Losing hair can affect our self-esteem unlike anything else. Some of the psychological effects of thinning and balding can be highly devastating and affect the quality of a woman’s life. Hair loss is caused by many factors, including genetics and nutrition.
Many of these medical causes of hair loss have one thing in common: inflammation. Interestingly, inflammation causes hair loss in the ways highlighted next.
Can Inflammation Cause Hair Loss?
In short: yes. Normally, and generally, inflammation occurs when the body has to fight off intruding microorganisms. In some cases, the body’s immune system will interpret the woman’s cells and organs as foreign organisms and fight them.
The hair follicles can be interpreted as intruding elements and are often destroyed by the body’s immune system. This results in the medical condition alopecia, or inflammation based hair loss.
During this time, the scalp will be damaged by the immune system, and the hair roots will be unable to obtain proper nutrition. This is the link between inflammation and hair loss.
A scalp that is damaged by inflammation will usually have a burning sensation and some red itchy spots. Also, the scalp may experience flaking and other skin irritation.
Symptoms of Hair Loss Due to Inflammation
A notable symptom of inflammation is a rise in temperature. This is usually because of the increased flow of blood at the inflamed part of the body. Other signs of inflammation include:
• Swelling– This is caused by the accumulation of fluid at the site of inflammation
• Redness– This is also caused by the increased flow of blood in the area
• Pain– This results from the release of chemicals that stimulate nerve endings
• Loss of function at the site of inflammation
• Digestion problems such as gas, constipation, and diarrhea
• Puffy bags under the eyes or a generally puffy face
• Brain fog and depression
• A feeling of tiredness all the time since the cells do not produce sufficient energy. Chronic fatigue and inflammation go hand in hand.
While this is incredibly annoying, it’s true: experiencing inflammation with none of these signs being present is possible.
Chronic inflammation, which is a constant and non-temporary state of information, occurs when the body tries to heal damaged body tissues, but the damage continues to take place on a regular basis.. Symptoms of the condition include:
• Rheumatoid arthritis
• Active hepatitis
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What Causes Inflammation Scalp Hair Loss in Women?
Since inflammation and hair loss are closely linked, women should take steps to prevent the cause of the problem. They can do this by first learning about the causes of inflammation.
One key cause of inflammation is low-grade bacteria, viruses, and fungi in the bloodstream and certain organs in the body. One species of bacteria that is known to cause inflammation is H pylori. Besides inflammation, this bacteria causes ulcers.
It is estimated that about half of all adults over 40 have this bacteria in their guts. As mentioned before, the body’s defense system will try to combat these elements and will end up causing harm to the body.
In some cases, the immune system will simply react because of an imbalance of bacteria and fungi in the gut. This will not usually cause notable symptoms. This imbalance can usually be cleared up by a good diet, a colostrum supplement, and high quality probiotics.
Allergic reactions also cause inflammation in the body. This condition overworks the immune system and forces it to flush out the allergen. The perplexing thing about allergies is that they are can develop and change over time. You can go from being able to eat an omelet every morning to being allergic to eggs (yes, really). So, don’t assume right off the bat that this isn’t a concern for you, merely because it hasn’t been in the past.
Also, women who experience a lot of physical, psychological and emotional stress (which is most of us, right?) are likely to end up with inflammation. This is because stress increases the production of cortisol, a hormone which sets off a chain of negative reactions in our body.
(To learn more, check out my post on stress and its effects on hair loss here.)
Toxins from the air, water, and metals such as mercury and chlorine can also lead to inflammation. These toxins should be avoided as they cause many other health problems. Clean eating is one way to reduce exposure to toxins. Another quick fix is adding a reverse osmosis system to your water sources at home.
(Do you want to learn more about how chlorine causes hair loss? Check it out here!)
Our unhealthy, sedentary lifestyles can also cause this problem. They should embrace an active lifestyle and always get enough sleep at the end of the day. Also, eating a balanced diet and drinking sufficient amounts of water will prevent inflammation in the body.
Poor diet can also spike physical inflammation. Women should also eat lots of fruits and vegetables. Some foods that can control the condition of excessive inflammation include broccoli, hemp oil, fermented foods and liquids, onions, garlic, pineapple, spinach, tart cherries, and spices such as ginger and turmeric.
We can take a multi-pronged approach to prevent inflammation, as it comes into our lives from all of these different areas.
What Can Women Do To Reduce Scalp Inflammation?
It is best for us to tackle this problem at the moment we notice hair beginning to thin. Of course, for those not yet experiencing hair loss, preventative measures are also great ideas.
First, eliminate the causes of stress. Eliminate exposure to toxins, Clean up your diet. Get checked for H pylori.
Next, treat the hair loss.
There are many topical treatments for scalp inflammation, but it is advisable for women to consult their doctors before starting off with any particular treatments.
First, I’ve reviewed and recommended two popular Minixodil treatments including Rogaine and Lipogaine (which is less irritating), as well as all-natural DHT blocking treatments like Just Nutritive Grow New Hair Faster, Grow Gorgeous Hair Intensity Serum, and my favorite (and cheapest) topical treatment, Rosemary essential oil.
Most of these treatments will simply reduce the severity of the condition and not necessarily get rid of it. This sucks, but hair loss treatments are almost necessary to continue throughout the rest of our lives, as the causes of our hair loss, including inflammation, never go away entirely.
Next, I recommend supplementation. Nutrafol has been my go-to, because it has all of the pieces – DHT Blockers, stress reducers, and collagen. To read more about my success with Nutrafol, click here. For a budget-friendly alternative hair loss supplement, I recommend Hairfluence by Zhou Nutrition, which has a MASSIVE following of both men and women.
Third, I recommend even more aggressive collagen supplementation. Read more about bone broth and collagen here.
Fourth, we give it over to science and give in to the latest promising research for low level laser therapy, which stimulates follicles to produce faster and better hair, and is a mess-free option. Invest in an awesome laser therapy helmet or comb.
Besides these treatments, we should lead healthy and stress-free lifestyles so that the root causes of inflammation are eliminated.
Overall: even with chronic inflammation, there is hope for female hair loss.
To answer the question – can inflammation cause hair loss, one needs to understand that it does it by depriving the roots of nutrients and also weakening the hair follicles. This condition will generally lead to the thinning and eventual loss of hair, loss of self-confidence, and any number of beauty-related crises.
Inflammation is meant to eliminate foreign elements from the body, but it usually results in unwanted effects – because hair is not a foreign element!
For this reason we should try to lead a healthy lifestyle and avoid the causative elements of inflammation. I’ve covered some primary causes of inflammation: accumulation of bad bacteria in the gut, stress, and allergic reactions, and poor lifestyle choices.
If any of this resonates with you, and you think inflammation might be playing a major role in your hair loss, step back and take a deep breath.
Don’t tackle all of your problems at once. Start with one thing, like your diet, and then move onto another, like your stress. Then add a hair loss treatment to your routine. When that becomes a comfortable part of your routine, introduce another.
It is possible to gradually remove these problematic layers, and make small choices that make a huge difference in your physical health, and your hair heath.
Thanks for reading. If you have any comments, please share them below, I’d love to hear your thoughts!