Woman's World

Reduce hair loss with dandruff shampoo!


Every day is a bad hair day if your hair is thinning—yet by age 50, nearly half of us have some degree of hair loss! Luckily, there are steps proven to help put the brakes on age-related hair loss!

Rev follicles with massage!

When the level of female hormones drops after menopause, the level of hair follicle-damaging DHT (a derivative of testostero­ne) can build up on the scalp, harming follicles. An easy preventati­ve step: a daily five-minute scalp massage. Not only can it help keep DHT from building up in follicles, “it may also help enhance blood flow to hair follicles in the scalp, supporting healthy hair growth,” says Joshua Zeichner, M.D., director of cosmetic and clinical research in the department of dermatolog­y at New York City’s Mount Sinai Hospital.

Avoid inflammati­on with dandruff shampoo! Washing your hair weekly with a dandruff shampoo that contains ketoconazo­le (such as in Nizoral A-D, $11.92, Amazon.com) reduces hair loss as much as 16%. How? By reining in DHT and fighting infections on the scalp. “Reducing yeast on the scalp may help decrease inflammati­on and promote healthy hair growth,” says Dr. Zeichner.

Promote new hair growth with supplement­s!

Our bodies don’t always absorb key nutrients properly as we get older— which can lead to a deficiency in zinc, B vitamins, selenium and/or iron, all of which are needed to keep follicles healthy and promote hair growth, Dr. Zeichner says. Ask your doctor or pharmacist to recommend a supplement for hair health. One option: Hum Nutrition Red Carpet, $25, Sephora.com.

Try the FDAapprove­d remedy!

The hair-loss treatment most often recommende­d by experts? Daily applica- tions of 5% strength minoxidil directly on the scalp. “Minoxidil works by enhancing blood flow to the scalp and by helping to lengthen the active growth phase of hair,” says Dr. Zeichner, who recommends Women’s Rogaine Foam ($31.91 for a four-month supply, Amazon.com).

Nourish hair with enough daily calories!

Going below 1,200 calories daily can put your body in starvation mode, triggering hair loss. “Crash diets are a shock to the body, which can shock hairs into a degenerati­ve phase known as telogen effluvium where clumps may fall out at once,” Dr. Zeichner explains. Every woman has slightly different caloric needs, notes naturopath Michelle Schoffro Cook, PH.D., D.N.M., author of Be Your Own Herbalist, adding that the optimal amount for most of us is approximat­ely 1,800 calories a day.

Rule out a whacky thyroid!

Up to 15% of thinning hair is due to an easily treated thyroid hormone deficiency. Your doctor can check your levels with a simple blood test. In the meantime, Cook advises balancing your thyroid function naturally by supplement­ing with the mineral selenium and two herbs, ashwagandh­a and tulsi. (Check labels for dosage.)

—Kallie E. Kristensen

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