You have about 100,000 hairs on your head. It is completely normal to lose about 100 per day. When you start losing more than 100 hairs per day that is not normal. This is usually a sign there is something else going on. In today’s podcast, Dr.Martin Jr. discusses 5 causes of hair loss. He also discusses the 3 phases of hair growth and what you need to do to help with hair loss. If you are suffering from hair loss or weak, thinning hair, you don’t want to miss this episode!
TRANSCRIPT OF TODAY'S EPISODE
Dr.Martin Jr: Hey, I want to quickly talk to you about the five main causes of hair loss. Now, one of the questions we get asked a lot has to do with hair loss, and what we try to help people understand is that hair loss is an effect. It’s not the cause. Something is causing hair loss. And in our experience, a majority of the people will be, having hair loss or hair thinning as a result of these five things.
So I’m going to quickly talk to you today about those five causes. But first, here’s a few interesting things and you have to understand this because it will make the rest of this a lot easier. You have about a hundred thousand. Plus, give or take a hairs on your head, and it’s normal to lose about a hundred per day.
That’s normal. [00:01:00] however, it’s not normal when you start to have a lot more than that occur. And there are basically three phases of hair growth. There’s one phase called the growing phase, and 90% of your hair is in this phase. And it can last about two to three years. So again, a majority of your hair at most of the time is in this phase of growing.
Then there’s a resting phase of about three months, and then the hair sheds, and that’s what happens. So if your hair doesn’t get what it needs. Then the growing phase is shortened and a bunch of you hair dies off together because again, 90% of your hair is in that phase. So if 90% of your hair is not getting what it needs, then a big chunk of your hair can start to fall out.
And that’s what ends up happening. So let’s talk about the first big cause. And of course that has to do with. A sluggish thyroid. Now your thyroid will also give you a whole bunch of other symptoms that but hair loss and hair thinning and thinning of the eyebrows is definitely one of them.
Now, whenever I talk about the [00:02:00] thyroid, I like to share a story of, something that happened to me when I was a younger, now. I’m a competitive person by nature. And I remember, a bunch of us, going out, one, it was like a Saturday night and you know, we’re going to go rent some Go- carts at the Go- car track.
And of course we it to race. And we were really excited about this. So we all picked our gold carts and you know, you get in there, you put your helmet on and then the, the attendant lets you kind of get onto the actual track. And I. Press on the gas pedal, and I realized right away I was, I was finished.
My gold cart was not. As fast as everybody else’s gold cart. It didn’t matter how hard I press the gas pedal whenever we hit a straight away, everybody else’s cart was faster than mine. So no matter how good of a driver I was or wasn’t, it didn’t matter. I couldn’t beat them. So it was at that point, after the race that I learned for the first time, what this word, [00:03:00] called governor meant, and basically it restricted the amount of.
speed in a, in a gold card and mine was too restricted. And the reason I tell you that story is because your thyroid is the gas pedal for energy and metabolism. It’s your body’s gas pedal. when you have sluggish thyroid, it’s like you have a governor on it and it slows everything down and your hair follicles are also regulated, like pretty much everything else in your body by your thyroid.
and hair follicles have a shorter lifespan and the turnover rapidly. So you’ve got to constantly make new ones. so when your thyroid is slow, your hair follicles don’t regenerate fast enough, and then you end up with hair loss. So thyroid is a big, big cause of hair loss.
But the second cause here that I want to talk about has to do with high cortisol. Now. Here is how the thyroid works the thyroid only does what other things tells it to do. So your hypothalamus [00:04:00] tells your pituitary gland to get your thyroid going.
Then your thyroid makes a whole bunch of hormones. T four T, three T, two T one a little bit of calcitonin. Now T3 is the active form of your thyroid. Yet 90% of the hormones made by your thyroid is in the form of T for meaning. It has to be converted from T four into T three so that’s what happens.
Now cortisol stops that conversion of T four to T three so. You end up with less active form of the thyroid hormone, and for all intensive purposes, you have sluggish thyroid. So cortisol can cause hair loss because it affects your thyroid. That’s one way. However, that’s not the only way. Cortisol also can directly.
Without going through your thyroid, decrease new hair growth, and it speeds up hair loss. So cortisol is kind of a [00:05:00] double whammy. It’ll hurt your thyroid and then it will also directly decrease hair growth. Now let’s talk about another big cause, which most people do not associate with hair loss.
