4 Tips for Rapid Hair Growth

Beautiful hair is possible - Margaret Romero From Lupus to Living
Beautiful hair is possible - Margaret Romero From Lupus to Living

photo credit: Bellafaye via photopin cc

Hair is an outward sign of our health. It signifies balanced hormones, adequate nutrients and healthy diet. Especially for women, beautiful hair plays a big role in how we feel about our bodies.

But what happens when your hair becomes an outward sign of your ill-health? What happens when it starts to thin, or even fall out, due to lupus, celiac, or another chronic illness?

When I was diagnosed with lupus, I would see clumps of hair on my pillow every morning.

My once long, luxurious hair was now everywhere: in the shower drain, on my furniture, all over my apartment. I didn’t dare brush my hair, or even run my fingers through it, for fear that it would so easily come out.

As it got thinner and thinner, you could see my scalp. I gave in to my thinning hair and decided to get it cut very short. Eventually I bought a wig, but I found out that, according to Dr. Hertoghe, wearing a wig may actually slow hair growth because it can slow blood flow to the scalp.

Today, my hair is thick and long. Here’s what worked for me:

1. Balance those hormones. This means get your estrogen, testosterone, progesterone, pregnenolone and DHEA-S checked and correct them! Do it even if you are in your 20’s, 30’s or 40’s. It’s not just a test for women who are in menopause. Chronic illness does a number on the adrenals and depletes your hormones.   And don’t forget to check your thyroid hormone: both hypo andhyperthyroidism can cause hair loss.

Dr. Hertoghe created this chart to demonstrate how hormone imbalances are related to your hair health:

  • Cortisol – Patchy hair loss and loss on top of head in women
  • DHEA – Balding all over the head, hair loss in pubic area and armpits in women
  • Estrogens – Balding all over the head and on top of head in women
  • Progesterone -Balding on top of head
  • Testosterone – Balding on top of the head, graying hair
  • Thyroid hormone – Dry, brittle, slow growing hair and balding all over the hair
2. Iron deficiency anemia. For those of you who have kidney issues, there is a risk of developing anemia (I required blood transfusions). You must address your anemia in order for your hair to grow! Your hair requires iron to grow, just as your body requires iron to recover from the effects of anemia. Make sure you get an iron panel from your medical provider and a CBC.

 

Flaunt your beautiful new hair cut - Margaret Romero From Lupus to Living

photo credit: zen via photopin cc

3. Check your minerals. Zinc is one of the most needed minerals for hair growth, especially since your body doesn’t naturally produce zinc. Too much zinc can be just as harmful as too little, so make sure that you are balancing it out with other minerals like magnesium, which is great for pain and inflammation. Take 15mg –30 mg of zinc once a day with a meal. You can ask for a mineral panel at your next blood draw.

 

4. Protein. Make sure you are taking in an adequate amount of protein. Those of you with kidney issues,don’t go overboard. You cannot force kidney function improvement without time and / or medication.

 

Certain medications can also cause hair loss, but you should always consult with your healthcare practitioner before you alter ANY OF your medications.

 

The most important thing to realize is that your hair loss is most likely due to the stress of a chronic illness.

 

Be patient with your body and its healing process. Get the appropriate blood work and correct any and all deficiencies. Embrace your gorgeous self.  And, if you decide to get a cute short hair cut, flaunt it!