What Causes Hair Loss?
Hair loss can range from mild hair thinning to total baldness. Hair can fall out for many different reasons. Medically, hair loss falls into several categories, including:
There are varying degrees of hair loss that go on to include thinning of the hair all the way to complete loss of hair or baldness. Moreover, there are many different factors that can play a part in why you may be experiencing hair loss. If we were to look into the Medical perspective on the matter of hair loss, we would see that hair loss, in general, is classified into a few different categories listed below.
This classification of hair loss is directly related to a few things happening inside the body. It is presented in most cases following incidents of considerable stress in the body, for instance, after prolonged sickness, post major surgeries including severe infections as well, and sudden hormonal level changes most commonly found in women who have just given birth. Telogen effluvium can be spotted when noticing hair appearing thinner overall.
You may notice more hair on the brush of a comb or pillow after sleeping. While it is a type of hair loss, this type of hair loss is one of the least severe classifications as it does not include large bald spots appearing on the scalp.
Side effects of Medications
There are a few medical drugs that can stimulate hair loss. Keep an eye out for hair loss when taking lithium, beta-blockers, warfarin, amphetamines, and levodopa to name a few, as well as medications including Atamet, Larodopa, and Sinemet. Most commonly, medications that aim to tackle cancerous issues promote hair loss as well. Doxorubicin affects the entire scalp's ability to hold strong hair primarily.
Illness or Sickness symptoms
There are cases where an illness can be attributed to the loss of hair. The illnesses that fall under this category include lupus erythematosus, syphilis, and thyroid disorders including hypothyroidism, and hyperthyroidism.
Hormonal imbalances can affect hair loss, and more commonly malnutrition. Deficiencies in protein, iron, zinc, and biotin are the leading causes of hair loss in the malnutrition category. Careful when undergoing restrictive kinds of diets as levels of nutrition directly correlate to hair quality as well.
Another classification Is Tinea Capitis
In other words, a prominent fungal infection affecting the scalp. This particular type of hair loss as suggested by the name occurs when a fungus invades the scalp and as a result causes severe infection. This can undoubtedly lead to patchy types of hair loss. It causes dry, flaky, and irritation of the scalp and thus causes the hair strands to become so weak they eventually break and fall off. This classification of hair loss is most commonly found in young children from infants to toddlers.
While most people have heard of the name not many are aware of what alopecia entails. Alopecia is primarily an autoimmune disorder that can heavily attack the hair as a side effect. Patches or hair fall out of the scalp in high numbers making it very distinguishable from other types of hair loss.
Alopecia most commonly occurs in those with a family history of autoimmune issues. There are two types of Alopecia, the first Alopecia Areata (while the hair is falling out), and Alopecia totalis (When all hair has fallen out of the scalp)
Occurs as a side effect of hairstyling practices. Practices that include applying severe stress on the hair follicles or stress over time will contribute to hair loss. Braiding too tight, overexposure to extreme heat and chemical applications like dying your hair can also contribute to hair follicles leaving the scalp.
In severe cases, a disorder known as trichotillomania in which one obscenely twists or pulls on their hair promoting the presence of bald spots falls under this classification as well.
This classification of hair loss has little to do with an external stimulus, illness, or infections, it primarily entails the loss of hair over time as a result of genetic disposition, this classification of hair loss is most commonly found in men generally however can affect a small number of women depending on hereditary disposition. It can be noticed by receding hairlines and or thinning or loss of hair on the top of the scalp.
Age has a big play in when the signs of this hair loss occur however it can happen at any moment in a man's life. This is not exclusive to males; however, females as they age are more subject to the side effects of Androgenetic Alopecia as well.
Symptoms of Hair Loss
On average the normal person loses anywhere from 50-100 hairs over the course of a 24-hour period. If you believe that there's more than the average amount of hair loss going on you can notice this when you brush your hair and see it full of hair in just a few swipes or when you wake up in the morning and find a higher than usual count of hair lying on your pillow, or when you look at the drain in your sink or bathtub and there are dubious amounts of hair.
Another way to notice your hair loss is to monitor your hair line as this area is where the hair becomes thinner on the scalp naturally. Signs of hair loss can include the sudden appearance of bald patches as well.
There are a few ways to diagnose yourself if you're experiencing hair loss. This can help you have a more educated perspective to convey to a medical professional on what exactly may be causing your hair loss.
You’ll know if you're showing signs of Telogen effluvium when you notice hair loss generally occurring evenly all over the scalp's entire surface area. With alopecia Areata, you can decipher from patchy kinds of hair loss popping up in no particular area but randomly across the surface area across the head.
