Updated: Apr 1
Something that everyone has heard since before they can remember is that you need to drink eight 8 ounce glasses of water a day.
Water is quite literally the source of life, but it is also the source of vitality. Water facilitates health both on the inside and on the outside of the body. It has many amazing health benefits from regulating body temperature and maintaining blood pressure to clearing up skin and increasing your energy levels, but did you know that it has amazing benefits for your hair too? And even better can help hair loss?
Unfortunately, water is something that is not talked about enough in the hair loss community. Treatments such as finasterideand minoxidil are terms that everyone who is dealing with hair loss has heard at some point, but getting a healthy daily intake of water can make a huge difference in your hair loss as well.
Let’s take a quick dive into what hair loss is, and then dive deeper into what part water can play in overcoming it.
The two important aspects of overcoming hair loss
When trying to overcome hair loss there are two important overarching themes: stopping the hair loss from progressing, and re-growing the hair.
Stopping hair loss from progressing
Treatments such as finasteride in-large take care of the stoppage portion. This is because they work to reduce and prevent DHT from forming in the scalp.
DHT is the hormone that is responsible for male and female pattern baldness. In order to stop DHT from forming, finasteride works to inhibit the enzyme (5-alpha reductase) that is responsible for converting testosterone into DHT.
Drugs like finasteride, or other 5-alpha reductase inhibitors, have many scientific studies and data proving their effectiveness and are well understood by scientists. But this is only half of the equation.
Re-growing the hair
Once you have DHT under control, you need to focus on regrowth.
When a person is in the process of balding the hairs are undergoing a process called miniaturization. Essentially the hairs are dying. Miniaturization is what is responsible for turning your normally-healthy hair into the small, thin, colorless hairs called vellus hair.
When you are trying to regrow hair you are not technically reg-rowing any NEW hair, but instead are trying to nourish the vellus hairs back to life (i.e. turn them back into terminal hairs, the scientific term for healthy hair).
Vellus hair is very sensitive and fragile and needs to be payed special attention too. Without diving into too much detail, vellus hair needs three important things: adequate blood flow (for delivery of vital oxygen and nutrients), a healthy supply of vitamins and mineral, and optimal scalp health.
Where water shines is in optimizing your scalps health.
How water impacts scalp health
Your scalp is your hairs foundation, and it dictates how your hair will look, feel, and its overall health.
Your scalp needs to be taken care of on both the inside and the outside (read more here about how to pick a hair loss shampoo).
Our hair formula delivers ingredients that target various underlying conditions of poor scalp health, but water can make a big impact as well.
Water is possibly the most important factor when it comes to hydrating the scalp and keeping the cells running efficiently. It is the root source of energy for every single cell in our body, including those that promote and facilitate hair growth, as it is responsible for activating energy sensitive nerve endings in the roots of our hair.
Another very important benefits of drinking water is that it removers harmful toxins and pollutants from your hair and scalp. It does so by helping the kidneys maintain their amazing filtering capabilities and acts as a natural lubricant to help flush out the toxins. This is important because multiple studies (1,2), have shown the harmful effects that common pollutants can have on the scalp including irritation, redness, itching, excessive sebum production, and dandruff, all which can contribute to increased hair loss.
All of those symptoms have been shown to be caused by common dust and diesel particles, so it is very important that you continuously remove them from your body as best you can. Water can do just that.
Dehydration can hurt your hair too
Besides missing out on all of those hair boosting benefits mentioned above, if you are not drinking an adequate amount of water you could be subjecting yourself to dehydration.
Water provides hair with lubrication, when there is a lack of it hair can become dry and brittle, which can lead to shedding and breakage. This is because hair is made up of 25% water. When you are dehydrated that percentage is being lowered and your hair responds by either falling out at the root or breaking off.
Dehydration also affects your scalp. If you are dehydrated, your skin can dry up and become flakey. This can lead to irritation and itchiness which may cause permanent damage to the cuticle of the hair and make you more prone to conditions like dandruff. As if that wasn’t enough, the scalp conditions that arise from dehydration can lead to increased shedding which affect your hairs thickness and length.
Common signs of dehydration to look for: dark yellow pee (or no pee at all), extremely dry skin, dizziness, and lack. Dehydration can be serious and sometimes fatal, if you see any of these symptoms drink water right away, and if they get worse consider seeing a doctor.
Anyone who has told you to stick with the “8 by 8” rule was right. Eight 8 ounce glasses (half gallon) is what health experts recommend as the minimum amount of water you should drink in order to avoid dehydration, but ideally you would drink more. It really is not that hard, you just need to make and effort.
If you are someone who is struggling with hair loss, you can probably relate to the stress and anxiety that go with it, not only from dealing with hair loss itself, but also trying to find treatments that work. Drinking water can go a long way and is something that should be taken seriously if you are trying to regrow hair, not to mention all of the other amazing health benefits you will notice from it. My tip: grab a gallon jug from the grocery store, fill that puppy up, and try to drink a full jug every day, it has worked wonders for me!