Intermediate to Terminal - can it change?

Discussions about the diffuse thinning experienced by women, usually after menopause
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omgomg
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Jun 02, 2011 5:24 pm

Intermediate to Terminal - can it change?

Post by omgomg »

Hi,

Over the last two months or so I have made a radical change to my diet and supplements. While my diet wasn't particularly unhealthy it wasn't great and my visit to a Chinese Herbal Therapist has resulted in me eating cooling foods rather than hot foods (The Qi or Chi energy in food rather than temperature). I believe the principle is much the same as the anti-inflammatory diet: reducing excess heat/inflammation to promote better circulation to the scalp?

Being from a North Indian background, avoiding a spicy curry a day has been a surprisingly welcome change and I feel fantastic. I've been taking Ferrous Sulphate, Biotin, Vitamin C, Zinc/Calcium/Magnesium as well as a Multivitamin and drinking Green Tea (more so because of the cooling properties than the supposed hair growth factor). I've also been brushing my hair twice a day as mentioned...something I stopped doing about 6 years ago as I could style my hair without a brush and I massage my scalp for about 15 minutes daily with a head massager and my hands.

So I've begun to notice quite a few new hairs along the top of my head (I'd say I have diffuse thinning all over that started at 10 and have had more noticeable thinning in the last 4-5 years - maybe CTE? I'm 22 now.). Anyway these hairs are definitely not vellus hair nor are they as thick as my existing terminal hairs or as long however these hairs now form the majority of hairs falling out in the bathtub and on my brush compared to only terminal hairs 6 months ago. I have read somewhere that this is a good sign because it means that next time they grow, they will come back stronger and thicker because of the increased blood flow to the head, like a terminal hair- is this true? Or is it a short anagen phase as talked about in another post?

My hair's also more static than it has ever been, how it used to be prior to hair loss. Is this because of the sudden brushing or because there are lots of new hairs of different lengths? My hair is in pretty good nick so I doubt it's dryness?

Any answers would be appreciated!

Thanks,
Tom Hagerty
Site Admin
Posts: 629
Joined: Mon Dec 06, 2010 9:21 am

Re: Intermediate to Terminal - can it change?

Post by Tom Hagerty »

I've been taking Ferrous Sulphate, Biotin, Vitamin C, Zinc/Calcium/Magnesium as well as a Multivitamin and drinking Green Tea...
Green tea without sugar or milk in it is a healthful, refreshing drink. But all those vitamin pills plus the multivitamin probably won't do you much good. It's much better to get your nutrients from real food if you can. The advertising for the vitamin pills, though, is almost irresistible. I take some of them too. Be careful with large doses of iron and vitamin A. Even zinc if taken without copper can be problematic. High intakes of zinc can interfere with copper metabolism. Copper aids in the conversion of the amino acid tyrosine into the dark pigment (keratin) that gives color to your hair. Too much supplementary zinc without copper equals premature gray hair.
I've also been brushing my hair twice a day...
Many hair gurus these days do not recommend brushing the hair. But if you do brush, never scrape or scratch the scalp. You don't want to tug at the hair either. Vigorous brushing was once thought to be beneficial for the hair. This is not so anymore. Some light brushing with a gentle brush is OK though.

As you grow older the growing stage of the hair follicles becomes shorter. This is perfectly natural. It's also natural to lose about 50 terminal hairs a day. In a healthy scalp these are replaced. You are now 22 years old with the inheritance of strong Indian hair. The "noticeable thinning in the last 4-5 years" that you see in the mirror will probably become less obvious now that you have a nutritious diet and good health habits. Especially when you're young, good diet can dramatically improve your hair.
omgomg
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Jun 02, 2011 5:24 pm

Re: Intermediate to Terminal - can it change?

Post by omgomg »

I forgot to mention I also have a spoonful of Cod Liver Oil; I agree, advertising for vitamin pills is irresistible!

I shall take note of the Vitamin A and Iron link. I snack on seeds such as pumpkin, sunflowers, flaxseed etc often enough so am wondering whether my diet is adequate enough to for-go the extra supplements, seeing as the multivitamin also provides 50% RDA of copper and zinc and 125% RDA of biotin:). I only take Vitamin C as the instructions on the iron pills say Vitamin C increases absorption however I eat a lot of fruits rich in Vitamin C everyday... delving deeper I understand that Vitamin C reduces the amounts of copper in the body hence the very faded black colour of my new hairs compared to my extremely dark jet black terminal hairs so would it be more beneficial If I were to stop with the Biotin and Zinc/Calcium/Magnesium supplements and instead opt for copper?

So it is possible then that these finer hairs once fortified with the correct nutrients and minerals will eventually lead to the hairs I want? Also can the growing stage lengthen due to good nutritional/lifestyle changes?

On a side note, I am a bit of a lazy sleeper in that I don't move about much so what is better for my longer than shoulder length hair - sleeping with my hair tied up or loose?
Tom Hagerty
Site Admin
Posts: 629
Joined: Mon Dec 06, 2010 9:21 am

Re: Intermediate to Terminal - can it change?

Post by Tom Hagerty »

I take a teaspoon of cod liver oil every day too. Cod liver oil, brewer's yeast powder, and yogurt with live and active cultures are all real foods, full of almost all the vitamins and minerals (except vitamin C and iron) that you need, and these nutrients are assimilated well. The nutrients in pill and capsule form are often not assimilated well because they are highly concentrated.
I understand that Vitamin C reduces the amounts of copper in the body hence the very faded black colour of my new hairs compared to my extremely dark jet black terminal hairs...
If you take megadoses of any nutrient there is always the possibility of upsetting the balance of other nutrients. No matter what some nutrition "experts" say, you don't need a gram of vitamin C in supplementary form each day. That is really overkill. But the normal amount of vitamin C from fruit works with copper - copper helps the body to oxidize vitamin C - in the formation of elastin. Elastin is a component of the skin that keeps the skin young looking.
So it is possible then that these finer hairs once fortified with the correct nutrients and minerals will eventually lead to the hairs I want? Also can the growing stage lengthen due to good nutritional/lifestyle changes?
Now if I were selling nutritional products at inflated prices, I'd probably tell you to buy my high quality vitamins and minerals because these will definitely give you the luxuriant hair you want in just months. But since I don't have a line of supplements, I'll tell you the truth. A good diet and a healthy life style will make your skin radiant. Hair follicles are just specialized skin cells. So anything that is good for your skin is good for your hair. All this takes time though. There is no such thing as an overnight transformation - unless you bathe in the blessed waters of the Ganges.☺
On a side note, I am a bit of a lazy sleeper in that I don't move about much so what is better for my longer than shoulder length hair - sleeping with my hair tied up or loose?
I'd like to give you some advice loaded with wisdom and humor but I'm not smart enough to tell women with shoulder-length hair how to sleep.
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