According to common knowledge, men are more likely to experience hair loss because it’s wired in their systems as they age. That is true, but what many people don’t know is that hair loss, thinning and baldness affects women just as much, albeit in a different fashion. Otherwise, the effects of the process on both men and women is mostly negative. Of recent, new treatments have been created and approved for the treatment of hair loss, making it easier. But to get the treatment you actually need, you need to know what’s causing your hair fall.
We bring you some of the few things that might be causing hair to fall off your scalp.
This is the cause everybody knows. It’s not uncommon to find old people sporting thinning hair or losing it gradually. Besides knowing that it is a natural occurrence, most dermatologists do not know what causes it. Some research reports suggest that the hair follicles start shrinking as we grow older, resulting in hair loss and discontinuation of the hair growth cycle.
What you can do: You cannot treat the hair loss that results from aging. Rather, you can employ a few natural remedies to minimise the hair loss by slowing it down and strengthening the hair.
If you recently had an accident that injured your body, it might be the reason you’re facing a sudden loss of hair. Any source of trauma to the body, such as physical stress (accidents, injuries etc.), triggers the telogen effluvium condition, resulting n=in hair fall. Telogen effluvium is where majority of the hair cells go into shedding/falling off phase rather than the resting phase, which would have resulted in hair growth.
What you can do: As you heal from your injuries and accident, the body regains control of the situation and starts allowing hair to grow again.
Emotional stress usually results from sad, depressing and disturbing events such as the death of a loved one or a long running divorce. In many ways, emotional stress usually worsens an already existing case of hair loss, rather than trigger hair loss itself. In comparison with physical stress, emotional stress is likely to cause less hair loss over time.
What you can do: Hair fall resulting from emotional stress usually requires no treatment. The hair stops falling after some time. If anything, working on reducing stress levels is one way to control the hair fall.
Pregnancy offers two causes of hair loss. One is founded on the fact that it is a source of physical trauma for the body, while the other highlights the hormonal imbalances brought about by the condition. For many women, the hair loss continues even after the baby is born.
What you can do: Like many other causes on this list, there is no need to panic. The hair loss resulting from pregnancy stops in due time, allowing for more hair growth.
Over-consuming Vitamin A
The daily recommended intake for Vitamin A is 5000 International Units for the average adult. Consuming more than that is potentially dangerous, and can result in sudden hair loss. Vitamin A supplements usually have 2500-10000 International Units, which means that taking them daily can trigger hair loss.
What you can do: Discontinue your Vitamin A supplements, and find a way to consume only the required amounts per day. The hair fall will dissipate in time.
Vitamin B deficiency
A bodily deficiency of Vitamin B is another cause of hair loss, considering that the nutrient has a positive effect on hair growth and development.
What you can do: Any nutrient deficiency in the body is treated by consuming more foods rich in that nutrient. That includes fish, meat and non-citrus veggies, among others. A supplement is also recommended; a complete diet modification is even more desirable.
Lupus is another autoimmune condition that results in massive hair loss in some individuals. The body wrongly identifies hair as a foreign object and prevents its growth, resulting in hair fall. The hair lost as a result of lupus may never grow back.
What you can do: To stop the hair loss, you have treat lupus first. Because of its permanent effect, you may have to consider artificial options such as wigs and strategic hair designs that cover the bald area.
Hair cells, just like any other body cells, are rapidly developing cells. Unfortunately, the strong drugs used to treat cancer are designed to kill rapidly developing cells in the body, assuming them to be cancer cells. Taking these drugs ultimately produces complete hair loss as a side effect.
What you can do: You don’t have to worry about permanent hair loss. After you’re through with chemotherapy, your hair will start to grow back, albeit with a few changes in structure.
Male pattern baldness
Male pattern baldness is caused by the effect of both genetics and male sex hormones, resulting in gradual loss of hair in most men by the time they are 60. Male pattern baldness is shown by a hair line receding backward, leaving the sides of the head with hair.
What you can do: Among the options you have when affected by this condition are medicines such as the topical ointment Rogaine (contains minoxidil) and the oral drug Propecia (comprised of finasteride), both of which have been proven to stop hair loss as long as you take them. Surgery is also an option; procedures such as grafting and hair transplanting are the most popular.
