“When it comes to personal appearance, many people tell me that shiny, thick, lustrous hair is their number one beauty goal,” says Vitallife wellness specialist, Dr. Nacha Harinrak. Caring for your hair however, involves more than washing, conditioning, and regular visits to the hairdresser. Just like skin or teeth, maintaining thick, glowing hair is enhanced by good inner health and wellness. The cells that make up each strand of hair require a regular supply of key nutrients. Good hair growth usually indicates good health and wellbeing.
Growth Cycles and Hair Loss
Dr Nacha said hair grows in cycles. There are three phases in each cycle – – anagen the growth stage, catagen the transition stage, and telogen, the resting stage. In general, 85-95 of the hair follicles are in anagen phase, 10-14% in telogen and 1-2% in catagen. Many women, as well as men, will lose hair as they get older and affects almost 50% of all people in their 50s.
Dr. Nacha says hair loss is a natural and normal process in each growth cycle. “Don’t panic if you find hair in the shower sink, or on your pillow case,” she cautions. “Hair loss is normal and we lose on average around 100 to 200 hairs per day and we can replace easily. If the amount of hair shed daily is higher, however, this is cause for concern.”
Causes of Hair Loss and Damage
Hair loss causes include disturbance of hair follicles and hair shaft defects. Hair follicles hold each hair in the skin and your hair becomes finer and thinner as the follicles get smaller. Follicle size and hair health is influenced by factors such as aging, genetics, thyroid in-balance, stress, menopause, eating disorders, stress and illness. “There are also secondary factors such as excess dying and bleaching, overuse of styling products, and pulling your hair back too tightly,” said Dr. Nacha.
Hormonal changes can also cause hair loss. For example, a girl who has increased levels of androgens during puberty may begin experiencing follicle changes from her teenage years. Before and during menopause, estrogen levels fall and many women will notice thinning of their hair. In addition, extreme stress brought on by a sudden death in the family, or a crisis situation, can trigger hair loss.
Tests and Analysis
People concerned about advanced hair loss or damage, can take a number of tests including a scalp examination, a hormone balance check as well as a review of their lifestyle – diet, exercise, sleep and stress levels – to assess what may be causing hair loss.
Treatments – a Holistic Approach
The good news is that there are a range of treatments to help people revive and rejuvenate their hair growth. Common options include Minoxidil, which is rubbed into the scalp and Finasteride that can be taken as a pill. There also medicines to treat alopecia areata, which is triggered when the immune system attacks hair follicles. These treatments should be prescribed by physicians only.
A Healthy Diet Also Makes a Difference.
Dr. Nacha encourages people concerned about hair loss to increase their protein intake, as hair is made up of protein. She says eat more fish, turkey, chicken, eggs and legumes and nuts. Also, iron is a key mineral for hair so consumption of leafy vegetables such as broccoli, kale and lettuce together with fruits high in Vitamin C is encouraged along with omega oils to reduce inflammation. On the flip side, salt, sugar, coffee and tea should be eliminated at best or reduced as a minimum.
Hair massages are also recommended as is getting a good night’s sleep – quality sleep means better hormone production and regulation.
The VitalLife Scientific Wellness Center located on the campus of Bumrungrad International Hospital is a global leader in the provision of scientifically-based integrated medicine. Its programs are managed and run by US Board Certified doctors specializing in the center’s Future Health concept, covering predictive, preventive, regenerative, and revitalizing health care.
It is the first medical wellness center in Asia to be accredited by the World Council on Clinical Accreditation (awarded in November 2007). It is also the first compounding pharmacy in Southeast Asia.
Vitallife is the first wellness center in the world to be accredited to DNV.GL’s International Accreditation Standard for Outpatient Specialist Centers. DNV.GL is a globally respected quality accreditation organization renowned for integrity in certification, standards development and risk management in many sectors including healthcare. DNV.GL International Healthcare Accreditation is based on standards approved by the U.S. Government’s Centers for Medicare and Medicaid.
Vitallife is a 100% owned subsidiary of the publicly traded Bumrungrad International Hospital since 2001.
For more information please contact:
VitalLife Scientific Wellness Center
68 Bumrungrad International Tower Building 10th Floor,
Soi Sukhumvit 1, Klongtoey Nua, Wattana,
Tel : +66 2066 8899
Monday to Friday : 08.00 – 19.00 hrs.
Saturday to Sunday: 08.00 – 16.00 hrs.
Nearest BTS: Phloen Chit