Traumatic alopecia can be observed after styling your hair with heating tools or after getting tight braids. You'll notice hair loss post-styling your hair that isn't generally normal or regular.
In the most common type of hair loss around the world affecting mainly men and a small portion of women, the pattern of baldness typically begins around the hairline region and moves to the center of the head after that. You'll notice a gradual thinning of the hair in these first two areas given that you're not overly styling with heating tools and typically keep your hair down or free from braids and ponytails.
How Doctors Diagnose Hair Loss
Hair loss can be a stressful occurrence for most people that haven't experienced it before. Given that the best way to combat chronic hair loss would be to consult a doctor, below we’ll look into how hair loss is diagnosed by professionals and the countermeasures they will suggest to prevent and counteract its side effects.
The first step a doctor will take in diagnosing your hair loss symptoms will be to take an overview of your recent and long medical history. They will use this information to rule out any outliers or if you are predisposed to hair loss through your family background genetically, to see if you’ve suffered from any recent illnesses or surgeries that may indicate major stress on the body and hair loss as a consequence.
Moreover, this is a good practice to see if your hormonal levels are in line, etc. If your doctor suspects an infection of any kind, primarily a fungal infection then a sample will be taken from your scalp to test for fungal infection.
Blood tests are also integrated to measure hormone levels, thyroid issues, or if you are suffering from any present illness that may be playing a significant role in hair loss.
Duration Of Hair loss to Be Expected
Depending on what may be actually the root cause of your hair loss problems, the duration you can expect to see a steady rate of hair loss depends solely on what this is. In the case, you actually are suffering from telogen effluvium the rates of hair loss can continue for a few weeks up to several months, after which your hair will start to grow back and you will see that you are losing a regular amount of hair again.
On a lighter note, if you suspect that the root cause of your hair loss is attributed to medication, of course first you should consult with your doctor to rid yourself of any doubt, however, typically hair loss ceases after you cease taking that specific medication.
In the event that you are observing hair loss due to a fungal scalp infection or tinea scalp infection, hair regrows after the infection is treated steadily. For this, it can take anywhere from 6-12 weeks before you notice your hair starting to grow back.
When the cause of your hair loss is attributed to pattern baldness, hair loss tends to get worse with age; however, there are treatments available to significantly halt the process but this generally can't be cured or stopped in its tracks.
How To Prevent Hair Loss
Primarily, to prevent hair loss in general, one would look to adopt healthier lifestyles and habits. Diet plays a huge role in preventing unnecessary hair loss as it gives your scalp and roots the vital nutrients that are required to maintain and keep a healthy strong head of hair.
Practicing alternate hair styling methods that can save your strands from becoming brittle, dry, and a flaky scalp can play a massive role in maintaining your hair. Moreover, treatments and medications are known to prevent the effects of pattern baldness as well.
Overall making sure that you pay attention to the signs of hair loss early on with a healthy lifestyle will make treating symptoms more effective and less time-consuming as a result.
How to Treat Hair Loss
Treating hair loss from telogen effluvium and hair loss from using medication typically will not require extensive or any kind of treatment. As these are the less severe causes of hair loss, generally discontinuing your medication or adopting a healthier routine for maintaining your hair is the golden ticket to combat these ailments.
In cases of hair loss as a result of over-styling or extensive chemical exposure, creating bigger time frames in between styling can help stop hair loss in its tracks completely giving your scalp and follicles the necessary time periods to heal themselves.
To treat fungal scalp infections recommended treatments like terbinafine, sporox, and itraconazole and preventing the use of shampoos with chemicals like selenium or ketoconazole help in this case. In the event of suffering from alopecia, treatments containing corticosteroid anthralin cream are known to combat this ailment.
Pattern baldness as stated before happens pretty gradually and depending on their age most individuals with pattern baldness don’t go out of their way to treat it. This being said there are treatments on the market and from your doctor that do combat pattern baldness. These treatments include topical minoxidil, oral finasteride, and dutasteride.
Hair transplants and scalp reductions are popular treatments for pattern baldness as well and have good effects. Women who are premenopausal can look to treat their hair loss symptoms with hormone therapy.
Most kinds of hair loss tend to stem from telogen effluvium and medical side effects that do respond to many hair treatments.
Pattern baldness also responds to hair treatment but generally has to be treated indefinitely to maintain quality. In severe cases depending on the condition of the scalp, hair loss cannot be reversed and won't respond significantly to treatment, so it's best to see a doctor early on when you notice any form of abnormal hair loss to rule out the untreatable classifications.
