Date: 15 Feb 2019
By Dr Joshua Chong
The role of your genes in hair loss has been THE focal point for many hair restoration doctors for decades. However, evolving research into the field of epigeneticsof hair loss (i.e. factors that can worsen genetic hair loss) show that it is much more complex than genetics alone.
The role of inflammation
Increasing evidence shows that inflammation at the microscopic level is linked to accelerated hair loss in both men and women. This microinflammation can be caused by medical conditions, toxin exposure, scalp infections, certain medications etc. Long-term inflammation surrounding the hair follicle stem cells cause hair roots to get smaller with time and weaken the hair shafts.
The role of micronutrients
It was not too long ago that the medical profession attributed 90% of pattern hair loss to genetics. Updates in the role of hair-essential micronutrients demonstrate that hair loss is closely related to certain deficiencies. The role of Vitamin D, for example, has come to forefront of research in recent years. Research shows that in female hair loss sufferers, 83-91% will lack Vitamin D. Shortage of other micronutrients and minerals like zinc, selenium, molybdenum etc have also been linked to accelerated hair loss.
The role of oxidation
Oxidative Stress is a common process that results from the production of free radicals in the body. The main free radicals that attack hair follicles are the Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS)– a well known example is PEROXIDE, found in hair bleach. ROS also builds up from excessive sun exposure, environmental toxins and as a normal byproduct of cell metabolism. Anti-oxidants prevent oxidative stress, helping to slow down hair aging. Well known examples include Vitamin C, Vitamin E, resveratrol and melatonin.
The role of stress
Physical (e.g. major illness, surgery) and emotional stress (e.g. work pressure, disruptions in a relationship) causes your body to produce cortisol, otherwise known as ‘the stress hormone’. In the short term, this can cause an episode of excessive shedding of hair. In the long term, cortisol weakens the protective immunity of the hair follicles, rendering them to damage from DHT (a potent male hormone), pathogens (bacteria and viruses) and worsen the impact of a poor diet. Stress management is crucial to reduce cortisol. In the cases of long term physical or emotional stress, natural compounds such as turmeric extract and ashgawanda root have been proven to reduce the impact of cortisol on the hair follicles.
The role of the hair microbiome
The term microbiome refers to microscopic ecology of a certain area in the body – bacteria or yeasts naturally present and often helpful to the area. Latest evidence points to excessive anti-bacterial and antibiotic usage disrupting this beneficial bacteria on the scalp, similar to the digestive system. As a result, these helpful microorganisms are unable to generate substances that protect your hair follicles. Promoting a normal hair microbiome is encouraged by using lactobacillus species of probiotics. This can be as simple as taking suitable hair-specific probiotics daily.
How do I control the impact of these 5 discoveries?
Terra Medical Clinic encourages the use of Nutrafol, the most updated range of hair supplements from the US. They are specifically tailored to fit your biological sex and age group, having 3 iterations of their ‘Core’ series – For Women, For Men and Core PLUS (for perimenopausal women). These are oral supplements that are fuss-free capsules, taken only once a day and have no side effects.
The broad coverage of Nutrafol on the 5 hair loss triggers reflects the brand’s continued pursuit of the latest advances in hair loss treatment targets.
Nutrafol fights hair follicle microinflammation with a cocktail of Ashgawanda and Biocucurmin (an extract of turmeric) and reduces the effect of Cortisol on the body.
This multi-tasking supplement combats poor nutrition by supplying hair growth ingredients such as hydrolyzed marine collagen for easy absorption, vitamin D and biotin.
Nutrafol also fights off oxidative stress using Tocotrienol Complex (a potent version of Vitamin E) and reduces the impact of DHT on the hair follicle using the extract of Saw Palmetto berries.
In addition, Nutrafol Hairbiotic provides for the growth of good bacteria to maintain good microbiome, supporting healthy hair growth.
Terra Medical Clinic is committed to keeping hair loss biology updated and relevant to our patients, as well as, delivering results with minimal inconvenience.
Rajput.R.J. Controlled clinical trial for evaluation of hair growth with low dose cyclical nutrition therapy in men and women without the use of finasteride. Plast Aesthet Res. 2017;4. Doi:10.20517/2347-9264.2017.57