10 ways to prevent your hair from falling/turning white

In theory, we men do not have the same preoccupations and worries with our hair as women do, since for them it is (or it should be) a sign of vitality, femininity and youth. See a woman with a short hair or worse, with a visible weak or white hair, and will you have one the biggest bone-breakers a man can think ok.

However, in real life, most of men really care about their hair follicles and want to have the best look possible, with strong and vital hair all over their scalp. Meaning that you surely want neither that it falls nor that it becomes white.

Just for information, hair gets white because you have an enzyme called catalase, which breaks down hydrogen peroxide into water and oxygen, but whose production reduces as we age. And it is this increase of hydrogen peroxide in your body which decreases the melanin production, the hormone responsible for the pigment of your hair.

And even if there are no miracles and genetics still play an enormous role in our bodies – which is a good thing, unless we are talking about genetic diseases and malformations – there are some things you can do, in order that not only you keep your hair literally on your head but also that it remains with a healthy look and color, avoiding (better say postponing) that it turns grey or even white.

And because I am a guy who has really cared about this matter – when I started facing a receding hairline already when I was about 21 years old – these are the best, real personal tips I can give you, in order that young ladies do not look at you as a “goat” aka a granddad before time:

 

 

Wash it with warm water before and cold afterwards

Until some time ago, I used to wash my hair – and sometimes my body – only with cold water to increase my testosterone levels. Nevertheless, I later figured out that this method might not be the most effective one for one’s hair, meaning that we should alternate between the two states of water temperature.

So in the first phase, before applying shampoo/conditioner on your scalp, use warm water as it naturally opens the pores which allows you to remove the excessive oil from your skin. Just be aware not to use HOT water as it might burn your scalp and consequently damage your hair follicles.

In the second phase, when you are rinsing your hair, you should use cold water as it closes the pores and therefore seals the shampoo/conditioner moisture you just applied before. In addition, cold water not only retains this moisture but also keeps the natural sebum of your skin, which also increases the shine of your hair naturally.

 

 

Use shampoos which reduce oil in scalp but nurture on the other hand

First of all, it is important to clarify that sebum, the medical term for this oily mixture of fats and dead sebaceous gland cells, is not as bad as one may think. Despite what is usually told about it, sebum is actually vital for your skin, as it basically creates a protective barrier which helps to keep your hair moisturized and to maintain the pH of your skin.

Nevertheless, like everything in life, when that sebum is produced in excess, then it can lead to an oily scalp which can not only affect the hair growth cycle but also create the perfect environment for fungus, which may cause dandruff.

So even if shampoos only act temporary on your scalp (if you have a real oily/acne problem, then seek a dermatologist as you most likely will need some special treatment), they are indeed important to clean it so make sure you choose a gentle shampoo based on coconut oil or in other natural elements such as lemon, tea tree, peppermint and/ or something which contains lipoamino acid.

On the other hand, you might also want to nourish your hair scalp by having such ingredients in your shampoo such as the mighty Vitamin B5 and B12, but also alternative ones such as spirulina, green tea or jojoba oil, which will naturally hydrate and keep your hair follicles moisturized.

 

 

Use natural shampoos and avoid the ones with chemicals

The list is so vast that I do not even know where to start from. If you, like me until a couple of years ago, did not care a dime about what shampoo to buy (just caring about the price and that it would not leave the hair oily), then most likely scenario is that you are applying all kind of shit to your hair.

More specifically, these are the components which may be truly jeopardizing not only the top of your head but also your whole health, in case you are not reading the label of your preferred shampoo.

      • Parabens (Methylparaben, butylparaben…) and Sulfates (Sodium Laruyl Sulfate (SLS), Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES), Ammonium Laurel Sulfate (ALS)…) are the two most common substances used in cosmetics. Basically, the former are used as preservatives, while the latter are used as cleansing and foaming agents. Its harmful effects include scalp irritation, hair loss/hair growth inhibition and  estrogen levels increase;
      • Glycol (Propylene Glycol, Polyethylene Glycol) is used as a thickening agent and is eventually the ingredient which is less harmful of the this list. Still, it contains supposedly dangerous dioxin levels, which can be carcinogenic;
      • Triclosan is an antibacterial and antifungal agent, more used for some sorts of soap and toothpaste, but which can still be found in few shampoos. It as has plenty of harmful effects, namely skin irritation, system toxicity and it is also an endocrine disruptor, interfering with thyroid, testosterone and estrogen regulation;
      • Sodium Chloride is used as a thickener, can basically can cause itchy scalp and contribute to hair loss;
      • Diethanolamine (DEA) and Triethanolamine (TEA) are used as a foaming agent or thickener and can cause scalp irritation and destroy such vital components as keratin.
      • Formaldehyde is used as a preservative also to straighten hair. It may cause some hair loss and it is also known as a potential carcinogen;
      • Dimethicone is used to provide smoothness to your hair, but it causes extreme irritation and dryness to your scalp and can also be a possible enhancer of skin tumors;
      • Phthalates (polyvinyl chloride (PVC), Oestrogen, Bisphenol A (BPA)…) are also known as plasticisers, as they are used in plastics to give them durability and flexibility. Regarding the hair, they are used to give it texture and this unique fragrance (as a curiosity fact, when you feel this smell of a “new car”, you basically smelling phthalates). Harmful effects: Endocrine disruptor, decreases testosterone and sperm counts.

