protein, vitamins and minerals is essential for healthy hair growth. Because the hair follicle is a nonessential tissue, it is one of the last tissues in the body to receive nutritional substances. Therefore, any long-term deficiencies may lead to premature hair loss.
Eat at least five ounces (approximately 150 grams) of protein a day. Foods high in protein are meat, chicken, fish, beans, eggs, cheese and tofu. Because hair is made of 80% to 95% protein, this is an important area of your diet.
Iron deficiency can contribute to hair loss, especially in men who may lack adequate protein in their diets.
Other important minerals for healthy hair functioning are zinc (found in seafood and beans), silica (found in potatoes, red and green peppers, and bean sprouts), magnesium (found in green vegetables and nuts), and essential fatty acids (such as the omega fatty acids found in fish and flax seed extract).
In our 20s and 30s, we typically have 615 hair follicles per square centimeter. The number falls to 485 by the time we turn 50, and to 435 by age 80. Each hair also becomes thinner, thereby reducing overall hair volume.
In the face of everyday stress, the adrenal gland produces more adrenaline, which can lead to an increase in the production of testosterone and dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT can cause male hair loss by preventing the supply of nutrients to the hair follicle.
For some people, everyday stress can affect the condition of their hair and it can turn into a vicious circle: stress affects the hair cycle and the emotional impact of hair loss can cause more stress.
Smoking can affect healthy hair growth. Cigarette smoking has been shown to cause poor circulation, which can affect the amount of blood flow available to the hair follicles of the scalp.