What Stops Hair Growth and How to Overcome It

What Stops Hair Growth and How to Overcome It

Are you tired of staring at your reflection, wishing for longer, healthier hair, only to be disappointed? The frustration of stunted hair growth can be disheartening, leaving you questioning what stops your hair from growing and how you can finally conquer the battle. 

Fear not, you’re not alone in this quest for luscious locks. Understanding what prevents hair growth is the first step toward reclaiming control over your mane’s destiny.

7 Causes of Hair Loss and What to Do

7 Causes of Hair Loss and What to Do

Hair growth is complex and influenced by various factors, and understanding what hinders it is crucial for overcoming obstacles and promoting healthy hair growth. Here’s a breakdown of the key culprits of what prevents hair growth.

1) Genetic Limitations

Many studies show how genetics strongly influence hair loss. Your genetic makeup significantly influences your hair’s texture, thickness, and growth rate. 

Before delving into solutions, it’s essential to understand how genetics influence hair growth. Androgenetic alopecia, known as male or female pattern baldness, is the most prevalent form of genetic hair loss. This condition is primarily influenced by specific genes and the interaction of hormones such as dihydrotestosterone (DHT) with hair follicles. Individuals with a family history of androgenetic alopecia are more likely to experience hair thinning and baldness.

Have you ever envied someone’s effortlessly thick mane or cursed your thin strands? It’s all in the genes. While you can’t change your genetic code, understanding its role helps manage your hair growth expectations.

Strategies to overcome genetic hair loss:

  • Early Intervention

Early recognition and intervention are crucial to managing genetic hair loss effectively. If you notice signs of thinning or shedding, consult a dermatologist or trichologist promptly. Starting treatment early can help slow down or even halt the progression of hair loss.

  • Medications

Several medications are available to treat genetic hair loss, with two of the most commonly prescribed being minoxidil and finasteride. Minoxidil is a topical solution that stimulates hair growth by increasing blood flow to the scalp and prolonging the hair growth phase. Finasteride, on the other hand, is an oral medication that blocks the conversion of testosterone into DHT, thereby reducing its harmful effects on hair follicles. These medications can help preserve existing hair and promote regrowth in some individuals.

  • Low-Level Laser Therapy (LLLT)

LLLT, also known as red light therapy or cold laser therapy, is a non-invasive treatment option for genetic hair loss. It stimulates cellular activity in the hair follicles, promoting growth and increasing hair density. LLLT devices, such as laser combs or helmets, are available for home use or can be administered in clinical settings.

  • Hair Transplantation

For individuals with advanced hair loss, hair transplantation offers a permanent solution to restore hair density and coverage. During a hair transplant procedure, hair follicles are harvested from areas of the scalp resistant to DHT, such as the back or sides of the head, and transplanted into balding or thinning areas. This technique yields natural-looking results and can significantly improve the appearance of genetic hair loss.

  • Scalp Micropigmentation (SMP)

Scalp micropigmentation is a non-surgical cosmetic procedure of tattooing tiny dots on the scalp to mimic the appearance of hair follicles. SMP is particularly beneficial for individuals with extensive hair loss who may not be suitable candidates for hair transplantation. It provides the illusion of a full head of hair and can boost confidence and self-esteem.

2) Neck Pressure

Neck pressure has a potential impact on hair health. A study suggests that tight collars or neckties may restrict blood flow to the scalp, affecting hair follicle function and contributing to hair loss. 

While research on this topic is limited, it helps to be mindful of clothing that may constrict the neck area and potentially impact hair health.


3) Prolactin Levels

A study explored the role of prolactin, a hormone produced by the pituitary gland, in hair loss. In this study, an organ-cultured human scalp was treated with a high dose of prolactin. The result shows a decrease in the elongation of the hair shaft when the hair gets cut off from its blood supply and stops growing. The results also showed an increased natural cell death of the hair bulb keratinocytes, which leads to hair loss.

Strategies that may help lower prolactin levels:

  • Stress Reduction

Chronic stress can contribute to elevated prolactin levels. Engaging in stress-reducing activities such as meditation, deep breathing exercises, yoga, or spending time in nature can help lower stress levels and may indirectly reduce prolactin levels.

  • Balanced Diet

Certain nutrients, such as vitamin B6, vitamin E, magnesium, and zinc, have been shown to help regulate prolactin levels. Incorporate foods rich in these nutrients into your diet, such as leafy greens, nuts, seeds, whole grains, lean proteins, and legumes.