Overview Of Hair Loss
Typical hair loss is normal. Every day we shed a modest amount of hair anywhere from 50-100 follicles a day. On average the lost hairs grow back and not much is left to be thought of. In some special cases, factors such as illnesses, styling methods, malnutrition, and hormonal imbalances get in the way of people's ability to cultivate the hair quality they desire and certain steps of action are necessary from there on out. In the case of conditional hair loss, the hair itself falls out yet isn't replaced by new hairs.
How To Begin Treating Your Hair At Home
Mix it up: Mix up different styling methods you use to cultivate your signature look. In general, too much of one thing is bad for your health, this encompasses bad habits forming like alcohol, substance abuse, dietary neglect, etc. Putting your hair under the heating tools like curling irons, flat irons, blow dryers, etc. all play a part in damaging your valuable hair strands and that's what we want to avoid at all costs.
Leave your hair some time to heal from the use of these tools and re-strengthen itself naturally. Adopt methods of using gel to mix up your styling techniques, or simply wear your hair a different way. This is a great way to space out any unnecessary damage you may be applying to your hair and therefore a great way to maintain follicle and scalp health.
Turn down the heat: If you find yourself not being able to separate from applying heating tools to your hair simply turn down the heat, and your hair strands will thank you. Overheating will cause your hair to become dry, brittle, and flaky. This is a great way to be on your way to cultivating symptoms of hair loss.
Cold water: Much like the effects of applying heating tools to your hair too often people often neglect the temperature of the water they use to clean and wash their hair. Hot water has an act for drying up any moisture your hair needs after the shower and it's best to use cooler temperature water to lock in said moisture to your scalp and locks.
Pre Brush: A common bad habit most people do when trying to provide tender love and care to their hair is to brush their hair when it's wet. This can be a practice adopted from some hair saloons when they wash your hair out for you and apply a comb to detangle it.
Most people, after seeing the pros do it, think it's fine to take a brush to your wet and vulnerable hair. This is counterproductive to maintaining a healthy head of hair as this can strip away vital oils and cause severe breakage as a result. It is highly recommended for all individuals to brush their hair before placing their head under the shower faucet is less likely to strip away what your hair needs to stay strong.
Air Dry: Avoid using a towel right out of the shower whenever possible. If your hair is suffering from the effects of thinning and falling out this is one of the best ways to make sure you lose your hair. Violent towel drying completely takes all moisture away from your hair leaving it frizzy to begin with but can also soak up the sebum your scalp produces to keep your hair follicles shiny and smooth.
Putting a towel to your wet hair can also apply too much stress for your follicles to bear resulting in your hair simply falling out. Air dry your hair as much as possible to avoid moisture being stripped from your head and allow nature to take its course in making sure that your hair keeps growing healthily.
Sleeping Cap: Wear a head covering to bed at night when you go to sleep to prevent unnecessary tugging and pulling of your hair on your pillow. This is one of the best ways to counteract stress applied to the scalp as the hairs themselves won't have much room to be pulled and tugged in any direction. If you are sporting braids or cornrows this is also one of the best ways your hairstyles maintain its healthy appearance.
In any case, however, this is a good way for your hair to re-moisturize itself after taking a shower as it provides yet another layer for the moisture in your hair not to escape. Make sure whatever hair covering you decide to use isn’t too tight allowing for adequate blood flow to your scalp or you may wake up with a headache.
Wear your hair Down: Ponytails are definitely in style nowadays but if you are expressing concern about the quality of your hair any good habit could be the difference between a hairdo you are impressed with or the hairdo of your nightmares.
Wear your hair down more often as when you keep your hair wrapped up in a ponytail it stresses the follicles in your scalp pulling them a certain way for hours at a time. Let your hair do its thing naturally by letting it flow in the wind. This will ensure lower levels of stress are applied to your scalp and provide you with one less thing to worry about when keeping a healthy head of hair.
Recommended Hair Treatment For all Hair Types
Applying a cocktail of nutrients to your hair and scalp after a nice shower is a recommended practice in boosting the quality of your hair overnight. We recommend using Universal Hair Growth Oil™.
Universal Hair Growth Oil™ is made toxin and chemical free by utilizing natural compounds from various organic sources, like avocados, coconuts, thyme, etc. It is highly praised as a vegan hair growth stimulant, increasing the nutrients absorbed by your hair follicles and heavily promoting healthy hair growth.
It combats and revitalizes damaged hair, frizz, and scalp irritation as it is full of antioxidants and vitamins.
Simply apply the product itself to your scalp after a nice cool shower and reap the benefits of healthy hair strands. Most noticeably this product helps people around the globe to achieve their desired hair look. Want to learn more about why you're suffering from hair loss? If extensive hair loss persists it's time to consult a professional in the field.
Consult a doctor if all else fails to be directed to prescribed medication that will help you combat your hair loss symptoms.