Hair loss is the thinning of hair on the scalp. In medical terminology it is termed as alopecia that can be permanent or temporary. Each hair grows to a length of approximately 1 centimeter in a month. It is considered normal to shed fifty to hundred hairs on a daily basis. However, some individuals experience excessive hair loss which is a matter of concern. The most common form of hair loss is androgenic alopecia which occurs gradually due to factors related to hormonal changes and heredity. Other types of hair loss are alopecia areata, telogen affluvium and traction alopecia.
Hair loss can occur in children, men and women of all age groups due to varying factors. Age is one of the most common causes of hair loss but is more prominent in men than in women. Hair is made up of hard protein called keratin. If you feel that you are experiencing more than usual hair loss accompanied with balding patches, you must consult a dermatologist at the earliest. This helps diagnose the cause for this condition and can be treated timely. Some individuals refrain from treating their baldness and cover it up with scarves, hats, wigs and make up. It is essential for you to treat this problem at the earliest in order to find the right cure.
Types of Hair Loss:
Androgenic Alopecia: This is known as male pattern baldness and is the most common type of hair loss. The various factors responsible for this condition include the action of hormones called androgens as well as genetic factors. Some males begin to show the signs of hair loss in their mid teens. It can also occur due to excessive intake of steroids such as testosterone and other harmful drugs.
Traumatic Alopecia: This is caused duet to Trichotillomania, a psychological disorder in which the patient has an irresistible urge to pull out the hair.
Drug-induced alopecia: Certain medications such as lithium, isotretinoin, diet pills and chemotherapy drugs also trigger hair loss. Prolonged use of these drugs can result in total hair loss.
Alopecia Areata: This is an autoimmune skin disease that damages the hair follicles. It can occur on the scalp as where as anywhere else on the body. This disease is said to affect over 1.7 per cent of the total global population. It is marked by multiple round patches on the scalp and can result in complete hair loss. This condition is reversible.
Hair loss is characterized by the loss of more than 100 hairs on a daily basis. It is accompanied by visible bald patches on the skin. It is recommended that you consult a doctor at the earliest as the correct diagnosis with result in correct treatment and will rectify the root cause of this problem.
Causes for hair loss:
- Eating disorders can result in this condition due to the deficiency of iron and protein.
- Persistent use of certain medication to treat arthritis depression, sleep disorders, heart problems, cancers etc. also trigger hair loss.
- It can also be caused by Diabetes and lupus.
- Radiation therapy also causes hair loss. However, once the treatment is stopped, the hair starts growing.
- Hormonal changes in the post-natal period also cause temporary hair loss.
- Exposure of hair to harmful chemical treatments such as bleaching, coloring, perming, straightening etc. can also cause hair fall. The hair tends to get damaged and breaks off if these products are used frequently.
- Rigorous brushing also causes the hair to break resulting in hair loss.
- Infections like ringworm affect the hair and skin of the scalp leading to hair loss. Treatment of the infection is essential to prevent this problem.
A number of medications, injections, serums, creams and ointments are available in the market these days to treat this condition. However, it is essential for you to consult a dermatologist prior to using any of these products in order to determine the exact cause for hair loss and rectify it accordingly. Surgical treatments for rectifying this condition include hair transplant and scalp reductions. These are expensive and can also be painful. They are accompanied with the risk of scarring and infection if proper care is not taken. It is strongly recommended that you approach only on board-certified dermatologists, cosmetic surgeons or plastic surgeons for any surgical procedure.
Prevention of Hair loss:
- Take a well balanced and nutritious diet rich in proteins, essential fatty acids vitamins and minerals.
- Avoid tying the hair in tight braids, buns or ponytails.
- Do not use excessive heat or harsh chemicals to treat your hair.
- Style your hair when it is completely dry. Never brush wet or damp hair.
- Use mild shampoos for washing your hair.
Everyone wants to have a well maintained, glossy mane. The secret is to dote on a well balanced and nutritious diet, drink loads of water and go low on harsh chemicals.