Hair loss refers to loss of hair. The American Academy of Dermatology showed that more than 80 million people in America are suffering from severe hair loss. It affects the area where you have hair on your entire body. However, hair loss is most common in older adults. Some reasons may lead to excessive hair loss in children also.
Some of the causes of hair loss are permanent where some others are temporary. It is natural to lose 50 to 100 hairs a day. In that case, the growth of new hair replaces the lost hair. >
You can't count the number of hair fall but it must be noticed in your brush or after washing the hair. If the hair fall rate is more than usual, then you should contact the doctor immediately.
How do you know that you are suffering from Hair Loss?
Some signs tell you about hair fall. These signs of hair fall may vary between men and women and children. You may notice the lost hair in the hairbrush or the shower drain after washing the hair.
The most common signs of hair fall are as follows:
- Receding hairline
- Thinning of the hair
- Suddenly lost patches of hair
- Broken hair or incomplete hair like we on the scalp and eyebrows
- Shedding of hair loss
- Bald spots
- Circular or patchy bald spots
What is hair thinning?
Thinning of hair may not be linked with health concerns. There are different causes for hair thinning in women. People think hair thinning is a problem for males, but one-third of females also go through it. The women can experience thinning of hair without going bald.
Thinning hair refers to minor to moderate levels of loss of volume or hair thickness. Hair thinning doesn't cause baldness. Thinning of hair gives an appearance of thin spots of hair on the head. Thinning hair may spread out gradually. So you are suggested to pinpoint the cause of hair thinning for starting the treatment.
What is patchy hair loss?
Patchy hair loss or alopecia areata makes the hair fall out and creates small patches there. These patches can be unnoticeable. When the patches connect and create a large patch there, it will be visible. Patchy hair loss attacks people when the immune system of the hair follicles is weak.
The patchy hair loss can be seen on the scalp, eyebrows, eyelashes, faces, and in other parts of the body. The patchy hair loss may become slow and may create complete baldness.
Hair Loss at the age of 25-30. Is it possible?
People face hair loss as early as the age of 25-30. But hair loss during 25-30 can be treated soon. Once the cause is addressed, the problem can be solved easily. In the case of male pattern baldness, thinning of hair starts from the age of 21-25.
If you are experiencing hair loss at the age of 25-30, you can treat it with proper treatment. But first, you have to understand that losing a few strands of hair is quite normal at this age. Most of the time hair re-grows in this place and it doesn't cause baldness. Some exceptions can also be found where people experience baldness in their early twenties.
Various reasons for Hair Loss?
You can lose 50-100 hairs a day. This is natural. This is not visible on the scalp as the hair re-grows on this place. Hair loss is a condition where the new hair doesn't replace the lost hair.
There are several reasons for hair loss such as:
- Family history: Hereditary condition can be responsible for hair loss. These conditions are also referred to as androgenic alopecia, male and female pattern baldness. It starts by receding hairline, bald spots, and thinning of hair.
- Hormonal changes: A variety of conditions may cause permanent or temporary hair loss. Those causes include pregnancy, childbirth, menopause, and thyroid problems.
- Side effects of medications and supplements: Some specific drugs may cause hair loss. Those drugs include cancer, arthritis, depression, heart problems, and high blood pressure.
- Radiation therapy: If the radiation therapy is given to the head, the hair may not back as the same as it was.
- Stressful event: The general hair thinning may start after physical or any emotional shock. But this type of hair loss is not permanent.
What is Alopecia Areata?
Alopecia areata is a condition that comes with unpredictable hair fall. More than 6.8 million people are affected by this disease. The alopecia areata can start with small patches or severe hair fall.
Regardless, any gender can be affected with this disease. The alopecia areata can start suddenly or within just a few days. This can be caused by a hereditary problem or any other cause. Stress or depression may cause alopecia areata.
What is Traction Alopecia?
The traction alopecia is caused by repeatedly pulling of the hair. This problem is found in the women who wear the hair in tight ponytails, bun, or raids for a long day.
It can be stopped by pulling the hair back. Sometimes the hair loss in traction alopecia can be permanent. Traction alopecia shows up with bumps on the scalp just like the pimples. In traction alopecia, the front and sides of the head get affected, depending on the hairstyle.
What is Trichotillomania?
Trichotillomania is a hair-pulling disorder. Patients of trichotillomania face an urge to pull out their hair. This is also a physiological and underdiagnosed disorder. This condition is simply noticeable as a bad habit or other physical or psychological symptoms.
Most of the time the urge of hair pulling starts from the scalp or some people may pull hair from bread, eyelashes, or the eyebrows. When the patient eats the hair that they pull, is called trichophagia.