And that has to do with low stomach acid and digestive enzymes. And there’s a saying out there that you are what you eat, and that’s not. Completely true. It’s you are what you absorb. You have to be able to get the nutrients from the food that you’re eating. And here’s the thing.
Hair is made up of protein fibers, which means you need enough protein to grow. Now your protein digestion needs stomach acid. Stomach acid will break down protein. So if you don’t have enough stomach acid, then you can’t break down protein and stomach acid decreases. As we age, and a majority of the people have low stomach acid.
Here are some of the common symptoms, constipation, diarrhea, bloating, especially following a meal when if the person just [00:06:00] feels like they’re gonna explode after a meal, they do not have enough stomach acid or digestive enzymes, indigestion, burping, chronic yeast infections, and the biggest one is heartburn.
Heartburn is usually a misdiagnosis. It’s actually a problem with decreased stomach acid. And of course a big symptom of low stomach acid is thinning hair or hair loss because again, low stomach acid means you can’t break down protein, and if he can’t break down protein, your hair doesn’t get what it needs to make hair.
Which brings me to another cause, which is low protein intake. Now, I don’t know if you remember this movie. I, you know, grew up loving action movies. And the Expendables, which, was a great action movie. And the thing is that it was called expenders. Cause these are the guys that you can send in to get a job done.
And if they don’t come back, it doesn’t matter because they’re expendable and. Your hair, as I mentioned, is made up of protein fibers, which means you need [00:07:00] enough protein to grow . Women don’t get anywhere near the amount of protein necessarily, and your body determines that your hair is expendable.
It’s not going to send protein to your hair. When it needs to send it to your muscles and it need to send it to other important areas. The amino acids in protein are needed by everything in your body, and it’s definitely not going to sacrifice important organ function just to help your hair grow.
So if you’re not getting enough protein to start off with, you’re not going to have healthy hair. That’s important. And here’s another cause, low iron . So when your hair grows, they require. A lot of iron, and this is one of the most common causes of hair loss and iron deficiency is caused by blood loss by hernias.
A lot of pain medications can cause it. You’re not eating enough iron or you’re not absorbing enough, which goes back again [00:08:00] to stomach, digestive enzymes, stomach acid, or a digestive disorder. And. Here’s one more thing I always have to point out when we talk about iron, because a lot of people do not eat enough meat or they don’t eat me because they’re vegetarian or they’re vegan.
And it’s important to understand this and why you would need to supplement big time because there are two types of iron. Basically, there’s a, a heme iron, which is found in meat and what a non heme iron. Which is found in plant based foods. So heme iron is easily absorbed by the body and non heme isn’t.
So I want to look at the example of spinach because a lot of people say, you know, Popeye kind of made this famous, you know, it’s full of iron, right? And. So spinach has a 2.6 milligrams of iron per 100 grams, and you look at a steak and you say, what has about two and a half milligrams of iron per 100 grams?
You’re saying, yes, spinach is King. It’s, it’s a, it’s a great source of iron, but only [00:09:00] 1.7% of the iron is actually absorbed because a majority of it is in, well, it’s all, it’s in the non-heme form. So that means when you eat. A hundred grams and you get 2.6 milligrams of Irin, you only absorb 0.044 milligrams of iron.
That’s nothing but the steak on the other hand that has maybe a little bit less. iron per a hundred grams, 20% of that is, is absorbed. So that means you get 0.5 grams, a milligrams from the original two and a half milligrams. So you can see absorption matters of food may have iron, but if it’s in the non-heme form, you’re not going to get exactly what you need from it, which is why.
If you’re not eating meat or you have a digestive issue that you’re not absorbing iron properly, or you have your, you know, you ha you’re bleeding or you ha you’re taking medications, then you definitely want to supplement with iron as well. So again, those are the five main causes. So [00:10:00] chances are, if you’re losing your hair or your hair is thinning, one of these five sluggish thyroid, high cortisol, low stomach acid, and digestive enzymes, low protein intake and low iron is the cause.
And in our experience. All five of these take place at the same time, which is why hair loss can be rapid or hair thinning can happen quickly because in our experience, most women. Have these five things going on at the same time, or at least for the five things going on at the same time. So you can see there’s a lot of causes, and if you’re losing your hair or your Harris thing, you want to address it, figure out what’s causing it and fix that, and then your hair will return to normal and your hair loss will stop.