If you ever find yourself gazing into the shower tray and seeing evidence of hair loss, it stands to reason that you will quickly become determined to find the cause. The list of why hairs falls out ranges from genetics to lifestyle choices to autoimmune disorders – but one thing you would never guess at that could be playing a part is… milk.
Milk is a vital source of iodine, and a daily glass or two provides us with almost half of what we need each day. In turn, iodine helps to keep the thyroid gland functioning properly – meaning that the body’s metabolic rate (as well as heart and digestive function) runs smoothly.
Thyroid problems can slow down hair growth
When the thyroid is denied the iodine it needs, a multitude of problems can ensue, including hair loss. In simple terms, when the body experiences thyroid-related problems, it can slow down or stop hair growth as it re-evaluates where energy is needed most.
According to a new warning from the University of Surrey, thousands of people – women in particular – are at risk of developing thyroid problems because of the sudden hike in popularity of non-dairy milk-alternatives. For many health-conscious people, dairy is out, replaced by soya milk, coconut milk and also milk substitutes made from rice, almond and even hemp. But these products are poor sources of iodine.
Margaret Rayman, an expert in nutritional medicine at the University of Surrey, told the Daily Mail’s science reporter: “Many people are unaware of the need for this vital dietary mineral and it is important that people who consume milk-alternative drinks realise that they will not be replacing the iodine from cows’ milk which is the main UK source of iodine.”
Iodine is one of the ingredients found in the Belgravia-developed unique and highly-targeted food supplements, Hair Vitalics, alongside a wealth of other potent elements, including biotin, zinc and selenium to promote the maintenance of healthy hair growth in both men and women.
The type of shedding that thyroid-related hair loss can lead to is called Telogen Effluvium which occurs when a sudden shock or severe stress causes an increase in the shedding of the hair from all over the scalp. The definition of “stress” in this instance is a broad one; it can be the kind that comes when someone is under emotional pressure, but just as easily it can be the kind of stress that is more hidden – such as when an unbalanced diet means the body does not receive the necessary vitamins and minerals it needs, or starting an excessively punishing new gym routine.
With Telogen Effluvium, the trigger event can cause certain hair follicles to prematurely stop growing and enter into the telogen (resting) phase of the hair growth cycle. These hairs then stay in the resting phase for about three months, after which time they will shed. Often the person experiencing Telogen Effluvium will have recovered from the event before the hairloss occurs, although this may not be the case if the issue was an ongoing concern, as would be the case if thyroid issues were to blame.
Luckily, certain Telogen Effluvium treatment options may offer an effective solution to diffusely thinning hair caused by this temporary condition. Whilst, in these cases, the hair will normally grow back on its own, tailored treatment programmes may help to accelerate this regrowth process and keep the hair in optimal condition.
Telogen Effluvium can lead to further hair loss
While Telogen Effluvium often clears itself up and is quite easily treated, it is not to be taken lightly as it can sometimes lead to another – permanent – condition. In people who are genetically predisposed towards female pattern hair loss – or male pattern baldness though men tend to be affected to a lesser extent – Telogen Effluvium can speed up its onset, or make an existing condition worse.
Genetic hairloss only affects the top of the scalp and hairline but, like Telogen Effluvium, there are effective hair loss treatment solutions available for both men and for women. These make use of clinically-proven treatments in order to stabilise shedding, promote hair growth and prevent hair loss moving forward. One key component is the MHRA-licensed and FDA-approved topical drug called high strength minoxidil which is available in a number of formulations. This is applied directly to the scalp where needed, and helps to actively promote localised blood flow to encourage hair growth.
Men aged 18 or over who are medically suitable also have the option of taking finasteride 1mg, a one-a-day tablet which inhibits the production of DHT, the hormone which is largely useless following puberty but causes thinning hair in cases of genetic hair loss. This is the only oral male pattern baldness treatment recognised by both the MHRA and FDA.
Both men and women can also use appropriate hair growth supporting products in cases of Telogen Effluvium, or Male/Female Pattern Hair Loss and a hair specialist will be able to help decipher which options are best-suited to their needs.
As Telogen Effluvium is a temporary hair loss condition, treatment can stop once the hair has regrown and the patient is happy. Treatment for male and female pattern hair loss is on-going, however – or at least until a cure is discovered! – in order to effectively manage these permanent conditions.
The Belgravia Centre is an organisation specialising in hair growth and hair loss prevention with two clinics and in-house pharmacies in Central London, UK. If you are worried about hair loss you can arrange a free consultation with a hair loss expert or complete our Online Consultation Form from anywhere in the world. View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which includes the world’s largest gallery of hair growth comparison photos and demonstrates the levels of success that so many of Belgravia’s patients achieve. You can also phone 020 7730 6666 any time to arrange a free consultation.