This situation may lead to the gastrointestinal tract. The article from the American Journal of Psychiatry shows that trichotillomania affects the population between 0.5% to 0.2%. This may affect regardless of gender. However, adult females are more likely to report this problem.
What is Tinea Capitis?
Tinea capitis refers to a fungal infection on the scalp. It can be seen in both skin and hair. The symptoms of tinea capitis include dry scalp, redness on the scalp, and itching. This problem is found in preadolescent children of three to seven years.
Being a contagious infection, tinea capitis can be spread from the infected person. These can also be spread from hairbrushes, hats, towels, bedding, couches, etc.
What is Diffuse Hair Loss?
Diffuse hair loss can affect any age of people. Proper medication can treat this condition. This condition makes the hair-thin in different places of the scalp. It starts with a fairly even amount of hair thinning.
Diffuse hair loss is a temporary condition. It lasts not more than six months. Different treatments can prevent this condition. Diffuse hair loss occurs when the hair growth decreases and hair fall increases. DHT hormones shrink the hair follicles and cause this hair loss.
What is Telogen Effluvium?
This is a particular type of hair loss like that happens after sudden stress, shocking trauma. It affects the top of the scalp. This condition is different from alopecia areata.
In this condition, a large number of hair might fall but it grows back after a few days. If any person experiences hair shedding for more than six months it refers to telogen effluvium. In this condition, the person doesn't lose all the hair but it gets thinned noticeably.
The main symptom of telogen effluvium is a large amount of hair fall. You can see a lot of hair fall in the hairbrush or the drain after having a shower.
What is Androgenic Alopecia or Male Pattern Baldness?
Androgenic alopecia refers to severe hair fall that leads to pattern baldness. With excessive hair fall, the hairline recess and make a characteristic named 'M'. The hair gets thinner and progresses to pattern baldness.
There are several reasons such as coronary heart disease, prostate enlargement, insulin resistance, high blood pressure-related to male pattern baldness, or androgenic alopecia.
Facts for male pattern baldness
- Androgenic alopecia affects men at a higher rate than the female. Study shows at least 50% of men experience androgenic alopecia after the age of 50.
- It affects the top of the head and on the sides. It starts with thin hair and a receding hairline.
- Androgenic alopecia is most of the time hereditary.
- Certain drugs, hair treatment, hair styling, excessive stress, etc are tied with androgenic alopecia. Obesity and hypertension also keep contributing to androgenic alopecia.
Reasons for Androgenic Alopecia
Most of the time, the male pattern baldness is genetic. This is highly linked with the sex hormone named androgens. In male-pattern baldness, the hair follicles' growth circle starts to weaken and gets shrunk over time. As a result, the growth cycle of the hair ends and no new hair grows in this place.
Sometimes the male pattern baldness may occur due to cancer, medication, thyroid conditions and anabolic steroids.
In that case, ask your physician if hair fall starts after taking any new medication. The doctor may perform medical history to diagnose the reason of male pattern baldness.
It helps to make a clear concept about the health conditions and other nutritional disorders. They may also perform a skin biopsy and necessary blood tests to diagnose the actual cause of the hair loss.
Myths About Androgenic Alopecia
Myth 1# Shampoo makes hair fall
Truth: Shampoo doesn't cause hair loss. Shampooing keeps the hair scalp clean. Shedding a few hairs when sudsing up is normal.
Myth 2# Hair fall comes from mother
Truth: The gene of hair loss passed through the X chromosome - that means from your mother. But there is no research that this gene is only responsible for inherited baldness - so your father can be a concern.
Myth 3# No cure for baldness
Truth: Many treatments help to cure certain types of baldness. The creams like Propecia and Finasteride can cure baldness. It helps by blocking the hormonal action of hair growth in men.
Myth 4# Hats cause hair loss
Truth: There is research that can prove the myth. However, a tight hat blocks the blood flow to the hair follicles, that's why hair fall may start.
Myth 5# Baldness comes with age
Truth: Male pattern baldness may come with teenage also. Androgenic alopecia can affect people at any age.
Myth 6# Bald men have more testosterone
Truth: Testosterone is not only a reason for hair fall. This is linked with other problems also.
Female Pattern Baldness or Androgenetic Alopecia
The female pattern baldness is a little different from male pattern baldness. But the women lose hair in a different pattern. Women experience hair loss after menopause. There are very few women who experience hair loss after the age of 65.
Pregnancy Hair Loss
During pregnancy, the high level of estrogen hormone slows down the natural hair follicles' growth. This is linked with things like hormones, stress, and other medical conditions.
Facts for Female Pattern Baldness
- The female pattern baldness is nothing but general hair thinning and a decrease in volume of the hair.
- Fewer than 50% of women have full heads of healthy hair after their age of 50.
