Stop Thinning Hair and Hair Loss After 50

A busy New York stylist analyzes reason for hair problems and gives solutions you can do at home.

Senior Hair Stylist at Bumble and Bumble in New York
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An Interview with Laura Jeanne

Dianne: You work with so many women in this busy salon. How common is hair loss? What can one do about it?

Laura Jeanne: A client asks, “Does my hair look thinner?” least once a day! I go through my list of possible causes. Women are all so unique and the causes so varied, but I’ll touch on the most common in my experience.

First I need to state that I’m NOT a doctor. I always tell them ask their doctor before taking advice, and certainly use common sense!

Dianne: I understand there can be many factors, where do you begin?

Laura Jeanne: Stress - ok I'm a stylist in NYC, this just may be my first question! Ladies in this city have high powered, high-pressure jobs, so I see a lot of this.

But anyone living elsewhere, with whatever is going on in her life can have great stress.

Dianne: What do you recommend to combat stress that affects the hair?

Laura Jeanne: To start I like a daily self scalp massage. Our scalps have 14 muscles crisscrossing over them. When they are tense the blood does not flow and feed our hair follicles.

I also like acupuncture, yoga and massaging for relaxation and to work out the tenseness.

The products I recommend are antioxidants - EverYoung by Baseline Nutritionals

Also Vitamin C helps – I like Puritans Pride, with wild rose hips and protective Bioflavinoids (all Vitamins are not created equal - no synthetic!!!)

Dianne: What’s another major cause?

Laura Jeanne: Hormones! The tell tale sign is a male pattern baldness, a receding hairline, or the thin top you see in male hair loss. This is typically but not universal.

Often a doctor is consulted about this and women are put on Rogaine and hormone replacement. As a woman I support women doing whatever they have to do to feel womanly but I’m dead against this approach.

I prefer a natural progesterone cream (21 days on, 7 off) rubbed in rotation on the inner thigh, inner arm or stomach along with a natural hair tonic/shampoo. Kingsley and Kerastasse shampoos are excellent options.

Acupuncture and Chinese herbal remedies from a good practitioner help. I like a whole woman homeostasis approach, not just a pharmaceutical plug - which doesn't address the underlying problem!

Dianne: Why are so many women having hormone problems now?

Laura Jeanne: I have to question diet. I believe in fixing from the inside (it does take much longer and more discipline to see a result rather than slathering on Rogaine) but beauty truly comes “from the inside out”. That approach is long-term and sustainable. What is beauty without HEALTH?

Examine your diet - eat organic, free range, grass fed. We've all heard we are what we eat. If a chicken is plumped up with hormones or fed GMO food, that is what we're eating, not just “protein.” If vegetables are sprayed with pesticides that alter hormones in rats, I can assure you they are altering our hormones as well! To have healthy shiny thick hair, our body needs trace minerals. Modern farming has depleted our soils so that one can't eat enough vegetables to get great hair - we must supplement!

Dianne: Is there anything else we can do about this?

Laura Jeanne: These are supplements I love -

MSM - organic sulfur crystals. This trace mineral has regrown my own hair and has had the side benefit of healthy joints. (But do not take them if you are allergic to sulfur or sulfa drugs)

Phillip Kingsley Scalp Tonic to rub on the scalp.

Dr Randolph's Natural Balance Cream, a natural progesterone

Goji berries are worth snacking on for a healthy scalp!

Dianne: What are other possible causes for thinning hair

Laura Jeanne: I ask about Iron. Two doctors told a client that her Iron was normal. When she finally went to my doctor, he noticed her iron was “normal,” but low side of normal. After putting her on a prescription for iron, her hair is all back!!! So pay attention to what “normal” is. In medical terms “normal” may not be the same as “normal” in beauty terms!!! It’s best to be on the high side of normal with iron.

Here are the best ways to get enough iron in your diet.

Use a Vitamix machine to make a juice of fresh dark, leafy vegetables. Always vary them! Dandelions every day are not healthy, switch it up with kale, spinach, etc. and be sure to eat broccoli everyday!

I also like a raw whole food vitamin and mineral by MegaFood

Dianne: Are there any other food related causes?

Laura Jeanne: Yes, the sleeper.....................Mercury

This is one of my favorites. A client said, “My doctor told me my mercury was high, he just told me to avoid fish.”

I think it’s more complex than that. Mercury does not leave the body - it must be chelated. Avoiding fish will not get your hair or memory back!

So many people have Mercury levels that are high side of normal or high and don't realize it. Fluorescent lighting, amalgam fillings, tuna (even the sandwich you ate as a kid) and so much more add this poison into our system and it's biggest symptom is thinning hair!!!!

Dianne: I’m not familiar with “chelation” - what is that?

Laura Jeanne: It’s essentially a method of purging heavy metals from your system.

My favorite safest and effective chelation method is Metal Magic - by Baseline Nutritionals (I drink a bottle every spring and fall, but initially did two bottles)

Because it removes other metals you need, remember to replace them with a supplement while chelating. Take magnesium to avoid headaches and to prevent loosing good stuff during the process.

Dianne: What about hair loss from actual illness?

Laura Jeanne: Of course chemotherapy is the big one.

The last thing I would recommend is Rogaine or any chemical. Your body is burdened enough trying to restore homeostasis. When hair begins clumping off, get a short pixie cut. With some hair gel it can look quite fashionable. You can also invest in a great wig or Hermes scarf (you deserve it!).

When your hair starts to come back, stick with keeping your hair short to have the mousy, wonky hair cut off before starting to go to a longer style.

Optimum nutritional healing is necessary, so I recommend avoiding all sugars (including honey/agave/cane). They lower the immune system.

Drink Juice, Juice, Juice. Put dark leafy greens in a Vitamix machine and add water. Also I drink smoothies made with Special Reserve Superfood, a vitamin supplement from Baseline Nutritionals, often adding almond milk.

Dianne: Are there other illnesses that cause hair loss?

Laura Jeanne: Yes, I understand that a very bad virus or a high fever can cause hair lose although it’s usually a thinning of the hair less dramatic than chemotherapy loss. Strangely it affects hair similarly to the way pregnancy sometimes does. It can be confusing because it doesn’t happen right during the event but begins about six months later. The normal hair growth and replacement cycle has been interrupted. My client went to her internist who had no idea what was going on, but a dermatologist explained it. It takes a year to get completely back to normal. This is in fact what happened.

She does think her hair is a little curlier than before and this can happen with chemotherapy also.

Dianne: Any thing else you’d recommend?

Laura Jeanne: Yes, I'm concerned about the perils of sulfites in shampoo! Time and again so much of the "thinning" of hair in the bang area is from the constant use of shampoo with sulfites. It's getting easier to find sulfite free shampoo because all the Brazilian and keratin straightening treatments require shampoo without it. Check the ingredients. Also switching on and off seems to do the trick. So if your favorite shampoo has sulfites, rather than ditch it, just alternate with it.

Also Lessons from the Miracle Doctors by Jon Barron is an excellent book for chemotherapy clients, but I recommend it again and again to others for healthy hair and nails.

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The Best in Anti-Aging Products
Longer Hairstyles After 50 Are Pretty!

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Posted October 01, 2014
Great article on thinning hair. Will take the advice!

by Nancy Ave
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