Hair loss (alopecia) can affect the scalp or the entire body and can be temporary or permanent. It can be the result of heredity, hormonal changes, medical disorders, or a natural part of aging. Anyone can lose their hair, but it’s more likely in males. Baldness usually refers to severe scalp hair loss. Heritage hair loss with age is the most frequent cause of baldness. Some people tend to let the hair loss run its course without therapy or hiding.
Speak to the doctor about the cause of your hair loss and your medication plans before taking treatment for hair loss.
What is Hair Loss?
It can affect only the hair on your scalp or your entire body. While alopecia is more prevalent in older adults, excess hair loss may also occur in infants. It’s natural to lose between 50 and 100 hairs a day. With around 100,000 hairs on the head, that small loss is not noticeable.
New hair usually replaces lost hair, although that doesn’t always happen. Hair loss can grow progressively over the years or occur suddenly. You may be losing more hair than usual if you notice a large amount of hair in the drain after washing your hair or strands of hair on the brush.
What is the cause of Hair Loss?
First, a doctor or dermatologist (a doctor specialized in skin problems) will attempt to identify the root cause of your hair loss. The most frequent cause of hair loss is hereditary male or female baldness pattern. If you have a family history of baldness, you might have this kind of hair loss. It could start with puberty. Serious illness, surgery, or traumatic events can trigger hair loss. However, your hair will generally start to grow without treatment.
Hormonal changes can cause temporary hair loss. Examples include:
- The pregnancy
- Stopping the use of birth control pills
Medical problems that can cause hair loss include:
- Thyroid disease
- Alopecia areata
- Scalp infections like ringworm
Hair loss can also be caused by medications used for the treatment of:
- Heart problems
How is hair loss diagnosed?
Persistent hair loss also suggests a fundamental health problem. Your doctor or dermatologist can determine the cause of your hair loss based on a physical exam and your medical history. If your dermatologist suspects an autoimmune or skin disease, he or she may biopsy the skin on your scalp
Laboratory testing will involve carefully removing a tiny portion of the skin. It is important to remember that a complicated mechanism is hair development. Determining the precise cause of hair loss will take time.
What are the treatment options for hair loss?
Medications are likely to be the first course of treatment for hair loss. Over-the-counter (OTC) medications generally consist of topical creams and gels that are applied directly to the scalp. Prescription medicines can also cure hair loss.
2. Medical procedures
3. Hair transplant surgery
Hair transplant surgery involves moving small plugs of skin, each containing a few hairs, to the bald parts of the scalp. This works well for people with hereditary baldness, as they usually lose hair on the top of the head.
4. Scalp reduction
In a scalp reduction, a surgeon removes part of the scalp that lacks hair. The surgeon then closes the area with a part of your scalp that has hair. Another option is a flap, in which your surgeon folds the scalp that has hair over a bald patch. This is a type of scalp reduction. It requires two surgeries. In the first surgery, a surgeon places a tissue expander under a part of your scalp that has hair and is next to baldness. After several weeks, the expander stretches the part of your scalp that has hair.In the second surgery, your surgeon removes the expander and pulls the expanded area of the scalp with hair over the bald spot.
Hair loss is usually associated with one or more of the following factors
1. Family history (inheritance)
2. Hormonal changes and medical conditions
A variety of disorders, including hormonal changes due to pregnancy, childbirth, menopause, and thyroid disorders, can cause permanent or temporary hair loss. Medical issues include alopecia areata, which is related to the immune system and induces patchy hair loss, scalp diseases such as ringworm, and plucking disorders.
3. Medications and supplements
Hair loss can be a side effect of some treatments, such as those used with chemotherapy, asthma, obesity, cardiac problems, gout, and high blood pressure.
4. Hairstyles and treatments
Excessive combing or hairstyles that pull the hair tight, such as pigtails or braids, can cause a type of hair loss called traction alopecia. Hot oil hair treatments can also cause hair loss. When scars occur, the hair loss can be permanent.
How can I prevent hair loss?
1. Avoid hairstyles that pull the hairline
Tight ponytails, braids, braids, and anything else that pulls on the little hairs that make up the hairline can cause hair loss. The stress caused by these tight hairstyles pulls too hard on the delicate hairs on the hairline and hair loss / thinning can occur. If you need to tie your hair into a ponytail, use a non-metal elastic like the Goody’s Ouchless line of hair products.
2. Get rid of hair tools that use high heat
Heat is always harsh on hair. It causes the bonds within the hair strands to break, causing brittle hair to break and fall out. If you decide to use a hair straightener or curling iron, make sure you don’t leave it in one area of your hair for too long and move it about every ten seconds. Try to let your hair dry naturally as often as possible and when using styling tools make sure to use a heat protection spray that will lessen the damage the tools are inflicting on your hair.
