Hair loss: Longevity expert shares five ways to treat it

When it comes to combating hair loss, functional medicine, an approach to healthcare that focuses on identifying and addressing the root causes of disease rather than just treating symptoms, could help.

Dr Mohammed Enayat, a GP and Founder of HUM2N, a longevity and regenerative aesthetics clinic in London, said a functional approach to hair loss begins via a thorough history and working with a practitioner to delve into your medical history, including any medications, supplements, and past medical conditions that may be relevant to hair loss.

He continued: “Typically, this is followed by laboratory testing to assess hormone levels, nutrient deficiencies, thyroid function, and autoimmune markers. These tests can provide insights into potential causes of hair loss. Then there would be nutrient evaluation, evaluating the patient’s nutrient status, as deficiencies in certain vitamins i.e. iron, zinc, biotin, vitamin D, and omega-3 fatty acids can contribute to hair loss.”

Diet and lifestyle also plays a crucial role in combating hair loss. Dr Enayat said: “Recommendations may include reducing stress, getting regular exercise, improving sleep quality, and adopting a nutrient-dense diet rich in fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, and lean proteins. Evaluating hormonal imbalances, especially those related to androgens (e.g. testosterone and dihydrotestosterone) is also important.

“This will help with addressing excessive androgen activity or hormonal imbalances, which can be key in treating hair loss.”

Investigating the gut microbiome and the presence of gastrointestinal issues is another thing Dr Enayat recommends as a healthy gut plays a significant role in nutrient absorption and immune function, which can impact hair health.

He added: “You also need to consider toxicity and pay attention to environmental factors and exposure to toxins that can contribute to hair loss, looking at a patient’s detoxification pathways and supporting them if necessary.”

Dr Enayat recommended five ways to combat hair loss:

1. A thorough examination of your medical history and the appropriate testing may help to resolve and manage your hair loss issues. This will help to identify underlying conditions like hormonal imbalances or autoimmune disorders so that they can be addressed and remedied.

2. Certain lifestyle changes can help promote healthy hair growth and reduce hair loss. These include avoiding excessive heat styling, minimising chemical treatments, maintaining a balanced diet, staying hydrated, and managing stress levels.

3. Doctors may prescribe specific medications to address various types of hair loss. Examples include minoxidil (topical solution or foam), finasteride (oral medication for men), spironolactone (for women with androgenetic alopecia), or corticosteroids (for autoimmune-related hair loss).

4. Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy: This treatment involves using the patient’s own blood, which is processed to extract platelets rich in growth factors. These platelets are then injected into the scalp to stimulate hair growth. Exomes for Hair Treatment is approximately 10 x more potent than PRP, so this too could be an option. HUM2N is one of the first UK clinics to offer the Exosomes Hair Treatment. Stem cells help to produce keratin, essential for a healthy hair cycle. The result is a noticeable reduction in shedding, increase in hair growth and improved density in existing hair without the need for medication. Exosomes are a newer alternative that many researchers believe to be just as effective or more effective than PRP and stem cells for hair loss. Exosomes contain some 200+ growth and re-growth factors.

5. For individuals with significant hair loss, hair transplantation may be an option. This procedure involves relocating healthy hair follicles from one part of the scalp (typically the back) to the areas affected by hair loss.

Hair loss, also known as alopecia, refers to the partial or complete loss of hair from the scalp or other parts of the body. It can occur in both men and women and can be caused by various factors.

Dr Enayat listed some common causes of hair loss:

1. Genetics: The most common cause of hair loss is hereditary, known as androgenetic or pattern hair loss. It is more commonly experienced by men, but women can also be affected

2. Hormonal changes: Hormonal imbalances, such as those that occur during pregnancy, childbirth, menopause, or thyroid disorders, can lead to temporary hair loss.

3. Medical conditions: Certain medical conditions like alopecia areata (an autoimmune disease), scalp infections, trichotillomania (hair-pulling disorder), and certain skin disorders can cause hair loss.

4. Medications and treatments: Some medications for conditions like cancer, arthritis, high blood pressure, and depression may cause hair loss as a side effect. Additionally, treatments like chemotherapy or radiation therapy for cancer can result in temporary hair loss.

5. Nutritional deficiencies: Inadequate intake of essential nutrients, such as protein, iron, vitamins (particularly vitamin D), and minerals, can contribute to hair loss.

6. Stress: Physical or emotional stress can cause temporary hair loss. This type of hair loss, known as telogen effluvium, usually begins a few months after the stressful event.

It is important to note this is a general guide, and the specific treatment approach will vary for each patient based on their individual needs and clinical findings.

Dr Enayat advised: “Consulting with a healthcare provider, like HUM2N who specialises in functional medicine can be beneficial in developing an effective treatment plan.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *