What causes hair loss ?
Hair loss, so called alopecia is a pretty common condition. While it is more common in elderly persons, it may affect anybody, even youngsters.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, people typically lose 50 to 100 hairs every day (AAD). With over 100,000 hairs on your head, even a minor hair loss is barely perceptible. New hair usually grows in to replace the hair that has fallen out, although this does not always happen.
Hair loss can happen gradually over time or suddenly. It might be transient or permanent, depending on the underlying reason.
Trying to figure out whether you’re genuinely losing hair or if it’s simply typical shedding? Are you unsure if you need to consult a doctor? Continue reading to learn more about hair loss and how to deal with it.
What are the risk factors for hair loss ?
Hair loss that is passed down through the generations
This form of hair loss affects both men and women and is the most frequent cause of hair loss globally. Male pattern hair loss is a term used to describe hair loss in males. Female pattern baldness is a condition that affects women. Androgenic alopecia is the medical name for hair loss that occurs in both men and women.
Whatever title you pick, it implies you’ve inherited genes that cause your hair follicles (the root of each hair) to shrink and finally cease producing hair. Shrinking can start as early as your adolescent years, although it generally happens later in life. The first indication of genetic hair loss in women is frequently thinning hair or a widening part.
A receding hairline or bald patch at the top of a man’s head is generally the first indicator of genetic hair loss.
This type of hair loss can be slowed or stopped with therapy. It may also aid in hair regrowth. The earlier therapy begins, the more effective it will be. You will continue to lose hair if you do not get therapy.
Hair loss is common as individuals become older because hair growth slows. Hair follicles eventually cease producing hair, causing the hair on our scalp to diminish. Hair begins to lose its color as well. The hairline of a woman begins to recede with time. For this type of hair loss, treatment can help some people regrow their hair if caught early.
Alopecia areata is a condition in which the immune system assaults the hair follicles (which hold the hair in place) and causes hair loss. Hair loss can occur anywhere on the body, including the scalp, within the nose, and in the ears. Eyelashes and brows can be lost in certain persons.
We have the option of regeneration for this sort of hair loss. If your hair doesn’t regenerate on its own, therapy might be able to assist.
Treatment for cancer
You may lose all (or most) of your hair within a few weeks of commencing chemotherapy or radiation treatment for your head or neck.
Within months of finishing chemotherapy or radiation treatments to the head or neck, hair normally begins to return. Dermatologists can prescribe medicines to help hair regrow faster.
Hair loss can be prevented by using a cooling cap before, during, and after each chemotherapy treatment.
Childbirth, sickness, or other adversities are all sources of stress.
You may notice a lot more hairs in your brush or on your pillow a few months after giving birth, recuperating from a sickness, or having a surgery. This can also occur following a traumatic event in your life, such as a divorce or the loss of a loved one.
Your body will readjust and the excessive shedding will stop if the tension is relieved. Most people’s hair returns to normal fullness within 6 to 9 months after the shedding stops.
You may be harming your hair if you dye, perm, or relax it. Hair loss might occur as a result of this damage over time.
You can avoid hair loss by changing how you care for your hair. Hair cannot develop from a hair follicle that has been damaged. Permanent bald patches are caused by a large number of damaged hair follicles.
Your hairstyle tugs at your scalp.
If you pull your hair back too firmly all the time, it might lead to irreversible hair loss. Traction alopecia is the medical term for this illness. By making a few modifications, you may avoid hair loss.
Polycystic ovarian syndrome is a typical source of this imbalance (PCOS). It causes cysts to form on a woman’s ovaries, as well as other signs and symptoms such as hair loss. Some forms of birth control tablets might produce a temporary hormonal imbalance if you stop using them. A hormonal imbalance can cause thinning hair (or hair loss) on the scalp in women. Hair regeneration may be aided by treatment.
Infection of the scalp
Scaly and often inflammatory spots on your scalp might be caused by a scalp infection. On your scalp, you may notice what appear to be little black spots. These are actually hair stubs. A bald spot might grow in certain people. The infection can be cured with treatment. Hair tends to regrow once the infection has cleared.
Hair loss is a potential adverse effect of various drugs. If you suspect a medicine is causing your hair loss, check with the doctor who provided it to see if hair loss is a side effect. It’s critical that you don’t stop taking your prescription without first consulting your doctor. Stopping certain drugs suddenly might result in major health concerns.
Psoriasis of the scalp
Many persons with plaque psoriasis eventually develop psoriasis on their scalp. Hair loss may result as a result of this. Once the psoriasis on the scalp is cleared, hair tends to recover, although this takes time. You may be able to avoid hair loss by following the advice of these experts.
Pulling your hair
Pulling on one’s hair is a common stress reliever for some people. They may be completely oblivious to the fact that they are tearing their hair out. Trichotillomania is the medical word for this condition. Yes, if the hair follicles haven’t been damaged. Stop plucking your hair if you want it to regenerate.
Inflammation kills hair follicles, resulting in this disorder. A hair follicle that has been damaged can no longer produce hair. This can be caused by a variety of factors. Cicatricial alopecia is the medical term for this collection of diseases. A hair follicle that has been damaged cannot regenerate hair. Early detection of this illness can help to avoid additional hair loss.
Infection that is spread through sexual contact
A sexually transmitted infection (STI) can cause hair loss if left untreated. Syphilis is a sexually transmitted infection (STI). Syphilis can cause patchy hair loss on the scalp, eyebrows, beard, and other areas if left untreated. Hair loss can also be caused by other STIs. Hair frequently begins to regenerate after a STI has been treated.
You may notice thinning hair if you have a thyroid condition. When brushing their hair, some people discover that it comes out in clumps. Hair loss can be reversed by treating thyroid disorders.
Biotin, iron, protein, or zinc deficiency
Hair loss can occur if you don’t obtain enough of one or more of these nutrients. Hair can regenerate if your body obtains enough of the nutrients it needs.
When boots, stockings, or tight garments brush against a person’s skin often, hair loss can occur. Frictional alopecia is the medical name for this condition. When the stroking ceases, hair tends to sprout on its own.
Hair loss can occur as a result of being steadily poisoned. Arsenic, thallium, mercury, and lithium are some of the poisons that can cause hair loss. Hair loss can occur if you consume a substantial amount of warfarin, which is present in rat poisons. Taking too much vitamin A or selenium can be harmful and lead to hair loss. When you are no longer exposed to the toxin, your hair will regenerate.
Type of Hair Loss
There are many types of hair loss, also called alopecia:
- Alopecia involutional is a normal condition in which the hair thins with age. The surviving hairs get shorter and fewer in quantity as more hair follicles enter the resting phase.
- Androgenic alopecia is a hereditary disorder that may affect men and women alike. Male pattern baldness is a disorder in which men lose their hair as early as their teens or early twenties. A receding hairline and progressive hair loss from the crown and frontal scalp describe this condition. Female pattern baldness is a disorder in which women do not detect thinning until they are in their 40s or later. Women’s hair thinning affects the whole scalp, with the crown seeing the most hair loss.
- Alopecia areata is a condition that affects children and young adults and causes patchy hair loss. This disease can lead to total baldness (alopecia totalis). However, hair regrows in roughly 90% of persons with the disorder within a few years.
- All body hair, including brows, eyelashes, and pubic hair, falls out as a result of alopecia universalis.
- Trichotillomania is a psychiatric illness in which a person pulls out his or her own hair. It is most commonly found in youngsters.
- Telogen effluvium is a transient thinning of hair on the scalp caused by changes in the hair development cycle. Hair loss and thinning occur when a significant number of hairs enter the resting phase at the same time. Learn more about telogen effluvium and what causes it.
- Scarring alopecias cause permanent hair loss. Scars from inflammatory skin illnesses (cellulitis, folliculitis, acne) and other skin problems (such as some forms of lupus and lichen planus) may prevent hair from regenerating. Permanent hair loss can also be caused by hot combs and hair that is too tightly braided and tugged.
How was Hair Loss diagnosed ?
Your doctor will most likely perform a physical exam and inquire about your nutrition, hair care regimen, and medical and family history before establishing a diagnosis. You may also be subjected to tests such as the following:
- A blood test is required. This might aid in the discovery of medical problems that cause hair loss.
- Pull the trigger. Your doctor pulls a few hundred hairs gently to check how many fall out. This aids in determining the stage of shedding.
- A biopsy of the scalp is performed. To study the hair roots under a microscope, your doctor scrapes samples from the skin or a few hairs plucked from the scalp. This can assist in determining whether or not an infection is the cause of hair loss.
- Microscopy using light. Your doctor examines hairs that have been clipped at their bases using a special device. Microscopy aids in the detection of hair shaft problems.
Medical Treatment for Hair Loss ?
It is important to remember that not all types of hair loss can be slowed or prevented. In these cases, men can try to combat hair loss through active treatment.
Some methods men can use to treat hair loss include the following:
There are a number of over-the-counter drugs that can aid with hair loss. Foams and ointments are examples of them. Minoxidil (Rogaine) and finasteride are the two most often prescribed drugs (Propecia).
MinoxidilTrusted Source was created by scientists to treat high blood pressure. Its creators discovered that it caused excessive, undesired hair growth as a side effect. This impact prompted pharmaceutical firms to examine it as a treatment for male baldness.
Minoxidil’s mechanism of action is unknown to scientists. The medicine appears to enlarge the hair follicle, resulting in the growth of a thicker strand of hair.
Furthermore, minoxidil appears to extend hair development, resulting in longer hair and a greater quantity of hair strands. Minoxidil has been demonstrated to be both safe and effective when used correctly.
Individuals under the age of 40 have a higher success rate.
