Did you know the average person has approximate 100,000 strands of hair on their head and sheds at least 50 to 100 strands each day?

Hair loss affects individuals of all ages. It’s also a natural part of the aging process. As we get older our hair follicles shrink, resulting in shorter and thinner hair over time. While hair loss is more commonly associated with men, women can also experience it – particularly if they are going through menopause (hair loss is one of the earliest symptoms) or other hormonal imbalances. Certain medical causes such as cancer, pregnancy, anemia, chronic illness, and thyroid disorders, as well as psychological causes such as depression, stress, anxiety and trauma can all contribute to hair loss. You may also experience hair loss if you lack vitamin D, iron and protein, or if you don’t get enough exercise.

While many women may not feel bothered by hair loss, it can be devastating for others, as females sometimes associate their hair with their femininity and sense of style. Similarly, men can also feel insecure about hair loss and will try to hide it by wearing hats.

In order to prevent hair loss from happening, Dr. Ali Ghahary, a family physician practicing in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, recommends making some adjustments to your lifestyle.

First and foremost, make sure you’re eating healthy. As mentioned, hair loss can be a combination of lack of vitamin D, lack of iron, and a lack of protein, so you’ll want to significantly increase the intake of those three things. Some great foods that are high in protein and iron include liver, fish, eggs, cottage cheese, dark green and leafy vegetables, beans, tofu, whole grains and raisins. Alternatively, you should try to decrease your intake of caffeine and alcohol. Staying physically fit as well as practicing stress and anxiety-reduction techniques (such as meditation or yoga) can also not only help to reduce hair loss, but will improve other areas of your health, too.

If you’ve made the aforementioned lifestyle changes and have stuck with them for a certain period of time but are still noticing hair loss, you may need to be prescribed prescription medication, with the most common drug choice for hair loss being hormone replacement therapy. However, these medications do come with potentially serious side effects, such as an increased risk of blood clots and stroke, so you’ll want to be careful and report any abnormalities to your physician right away. If both lifestyle changes and medications have been unsuccessful, you may be a candidate for certain surgical procedures – such as hair transplants or laser therapy, but this is only ever done as an absolute last resort.

For further guidance on what to do if you are experiencing hair loss, it would be wise to speak with a healthcare professional. While Dr. Ali Ghahary is currently not accepting new patients, he is more than willing to see individuals on a walk-in basis at Brentwood Medical Clinic. For clinic hours and directions, click here.