Understanding Hair Loss (Causes And Prevention)

We tend to think of hair loss as a guy thing, but the truth is that roughly half of all women over age 40 experience excessive hair loss.
Hair loss is one of the most common problems that affects millions of people across the globe. Known medically as alopecia, it is a major cause of concern for many.

Hair loss
Unexplained excessive hair loss can be worrying and scary. Also, unusual and excessive hair loss can also be a symptom of several serious underlying conditions. The good news is, there’s often a way to fix it. Here are few causes of hair loss in women and men and how to treat them.

Heredity

Heredity pattern baldnessHeredity pattern baldness is the most common cause of hair loss. Hereditary pattern baldness is not really a disease, but a natural condition caused by some combination of genetics, hormone levels and the ageing process.

Symptoms:

Hereditary pattern baldness starts with thinning of hair and often progresses to complete hair loss on the parts of scalp. Women with this trait tend to develop thinning at the hairline behind the bangs.

In men, hair loss typically begins at the temples and crown and proceeds in an M shaped pattern.

Prevention:

If you begin to lose hair in a hereditary pattern, you may be able to slow further hair loss by applying Minoxidil(Rogaine) to the scalp twice a day. The drug works on both men and women. Women should not use minoxidil if they are pregnant or nursing. Men may be treated with finasteride.

Excessive Styling Of Hair

Excessive Styling of Hair

More and more youngsters are experimenting with styles, going blonde or simply curling or straightening hair. Excessive colouring, straightening and perming could lead to hair loss.

Symptoms:

If the fallout is occurring from external damage caused by styling, it will simply break, and you won’t see those club-shaped telogen bulbs at the ends.

Prevention:

Avoid using appliances that overheat your hair. Set your hair dryer on cool and low settings, and minimize your use of flat irons. Don’t dye your hair more than one or two shades its normal colour.

If you use hair gel don’t wait for it to dry before you comb through it, because the hair will harden and be more likely to break.

Iron Deficiency

Iron Deficiency

Anemia is commonly caused by lack of iron, which is an important mineral for hair. Women who have heavy periods or don’t eat enough iron-rich foods may be prone to iron deficiency and as a result may face hair loss.

Symptoms:

Iron deficiency causes extreme fatigue, weakness and pale skin. You may notice headache, cold hands and hair loss.

Prevention:

Eat iron rich foods such as beef, fish, leafy greens, and beans, along with Vitamin C.

Stress

Stress

Stress can cause hair to break off more easily. Nevertheless, with relaxation techniques and better nutrition, you can expect hair growth to return to normal after a period of three or four months.

Symptoms:

Personal loss, overwork or conflicting job demands may led to stress, which further leads to hair loss.

Prevention:

Eating properly, with a variety of menus and exercise releases stress which further helps to slow down hair loss. Since your hair loss is stress related, do your best to reduce anxiety.

Scalp Infections

Scalp Infections

An unhealthy scalp can cause inflammation that makes it difficult for hair to grow. Skin conditions including dandruff and fungal infections such as ringworm lead to hair loss.

Symptoms:

Yeast called MALASSEZIA, hormonal changes or excess oil in the skin leads to seborrheic dermatitis causes the scalp to shed its skin and you start noticing hair on your shoulders. With ringworm, you’ll notice red patches on your scalp.

Prevention:

Each condition usually requires a prescription: a medicated shampoo for seborrheic and oral antifungals for ringworm.

Hormonal Imbalances

Hormonal Imbalances

Hormones and hormonal changes are the leading cause for hair loss. Whether or not you hair is recoverable depends on the cause of your hormone imbalance, for which there are many, from a genetic predisposition to birth control to menopause.

Symptoms:

Hair loss is accompanied by an abnormal menstrual cycle. You are a woman and have male pattern baldness.

Prevention:

Consult a board-certified dermatologist if you have the loss due to hormonal imbalances. Hormonal hair loss can be treated with spironolactone in women and finasteride in men.

Malnutrition

Malnutrition

Hair loss indicates a nutritional deficit. Some common ones associated with hair loss are eating disorders, poor diets, crash diets or drastic weight.

Symptoms:

More subtle thinning that seems to be an acceleration of the normal hair shedding process is the type associated with malnutrition.

Prevention:

Supplements or dietary modification can be undertaken to remedify the malnutrition-induced hair loss. If malnutrition and subsequent hair loss are due to an eating disorder, behaviour modification and therapy should be implemented.

Hypothyroidism

Hypothyroidism

Millions of people, most of them women, suffer from thyroid disease. Thyroid hormone is responsible for everything from you basal metabolic rate, to the growth of your skin, nails and hair.

Symptoms:

Hypothyroidism may cause a host of symptoms, including unexplained weight gain, fatigue, constipation. Hair, nails, and skin may become more brittle and break more easily.

Prevention:

Your doctor may prescribe a thyroid hormone medication to restore levels to normal.

Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy

Hair loss due to chemotherapy is one of the most distressing side effects of chemo treatments. Hair loss occurs because the chemotherapy affects all cells in the body and not just the cancer cells.

Symptoms:

Hair may fall out entirely, gradually or in sections. In some cases hair will simply become thin, sometimes unnoticeably, and may become duller or dryer.

Prevention:

Through the years, attempts have been made to reduce hair loss during chemo by using tight bands or ice caps, it is seen that this could reduce the effectiveness of treatment.

Hair loss can affect just your scalp or your entire body. It can be a result of heredity, hormonal changes, medical conditions or medications. Anyone, men, women or children can experience hair loss.

Some people prefer to let their baldness run its course untreated and unhidden. Others may cover it up with hairstyles, makeup, hats or scarves. And still others choose one of the treatments available to prevent further hair loss and to restore growth.

Before pursuing hair loss treatment, talk with your doctor about the cause of the hair loss and the best treatment options.

2 thoughts on “Understanding Hair Loss (Causes And Prevention)

  1. Simone says:

    Hi, I suffer from hypothyroidism since the past two years. The thing is, I already had issues with my weight before the onset of hypothyroidism and now am finding it hard to keep my weight on track. Do you have any advice regarding a specific diet? I am in my early 20s…

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