Hair loss is a common reason for patient’s seeing a naturopath. Although this may seem like just a cosmetic concern, hair loss can be a sign of another underlying health condition. A naturopathic approach to hair loss seeks to identify these underlying causes. A thorough history can help to identify possible causes, but diagnostic testing is important to create an individualized approach to treatment.
Hormone imbalances are one of the most common reasons for hair loss. Multiple hormones can be involved with hair loss including:
- Adrenal fatigue affecting cortisol and DHEA
- Thyroid dysfunction (hyperthyroid and hypothyroid)
- Estrogen deficiency in menopause
- Testosterone:Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) ratio
Vitamin and mineral deficiencies are another cause for thinning hair. The primary minerals and vitamins that support hair growth are:
Autoimmune conditions such as alopecia, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, lupus and psoriasis affect hair growth through inflammation. Other autoimmune conditions such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis can affect nutrient absorption, secondarily affecting hair growth.
Once thorough naturopathic testing has been done, a plan can be developed to address the original cause of the hair loss. Alongside these treatments, naturopathic supplements that focus on promoting new hair growth, such as biotin and collagen, can provide optimal results.