Thinning hair and a receding hairline are commonly experienced by men in middle age or even as soon as their late twenties. Some men are unconcerned with the change and accept it as the natural result of ageing. However, for many men, it is a cause of deep distress and it can affect their self-confidence and social life.
The causes of male hair loss are varied, but the common reason comes down to genetic inheritance. Therefore if your father or other close male relative had thin or balding hair by a certain age, then you are more likely to experience the same problem. It’s referred to as male pattern baldness, and it’s caused by a hormone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT).
Scientists believe that when it interacts with testosterone, it causes the hair follicles on the scalp to shrink and eventually die. If caught early enough, it is possible to treat male pattern baldness with medication. This may slow down the balding process or even lead to some regrowth.
However, for best results, it’s also important to make sure that your hair and scalp are getting the right amount of vitamins and minerals to promote healthy and full growth. When it comes to knowing which are the right supplements to take, there’s a lot of choice and it can be confusing. Here are the main two vitamins and minerals that can make a difference.
One of the most essential nutrients that many people are short of is vitamin D, especially here in the UK. In order to make vitamin D, the skin needs to be exposed to direct sunlight. However, it is not recommended to go outside without sunscreen because this can increase your chances of developing skin cancer.
In the winter time, most people spend less time outdoors and are usually mostly covered up when they do go out, so this can lead to a vitamin D deficiency. We do get vitamin D through foods such as fatty fish, eggs, and milk, and it is sometimes added to foods such as cereal and bread.
The NHS recommends that everyone should consider taking a vitamin D supplement in autumn and winter. Anyone who follows a vegan diet should be particularly careful because they will have little intake through their food. Vitamin D helps to control the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body, which helps to maintain strong bones, teeth, and hair.
Iron is essential for helping the body to produce haemoglobin, which carries oxygen around the body. When we don’t have enough of it, the body is slower to repair damaged cells and generate new ones. This means that the natural hair growth cycle can become disrupted, causing it to stay for longer in the resting phase.
Iron is absorbed by the body from foods such as red meat, spinach, broccoli, and dark-coloured berries. Anyone who follows a vegetarian diet should be extra careful to ensure that they include enough sources of iron in their food.
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