When one researches hair loss, or asks perimenopausal or menopausal women how they treat their thinning hair, a couple of vitamins and supplements come up again and again: Biotin and Viviscal. Biotin is a B-vitamin that’s part of the B family. Deficiencies are rare, but many women take supplements because it seems to improve the condition of their hair and nails. And by “seems to improve,” I mean that if you go on Amazon.com and look up “Biotin” or “vitamins for hair, skin, and nails,” you will find a plethora of products with five-star reviews and phrases such as “life-changing” and “bald no more” and “Works!!!”

One of the most common yet least talked about symptoms of menopause, hair loss can be devastating for the millions of women who suffer from it. Americans spend upwards of a billion dollars per year on hair loss treatments. According to the American Hair Loss Society, 99% of these treatments are unfortunately ineffective. Most women do not want to sit back and let their hair fall out slowly without taking action. Luckily, there are alternative solutions that are safe and effective for the multitudes of women experiencing hair loss.
The relationship between food and hair is simple. Hair is made up of a protein called keratin. So, it's essential that you include sufficient protein in your diet. A low-protein diet forces your body to save the available protein for other purposes, like rebuilding cells, thus depriving hair of it. Dr Shah says spinach, almonds, walnuts, paneer, tofu and milk are hair-happy foods. Green tea is effective because it blocks out Dihydrotestosterone (DHT), the hormone that causes hair loss. 

Laser therapy is another option available to young men and women who are experiencing hair loss. A state-of-the-art helmet is worn on top of the head. Inside the helmet are 80 low-level lasers, which help stimulate hair growth. While this may seem like something straight out of a science-fiction novel, laser therapy is showing promising results for many hair loss patients.

Viviscal has Biotin in it — and calcium. And vitamin C. It also contains shark cartilage, oyster extract, and a “marine complex” — which is apparently the secret elixir that gives the ingredient its power. The U.S. National Library of Medicine published an article with a double-blind placebo controlled study that showed the efficacy of this product; “significantly more” women who took Viviscal than the placebo noticed hair growth after 90 days, and even more after 180 days. Now it’s true that the funding for the study was provided by the makers of Viviscal, but double-blind is double-blind. Furthermore, in an entirely separate article, Beauty Editor writer Katrina Persad tried Viviscal for 6 months and documented her results in a quite convincing photo essay and article that showed fairly dramatic results — and Viviscal (as far as I know) did not pay her for her trouble. (Though she does seem to have gotten the product for free, which is quite a perk; the tablets cost about $40 a month.)
Since it directs your overall metabolism, your thyroid gland produces the hormones that stimulate hair growth. When your thyroid is out of balance, your hair can become dry, brittle, and more prone to falling out. This is why looking into your thyroid health is one of the first things to do when you notice hair loss. However, many women discover that conventional lab tests may show normal hormone ranges even while thyroid-related hair loss is happening.
Symptoms of hair loss include hair loss in patches usually in circular patterns, dandruff, skin lesions, and scarring. Alopecia areata (mild – medium level) usually shows in unusual hair loss areas, e.g., eyebrows, backside of the head or above the ears, areas the male pattern baldness usually does not affect. In male-pattern hair loss, loss and thinning begin at the temples and the crown and hair either thins out or falls out. Female-pattern hair loss occurs at the frontal and parietal.
Symptoms of gradual hair loss are sometimes hard to notice until nearly half the hair is gone. The most obvious signs are a thinning of the temples and hairline recession. Otherwise, the hair loss can be more widespread and balanced. This steady shedding is called “invisible baldness”, since the hair becomes gradually less dense until suddenly it is perceptible to the naked eye. “In general, hair loss is a chronic, progressive condition that gets worse over time without treatment,” Bauman says.
Research is looking into connections between hair loss and other health issues. While there has been speculation about a connection between early-onset male pattern hair loss and heart disease, a review of articles from 1954 to 1999 found no conclusive connection between baldness and coronary artery disease. The dermatologists who conducted the review suggested further study was needed.[41]
Experts seem to agree that nobody needs to wash her hair every day. It’s not that washing our hair makes it fall out (though it may appear that way— we lose an average of 80 strands of hair a day, and it may seem that we lose all 80 of those strands in the shower when we’re shampooing in the morning), but experts say that what we do to our hair afterwards can damage it. For example, using blow dryers and curling irons on high heat settings, and extra-hold hair spray can all create hair loss.
Mine has definitely thinned, but I am absolutely not willing to take drugs for it, or for any of the relatively minor issues that I’ve experienced. Although I do know men who have had great experience with hair drugs. Still, I don’t like putting more stuff into my body if I don’t have to. I’d like better hair, but my self-image doesn’t depend on it.
One of the most common yet least talked about symptoms of menopause, hair loss can be devastating for the millions of women who suffer from it. Americans spend upwards of a billion dollars per year on hair loss treatments. According to the American Hair Loss Society, 99% of these treatments are unfortunately ineffective. Most women do not want to sit back and let their hair fall out slowly without taking action. Luckily, there are alternative solutions that are safe and effective for the multitudes of women experiencing hair loss.
Hi Chase – We’re glad you enjoyed this blog post! Most of our products are cosmetic solutions to hair loss, but if you are looking for more natural remedies, our Hair Nutrition 2-in-1 Capsules contain biotin and keratin, and help strengthen, nourish, and repair the hair shaft. You can read more about the product here: http://www.toppik.com/shop/hair-nutrition-2-in-1-capsules.
You’ve heard a million times and a million reasons why smoking is bad. Here’s another one for you. If you’d like to keep your glossy mane, it’s time to call it quits. According to research out of the University Hospital of Zurich, smoking causes “damage to DNA of the hair follicle, smoke-induced imbalance in the follicular protease/antiprotease systems controlling tissue remodeling during the hair growth cycle, pro-oxidant effects of smoking leading to the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines resulting in follicular micro-inflammation and fibrosis and finally increased hydroxylation of oestradiol as well as inhibition of the enzyme aromatase creating a relative hypo-oestrogenic state.” So, yeah, switch out your nasty habit for one that doesn’t mess with your body chemistry in such profound ways.
×