Female hormones/hormonal imbalance
Changes in hormone levels among women are a direct cause of hair loss in many women. For most women, these hormonal changes come as a result of menopause, switching or going off birth control pills and pregnancy. Dermatologists reveal that when hormonal imbalances occur, the androgen receptors on the scalp are triggered, resulting in the gradual shrinking of hair follicles and loss of hair. Hormonal imbalances can also result in telogen effluvium, especially if hair loss runs in the family.
What you can do: Even though stopping some birth control pills causes immediate hair loss, the condition is usually temporary. For those experiencing hair loss after starting on anew birth control pill, talk to your doctor better alternatives available.
Anaemia is perhaps the most curable cause of hair loss in women. Almost one out of 20 women suffers from anaemia between the ages of 20 and 49, and this exposes them to a bodily iron deficiency that ultimately leads to hair loss.
What you can do: Usually, all you need is an iron supplement to help with the bodily iron deficiency.
The thyroid gland located in a person’s neck produces the thyroid hormone, which is necessary for a number of bodily activities including metabolism, bodily development and hair growth. An underactive thyroid produces low amounts of the thyroid hormone (hypothyroidism), resulting in hair loss.
What to do: If your doctor tests you and determines hypothyroidism to be the cause, synthetic thyroid medication is all you need to stop the hair fall.
Anabolic steroid consumption
Steroids are introduced into the body by both natural production within the body and from food and drugs. A form of these steroids, called anabolic steroids negatively impact hair when introduced into the system, resulting in hair loss and baldness.
What you can do; Stop using anabolic steroids or taking the drugs that contain them. The hair fall should stop too.
Dramatic weight loss
Weight loss in all its forms can cause sudden loss of hair. Whether it’s good for the body or resulting from excessive stress and poor dieting, the body identifies weight loss as physical trauma, and responds by shedding hair. The combined symptoms of hair loss and dramatic weight loss are common in people with eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia.
What you can do: This one cause of hair loss requires no treatment. The hair loss may go on for up to 6 months, after which the body will stop its hair shedding action.
Trichotillomania is an impulse disorder that compels people to continually pluck their hair out of the scalp and on the body until it is no more. It is more common in women, especially in young female.
What you can do: Since trichotillomania is an impulse disorder, behavioural modification therapy is the best option. Some doctors may also prescribe antidepressants.
Antidepressants and blood thinners
There’s a host of drugs that are known for causing hair loss when taken. Blood thinners, beta blockers and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen are the commonest on the market. Others include lithium, used to treat bipolar disorder and methotrexate, used to treat rheumatic conditions plus certain antidepressants.
What you can do: In case your doctor determines that one of the drugs you’re using is causing the sudden hair loss, ask them if it’s okay to switch drugs or lower the dosing.
Chemical treatments, rough styling and hot hair treatments are some of the major causes of hair breakage and loss among women. Tight styling in form of braids and corn rows, high heat treatments and hot oil application also weaken hair roots, resulting in falling out of the hair follicle. In most cases, this hair doesn’t grow back.
What you can do: Use conditioner whenever you apply shampoo, and avoid any hair styles that stress your hair from the root. It’s also advisable that you limit your application f heat to hair, leave hair to dry naturally often and lower the time your hair comes into contact with a curling iron.
Polycystic ovary syndrome
PCOS results from hormonal imbalance in a women’s body, resulting from male hormones having a higher bodily presence than female ones. The condition results in the development of cysts in the woman’s ovary and a combination of bodily effects including diabetes, infertility and hair loss. Most women end have growing more hair on other parts of the body, such as the armpits.
What you can do: The best way to stop the hair loss resulting from PCOS is by treating the disease itself through holistic medical attention, exercise, dieting and any other medications the doctor may suggest.
Autoimmune related hair loss
Also referred to as alopecia areata, this is where an over active immune system identifies hair as a foreign object that needs to be tackled. The result is massive hair fall and small, round patches of baldness on the scalp.
What you can do: The commonest form of treatment for alopecia areata is steroid injections known as corticosteroid shots. For many people, natural/herbal treatments work best.
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