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I've a question on sun exposure and hair loss. I'm a healthy 47 year old woman going
through menopause and over the last few months, I noticed that my hair is falling
out in handfuls when I wash. I spend a lot of time outdoors under the sun, working
in the garden so I'm wondering if my sudden hair loss could be related to sun exposure,
or menopause. Please advise what can I do to stop my hair from coming out so much.
Thank you. – Tess, Florida.
Does Sun Exposure Cause Hair Loss?
No, the sun does not contribute to hair loss. However, it's always a good idea to
protect your hair and scalp against the sun's harmful UV rays with a hat or scarf,
or use UV hair protectant products such as a liquid sunblock.
Long term exposure to UV rays may damage your hair, leaving it dry and brittle, and
more prone to breakage as well as split ends. So, don't forget to deep condition
your hair on a regular basis.
While it's normal to lose up to about 100 hairs a day in the shower and hair brushing,
there may be many possible reasons why your hair is falling out.
Some of the most common causes of hair loss include aging, stress, nutritional deficiency
(poor diet), medications, and genetic predisposition for hair loss called androgenetic
alopecia (AGA, female pattern hair loss). But most often, hair loss in women is the
result of a hormonal imbalance. Child birth, menopause, birth control, and thyroid
disorder can trigger hormonal changes, which in turn can cause thinning hair or loss
of hair in females.
How Do You Stop Hair Loss in Women Naturally?
1. Diet and nutrition plays an important role in the prevention of hair loss in people
with thinning hair or baldness. If your hair isn't getting the essential Vitamins
and nutrients it needs to grow healthily and stay strong, it may become weak and
fall out more easily.
Biotin, a water-soluble B-complex Vitamin (Vitamin B7, Vitamin H), has been researched
and proven to improve hair quality and cure hair loss in some people. In addition,
biotin can help stop premature graying of hair. Biotin is found in many foods including
egg yolks, liver, salmon, cauliflower, carrots, bananas, and yeast.
Zinc is also said to be good for hair loss treatment although this claim is not backed
up any strong medical evidence. For the best source of zinc, you can add wheat germ
to your smoothies or yogurt, or bake it with bread or muffins. You can also get zinc
from other food sources such as brewer's yeast, pumpkin seeds, oysters, mussels,
shrimps and egg yolks.
If you've been diagnosed with high cholesterol and thinking of using zinc supplements,
make sure to consult your doctor first as too much zinc can raise LDL (bad cholesterol)
and lower HDL (good cholesterol).
To stop your hair from thinning and falling out so much, you should eat a wide variety
of good quality protein-rich foods such as fish and chicken, along with Vitamin A
and E, and B-Vitamins. So load up your plate with foods like sweet potato, avocado,
walnuts, sesame seeds, mackerel, sprouts and green leafy vegetables, and milk.
I'd also suggest you take flaxseed or evening primrose supplements, both of which
contain essential fatty acids (EFAs), to minimize menopausal hair loss.
Many of our readers found aloe vera to be helpful for hair fall control so you may
want to try it out to see if it works for you. Drink a small cup of pure aloe vera
juice everyday, or take 1 tablespoon pure aloe vera gel with a small pinch of cumin,
3 times a day for about 2-3 months. You'll notice stronger, softer and shinier hair.
2. Another natural way to stop hair loss and regrow thinning hair is to regularly
massage your scalp to improve blood circulation and stimulate hair growth.
You can use either virgin coconut oil, almond oil, olive oil, or any oil that contains
Vitamin E to gently massage your scalp before going to bed.
3. Rinsing your hair with apple cider vinegar (ACV) will help stimulate hair growth
as it maintains balanced scalp pH and remove dead skin cells that can clog up hair
follicles and hinder healthy hair growth.
To make apple cider vinegar hair rinse, just mix equal amounts of ACV and water in
a plastic bottle. Apply the rinse and rub it in your scalp after shampooing. Rinse
off thoroughly after 5 minutes, or leave it for extra conditioning.
One important thing to take note – make sure to use unfiltered, unpasteurized, organic
apple cider vinegar with “mother.” I highly recommend you use Bragg's ACV.
Other natural herbal remedies that are excellent for hair strengthening and prevent
hair from falling out include licorice extracts, horsetail (best source of silica),
stinging nettle, rosemary, birch, burdock and marshmallow root.
4. Recent studies have shown that too much stress (emotional and physical) can have
a severe impact on hair health, causing hair to become gray and fall out.
Stress may lead to elevated cortisol levels, which in turn cause hormone changes
that are responsible for loss of hair. Therefore, you should manage your stress levels
to prevent hair loss during menopause.
There are various ways to reduce stress in your daily life. For example, try to take
time out for yourself and pick up a hobby that interests you, or do relaxation exercises
such as yoga or tai-chi.