All you need to know about hair loss

Hair loss is part of the hair growth cycle and it is therefore entirely normal to lose between 50 and 100 hairs per day. When this number is higher, however, there could be a problem. In this blog, we discuss the various causes of hair loss and explore some non-surgical solutions.

Our genes and hormones are the main culprits

First and foremost we make a distinction between the hereditary variant of hair loss (androgenetic alopecia) and the non-genetic variant (diffuse alopecia). We categorise the most common form of hair loss under hereditary hair loss. The cause can be traced back to the male DHT hormones (dihydrotestosterone), which are present in both men and women, albeit to a lesser extent. Genes determine the extent to which you are affected by this hereditary phenomenon.  In men, this is recognisable as a receding hair line or a bald patch on the crown of the head. In women this hardly ever manifests as complete (or almost complete) baldness.

Hair follicles contain testosterone receptors and these influence the length of the growth phase. The number of receptors that are present in a hair follicle is determined genetically. The more receptors, the shorter the hair's growth phase.  With hereditary hair loss, the hairs’ growth phase reduces from 3 to 5 years to just a few months. Furthermore, after each growth phase, the hairs get thinner until the hair follicle dies and no more hair grows from it. Hereditary hair loss often occurs during the menopause. This is because the oestrogen and progesterone levels reduce and testosterone levels increase.

In principle, the hereditary form is not considered to be a disease or a condition, but rather a natural sign of ageing. You cannot fully “cure” this form, but you can slow down the hair loss and stimulate new hair growth.

Hair loss can also be temporary in nature. In this case, the hair cycle is disrupted and ends prematurely. Consequently, the hairs reach the telogen phase faster, resulting in hair loss. Physical and psychological causes are often the culprits here. For example, a fever, infection, anaemia, surgery, chemotherapy, an accident, emotional problems, a strict diet, alcohol abuse, etc. However, pregnancy or the use of some medicines (such as some blood-thinning and blood-pressure lowering medicines, contraception, anti-depressants) can also result in hair loss. Stress hormones have a negative effect on the hair follicles, which can cause them to become inflamed, resulting in hair loss.

Hair growth starts with a healthy scalp

A healthy and clean scalp will have a positive effect on hair growth. Good circulation is very important because this ensures the hair is being supplied with sufficient nutrients. That’s why it’s best to avoid excessive use of chemicals on the scalp.

What we eat and drink can also have an effect on our scalp and hair. Hair largely consists of keratin, a protein. That is why you need to eat sufficient forms of protein (meat, poultry, fish, beans, pulses, etc.) Almond oil is often added to hair products. A handful of almonds contains almost half of the daily recommended amount of vitamin E and manganese. Both stimulate hair growth. Another favourite ingredient is avocado. This helps to combat dry and damaged hair. Tangerines also boost your immune system and stimulate hair and skin because the vitamin C in the fruit helps your body to produce more collagen. The A vitamins it contains also help with hydration. Popeye always relied on spinach to stay strong and your hair will benefit from this too. This is because the leafy green is rich in iron, zinc, potassium and calcium, which contribute to strong, healthy locks. An ideal snack for you and your hair is Greek yoghurt, which is not only rich in proteins but also in vitamin B5, which stimulates the blood flow to the scalp. Foods that are rich in omega 3 (salmon, avocado, pumpkin seeds, etc.) keep the hair healthy and help to prevent hair loss. Sugar (slows down the absorption of proteins), alcohol (affects the amount of zinc in the body) and crash diets (resulting in calorie shortages and a lack of essential vitamins and minerals) are best avoided or kept to a minimum.

In addition, you can also stimulate the blood flow to the scalp by massaging the scalp regularly. Leave your hair and scalp to dry naturally as much as possible and avoid the heat from a hair dryer.

Do you have thin hair? Tough! Is your hair falling out? There’s nothing you can do about it!

These clichés are outdated. Science now has an answer to offer.

We read previously how keratin and certain vitamins can have a beneficial effect on our scalp and hair. These substances are created by the body, but under the influence of external factors they are also broken down. It is therefore important to ensure that we supplement them sufficiently.

Let us first take a closer look at keratin. Keratin is a protein that consists of 18 different amino acids. Optimal intake of these amino acids is needed to produce keratin and consequently to maintain strong hair. The keratin that is present in most shampoos often consists of large molecules that are not absorbed adequately by the hair and therefore have little or no effect. That is why keratin is best taken orally rather than being applied to the hair topically. Belène Nutri Capsules contain keratin derived from the wool of New Zealand sheep. This is therefore 100% natural and, thanks to its soluble form, there is optimal absorption by the body: as much as 95% of the keratin goes directly into the bloodstream.

In addition, our Nutri Capsules contain a unique complex of vitamins and minerals (Nutri V complex), which consists of:

  • Zinc helps to maintain strong hair and contributes to normal protein synthesis
  • Copper contributes to the hair’s natural pigmentation
  • Biotin helps to maintain normal hair
  • Vitamin B6 contributes to normal cysteine synthesis

Finally, the Nutri Capsules and the Belène Shampoo and the Serum Concentrate all contain Vitis Vinifera (grape seed) extracts, which also contribute to normal blood flow, protection against free radicals and help to maintain cell function. In addition to the beneficial effect of grape seeds, we have added a range of other natural components to the shampoo and the serum, which together form the Active V Complex:

  • Sage: has an antibacterial action and purifies the scalp
  • Alexandrian senna: strengthens the hair follicles and keeps sebum production in balance
  • Stinging nettle: stimulates the hair follicle, regulates the oils in the hair and has an anti-dandruff effect
  • Black pepper: nourishes the hair follicles
  • Cranberries: have an antibacterial action, strengthen the hair and support hair growth
  • Green tea: contains antioxidants that strengthen the hair follicles and have an anti-dandruff effect
  • Carrot: the high concentration of vitamin A stimulates the hair follicles and keeps sebum production in balance

This scientifically supported treatment is based on an approach that works from inside and out, for optimum results. The scalp and hair are therefore nourished from root to tip.