Every single day, without fail, you lose hair- it’s actually a natural process where dead hair follicles are shed, making room for new growth.
However, excessive hair loss or hair that doesn’t grow back is cause-for-concern. Ultimately, the amount of hair you lose over your lifetime is largely determined by genetics. In fact, up to two-thirds of men in the United States experience some form of hair loss by the age of 35.
But genetics aside, stress, other environmental factors and most importantly, diet, play a huge role in hair loss. Here’s what you should know about male hair loss and the biotin-rich foods that promote healthy hair.
What You Need to Know: Facts On Hair Loss
On average, your hair grows up to 0.5 inches per month or 6 inches per year. But this is heavily dependent on numerous variables, including the state of your health, genetics, your age, and not forgetting your diet.
What’s important to know is that hair loss in men is more common than not. Hair loss without scarring of the scalp is even more common and will affect most men throughout the course of their lives.
Common balding, known as androgenetic alopecia occurs in both men and women. This is where the hair follicle is affected by testosterone levels and metabolites, causing the follicle to die.
Another common form of alopecia is known as alopecia areata, caused by an autoimmune dysfunction. This is where the body attacks hair follicles in localized areas, causing localized hair loss across the scalp and body.
Today, there are numerous treatments and medications used to treat hair loss. This includes medications such as Minoxidil and finasteride. However, certain forms of hair loss can also be treated, and even sometimes reversed, through good nutrition and hair hygiene.
Risk Factors of Hair Loss
There are numerous forms of hair loss. This means that the cause and risk factors of hair loss will always differ from one person to the next. This is especially true when it boils down to genetics.
Because of this, determining the root cause of hair loss can be a little challenging. This is where a doctor’s examination of the scalp and complete blood count (CBC) is necessary.
If your hair begins to fall out, the cause is generally not associated with systemic or internal disease. Yep – it generally boils down to predetermined genetics and aging.
So, what puts you at risk other than these factors? Men in their 30s and 40s will begin to notice a thinning of the hair. But generally, life’s up and downs such as stress, trauma, illness, hormonal changes, strict dieting, and nutritional deficiencies all play a role.
On the rarer occasion, hair loss is caused by thyroid disease, anemia, secondary syphilis, chemotherapy, and malnutrition.
How to Spot Male-Pattern Baldness
As a natural part of the aging process, the hair on most men’s heads thins out over the years. Even men who retain a full head of hair late into their 70s experience the joy of hair thinning!
But how do you spot male-pattern baldness and how is it different from the above-mentioned conditions?
Essentially, male-pattern baldness happens indistinctively over time. In other words, you may not even notice any real hair loss, but one day may realize your hair has thinned out or your hairline has changed.
In adolescents, the hairline begins to recede at the temples, resulting in the common ”M” shaped hairline as seen in adult men.
Here are few myths about male-pattern baldness worth ”busting”:
- Male-pattern baldness is not inherited from your mother’s side or any of her male relatives
- This common condition is determined by the genes from your mother and father
- Having longer hair does not put a strain on your roots, causing your hair to fall out
- Hats do not choke off circulation to your scalp and do not contribute to hair loss
- Shampooing your hair does not accelerate the rate of balding
- Poor circulation is not a cause of male-pattern baldness, therefore massaging the area will not stop what is genetically predetermined
Although you cannot control much about your genetics- nothing at all, in fact, you can control your health and nutrition.
Eating a well-balanced diet rich in foods that are high in biotin can make a huge difference to the quality of your hair and rate of hair loss.
Biotin Enriched Foods For Healthy Hair
So, what’s so special about biotin? Basically, this is one of the most important building blocks of your hair as it stimulates the production of keratin. Keratin is a hair protein responsible for the growth and strength of your hair.
The ideal amount of biotin to be consuming on a daily basis is approximately 30 micrograms. But this essential nutrient doesn’t have to be supplemented, because it’s found in common foods in your refrigerator!
1. Red Meat and Liver
The body stores biotin inside the liver, so supplementing your diet with red meat and liver is the fastest way to build up biotin stores in the body.
A simple 3-ounce serving of liver or other organ meats, such as kidney, contain roughly 30 micrograms of biotin. This is your recommended daily intake right there.
Other forms of red meat contain slightly less biotin but are also great for building up biotin stores. This includes beef, pork, and lamb. Shoot for a 3-ounce serving or more for 4 micrograms of biotin.
2. Cooked Egg Yolk
Of course, you don’t need to be eating a pound of steak to build up your biotin levels, there are other food sources you can include in a well-rounded diet.
Egg yolk is one such food source which is rich in biotin. In fact, one whole egg is equivalent to 10 micrograms!
The best way to maximize your biotin intake is to cook your eggs before eating them. Raw eggs contain a protein called avidin which tends to counteract the effectiveness of biotin absorption by the body.
3. Seeds and Nuts
Depending on the type of nut or seed, the amount of biotin varies. However, both nuts and seeds are a fantastic source of this nutrient for hair health.
Go for nuts such as pecans, peanuts, walnuts, and almonds. A quarter-cup of almonds equates to approximately 1.5 micrograms. In contrast, the same amount of sunflower seeds amounts to 2.6 micrograms.
Seeds and nuts are also rich in vitamin E, which also promotes healthy hair, skin, and nails.
4. Fatty Fish
Salmon is one of the best-loved fatty fish meats out there, and for good reason. It’s delicious, nutritious and packed with omega-3 nutrients and biotin.
Both of these nutrients promote healthy skin and hair as well as brain health. Typically, a 3-ounce serving of cooked salmon equates to 5 micrograms of biotin.
5. Nutritional Yeast
Now, this may seem a little left field, but nutritional yeast and brewer’s yeast are both top quality sources of biotin.
Brewer’s yeast is most commonly used in baking and producing beer. While nutritional yeast is often used as a flavoring by vegans and for its biotin-rich qualities
Just 7 grams of yeast contains 14 micrograms of biotin, so it may be worth sprinkling over the top of your bowl of pasta, next time!
If you’re a lover of dairy, then the good news is that it’s packed with biotin! More specifically, milk, cheese, and yogurt. Some of the best cheeses to supplement your diet with include blue cheese and camembert for the highest biotin levels.
When consuming dairy such as milk and yogurt, go for those higher in fat as they tend to contain more naturally-occurring biotin.
Berries are packed with numerous nutrients, not just biotin. They carry potent antioxidant qualities, are high in vitamin-C and a great source of defense against free radicals in the body.
All of this helps with the health of your hair and its growth.
The best part is that not only does the biotin encourage hair growth, but the antioxidant qualities of berries also protect your hair follicles from damage.
To put it into perspective, one cup of strawberries provides 141% of your recommended daily intake of vitamin C!
The body uses vitamin C to produce collagen, which, in turn, helps to strengthen the hair and prevent breakage.
Along with all the happy, good fats that your body thrives off, avocados are packed with biotin for healthy hair.
A whole avocado contains 2-6 micrograms of biotin and also a good source of vitamin-E!
9. Sweet potato
Would you believe that the humble ol’ sweet potato contains some of the highest levels of biotin among all vegetables? In fact, half a cup of cooked sweet potato equates to 2.4 micrograms of biotin.
The sweet potato also has high levels of beta-carotene. The body converts this into vitamin A which is another great vitamin for hair and skin health.
Tackle Your Hair Loss, Head On
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