- Female pattern baldness most of the time occurs due to genetic problems.
- The tumors of the pituitary gland or ovary secrets androgen hormone that lead to hair loss.
- To prevent female pattern baldness, a long time treatment is needed.
Reason of Female Pattern Baldness
The actual cause of female pattern baldness is unknown. However, it may occur for the following reasons:
- Thyroid: Hypothyroidism is highly linked with hair loss. A simple blood test can measure the level of TSH hormone.
- Iron deficiency: low iron level may lead to severe hair loss. A lab test for ferritin is needed to detect the level of iron in the blood. A ferritin level lower than 100ng/DL leads to frequent hair loss.
- Stress: Weight loss, psychological trauma, illness, and childbirth may cause hair fall in women.
- PCOS: This condition produces too many androgenetic substances that decrease the hair growth on the scalp.
Myths about Female Pattern Baldness
Myth 1# Female pattern baldness is inherited
Truth: Genetics of course plays a major role in female pattern baldness. But there is no definite study to prove the same.
Myth 2# Women with a high level of male hormone experience female pattern baldness
Truth: Androgen hormone has a great contribution to hair loss. But the majority of cases are not linked with a high level of this hormone. Study shows, only 39% of females with FHPL have a high level of this hormone.
Myth 3# Hormone replacement therapy may start with hair loss problem
Truth: Hormone replacement therapy doesn't affect hair growth. But it can prevent balding in females.
Myth 4# Female pattern baldness is permanent
Truth: Hair shedding in women is temporary.
Various Treatments to Treat Hair Loss
Effective treatment of hair loss may solve the problem of hair loss. That treatment can reverse the hair loss or at least they can slow it. In some cases like patchy hair loss may re-grow the hair naturally.
Few of the Treatments for Hair Loss are Described Below
Wigs is an effective hair loss treatment that can efficiently conceal hair loss. You can choose Wigs depending upon your lifestyle, style, length, etc. This is an efficient way that can provide you a whole new look or at least how you use to look before the treatment.
Wigs are a convenient option that protects your scalp from sun and cold air. Many cancer patients choose to wear Wigs during their cancer treatment. For choosing the right wig, take a couple of pictures of hairstyles that you prefer. Now from them, pick the one that matches your hair color, length, and style.
Hair Fibre Powder
Hair fiber powder is an easy, and instant solution for hair loss. It gives the hair a look full and thick. So, just shake up these tiny hair fibers into your hair and see the magic. The hair fibers are made of hair protein that is already in the hair.
This protein is also known as keratin. You can find this hair protein in a variety of colors. Just choose colour that matches your hair color.
Once the styling is done, shake and spray the hair fibers underneath the spot where there is less hair. It needs a specific type of gel or cream that holds the fibers in the perfect place. The hair fiber power is a great option who needs to go through chemotherapy and other hair loss issues.
The hair transplant process involves removing hair follicles from the other parts of the body (mainly from the back of the scalp) and plant it in the recipient site or bald area.
This is one of the most effective treatments of male pattern baldness. In this procedure, hair follicles are collected from the area that is genetically resistant to balding. The same method can be followed in eyelashes, eyebrows, or in other areas where hair growth is stopped.
Mesotherapy is a process that injects vitamins, enzymes, and other plant extracts for making the skin rejuvenated and make the hair re-grow. It boosts up the scalp with vitamins and improves blood flow and results in hair re-growth.
Mesotherapy is a common treatment for hair loss or baldness. An injection gun is used here to inject the vial. It takes about 10-30 minutes depending on the area of baldness and hair thinning. The clients of Mesotherapy reviewed that this is one of the less painful and faster procedures for the treatment of hair loss.
PRP or Platelet-rich plasma is a hair fall treatment that helps in hair growth restoring. This treatment is used for androgenetic alopecia or male pattern baldness. Blood contains platelet, red and white blood cells.
These platelets are responsible for bleeding and healing the place. Doctors collect blood from the body, process the blood to separate the platelets from the blood and then inject them into the damaged part of the body.
LLLT or lower Level Laser therapy induces photons into the scalp tissues. The weak cells absorb those photons and stimulate hair growth. This process is safe and bearable by the patient as reported. It promotes good circulation and stimulation that promotes healthy hair growth.
When do I need a Hair Transplant?
Hair transplant is one of the most effective hair restoration methods. In this procedure, the hair follicles are taken from the donor area and transplant in the bald area. The hair transplant expert says that early 20 is not an age for hair transplantation.
In that case, the type of hair loss and hair loss pattern can't be determined. The grafting process depends on the severity of hair loss. Patients' facial factors are also crucial for determining hair transplantation.
