Hair Loss Scare

I lose a lot of hair in the shower—should I be worried?
By Josie Garthwaite

Not necessarily. It’s normal to shed about 50 to 150 strands a day, but if your hair appears to be dramatically thinning, it might be a sign of an underlying condition. While culprits can be as serious as thyroid disease and lupus, hair loss is often caused by poor diet and stress, says Antonio Alvi Armani, MD, author of How to Beat Hair Loss. “Get plenty of protein and iron, which support healthy hair growth,” he says. Calming a hectic schedule can also help, since stress signals the body to produce cortisol, which elevates levels of hair-loss-promoting hormones. A natural solution: Mix three to four drops of peppermint, rosemary, sage, or lavender essential oil with a tablespoon of olive oil, and massage into your scalp before bed. The oil’s antifungal properties help nix scalp infections—another possible cause of hair loss.