Lifestyle

The right diet can help slow hair loss for women

Non-starchy vegetables, such as those found in ratatouille, can help improve hair health.
Non-starchy vegetables, such as those found in ratatouille, can help improve hair health. Claudia Baxter

YOU don't have to count the number of hairdressing and beauty salons in every town, big or small, to know that looking good is important to women.

Walking out of the salon with a thick, glossy head of beautifully styled hair just seems to lift your self-esteem a few notches.

So finding increasing amounts of hair loss on your hairbrush is worrying. For the same emotional reasons, discovering hair growing on your face, chest, sometimes tummy and toes can seriously erode a woman's confidence.

Blame DHT first. The full name is dihydrotestosterone - quite a mouthful - it's a metabolite of testosterone.

Both women and men produce testosterone, but women produce far less than men.

For women, problems can emerge with hair growing in the wrong places or not growing in the right places when circulating testosterone levels are too high, or, if you have the genes for it, your hair follicles have become sensitised to DHT.

A normal healthy hair follicle (on your head or on your body) has a predictable routine.

It spends some time actively growing hair, then stops growing the hair but just rests for a while, then lets the hair go, then has another rest before beginning the process of growing another hair.

What DHT does to the hair on your head is increase the length of time the follicle waits, empty, before growing a new, but thinner hair.

On your body, however, DHT will push the hair follicle to grow thicker and faster, and wait less time before growing a new one.

There can be another reason for hair loss, and that's a malfunctioning thyroid gland.

A hypoactive (underactive) thyroid gland is a common disorder in women. Diffuse head hair loss can be one of the symptoms.

The big difference between DHT-driven hair loss and thyroid-driven hair loss is that DHT-style hair loss tends to make hair fall out in the same way as a male's. It's sometimes known as male pattern baldness, or androgenic alopecia.

If you have DHT-style hair loss, you can take steps in your diet and lifestyle to minimise the effects.

First, a diet high in fibre from non-starchy vegetables and legumes will increase your body's level of sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG), which mops up and disposes of excess hormones in circulation.

A no-sugar diet combined with daily exercise will increase your body's sensitivity to insulin, which will help your hormones stay better balanced.

Your natural health practitioner can also prescribe herbs that will actively block the effect of DHT at the hair follicle.

 

>> To read more lifestyle stories

Topics:  diet, food, hair loss, health, lifestyle




Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Delays in Korean student murder case

Murder victim Eunji Ban was found in a Brisbane park early Sunday morning.

Murder accused still "unwell" according to lawyer

Dog attack victim was trying to save chicken

A photo of a dog barking for a story about problem dogs barking in Ipswich neighbourhoods. Photo: Rob Williams / The Queensland Times

Council officers investigating early morning incident

Latest deals and offers

Mt Crosby Road and Warrego Upgrade

The Minister for Main Roads and Road Safety Mark Bailey with Member for Ipswich...

Woman cops $12,000 water bill

Bundamba resident Sherelle Taylor receiveda water bill for more than $12,000 after a leak was found in a pipe on her property.

Bundamba resident Sherelle Taylor received a water bill for more than $12,000 after...

Free mobile washing service for homeless

The Orange Sky laundry service offers free clothes and laundry services to those in need. QUU spokesperson Michelle Cull, resident Rickie Stuart and Orange Sky service rollout co-ordinator Alek Jacoby.

The OrangeSky mobile washing van sets up in Queens Park in Ipswich every Wednesday...

Own Sunshine Coast property? You’re about to make money

UP AND UP: Property owners are likely to win from rent and price increases but tenants and first home buyers might not be so happy. Photo: Brett Wortman / Sunshine Coast Daily

Good new for property owners, not so good for buyers and tenants.

Sale nears on last large block of land in Coolum

The 43.37ha property on South Coolum Rd has sold.

South Coolum Rd property to be land banked