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What Can Be Done To Reverse Alopecia?

By WebMD Connect to Care Staff
New advances in medications and a focus on nutrition may unlock the secrets to slowing hair loss.

There are many different types of hair loss. Androgenetic alopecia, also known as male and female pattern baldness, is related to hormones and characterized by a receding hairline; alopecia areata is an autoimmune disease that attacks the hair follicles, and scarring alopecia is related to inflammation. The question is, wouldn’t it be great to not only grow new hair but also prevent future hair loss? 

Can Alopecia Be Reversed?

Whether your hair loss is caused by hormones or an autoimmune disorder, regrowing your hair by using new medications and modifying your diet can be possible as long as you start treatment early. According to a 2017 article in Nature Reviews Disease Primers, hair loss becomes irreversible once the hair follicle is destroyed. 

Alopecia Treatments That Work

Healthy diet

A poor diet can cause nutrient imbalances and inflammation, affecting hair follicle structure. According to a 2018 study published in Dermatology and Therapy, you need key nutrients in your diet to prevent hair loss

A 2017 study published inThe Archives of Dermatological Research concluded that following a Mediterranean diet, which is rich in vitamins and minerals, decreases the risk of androgenetic alopecia in males. The Paleo Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) can help you control inflammation by eliminating certain foods that can trigger autoimmune symptoms.

According to American Association of Retired Persons, foods that strengthen the hair follicles and promote new hair growth include:

  • Carrots. Carrots contain beta-carotene that converts to vitamin A and biotin, both of which promote hair growth. 
  • Salmon. Salmon contains Vitamin D, which stimulates hair follicles. Salmon also contains omega-3 fatty acids that lubricate the scalp. 
  • Oysters. Oysters are high in zinc. Zinc promotes hair growth. It’s also important to note that vitamin A is necessary to absorb zinc properly. 

To give your follicles their best chance, by avoiding processed foods. Instead, eat more fish and green leafy vegetables, according to a 2019 study published in the Journal of Nutritional Medicine and Diet Care.

Medication

“Recently, there have been dramatic advances in the treatment of the two most common forms of hair loss”, Brett King, MD, PhD, associate professor of dermatology at Yale University School of Medicine tells WebMD Connect to Care.

In the past, some patients achieved new hair growth by usingcorticosteroids (anti-inflammatory medications) or topical immunotherapeutics (chemicals applied to the scalp, causing an allergic reaction that stimulates hair growth), and topical minoxidil which is used to help male-pattern baldness.

Breakthrough treatments include “oral minoxidil (not topical) for androgenetic alopecia (i.e. male pattern and female pattern hair loss) and oralJanus kinase (JAK) inhibitors for alopecia areata”, King says.

Don’t Wait. Get Help Today.

The sooner you address the symptoms of hair loss, the more likely you are to prevent irreversible damage. Speak to a medical professional today to begin your journey to a fuller head of hair.