     

    So the next time you go to your favourite drug store, just make sure you buy a shampoo with as few (or even none) of the above components as you can.

     

     

    Take supplements of Vitamin B, C and D and Zinc

    Does this point sound familiar to you? Well yes, I have already referred all these vitamins and minerals in my article about testosterone, so it seems that they have different positive roles which can only turn your life better.

    Starting with the B, there are eight vitamins but regarding hair issues, you should only focus in half of them.

    Niacin (B3) might not be given the same importance as B5 or B7 when it comes to hair, but it would be a mistake not to consider it. Why? Because it maintains the structure of the blood cells and improves blood circulation, meaning that there will be more blood flow literally going to the top of your head, which basically translates into more oxygen and nutrients in your scalp and hair follicles.

    Then, Pantothenic Acid (B5) is commonly used or associated with hair because it gives a crucial support to the adrenal glands which, among many other things, stimulate the hair growth.

    Moving to Biotin (B7), it is the most famous vitamin B associated with hair and there is a reason why: it basically turns it stronger and even rebuilds hair shingles.

    Last but not least, B12 regulates cell reproduction and increases metabolism, which is the same to say that it automatically nourishes hair follicles and is essential for hair growth.

    Right now you must be wondering what one of the most famous anti-oxidant of the planet, vitamin C, is doing on this list but let me tell you that there are a couple of strong reasons behind it.

    First of all, and for obvious reasons, it helps fighting the oxidative stress which, among other things (the most relevant point is that it speeds up your aging), can make your hair grey and fragile.

    Then, it enhances the production of collagen, the protein which has a very important role in strengthening and growing the hair.

    Finally, vitamin C is a very active component in absorbing iron which is, on the other hand, a crucial element to keep your hair strong and healthy.

    Moving now to the “sunshine vitamin”, it seems that there is a directly relation between the lack of it and the autoimmune disease alopecia areata, which causes hair loss on the scalp. So aside from feeling more alive and with more energy, now you know that you also need vitamin D to keep your hair follicles healthy.

    Last but surely not least, zinc has endless benefits, being the most relevant ones for this topic the fact that it keep hormones levels regulated, it helps in hair regrowth and it also inhibits hair follicle regression.

     

     

    Use mixture lemon and coconut oil twice per week

    If all the elements, vitamins or products listed here were biblical objects, then surely coconut oil would be the Holy Grail. Regarded as one of the best things nature has produced – well actually the one we consume is refined, made from copra, the dried coconut kernel – with endless benefits, coconut is actually as good as it looks, even if many considerations about it are pure exaggeration.

    No, it will neither give you super powers nor make you fly, but actually it has inherent features which are truly beneficial for human beings.

    With regard to hair, it stimulates hair growth, it moisturizes dry hair, it prevents and even fights infections and fungus, it adds volume and shine in a natural way and it slows down hair loss.

    So but you think these are not enough reasons for you to use it, let me tell you that this magical formula can even more enhanced if we bring into the scene a powerful ally: lemon! Yes, people run in circles after the last sensation shampoo, forgetting that sometimes the best is going to basics – also avoiding putting harmful chemicals on your head.

    And while coconut oil nourishes hair and hydrates it, lemon juice treats dandruff and cleanses the excessive oil and grease you naturally create on your scalp.

    Mix these two fellows together, and you will have the best mixture you will ever get to treat your hair problems (but remember, there are no miracles). Just mix a tea-spoon of coconut oil, squeeze half lemon into a glass, warm it for 20 seconds in the microwave – attention not to heat it – and then massage your scalp gently, leaving it for about one hour, until you finally wash it. I recommend doing it once or twice per week.

     

     

    Take Avodart (Dutasteride)

    Many things, usually negative, have been written about this drug but I am here not only to demystify some of them but also to highlight the undeniable benefit of taking it.

