Can Seaweed Help Hair Loss?

Thinning hair and/or hair loss is distressing for both men and women. While it’s true it can be hereditary, it can also be caused by other factors. Physical trauma such as a car accident, a bad fall, surgery, illness, chemotherapy and pregnancy can cause hair loss. It isn’t always immediately noticeable, usually the effects are apparent three to six months after suffering trauma. This is because of interruption to your hair’s growth cycle. Hair has a life cycle of growth phase, rest phase, and shedding phase. A severe shock to the system can trigger a type of hair loss called telogen effluvium which pushes the cycle into the shedding phase.

Hair loss can also be attributed to too much vitamin A, lack of protein, over-styling (think tight ponytails!), hyperthyroidism, taking certain medications, taking anabolic steroids, emotional stress, aging (sigh) and – for women – anemia.

Have you ever noticed hair seems to grow faster during the summer? I thought this was a myth but it turns out that it’s true  – 10 per cent faster than in the winter months, according to a study led by the National Institute of Health.

The growth phase – also called the anagen phase – reaches its peak in March right when we feel the effects of warmer weather. Researchers say this is possibly due to increased circulation. Blood flow is more efficient during the warmer months as the body doesn’t have to work as hard to keep our internal organs at a certain temperature. Therefore, more blood flow reaches the scalp resulting in an increase in hair growth. Interestingly, every hair does not grow at the same pace so this is why that new haircut starts looking shaggy in a month or two down the road.

So, what to do? Obviously, if you have a medical condition that’s causing hair loss, check with your doctor. But if you’re concerned about hair loss and want to use a natural remedy to improve it, do look at adding seaweed to your diet. Seaweeds have higher concentrations of minerals such as calcium than what’s found in most fruits and vegetables. It also contains essential fatty acids omega-3 and omega-6 which is essentially food for hair follicles. Depending on the type of hair loss you have, seaweed might also help hair rebuild and grow in stronger and thicker. It’ll likely be beneficial if you suffer from androgenetic alopecia (male-pattern baldness), hypothyroidism (can be linked to an iodine deficiency), and telogen effluvium (caused by an iron deficiency).