The average person sheds approximately 50-100 single hairs every day. Unfortunately, some individuals shed a lot more than that, ultimately resulting in bald patches, thinning at the crown, and a significant loss of volume. Millions of people experience hair loss problems in the United States alone, and it is not just men who are affected.
In order to take action and effectively prevent the issue from occurring, or to treat the damage that has already been done, it is vital to understand the possible underlying causes of the hair loss. Here are the facts that you need to know.
Male/female pattern baldness
Male/female pattern baldness, otherwise known as androgenetic alopecia, is based on genetics. It usually affects men relatively early in life when their hair begins to thin at the temples and the top of the head. Women tend to experience it during or shortly following the menopause, and will often notice a general thinning of their hair all over.
Some individuals may experience hair loss during times of their lives when their hormones are inconsistent or there is a sudden change in hormonal levels. For example, women might notice their hair falling out excessively a few months after giving birth (postpartum hair loss) or when they stop taking their birth-control pill. As mentioned above, it can also take place in relation to the menopause when there is a massive shift in hormones within the female body.
It is true that certain medications can cause or exacerbate hair loss. These medications include those used to treat heart problems, anxiety, depression, cancer, hypertension, and arthritis. There are also some acne medications that can have similar effects on a person’s hairline. Always read up on the potential side effects of a drug before taking it if you are concerned about your crowning glory being negatively impacted.
Telogen effluvium is usually a temporary condition that can be triggered by periods of stress, surgery, thyroid issues, or losing a significant amount of weight too quickly. It refers to when your hair remains in the shedding phase of its natural growth cycle for longer than it should. The condition can lead to substantial hair loss. The underlying cause of the problem will usually need to be resolved before the person will notice an improvement in their symptoms.
Did you know that constantly wearing your hair in tight, uncomfortable hairstyles has the potential to trigger hair loss? When this happens, it is known as traction alopecia and is more common in women than men, for obvious reasons. Hairstyles associated with this condition include high ponytails, cornrows, braids, and extensions. While it is not to say that you shouldn’t experiment with these hairstyles at all, the key lies in moderation. It is always recommended that you leave your hair loose for extended periods in between.
Your hair needs a specific number of vitamins and minerals in order to grow thick and strong. If you are lacking any of these crucial elements in your diet, it is understandable that your hairline will begin to suffer as a result. It is particularly important to ensure that you are consuming adequate amounts of protein, healthy fats, iron, and vitamin E. Now is a good time to tweak your daily eating plan if you want to see noticeable results.
Hyperthyroidism is commonly associated with brittle hair and nails, while Hashimoto’s disease is known to cause dry, thinning hair. Be sure to visit a doctor if ever you suspect that your thyroid is not functioning as it should.
How to prevent future hair loss
While some causes of hair loss cannot be prevented, there are some precautions that you can take, which can sometimes make a difference to the longevity of your locks:
- Avoid washing your hair every day. Instead, aim to shampoo no more than three to four times a week.
- You are encouraged to use a sulfate-free shampoo and to condition after every hair-washing session in order to properly preserve and replenish your natural oils.
- As already highlighted, ensure that you are eating a well-balanced diet that is rich in protein and healthy fats.
- Regularly massage the scalp with essential oils to encourage growth.
- Try not to brush your hair when it is wet as this is when it is in its weakest state and more likely to break.
- Re-evaluate your lifestyle. Drink plenty of water, give up or cut down on smoking, limit the number of alcoholic beverages that you consume, and ensure that you are getting plenty of exercises each week.
Can hair loss be remedied?
Yes, it can. There are several different treatment products and solutions available on the market. However, it is safe to say that some are vastly more effective than others.
There is no doubt that the most effective hair loss treatment of the lot is getting a hair transplant. This takes place when a surgeon removes hair from a portion of the head where it is still abundant and transplants it onto the bald spot, usually on the crown.
Many people worry about the hair transplant cost, but the reality is that the cost is manageable, especially if you approach a hair transplant clinic that offers various finance options.
Other potential treatments for hair loss include medication and laser therapy. There are two FDA-approved medications currently available, namely Finasteride, which is a prescription hair loss drug specifically for men, and Minoxidil, a non-prescription remedy that needs to be applied directly onto the affected area. Obviously, there are a few potential side effects to watch out for, such as a decline in one’s sex drive, and scalp irritation.
Laser therapy is only an option for those suffering from hair loss caused by genetics. It improves hair density in some individuals, and while slightly cheaper than getting a hair transplant, the results are fairly inconsistent and unpredictable.
Now that you know what causes hair loss, how to prevent it, and how to treat it, you can enjoy maximum hair health and volume. You’ve earned it!