    First, they say that your libido and sex drive will significantly decrease, as well as a high likelihood to become impotent. So basically you will just become an assexualized being, having no interest whatsoever in the opposite sex (or well, the sex you have actually interest in).

    Well, I am 32 years old, my erections are still hard and I bang ladies with the same desire as Rocco Siffredi. It is true that I am not as excited as when I was 22 – also related to other factors, such as having other stuff to do or knowing how all women are the same – but both of us agree that this is just nature and totally normal thing according to my age.

    Then, they also talk about testicular swelling or even breast enlargement/gynecomastia. Well, my balls get swollen when they want to me to do something for them (aka release my sperm) and my breast becomes bigger after a workout at the gym but, more than that, I do not see any anomaly which is worth noting.

    So now it is time to talk about the real benefit of taking Dutasteride, naturally using it for hair loss and not as a medicine for the benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH): it actually prevents your hair to fall!

    How do I know this? Because I have been keeping more or less the same hair figure I had about twelve years ago, when I first went to the dermatologist to check what he could do to with my scalp. In the end, you will go more times to the toilet – since it makes that your urine is not retained so easily – but believe me that it will be worth to take this product, whenever you start seeing you hair receding.

    As I side note, I used to take Finasteride 1mg/day and about five years ago I changed to Dutasteride 0.5mg since it is quite more effective in preventing hair loss. I am not a doctor and you will need a prescription to get it but, if you decide to take it, I recommend the dosage I have been taking for the last three years: three pills/week.

     

     

    Eat food rich in Protein, Fish Oil (omega 3) and Iodine

    Your hair is protein! It is primarily made up of protein filaments, called keratin, and chains of amino acids. So just like sunflowers need the sun, your hair needs protein as it strengthens and repairs the keratin, therefore giving the hair structure and helping it grow longer and stronger.

    So if you are not having the necessary protein intake, your hair follicles will not be receiving the necessary amino acids to produce hair fiber. This will cause, among other things, hair thinning or even hair loss, since your body will “cut the supply” of protein to your scalp, as it will use it for more vital functions.

    Among all the natural supplements, Omega 3 comes in the top of the list in terms of popularity, but this happens actually for valid reasons. Several studies have shown how important these fatty acids are in preventing or even partially treating such diseases as arthritis, eye problems, diabetes and even Alzheimer and some types of cancer.

    In regard to the topic of this article, to have a shiny, healthy hair means that you need to have the proper nutrition. The main advantages of this fish oil are to nourish hair and also to reduce inflammation of the scalp, due to its antioxidant properties. This translates into a shinier, stronger hair. So make sure that you include fish in your diet at least three times per week and/or that you take supplements of omega 3 – I would recommend a daily dosage between 600mg and 750mg – being cod liver oil perhaps the more effective one.

    If you do not live in a healthy place (aka sunny place, in which you go to the beach and consume fish regularly), most likely is that you will have a deficiency of iodine.

    This mineral is essential for maintaining a regular thyroid function, so if its level is insufficient, you will produce fewer thyroid hormones and consequently put in risk your whole body functions (in case you are wondering, the symptoms of hypothyroidism are such ones as weight gain, increased cholesterol levels, constant fatigue and excessive sweating).

    Since the thyroid is the most important gland of our body, it influences every aspect of our internal balance, being hair production obviously one of the points which is affected.

    So this means that if you are not having the proper intake of this element, either through food – you can find it in fish, shrimps, bananas, carrots, cranberries and sea vegetables – or through supplements – I would suggest a serving of 1.5mg per day – then you will be jeopardizing your overall health and, consequently, also the state and appearance of your hair.

     

     

    Wheatgrass (Chlorophyll)

    It is proven that the human body cannot digest grass – we lack the necessary enzymes to break it down – meaning that most of it goes directly to our large intestine to then be expelled through your back’s eye.

    In addition, I can assure you that you will neither gain energy nor get the nutrients you need from wheatgrass, since the nutritional value we are actually able to extract from it is almost none.

    So why the hell am I talking about taking wheat…grass? In theory, they say that “not only wheatgrass is rich in antioxidants but it also revitalizes the cells and detoxifies your body”. Even if I do not sure whether this is true, since in theory we cannot digest grass, I can tell you the following:

    First, since I started taking it with my stomach empty (mixed with orange juice, otherwise you will not bear its horrible taste), I feel that my intestines are more regular than ever and I can almost schedule the exact times I go to the toilet – this has nothing to do with the hair, but I just wanted to share my toilet secret with you.

    Second, it might be my impression – and also the mixture of all the other points of this article – but I see fewer white/grey hairs or, at least, the amount of them is not increasing.

