Hair, Health A-Z

Causes And Treatment For Hair Loss


Hair loss in a natural physiological and chemical process, and it is not always seen as a problem. Typically, an average person loses 10-12% of their hair during a resting phase, which falls out after a few months, making way for new hair to grow. This phase cycle lasts 1-8 years where the hair will grow about an inch every month (this can vary among individuals). But at any giving point, almost all of your hair you currently have is growing continuously, so hair fall is just a part of the cycle.

On a typical day, you would lose 50-100 hairs, which is considered to be a normal range. Anything more than that, could indicate signs of significant hair loss. Hair loss is common in both men and women. In men, the causes are often genetic, and pattern baldness is a genetic trait that tends to run in families, and is passes on only to the sons in a progeny. In women however, the cause of hair loss can be a number of different things. Stress is a very common factor. Also if you have undergone a major surgery or an acute or chronic illness, you are more prone to have a temporary hair loss that usually resolves on its own.

Another common cause of hair loss, seen particularly in women, is hormonal imbalance or just normal hormonal changes during such as during pregnancy. Infact during pregnancy, since your estrogen levels are high, one tends to see a healthy growth of hair.  On the contrary, overactive thyroid, or an imbalance in steroid hormones or androgens, often results in hair fall. Certain drugs or medication, especially the ones that contains steroid hormones, when stopped or any change in pattern of medication, could affect your hair. Another common problem would be the use of blood thinners, chemotherapy, anti depressants or birth control pills. Fungal infections on the skin, particularly scalp can lead to hair loss as well as some autoimmune diseases including diabetes.  These are generally resolved if the underlying disease is under control by proper treatment.

Keeping this mind, including one’s genetic predisposition and some people being more prone to hair loss, there are a few basic steps one can do to control or slow down the process of hair fall or significant hair loss. Avoid styling your hair where they are bound too tightly, such as ponytails, hot rollers that might make them more prone to breakage if they are stretched too much. Also avoid too much chemicals or an exposure to sprays, colors, straighters, relaxers, curling iron etc could harm your healthy hair. If anything, you should let hair experts or professionals, work on your hair and be aware and make sure what products they use.

Eating healthy including the greens and having a good physically active lifestyle helps as well. If these things don’t work, a consultation from a doctor could help you identify your personal reasons better. It might be something small that requires a small lifestyle change, so sometimes it helps to catch it early by just being more aware. The doctor or dermatologist will thoroughly check by asking you a few simple questions and make sure you don’t have any current medication, underlying disorder or infection as well as family history. A blood work or follow up to check your hormone levels is sometimes recommended as well, depending on your symptoms and severity.

In the end, there are always a number of different hair products commercially available that you could try. But it is important to do your research and know what it contains, also check with an expert who might be able to help you making that choice and what might work best for your hair.



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