  • Limiting Alcohol and Caffeine

Alcohol and caffeine consumption can disrupt hormone levels, including prolactin. Limiting or avoiding alcohol and caffeine-containing beverages may help maintain hormonal balance and support hair health.

  • Medication Review

Certain medications, such as antipsychotics, antidepressants, and antihypertensives can elevate prolactin levels. If you’re taking medication and experiencing hair loss or other symptoms of elevated prolactin, discuss potential alternatives with your healthcare provider.

4) Damage and Breakage

Excessive heat styling, chemical treatments, and rough handling can cause damage to the hair shaft, leading to breakage and preventing your hair from reaching its full-length potential. Split ends, in particular, can travel up the hair shaft, causing further damage and hindering growth.

On the other hand, excessive scalp pressure, such as that caused by tight hairstyles or hats, can contribute to hair loss. This mechanical stress can lead to traction alopecia, a form of hair loss caused by repetitive pulling or tension on the hair.

Strategies to overcome damage and breakage:

  • Limit Heat Styling: Reduce the frequency of heat styling and use heat protectant products before applying heat to your hair. Opt for lower heat settings whenever possible and consider air-drying your hair instead of using a blow dryer.
  • Choose Gentle Haircare Products: Use mild, sulfate-free shampoos and conditioners formulated for your hair type. Look for products containing nourishing ingredients such as argan oil, coconut oil, and shea butter to help moisturize and strengthen the hair.
  • Deep Condition Regularly: Incorporate deep conditioning treatments into your haircare routine to replenish moisture and nourish the hair shaft. Consider using a hydrating hair mask or oil treatment once a week to restore vitality to damaged hair.
  • Trim Regularly: Schedule regular trims every 6-8 weeks to remove split ends and prevent them from traveling up the hair shaft, causing further damage and breakage.
  • Embrace Protective Hairstyles: Opt for hairstyles that minimize tension on the hair, such as loose braids, buns, or protective styles like twists and bantu knots. Avoid tight hairstyles that pull on the hair and scalp.
  • Protect Your Hair from Environmental Damage: Wear a hat or scarf when exposed to the sun or harsh weather conditions. Rinse your hair with fresh water after swimming in chlorinated pools or salt water to remove damaging chemicals.

5) Nutritional Deficiencies

Nutritional Deficiencies

Your diet plays a crucial role in supporting healthy hair growth. Essential nutrients such as protein, vitamins (particularly biotin and vitamin D), and minerals (like iron and zinc) are vital for maintaining strong and vibrant hair. Incorporate a balanced diet rich in these nutrients to improve your hair’s growth potential.

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Strategies to overcome nutritional deficiencies:

  • Eat a Balanced Diet

Focus on consuming a well-rounded diet that includes a variety of nutrient-dense foods. Incorporate sources of lean protein such as poultry, fish, beans, and lentils, as well as iron-rich foods like spinach, tofu, lentils, and fortified cereals. Include biotin-rich foods such as eggs, nuts, seeds, and whole grains, and aim to get adequate exposure to sunlight for vitamin D synthesis. Include zinc-rich foods like oysters, beef, pumpkin seeds, and chickpeas in your diet.

  • Consider Supplements

In cases where dietary intake may be insufficient or when addressing specific deficiencies, supplementation may be beneficial. Consult a healthcare professional to determine if supplementing with iron, biotin, vitamin D, or zinc is appropriate. Following dosage recommendations and avoiding over-supplementation is essential, as excessive intake of certain nutrients can have adverse effects.

  • Monitor Hair Health

Pay attention to changes in your hair’s appearance and texture, which may indicate underlying nutritional deficiencies or imbalances. Look for signs of thinning, shedding, brittleness, or changes in scalp health. Keeping track of your hair health can help you identify and address potential issues early on.

  • Seek Professional Guidance

If you suspect that nutritional deficiencies may contribute to your hair loss, consider consulting a healthcare professional or registered dietitian. They can assess your dietary intake, conduct blood tests to identify deficiencies, and provide personalized recommendations to address your needs.

6) Hormonal Imbalances

Hormonal fluctuations, whether due to puberty, pregnancy, or health conditions like thyroid disorders, can disrupt the hair growth cycle. Notice sudden hair thinning or shedding? Hormonal imbalances might be to blame. 

