Diabetes and hair loss can unfortunately go hand-in-hand. Diabetes is a hormone-related disease, and hair is notoriously sensitive to hormonal disruption. Just ask any man with testosterone sensitivity and resulting male pattern baldness.
For undiagnosed diabetics, sudden hair loss or thinning can be a tell-tale symptom of the disease. Diabetes-related hair loss (called telogen effluvium) is a reaction to the metabolic and hormonal stress your body undergoes when your pancreas stops producing insulin. Hair loss can also occur when insulin treatment begins (which, although beneficial, is still a change from the status quo, and perceived as stressful by the body).
As a result of this stress, sometimes your hair simply stops growing. Thinning usually first becomes noticeable when the new hairs start growing in and displace the dead hair. Once your insulin levels balance, your hair will start to normalize, but it can take a while, and it may re-grow at a slower rate than you’d ideally like.
Diabetics are also susceptible to skin ailments; circulatory problems associated with the disease can impede healing of infections and wounds. If the skin on the scalp is compromised, hair growth can suffer.
So what can you do to encourage your hair to grow back faster?
- Control your diabetes and eat a healthy diet. Maintaining a consistent blood sugar level will reduce overall stress on your body and result in faster hair growth.
- Be nice to your hair. Use a gentle shampoo, preferably a natural product without any added chemicals. Don’t torture your hair with heat appliances. Let your hair dry naturally, or at least use the cool setting on your hairdryer. Avoid harsh treatments like perms, dyes, and chemical straighteners.
- Try using emu oil as a hair treatment. Emu oil has rejuvenating and healing properties and has been used to effectively treat diabetic skin problems (like ulcers and diabetic neuropathy). Emu oil is also an excellent hair conditioner; it’s believed to stimulate follicles and encourage hair growth. So if you’ve got scalp condition issues, this could help speed up hair renewal. You don’t need to use a lot; a few drops will strengthen brittle and thinning hair. Or if you like, you could add a few drops to your favorite Emu oil is completely non-toxic and hypo-allergenic, so can be used safely by those with compromised immune systems.
- Try using pure jojoba oil as a hair treatment. Native Americans were using jojoba oil as a hair conditioner for generations before Europeans discovered its benefits. It’s now a popular ingredient in high-end shampoos and conditioners. But if you want a really effective natural hair and scalp treatment, try jojoba oil on its own. A few drops of jojoba oil massaged into the scalp will encourage hair growth by penetrating deeply into the hair shaft. Jojoba oil dissolves residue and build-up from other hair care products and promotes a healthy scalp and hair follicles.
Diabetes and hair loss often go together, but you’ve now got some ideas for natural treatments that will help maintain your mane. Remember that natural and gentle is best. Your scalp and hair follicles need de-stressing; jojoba oil and emu oil may be the remedies that bring your hair back to full life and health.