A look ahead to 2019 The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has only authorized topical minoxidil for the treatment of androgenetic alopecia in males and females, according to Trusted Source. Minoxidil, on the other hand, is used off-label for alopecia areata, scarring alopecia, and hair shaft diseases.
The word “off-label” refers to licenced pharmaceuticals that doctors prescribe for unapproved applications, according to FDATrusted Source.
Minoxidil has a number of potential adverse effects, including the following
- yellow, or white scales on the scalp
- contact dermatitis
- hair shedding
- skin irritation
In certain females, excessive hair growth occurs all over the body, especially on the face.
Minoxidil is also not recommended for women who are pregnant or nursing, as well as those who are hypersensitive to the medication’s components.
Finasteride is a medication that is used to treat male pattern baldness, which affects the crown and center of the scalp.
The usage of this medicine is accompanied by a number of cautionary statements. It is only appropriate for adults; it is not appropriate for pregnant or lactating women, or children.
Finasteride was developed by scientists to combat prostate cancer. It works by lowering levels of dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a hormone found in the scalp. Reduced DHT levels may encourage hair regeneration and decrease hair loss by causing hair follicles in the scalp to become thinner.
Finasteride, unlike minoxidil, has no effect on hair growth in other regions of the body.
Finasteride is offered as a topical and an oral medication. According to a review published in 2020, the topical formulation of this medicine is less likely than the oral version to produce serious adverse effects.
Finasteride has the following adverse effects:
- erectile dysfunction erectile dysfunction erectile dysfunction erectile dysfunction erect
- reduced libido
- Ejaculate volume has reduced.
Finasteride users who are treating male pattern hair loss may have to wait up to three months for obvious benefits.
A dermatologist may prescribe a mix of medicines, ointments, lotions, and shampoos to treat hair loss.
Meetings with specialists are required for some therapy. Hair treatments for males are offered by a number of firms. They usually provide services to assist in determining the best course of action and tailoring therapies to the needs of the client.
Hair transplant surgery is the sole treatment option for hair loss. Male pattern baldness can be treated by hair transplantation. A hair transplant includes extracting DHT-resistant hair follicles from the back of the head and transplanting them to the scalp.
Hair transplants, like any other procedure, pose the potential of problems. Excessive bleeding and large scars are two of the hazards of hair transplant surgery, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Furthermore, the skin plugs may perish, necessitating further surgery to repair.
Laser combs are a more recent hair loss therapy option. These gadgets, according to proponents, enhance hair growth by stimulating hair follicles with focused light.
This therapy has mixed effects and may be most effective when used in conjunction with other treatments.
According to a 2014 research the effects of low-level laser treatment on 32 men and women with androgenetic alopecia were studied by Trusted Source. Laser combs combined with minoxidil and finasteride were proven to help accelerate hair growth, according to the study.
How To Prevent Hair Loss ?
You can enhance your general hair health and even prevent hair loss by following a few hair hygiene suggestions.
1. Hairstyles that tug on the hair should be avoided.
Although hair is flexible, research has shown that it can only be stretched so far before becoming irreversibly damaged. Cornrows, tight braids, and ponytails can pull your hair away from your scalp over time, loosening the tie between your hair and scalp.
2. Stay away from hair styling appliances that use a lot of heat.
When you use heat to style your hair, the follicles become dry and sensitive to damage. Hair dryers, straighteners, and curling irons can all cause harm to your hair. Trusted By causing moisture in your hair shafts to expand, you can source your hair over time.
3. Don’t bleach or chemically treat your hair.
Chemically treating hair, such as bleaching, causes hair to break down by dividing protein molecules called keratin. Limit your usage of colors, highlights, peroxide treatments, and perms if you’re worried about hair loss.
4. Use a shampoo that is gentle and appropriate for your hair type.
Shampoo is used to remove debris and excess oil from your hair. Shampooing your hair too often might cause damage. Frizz, scalp dryness, and brittle hair have all been related to sulfates and other substances.
There’s no proof that certain shampoo components cause hair loss, but they might contribute to less-than-ideal hair health. If your hair is excessively dry or frizzy, consider using a shampoo that is as natural as possible.
5. Use a natural fiber brush with a gentle bristle.
Using a natural fiber brush with a soft bristle will help to maintain healthy oil levels in your hair. Because your hair’s keratin proteins are piled like shingles on a roof, gently brushing them in one direction from the top to the ends will help smooth and condition your hair cuticle. Brushing your hair on a daily basis can also help prevent hair clumps from forming in your shower drain.
Is it possible to reverse hair loss?
Both yes and no. It all depends on the sort of hair loss you have.
Some are permanent, such as cicatricial alopecia, while others, such as those induced by stress or a medical condition, are just transitory. Your hair should begin to regrow after the problem has been found and eradicated.
Generally speaking, the hair will heal over a period of four to six months to a year if the trigger or whatever caused the harm to the hair follicle goes