Halloween is becoming an increasingly popular celebration in the UK, with over one million pumpkins being sold in October. However, after carving jack-o-lanterns from them, almost 18,000 tonnes of pumpkin gets thrown away.
If you are hoping to improve your hair health or avoid hair loss through nutrition, the following facts may encourage you to think twice before binning yours.
Why pumpkins are good for hair health
Pumpkins are low in fat and packed with fibre; each 225g contains approximately 49 calories and 3 grams of fibre. They come with a range of health benefits; for instance, the orange flesh is a great source of lutein. This is important for cognitive function, eye health and the American Optometric Association advises pumpkin may help to reduce the risk of chronic eye diseases. All the better to see you with, my dear!
There are also many hair-friendly elements contained both within the orange flesh and the fruit’s seeds (yes, a pumpkin is actually a fruit!).
They are also potent sources of magnesium and copper – two key nutrients for healthy hair. Magnesium helps the body to absorb calcium, and a deficiency can lead to hair loss similar to excessive shedding caused by a calcium deficiency. Copper contributes to the proper functioning of the nervous system and may help the hair to retain its normal pigmentation.
Pumpkin seeds have also been linked to cholesterol management, heart health and decreasing symptoms of the menopause thanks to their high phytoestrogen content. Though soy products contain the highest amount of phytoestrogens in the form of isoflavones, pumpkin seeds are also a good source especially for anyone who cannot tolerate soy.
The soy isoflavones genistein and daidzen can be found in Belgravia’s exclusive premium hair growth supplement Hair Vitalics for Women. They were selected for their ability to reduce levels of dihydrotestosterone (DHT) in the blood – the hormone which has no valid use after puberty but causes Female Pattern Hair Loss in women with a an inherited sensitivity towards it. This element is substituted for Saw Palmetto which performs a similar function in the Hair Vitalics for Men supplement.
Tryptophan – an amino acid which is converted in the body to serotonin, the sleep and happiness hormone – provides another benefit to eating pumpkin seeds. Healthy sleep patterns are important for maintaining strong, vital hair and, in some cases, a lack of sleep can lead to thinning hair and shedding.
As sleep deprivation is an on-going form of stress it can cause thinning hair from all over the scalp from a condition known as Chronic Telogen Effluvium. Whilst the condition itself tends to last for more than six months but still be temporary, once the underlying cause has been dealt with, it can trigger androgenetic alopecia in men and women with an existing genetic predisposition to this permanent type of hereditary hair loss.
Perhaps because of these many pluses, researchers have investigated using pumpkin seed oil as a natural hair loss treatment.
As you can see, there are myriad benefits to including pumpkins in your diet all year round – not just at Halloween. In order to reap the benefits it’s important to keep to healthy options – pumpkin soup or roasted pumpkin seeds are obviously preferable to sugary pumpkin pie or pumpkin spice lattes, for example. A balanced diet is important to maintaining the body’s normal functioning in all aspects – including the hair growth cycle. But for those who have noticed prolonged or advancing signs of hair loss, good nutrition alone is unlikely to help.
The first step for anyone concerned about their level of hair fall is to seek advice from an expert. Following a consultation, a hair loss specialist will be able to tell you the cause of your shedding and recommend a custom hair loss treatment course for consideration.
These should be tailored to each client’s individual condition, pattern and level of thinning, as well as any medical or lifestyle requirements. In cases of Female and Male Pattern Hair Loss, programmes centred on one or both of the only two clinically-proven, MHRA-licensed and FDA-approved products, minoxidil and finasteride 1mg, are widely recommended.
Topical applications of high strength minoxidil in appropriate solutions can be used by both men and women in order to proactively encourage hair growth. This is particularly helpful in areas of stubborn hair loss, such as a receding hairline, temple areas or thinning crown.
Medically-suitable men aged 18 and over also have the option of taking finasteride 1mg. This is a one-a-day DHT-blocking tablet which helps to prevent baldness by inhibiting the production of the hormone which causes thinning hair in genetically predisposed individuals.
So, if you are troubled by hairloss, it may not be simply just a dietary issue; to put your mind at rest, take that first step and find out from a professional exactly what the problem is, so that you can then find out precisely the best way to deal with it.
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.