Strategies to overcome hormonal imbalances:

  • Consult with a Healthcare Professional

If you suspect that hormonal imbalances may be contributing to your hair loss, it’s essential to consult with a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment plan. Your healthcare provider may recommend blood tests to assess hormone levels and identify any underlying medical conditions contributing to hair loss.

  • Hormone Therapy

Depending on the underlying cause of hormonal imbalance, hormone therapy may be prescribed to restore hormonal balance and alleviate symptoms. For example, individuals with thyroid disorders may require thyroid hormone replacement therapy, while those with PCOS may benefit from medications to regulate menstrual cycles and hormone levels.

  • Lifestyle Modifications

In addition to medical interventions, lifestyle modifications can help support hormonal balance and promote overall health. This includes maintaining a healthy weight, eating a balanced diet rich in nutrient-dense foods, engaging in regular physical activity, managing stress levels, and getting an adequate amount of sleep.

  • Nutritional Supplements

Specific vitamins and minerals play a role in hormone regulation and hair health. Consider incorporating supplements such as vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, and B vitamins into your diet to support hormonal balance and promote healthy hair growth. However, it’s essential to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplements, as they may interact with medications or exacerbate underlying health conditions.

  • Haircare Practices

While addressing hormonal imbalances is crucial for managing hair loss, proper haircare practices can also help minimize further damage and support hair growth. Use gentle, sulfate-free shampoos and conditioners, avoid over-styling with heat tools, and opt for hairstyles that reduce tension on the hair and scalp.

7) Stress and Anxiety

Stress and Anxiety

Chronic stress and anxiety can impact the health of your hair follicles and disrupt the hair growth cycle, leading to increased shedding or hair loss. Elevated levels of stress hormones, such as cortisol, can contribute to hair thinning and breakage.

Strategies to overcome stress and anxiety:

  • Stress Management Techniques

Implementing stress management techniques can help reduce the physiological and psychological effects of stress on the body, including hair loss. Consider incorporating relaxation techniques such as deep breathing exercises, meditation, mindfulness, progressive muscle relaxation, or yoga into your daily routine. These practices can help calm the mind, reduce cortisol levels (the stress hormone), and promote a sense of calm and well-being.

  • Regular Exercise

Engaging in regular physical activity is an effective way to alleviate stress and anxiety while promoting overall health and well-being. Exercise helps release endorphins, neurotransmitters that act as natural mood lifters and stress reducers. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise most days of the week, whether it’s walking, jogging, cycling, dancing, or participating in fitness classes.

  • Healthy Lifestyle Habits

Adopting healthy lifestyle habits can support your body’s ability to cope with stress and reduce the risk of hair loss. Ensure you’re getting adequate sleep each night, aiming for 7-9 hours of quality sleep. Prioritize a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats, as nutritional deficiencies can exacerbate stress and contribute to hair loss.

  • Establish Boundaries and Prioritize Self-Care

Learning to set boundaries and prioritize self-care is essential for managing stress and preventing burnout. Delegate tasks when possible, say no to additional commitments when you’re feeling overwhelmed, and carve out time for activities that bring you joy and relaxation, whether it’s reading, spending time in nature, practicing hobbies, or spending time with loved ones.

  • Seek Support

Don’t hesitate to reach out for support from friends, family members, or mental health professionals if you’re struggling with stress and anxiety. Talking to someone you trust can provide perspective, validation, and emotional support. Additionally, consider joining support groups or seeking counseling or therapy to learn coping strategies and develop resilience in the face of stressors.

  • Professional Help

If stress and anxiety persist despite self-help strategies, consider seeking professional help from a therapist, counselor, or psychiatrist. These professionals can provide evidence-based treatments such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR), or medication to manage symptoms and improve coping skills.

Stop Hair Loss in its Tracks

Understanding what can stop your hair from growing is the first step toward overcoming hair loss. By addressing genetic predispositions, making healthy lifestyle choices, and adopting holistic approaches, you can nurture your hair from within and promote optimal growth. 

Remember, consistency and patience are key on your journey to achieving the hair of your dreams.

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Topics include:
-Anti-inflammatory strategies for improved blood flow to the scalp
-How to balance estrogen and prolactin naturally
-The downside of frequently wearing hats
-Organic alternatives to Rogaine
-Ditching sulfates for a healthier scalp
-Unbound iron and its role in oxidative stress

And much more!

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