Before getting a hair transplant, the doctor will access your hair fall type, pattern, and severity. In that case, the doctor will also go through the quality and quantity of donors available and the size of the balding area. The donor's hair is taken from the backside of the head as it has a density of hair & a least tendency of hair fall.
Is it necessary to go for a hair transplant to get my hair back?
You can go for hair transplantation as this is a safe and easy procedure to get hair back. After hair transplantation, you can resume your daily activities as you do with recommended precautions.
The cost of hair plantation depends on the grafts that are needed for covering the bald area. Baldness is one of the most common problems in society and it takes down the confidence level. For the genetic reason of baldness, you may need to go for another surgery as well.
Hair is the first thing in the body that looks attractive to people regardless of their gender. But this problem now can be sorted out with hair transplantation. If the problem is severe and the doctor recommends going for hair transplantation, then you should go for hair plantation as soon as possible.
Prevention of Hair Loss
A low protein diet may stop the growth of hair. This situation may lead to mild to severe hair loss. Additionally, a diet with fewer nutrients may lead to hair loss. Diet rich in nutrients keep a great contribution to hair growth.
If you experience hair loss due to genetics, you will not have control over it. But if it happens for a poor diet, you can control it. Here are some foods that are best to promote hair growth naturally.
- strong>Eggs: Egg contains protein and biotin which promotes healthy hair growth. The hair follicles are made of protein, so protein plays a major role in promoting hair growth. Biotin produces the hair protein keratin. So deficiency of biotin can be the reason for hair loss.
- Berries: You can consume berries for promoting hair growth. Berries contain a lot of compounds like antioxidants and vitamins. Strawberries are the natural source of vitamin C which enhances collagen production and promotes hair growth.
- Spinach: Spinach contains a load of folate, iron, vitamin A and C. Vitamin A produces sebum that keeps the scalp moisturized. Iron carries red blood cells which are responsible to transport oxygen to body and boost up the rate of metabolism.
- Fatty Fish: Fatty fish like salmon contains omega-3 that is looking naked with hair growth. Additionally, fish oil is beneficial in hair growth and thinning hair.
- Sweet potatoes: Beta carotene is present in sweet potatoes. The body converts it into vitamins which aid the growth of hair.
- Avocados: Avocados are the source of vitamin E. Vitamin E protects the scalp from oxidative stress and damage that is linked with permanent hair loss.
- Nuts: Nuts contain a wide variety of vitamins like B, zinc, and fatty acid. Deficiency in those vitamins may lead to hair loss.
- Other foods: Seeds, sweet peppers, Oysters, shrimps, beans, soybeans, and meat is rich in a wide variety of vitamins that promote hair growth. Consuming a particular amount of those goods may prevent hair loss.
Just like diet, stress, mismanagement, and hormonal imbalance are also linked with hair loss. In that case, simple changes in the lifestyle can prevent hair fall.
- Take proper care of the hair: Proper hair care routine plays a major role in improving natural health. In that case, choose the hair care products as per your hair type and hair need. Take proper care of your hair. Frequent wash with shampoo eliminates the natural oil from the hair. In the other sense applying too much oil may leave the scalp dirty and sticky. Except for that, you should be a little careful when detangling the hair. As pulling of hair may break the hair follicles.
- Adjusting the lifestyle: The lifestyle changes may result in healthy hair growth. You must consume the hair-building nutrients to get rid of hair fall. Stress and anxiety is an another reason for hair loss. Keep control of your stress as it can affect the normal growth of your hair. Excessive stress produces the hormone named cortisol that badly affects the normal growth of your hair.
- Limit sun exposure: Spending a lot of time in sun, damages the hair. Take enough precautions that minimize the possible damage caused by sun exposure. In that case, you can consult with a professional who can guide you to take precautions under the sun.
Routine exercise is the key to a healthy lifestyle. Exercise keeps the hair growth normal and helps to get healthy during the health restoration process.
Here's how fitness helps in hair growth:
- It lowers stress levels: Too much cortisol production leads to hair shedding or alopecia. The hair follicles receive nutrients and oxygen from the blood vessel. Exercise helps in increasing blood flow and reach more oxygen to the scalp.
- DHT reduction: If the body produces too much dihydrotestosterone, it may lead to hair loss. By doing enough exercise, you can minimize the production of DHT. But remember, extreme bodybuilding may produce too much DHT.
- Good sleeping habits: During sleep time, the cells regenerate. Regular exercise gives a healthy sleep. Better sleep is always connected with healthy hair growth.
Hair loss can be managed simply by adopting healthy lifestyle, healthy food habits & by remain active.
In case you are experiencing hair loss, consult your dermatologist & he/she can suggest you the treatments & medications which will help you in hair restoration.