At a point in our lives, we all have experienced hair loss, and really, it isn't a big deal or a problem indicator. However, it becomes a problem when it is excessive. Another term for hair loss is Alopecia, and it is a significant dysfunction in the body system. Alopecia shows an interruption in the usual hair growth cycle in the body and it may take several forms. Usually, the hair grows going through three distinct phases - Anagen, Catagen and Telogen. During the Anagen stage, the hair grows actively and may disconnect from its follicular units in the Catagen stage. The Catagen stage lasts for a short time before Telogen sets in. During the Telogen phase, the follicle relaxes for at least two months before the hair falls out. After that, the cycle begins almost immediately. An interruption in this cycle causes hair loss.
Hair loss has every tendency to make you lose your confidence, most especially if you are still at your teenage age or a vulnerable phase of your life. Over 40% of women at seventy or more experience hair loss-with heredity being the most common cause though. Sometimes, it might occur some months after childbirth as well. Hair loss comes in different forms: it can occur as "thinning" or the total loss of all the hair on your head. That being said, it is important you also know that, although it is common during one's old age or teenage years, an infant or child can also experience this as well.
Below are some causes of hair loss plus how you can get help when you experience them.
Most types of hair loss are because of genetic make-up, and it goes hand in hand with ageing. It results in a condition known as androgenic Alopecia. It may also take other forms, such as female-pattern hair loss or male-pattern hair loss. Therefore, it is peculiar to both genders.
It is characterized by a receding hairline, bald spots, and hair thinning along with the scalp crown in women. Sometimes, it is regarded as family history, and it simply means a person inherits genes that affect the hair follicles and hair production. The genes allow the hair to shrink and restrict its growth.
Nonetheless, we cannot rule out the possibility of regrowth. Proper treatment can restore the hair to a normal state. However, the earlier the treatment, the easier the restoration is.
Nutrition is crucial to a person's general well-being and plays a key role when growth is concerned. Where hair growth is concerned, nutritional requirements for women are high. Deficiency causes by diets and nutrition also contribute to hair loss. Some common nutrition and diet deficiencies that cause hair thinning are associated with vitamin b12, biotin(also referred to as b7), iron, essential fatty acids(gamma linolenic acid), zinc and silica, just to mention a few.
Deficiencies may cause hair thinning and, subsequently, shedding. For instance, men need minerals and vitamins, while nutrient elements such as zinc, protein, and iron are good sources of hair stimulation. Often, doctors recommend supplements where sufficient nutrient is not gotten from diet. However, consult a doctor before adding any supplement to your diet where recommendations are not made.
Several medical conditions can lead to hair thinning or loss or even balding, depending on the severity of each case. Also, effective treatment will depend on the medical condition a person is treating. The various conditions that may lead to hair loss are:
Cancer treatment is one of the underlying factors that cause hair loss. A cancer patient usually loses hair within a few weeks of starting treatments, including chemotherapy, radiation, and may not stop until the treatment ends. One way to help this condition is the use of a cooling cap during the duration of treatment.
Although it is a kind of hair loss, it results from inflammation of the hair follicles. It is characterized by itching, burning and dark patches and may cause total baldness.
No treatment is a specific cure for this condition but can be suppressed by few therapies.
Hashimoto's thyroiditis occurs when the thyroid gland is affected by the immune system. The thyroid gland produces several hormones, including one that regulates many activities in the body.
Grave's disease causes excessive production of thyroid hormones, which affects new hair growth in various parts of the body.
Apart from the above medical conditions, some treatments may cause hair loss. For example, with Anagen effluvium, the medication reduces mitotic actions and causes hair loss rapidly within a few days of taking such drugs.
Infections, especially scalp infection, can lead to inflammation of certain parts of the scalp. The signs and symptoms include noticeable black dots on the scalp (hair stubs). It may lead to a bald spot as well.
STIs such as syphilis can cause hair loss in different parts of the body. Often, the hair loss is patchy. However, if the infection is treated, the hair regrows again.
Stress, whether physical or emotional, can lead to excessive hair shedding or hair loss. Different trigger factors can cause this stress. For instance, many women shed over 150 strands of hair daily after childbirth. Also, the death of a loved one or divorce may cause emotional stress, among other issues. Nonetheless, it is curative. The body readjusts again when the stress stops, although it may take up to months.
Different hormonal imbalances may cause hair loss. One of the common causes of these hormonal imbalances is PCOS (Polycystic ovary syndrome). It occurs when the cyst is visible on a woman's ovary and is accompanied by other symptoms. Most hormonal imbalances are caused by thyroid imbalances. The functions of thyroid might be really low (hypothyroid) or extremely high (hyper thyroid).
Other hormonal culprits that cause hair loss are the testosterone, dihydrotestosterone, insulin, estrogen, cortisol etc. The best way to detect these hormonal imbalances is by going to a hospital to carry out a test. Birth control pills can also trigger hormonal imbalances. However, it can be cured with proper treatment from a doctor.
Fortunately, most of the conditions causing severe hair loss in men and women are curable. But, ultimately, everyone should engage in safe practices. These healthy and safe practices are listed below.
Psychologically, it is very important that, even after you've gone through the process of hair loss, you need to learn how to accept that it has happened, and love yourself for who you are. This will help your healing journey in the long run. We understand that this is not quite easy to accept this condition, but there are some ways you can go about it. You can decide to join a support group, they are available around the world. Asides this support group, learn to talk about it with feeling body shamed. Discuss it with your trusted friends and families: let them know how you feel and the type of support you need. If it is affecting the relationship between yourself and your partner, do well to see a counsellor or go for a therapy.
Make a list of your good qualities and celebrate them day in day out. Focus hour energy on those attributes and see for yourself how this makes you feel awesome about your self. Discuss and cover up your hair with fashion items like hair extensions, wigs, makeup or scarves. Go through this process until you find a treatment that suits you and your condition. Finally, be patient with yourself, you will definitely be fine. Hair loss is often temporary, and the regrowth is quite unpredictable and come take years, but you will definitely get your hair back.
Do you know you can consult our doctors for free? If you shed over 150 strands of hair in a day, do not panic and get help. MedicW works with renowned hair clinics that proffer solutions to different hair conditions. In addition, they offer various services that include a hair transplant. For more information, visit our hair transplant page.
There are several causes of hair loss, primarily because of medical conditions arising from different hair follicles. Also, it may occur in men and women alike, and the best approach is to seek a doctor's advice.