Red Light Therapy for Hair Loss: Part 2

January 29, 2024

Red Light Therapy for Hair Loss

Welcome Back to Part 2 of Red Light Therapy for Hair Loss

In part 1 we went over what Red Light therapy was, why it can be effective and how inflammation and some nutrient deficiencies can affect our hair health.

As mentioned inflammation and nutrient deficiencies can be correlated to our immune system. Similarly, our hormones play another key role in our body’s ability to function well and regulate our immune systems.

In part 2 we are going to dive into the how and why hormones when imbalanced can cause our hair to thin and essentially cause hair loss. Along the way you will learn why the use of red light therapy can assist with repairing damage to hair follicles.

Thyroid and Adrenal Issues

Let’s talk glands, the thyroid and adrenal glands specifically. When optimally functioning they produce hormones that are required for healthy bodily functions like regulating stress, managing fluid retention/body weight, regulating temperature, metabolism, and how healthy skin and hair grows. When out of balance this is where we see symptoms arise, it’s especially noticeable in our hair.

When a thyroid slows down, a range of symptoms occur including: inability to tolerate cold temps, fatigue, constipation, depression, weight gain, and hair loss.

Our thyroids produce hormones that we need for daily metabolism and keeping cellular energy optimal. Once it slows down, the production and output of those hormones slows with it. Hair loss is a symptom that relates to the overall drop in production of energy from the thyroid. The longer the levels stay low the more severe the symptoms appear.

Along with your thyroid, the adrenal glands are two triangular shaped glands that rest on top each kidney. They’re responsible for producing cortisol, adrenaline, and noradrenaline.

When our adrenals are overworked, it can raise histamines causing chronic inflammation and stress. People with allergies with foods and environmental, respiratory, or autoimmune conditions are more likely to experience hair loss and thinning. When stress is persistent it can make the follicles and stem cells inactive which prolong hair growth.

Cortisol is the primary stress response hormone, which is key in metabolizing protein, fats, and carbs.

Cortisol has a bad stigma because too much of it can be debilitating, but in reality, it’s important in many factors for our us. It aids in anti-inflammatory, blood sugar regulation, and facilitating an appropriate immune response. The hormones adrenaline and noradrenaline – our “fight or flight” hormones can be triggered by physical or emotional stress, and it’s used as a short-term coping resource.

When these small but mighty glands (thyroid and adrenal) are unbalanced, it can lead to a fuller systemic effect.

Those effects can be subtle within the body but more often we notice when it comes to our hair. Since we can observe and touch our hair, any hormonal imbalances are usually noticeable in our hair health.

The use of Red Light therapy and Red Light Helmets can increase your overall health which can lead to increased hair health. Red Light Therapy has the potential to increase cell energy (ATP). Think of it like a solar panel, in internal parts of the panel are what take that light energy and convert it to usable electricity. Our bodies are designed in a similar fashion. Red light is really used for promoting healthy cellular function and circulation throughout the body.

By using Red Light Therapy helmets can support hair health by ensuring your scalp has adequate blood circulation to promote hair growth.

Ways we can support our thyroid and adrenals

  • Eating foods with health fats like, coconut oil, cold water fish, avocados, olive oil
  • Getting plenty of veggies in like, leafy greens, cauliflower, broccoli, brussels sprout
  • High quality animal products such as grass-fed, pasture raised eggs, beef, chicken.
  • Up your sea veggies like, nori or seaweed snacks to help boost Iodine levels.
  • Quality salt like Celtic or Himalayan Sea salt
  • High fiber foods such as berries, chia seeds, flaxseeds, starchy veggies
  • Probiotic foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, yogurt, and kefir
  • Keeping to a schedule when it comes to eating and sleeping to help regulate circadian rhythm.

Reproductive Hormonal Imbalances

Hormones play big roles in how our bodies function as well as how we look. The same is true when it comes to hair loss with imbalanced hormones. When the proportions of estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone are out of whack it can lead to hair loss and thinning.

Menopause and Perimenopause can create a change in hair as well as causing weight gain, and mood swings. This is a natural time when the body is transitioning away from pregnancy supporting hormone production. Women can see hair loss because the ovaries begin to cease estrogen production which is a key for health hair.

Other hormonal imbalances like PCOS are a common condition that causes inflammation and increased insulin, this affects how ovaries ovulate, as well as weight and hair health. With hormonal imbalances we typically see the hair loss coming from the top of the head.

Taking steps to get your hormones balanced is a great starting point to start seeing your hair flourish. There are wonderful supplements to take internally to also creating a healthier environment for hair growth.

Ways to improve Hormonal Health

  • A comprehensive hormone test to see where the imbalances are
  • Adjusting your diet by reducing caffeine and alcohol intake
  • Reducing the amount of sugar and grains in your day-to-day
  • Reducing the amount of processed food you eat
  • Avoid refined vegetable oils (soybeans, canola, safflower etc)
  • Refraining from eating foods heated in plastics

Nutrafol and Collagen

These supplements have an impact because they work from the inside out. The company Nutrafol works well at supporting hair growth by focusing on the main issues such as hormones, stress, metabolism, nutrition, aging, and lifestyle.

Nutrafol is formulated with key nutrients like zinc, biotin, vitamin D & C, as well as some unique ingredients like marine collagen and ashwagandha to support the right conditions for hair growth. They also have a vegan version!

Along with Nutrafol, we highly suggest a collagen supplement as a great addition because of its very nourishing properties for your hair, skin, and nails. The best part is that it’s completely tasteless, dissolves into anything! Great for adding to smoothies or coffee!

Why is collagen so highly sought after? Well, it’s a powerful ingredient that contains all the amino acids required to support the health of connective tissues, joints, skin, bones, muscles, and hair. Our bodies require a decent amount of protein and amino acids to stay healthy and looking great, that’s just as true for your hair.

Our hair is made up of a mainly keratin, and keratin is built up from smaller compounds of amino acids. So essentially by supplementing with collagen you’re able to give the body more of the building blocks required to grow healthier hair.

Now you know a bit more of the ins and outs of why hair health can change over the years. With any luck this has provided you with some insights and some actionable steps to getting your hair back to its vibrant self. Here’s to more hair tosses!

Resources

Vital Proteins Collagen peptidesiRestore is a red light therapy helmet that has incredible reviews and is easy to plug into your day to day routine. https://www.irestorelaser.com

Joovv is another great company with indepently tested, high quality red light therapy products. https://joovv.com
EMR-TEK another great option for quality backed red light therapy products.
https://emr-tek.com

Vital Proteins Collagen peptides in lots of different flavors and from different sources: Plant based or animal. www.vitalproteins.com

Francesca Quinn
Naturopathic Doctor Denver
(720) 310-0797 
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