    Finally, my hair has a much more vivid black color, if I compare it, for instance, with six months ago. So wheatgrass might be the biggest myth of modern times, but spending 9€ every two months does not seem much of a risk for not giving it a try.

     

     

    Get rid of stress

    It has not yet been totally proved that stress causes premature grey hair but, if we consider it from an empiric point of view, it surely does! The list is long – having as an ultimate example the former American president Obama, who went from a solid black to a visible white hair in just eight years – but enough to prove that when a person goes under stressful or painful situations, his or her hair becomes grayer much faster.

    Nonetheless, we can still find a couple of theories which seem to totally support claims which are still left to be totally proven scientifically:

    1. It seems that mental stress can induce the production of free radicals, increasing the so-called oxidative stress in the human body. According to Dr. Ananya Mandal (https://www.news-medical.net/health/What-is-Oxidative-Stress.aspx), oxidative stress is essentially an imbalance between the production of free radicals and the ability of the body to counteract or detoxify their harmful effects through neutralization by antioxidants.” And what the hell are free radicals?” you ask. Technically, it is a highly reactive molecule which is negatively charged, always looking for other electron to pair with. 

    So this basically means that these free radicals (using normal words, we can call them “killer molecules”) can easily interact with vital components of our body, such as DNA or protein, whose electrons get “stolen”. Therefore, these latter cells start looking for those free electrons elsewhere, therefore creating a big “turmoil” in our metabolism.

    Nevertheless, this is where the anti-oxidants come in action to save us, as they “donate” the electron to the free radicals and consequently avoid that imbalance. However, when the level of free radicals surpasses the anti-oxidants, then it is only logical that the former “wins”.

    And what this has to do with hair? Well, it seems that these sons of a bitch influence the melanocyte (the cells which produce the pigment melanin) function, causing a bleaching of the hair roots.

    1. In 2011, the Nobel Prize winner in Chemistry, Robert Lefkowitz, led a research group that discovered the mechanism that could explain why stress causes graying. Stress causes a release of numerous neurotransmitters involved in our fight or flight response. Normally the release of these neurotransmitters is short-lived and has very beneficial attributes – the ability to run from a chasing lion, or avoid an oncoming car to name a couple. 

    Long term production of these neurotransmitters, however, can cause DNA damage. This damage was shown by this group to promote aging, the growth of tumors, miscarriages, psychiatric conditions, and graying of hair. So basically it is the prolonged stress which interferes with you DNA, affecting consequently all the genes which control hair pigment.

     

     

    Avoid smoking, drinking coffee and alcohol

    As described in the last point, smoking is also a major source of development of free radicals which cause oxidative stress in the body, leading to decrease in the pigmenting capacity of the melanin and, consequently, in graying of hair. So the next time you pull out your cigarette just to look cool or to approach some girls while in the smoking area, think that, aside from all the harmful effects you already know about, you will also be jeopardizing your hair.

    You know I am an avid anti-coffee supporter and each day I spend without this black poison is a day I gain in terms of youth and energy. Just as a reminder, drinking too much coffee prevents the absorption of vital minerals to the body – such as iron, magnesium, zinc and calcium – which are not only essential for an overall health but also for strong and healthy hair.

    In addition, caffeine also reduces the level of vitamin B which, as described before, it is the major supplement for keeping your hair healthy.

    Moreover, as described in detail in another article of mine, caffeine raises unduly the adrenaline levels in your body which will, after some time, make your adrenal glands tired and therefore giving you a general feeling of tiredness and even depression. This is will make that your hormones will work in an abnormal way which, as we know, will interfere with your whole body and of course also with the state of your hair.

    Last but not least. coffee also increases the levels of cortisol – the so-called stress hormone – on your body, which is the same to say that you will have a higher likelihood of having both premature greying and hair loss.

    Moving now to your best friend, alcohol, let me tell you that it desiccates your skin and, in a logical way, it also dehydrates your hair. The problem, of course, is that dry hair is weak, brittle and more prone to split ends. Excessive alcohol use can also trigger a zinc deficiency in the body, which has been shown to cause hair loss.

    When your body does become overly acidic it will do almost anything to getting back to an alkaline state. One of the ways it can do this is by using protein stored in the body to reduce the acidity. And guess which one your body can use to reduce it? Keratin, the protein used to build hair follicles.

    Alcohol has a direct impact on your liver, impeding its normal process of digesting foods and therefore reducing the nutrients which are actually taken by our body. In addition, it may also affect the normal function of your kidneys.

    And do you know what traditional Chinese medicine says when you overload these two with toxins? Among many other things, that bad functioning between some organs – mainly liver and kidney – and our blood is basically the main cause for seeing your hair becoming white.

     

     

About the author: Andreas Pistol

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.