A Guide to Preventing Gray Hair & Hair Loss
For many women, our hair is intricately tied to our identities. As we age, hair tends to become drier and more brittle, and begins to gray. Most women will begin experiencing graying hair from their 30s onward. Some women will also experience female pattern hair loss. There are many types of hair loss. Some types are genetically predisposed, while others may be triggered by stress, inflammation, a poor diet, medications, and disease. Although graying hair and hair loss are natural parts of aging, they can often be prevented and their onset delayed using a holistic approach. Hair loss can even be reversed naturally much of the time.
Thankfully, there are numerous preventative strategies to we can employ to support healthy hair. And, most importantly, we can always keep in mind that, no matter the state or color of our hair, our true beauty radiates from the inside. This guide will explore various preventative methods that can be used to keep hair changes associated with aging at bay, from ancient remedies to modern lifestyle, nutritional, herbal, and supplemental supports.
Hair Loss Causes
Stress and Trauma – stress can alter the growth patterns of hair. Particularly, about 3 months after a stressful event, a woman might experience hair loss
Hormones – a few months after birth, new mothers may experience hair loss as a result of dropping levels of estrogen. Similarly, women experiencing menopause may also be prone to hair loss.
Medications – medications such as those used for arthritis and the birth control pill may contribute to hair loss
Poor Nutrition – those with a low intake of protein and iron as well as those with eating disorders are at a greater risk of hair loss
Inflammation and autoimmune response – inflammation of the hair follicles can inhibit hair growth
Diabetes – people with diabetes may be at a higher risk for hair loss
Over processing of hair – such as excessive bleaching, perming or styling can damage hair
Prevention Strategies for Hair Loss
Ashwagandha – an adaptogen praised for reducing stress and balancing hormones, both of which are causes of hair loss in women
Try: supplementing with ashwagandha capsules daily or tincture - 3x per day.
Rosemary – rosemary oil may help stimulate hair growth
Try: massaging the scalp with a mixture of coconut oil and a few drops of rosemary essential oil or infusing oil with rosemary & then using the infused oil for scalp massage.
Rhodiola – an adaptogenic herb that helps fight stress and enhance hair growth
Try: a daily supplement or in powder form.
Saw Palmetto – typically thought of as a male-centric herb, saw palmetto can also help women who are experiencing hair loss by blocking the hormone dihydrotestosterone, which damages and kills hair follicles
Try: a daily supplement
Nettles- High in minerals and promotes natural hair growth.
Try: Drinking infusions daily for 30-60 days.
High Quality Multivitamin (+zinc & active B vitamins) – vitamin and mineral deficiencies may lead to early aging and greying of hair. zinc deficiency has been linked with premature hair loss and is a component of healthy hair
Try: a daily multivitamin
Omega-3 – reduces inflammation and supports healthy strong hair
Try: supplementing with a high-quality fish oil daily
Biotin (B7) – a component of strong hair, skin, and nails
Try: a biotin supplement, follow indications.
Vitamin C – an antioxidant that can help to reduce free radical cellular damage in the body, which may cause hair loss
Try: supplementing 1000mg daily
There are many factors that can contribute to speed and timing of greying hair including stress, smoking, and environmental factors.
Lifestyle Suggestions for Hair Loss and Graying Hair
Preventing (Slowing) Grey Hair
Self-Care routine- Taking time for self love & self care reduces stress & inflammation in the body and supports long-term health & vitality.
Try: create a self-care routine that includes relaxation, activities you enjoy, social time, and time in nature.
Reduce stress Stress typically manifests in hair loss or shedding, though it can result in premature depigmentation in those who have a predisposition to gray hair.
Try: breathwork, yoga, meditation, massage therapy, or acupuncture.
Eat a balanced diet Stick to organic foods, fresh fruits and vegetables, and consume plenty of protein, wild fish, nuts and seeds such as hemp, chia, flax, and pumpkin.
+Bone broth & collagen for increased hair, skin & nail health.
Drink Water load up on water daily to hydrate and detoxify the body, promoting youthfulness and longevity.
Try: Aim for ½ your body weight in oz daily.
Quit Smoking- Smoking increases free radicals in the body & has consistently been linked to premature graying.
Try : Taking deep breath breaks instead of smoke breaks.
Get Some sun! 20 minutes of sun exposure daily can help build vit D levels, which helps to restore gray hair.
** See Hair loss adaptogen herbs: Ashwagandha, Rhodiola
He Shou Wu – TCM remedy which acts on the kidneys and is said to reduce or slow the greying of hair.
Try: herbal supplement daily. Powder form or capsule is best.
Bhringaraj – Ayurvedic herb known for its benefits for hair growth and strength. Can also help prevent early greying of hair.
Try: adding powdered Bhringaraj to your favorite smoothie, tonic, or elixir.
Chaga – great for stress reduction and full of antioxidants, Zinc and B Vitamins
Try: supplementing daily in powder, tea or capsule form.
High Quality Multivitamin (+zinc) – vitamin and mineral deficiencies may lead to early aging and greying of hair. Zinc is an essential component of healthy hair.
Try: a daily multivitamin.
Vitamin C – a potent antioxidant which can help to reduce free radical cellular damage in the body which may cause hair loss and greying.
Try: supplementing 1000mg daily.
Selenium – selenium can help to prevent greying of hair.
Try: foods such as salmon, brazil nuts, walnuts and sunflower seeds.
Powdered Greens or berries
Try: green or berry powder blends that are high in phytonutrients and antioxidants, reducing oxidative stress in the body.