A common reason for hair fall being noticeably more than normal, is consumption of incorrect food (nutrition) or drugs (medication).
If your hair fall has been a reason for concern off late then perhaps it is a good idea to pay attention to what you are consuming.
It is also recommended to consult with a certified hair fall treatment doctor.
A lot of young people experience pre-mature hair loss. It is true that only food and drugs may not solely account for excessive hair fall.
There may be a multitude of factors that affect hair fall. But most often, food & lifestyle are big contributors.
Drug-Induced Hair Fall
Drugs or medications cause hair fall by interfering with the hair growth process. Luckily, once someone identifies and ceases taking the offending drug, the hair fall stops and everything returns to normal.
There are two types of medication or drug induced hair loss.
- Telogen Effluvium (More common)
- Anagen Effluvium (Less common)
Telogen effluvium occurs 2 – 4 months after taking the medication. It causes hair loss by sending hair follicles to their Telogen (or resting) phase.
The Telogen phase is a normal part of the hair growth cycle, usually lasting three months and at the end of which the hair falls out and is replaced by new strands.
However, when Telogen effluvium occurs, it causes hair to fall out too early, leading to the loss of between 100 and 150 hairs per day.
Here are some of the drugs that cause this type of hair fall.
- Mood stabilizers
Anogen effluvium is a more serious and fast-acting condition, often occurring within a few days or weeks after taking a medication.
It interferes with the hair growth process during the Anogen phase, which is the part of the cycle when hair grows.
Anogen effluvium can cause not only the hair on the head to fall out, but hair on other parts of the body as well, such as that found in eyebrows and arms.
People who experience this type of drug-induced hair fall are most commonly those who are taking chemotherapy for cancer.
Food-Induced Hair Fall
Both deficiencies and overdoses in nutrition causes food-induced hair fall.
Too much vitamin A is a common source of food-induced hair loss. The recommended daily value of vitamin A is 5000 IU. Some supplements can contain up to 10,000 IU.
Foods rich in vitamin A include carrots, dark leafy greens, butternut squash, sweet potatoes, romaine lettuce, and apricots.
Protein & Calcium
Too little protein can also be the reason behind excessive hair fall. When your body experiences a nutrient deficiency, it compensates by shutting down certain bodily functions.
For example, a calcium deficiency can cause the body to stop sending calcium to bones and teeth. In the same way, a protein deficiency can cause the body to stop growing hair.
Fish, meat, and eggs are great sources of protein and for the vegans and vegetarians, green peas, quinoa, nuts and nut butter, and beans are all rich in protein as well.
In most cases, drug or food induced hair loss is reversible. But if the damage is far too extensive and if your doctor allows, the hair transplant can be considered also.