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Hair loss. Two small words that can create compounding trauma and stress. Learning and understanding the root cause of hair loss is the first essential step in any hair loss battle.
Unfortunately, one of the most challenging aspects of hair loss is the inability to replace hair. Often, it becomes a scramble to quickly learn how to prevent hair loss in the first place. Luckily, there are many common causes of hair loss, which can be addressed and treated, leading to healthy, strong hair.
To understand why hair loss occurs in the first place, it’s necessary to understand how hair growth occurs. There are 4 stages in the hair growth cycle, including:
The first growing phase is the longest. In fact, 90% of your hair strands are currently in the anagen phase. This is when the hair follicles produce and grow hair, until ultimately being cut or falling out.
The transition phase occurs for about 10 days. During this second phase, hair follicles shrink and hair growth slows.
During the resting phase, hair doesn’t grow or fall out. Per its name, these hair strands are simply resting. This stage lasts around 3 months.
The shedding phase occurs for 2-5 months. This is when hair is shed from the scalp. Actually, each person loses approximately 50-100 hairs per day!
Note: Every hair on your head is currently in different stages, as new hair grows and old strands fall out.
Once we understand the hair growth cycle, we can better implement changes to encourage more hair growth and prevent hair loss from the get-go.
By definition, autoimmunity occurs when the immune system attacks healthy cells in the body. When hair loss is a chronic symptom, white blood cells are likely responsible for attacking healthy hair follicles, leading to detrimental damage. As a result, the hair growth cycle halts or slows down, the follicles shrink, and eventually die.
In addition, leaky gut, a common precursor or possible cause of autoimmunity, can lead to nutrient deficiencies, inflammation, and other imbalances in the body, further promoting hair loss. Leaky gut specifically contributes to hair loss because an increase in gut permeability exposes the hair follicles to immune damage. It also causes gut inflammation, which increases the number of inflammatory cytokines that reach the hair follicles.
For these reasons, addressing and healing gut dysfunction and autoimmune disease is essential!
There are many root causes of hair loss in men and women. Other common causes of hair loss include:
This helps explain why postpartum seasons, stressful jobs, or a hypothyroid diagnosis often result in hair loss. However, through functional testing, symptom analysis, and working with a functional practitioner, you can identify the cause of your hair loss.
If you have been diagnosed with autoimmune disease and struggle with hair loss, there is good news. It is reversible!
The key to combating hair loss is two-part:
As a result, the stem cells supplying the follicle with new cells are not being attacked, so hair follicles have the potential to regrow. Healthy hair follicles are no longer victims of the immune system and are free to grow healthy, strong hair!
This is how you do so:
Hair loss affects thousands of men and women. In the case of chronic hair loss, it’s essential to understand the root cause in order to effectively combat it. For professional help addressing any underlying gut or autoimmune condition, check out my Microbiome Makeover program. In the program, we use a 7 step protocol to heal the gut and reverse autoimmunity— the two most important steps in combating symptoms like hair loss.
"When it comes to balancing our body, healing the gut, reversing autoimmunity, and achieving optimal health—we are a lot like a car that won’t run right. In order to fix the problem once and for all instead of relying on jumper cables, we must get underneath the hood, run the diagnostics, and replace the battery so that it runs good as new."
-Nikki Yelton, RD
If you are ready to stop wasting precious time, get off the never-ending hamster wheel, and finally surrender trying to figure things out on your own—this is your moment.
You don’t have to settle for just getting by and hoping tomorrow is a better day. We both know you are a woman who deserves better and are made for so. much. more.