3. Be careful with chemical processing
Just as heat is very damaging to hair, so are a variety of chemical processing treatments offered by hair salons. Chemically straightening hair, bleaching, and lightening hair can damage the hair shaft, weaken it, and cause hair loss. Always try to stick to your natural style and color as closely as possible if you experience hair loss or thinning or the problem will just get worse.
4. Use hair products designed to restore hair growth
Because thinning and hair loss is a major cosmetic concern for women, many companies are now creating products specifically intended to restore hair growth. Use shampoos, which contain different oils and minerals that can support hair growth, destroy bacteria that can cause hair breakage and loss, increase blood circulation in the scalp, and more.
5. Consider a topical medication
Minoxidil, the active ingredient in Rogaine, is an over-the-counter medicine that can be applied to the hair in liquid or foam form. The drug works by stimulating the hair follicles and promoting regrowth in just six months. If six months seems a bit long to get results, you can also use a thickening hair spray in the meantime that coats your existing hair and gives it the appearance of a fuller mane.
6. Scalp massage
An easy way to incorporate a scalp massage into your hair care regimen is to do it while you are showering, after applying shampoo or conditioner. It has been observed that scalp massages increase circulation to the scalp, promoting hair growth. By running your fingertips across the whole head in a slow circular motion, you can reduce stress and stimulate hair growth at the same time.
7. Consider essential oils
Essential oils have long been touted for their natural benefits and could be the ticket to helping your hair. Because essential oils are becoming increasingly popular as a healthier alternative, these are easy to find online or in health stores. A few drops added to your scalp during your scalp massage is a great way to enhance the effectiveness of your massage and take advantage of all the benefits that oils have to offer.
8. Avoid brushing wet hair
When the hair is wet, it’s at the weakest. So avoid brushing your wet hair because they increase the chances of hair loss. But if you must comb wet hair, use a very wide-tooth comb. Also avoid brushing your hair too often, as doing so can damage hair and increase hair loss. Use your fingers to remove your tangles, not a comb or a brush.
9 .Garlic juice, onion juice, or ginger juice
Rub one of the juices on your scalp, leave it overnight and wash it off in the morning. Do it regularly for a week and you will see remarkable results.
10. Rub green tea on your hair
Studies have shown that rubbing your hair with green tea can help curb hair loss problems. All you need to do is brew two green tea bags in a cup of water, let it cool off, and then add it to your hair. Rinse your hair well for about an hour. Do this daily for a week or ten days to see the results.
Know what's bad for your hair
1. Avoid alcoholic beverages
If you have hair loss, reduce your alcohol consumption because drinking alcohol reduces your hair development. Decrease or remove alcohol in order to see an improvement in hair growth.
2. Avoid smoking
Smoking cigarettes reduces the amount of blood circulating to the scalp and reduces hair growth.
3. Physical activity
Make time for physical activity every day. Walking, swimming or biking for 30 minutes a day helps balance hormone levels, reducing stress levels as well as reducing hair loss.
Studies done in the past have found medical evidence linking stress to hair loss. Get rid of stress; one of the ways to do this is by practicing meditation. Alternative therapies like meditation and yoga not only reduce stress but restore hormonal balance.
5. Avoid constant heating and drying
Do not expose your hair to regular and repeated procedures for heating and drying. Heat weakens the proteins of the hair, and excessive heating and drying can contribute to fatigue and brittleness, leading to hair loss.
6. Keep your head sweat-free
Men with oily hair experience dandruff during the summer due to sweating and increased chances of losing their hair. Using shampoos that contain aloe vera and neem can keep your head fresh and prevent dandruff.
Also, men who wear helmets experience significant hair loss in the summer. As sweat accumulates in the pores and weakens the roots of the hair causing hair loss in men.
If you find that you’re losing more hair than normal, speak to the doctor about the problem, particularly those related to the skin, that cause changes in the hormonal balance that in turn lead to hair loss. They may identify the root cause of hair loss and recommend effective treatment plans.
Hair loss vitamins such as Biotin, Niacin (Vitamin B3), and Vitamin C, and hair loss minerals such as Zinc and Iron, provide vital hair nutrients to nourish long and healthy hair. Eating enough of these essential hair growth vitamins will help reduce hair loss in both women and men.
Yes, stress and hair loss can be related. Three forms of hair loss that may be associated with high levels of stress are telogen effluvium. In telogen effluvium, major tension allows a significant number of hair follicles to rest.