Diet and Lifestyle

Diet is another important factor in maintaining healthy hair and can also help control dandruff. Mineral deficiencies like insufficient zinc or iron can cause dryness of the hair and scalp. Copper, in recent studies, has proved to be very beneficial to the hair, but high levels in your water, for example, can dry your hair and scalp unduly. It may also be necessary to balance your diet with dietary supplements and a dermatologist, trichologist or nutritionist can also advise you on the right course of action. Healthy foods like lean protein and soy products as well as beans, fresh fruits and vegetables can also help improve the strength and durability of your hair. In terms of general health, the usual vices alcohol and smoking have also been linked to hair loss in certain studies. Stress can also play a factor as well though this has not been fully understood. Certain forms of medication can also cause balding to develop and a list of known drugs is listed below.

Excessive use of styling products can also exacerbate hair loss and should be avoided as it causes a build up of sebum, having a detrimental effect on your hair follicle. Further, not everybody needs to wash their hair everyday, but if your lifestyle does require it, make sure your shampoo is gentle and choose the shampoo and conditioner that is right for you. Hair gets dirty when sebum, an oily substance secreted by the skin's sebaceous glands, coats the shaft. Dead skin cells and airborne dirt stick to the sebum.

If you have an oily scalp, frequent shampooing will keep the hair from lying flat, weighted down by the fats in sebum. Shampoo will also reduce surface sebum, which contains high levels of testosterone and DHT that may re-enter the skin and affect the hair follicle. Very dry hair may be improved by massaging in a little olive or almond oil, covering and leaving on overnight, and washing it out the next morning.

Below is a list of drugs that are known to cause hair loss in some patients:
Cholesterol-lowering drug: clofibrate (Atromis-S) and gemfibrozil (Lopid)

Parkinson Medications: levodopa (Dopar, Larodopa)

Ulcer drugs: cimetidine (Tagamet), ranitidine (Zantac) and famotidine (Pepcid)

Anticoagulants: Coumarin and Heparin Agents for gout: Allopurinol (Loporin, Zyloprim)

Antiarthritics: penicillamine, auranofin (Ridaura), indomethacin (Indocin), naproxen (Naprosyn), sulindac (Clinoril), and methotrexate (Folex)

Drugs derived from vitamin-A: isotretinoin (Accutane) and etretinate (Tegison)

Anticonvulsants for epilepsy: trimethadione (Tridione)

Antidepressants: tricyclics, amphetamines

Beta blocker drugs for high blood pressure: atenolol (Tenormin), metoprolol (Lopressor), nadolol (Corgard), propranolol (Inderal) and timolol (Blocadren)

Antithyroid agents: carbimazole, Iodine, thiocyanate, thiouracil

Others: Blood thinners, male hormones (anabolic steroids)

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