Do you know that you have around 150,000 strands of hair on your head? And a normal person loses about 50 to 100 strands a day. It’s hard to notice this because new hairs grow to replace lost ones after some time. It’s a natural cycle.
But for people suffering from hair loss, it’s a completely different story. There are no new hair growths to replace lost ones that’s why those who have this lifestyle condition experience a receding hairline – especially among men.
Get to Know Your Hair
Do you know that your hair is actually made of dead cells being pushed out by new hair inside your skin? Yep, that’s right. Hair is made up of a protein called keratin which is produced in your hair follicles. And it has its own life cycle too. Hair growth typically undergoes three stages or phases:
- Anagen Phase – During this period, hair grows actively. This phase lasts up to six years.
- Catagen Phase – This phase is short (two to three weeks) and usually represents a transitionary stage.
- Telogen Phase – During this stage, your hair will stop growing. It will instead shed for the next two to three months. After the telogen phase, your hair will start growing again as it enters the Anagen phase of its growth cycle.
Health conditions, age, diet, stress, and injuries will affect the life cycle of your hair.
Causes of Hair Loss
Abnormal hair loss can be caused by several factors. These include:
- Hormone Imbalances – pregnancy, childbirth, menopause, or thyroid problems all create hormonal imbalances that can affect hair growth.
- Heredity – this is probably the most common cause of hair loss. If one of your family members suffer from hair loss, there’s a big chance that you will too. Heredity-related hair loss is often triggered by age.
- Health Conditions – medical conditions, particularly those that affect the scalp may trigger temporary or permanent hair loss. Some of these conditions are lupus, diabetes, trichotillomania or hair pulling, and ringworm infection.
- Shock – physical or emotional trauma can cause a temporary episode of hair loss.
- Certain medications – arthritis, gout, high blood pressure, depression, cancer, and heart problem medications can cause hair loss.
- Radiation therapy – radiation is a medical procedure that kills both healthy and bad cells in the body. Hair cells are heavily affected in particular.
- Hair treatments and hairstyles – hot oil treatments and other chemicals you put in your hair may cause permanent or temporary hair loss. Pigtails, cornrows, and other tight hairstyles may also damage the hair.
Are There Many Types of Hair Loss?
Yes, there are! In fact, there are 5 types of hair loss. We’ve listed them below for you:
- Scarring Alopecia – this type of hair loss is usually caused by acne, cellulitis, lichen planus, and folliculitis. If these skin conditions result in scars, the hair loss associated with it will become permanent. Scarring prevents your hair follicles from regenerating.
- Alopecia Universalis – taking a cue from the word “Universalis”, this type of hair loss does not only affect the hair. It also involves your pubic hair, eyebrows, and eyelashes.
- Involutional Alopecia – this type of hair loss is usually associated with age. As you grow older, more and more hair follicles go through the Telogen phase. Hence, you end up shedding most of your hair.
- Androgenic Alopecia – this type of hair loss has something to do with your genes. Male suffering from androgenic alopecia experience receding hairline, characteristic of male pattern baldness as early as their 20s. Women, on the other hand, will suffer female pattern baldness but the symptoms will not show up until they are way beyond their 40s.
- Alopecia Areata – this type of hair loss is sudden and commonly affects children and young adult. It can range from patches of bald spots to complete baldness. This condition is not permanent as nine out of ten patients will grow back their hair after a couple of years.
Hair Loss and Ageing
Hair thinning is a sign of ageing – NOT hair loss. Remember that age is just one of the many factors that cause hair loss. Heredity, trauma, certain medical conditions, hormone imbalances, drugs, and harsh hairstyles and treatments all contribute to hair loss in one way or another.
Hair Loss Vs. Hair Thinning: What’s the Difference?
Don’t confuse hair thinning as hair loss. There’s a distinct difference between these two. Hair thinning happens gradually. While you also lost hair, hair thinning doesn’t necessarily lead to complete baldness. Hair thinning is usually caused by your lifestyle:
- Tight hairstyles
- Using harsh products on your hair
- Too much stress
- Lack of folic acid and iron in your diet
Medical conditions like skin infections, hormone changes, childbirth, immune system problems, and losing too much weight in a short period of time may also cause hair thinning.
We all shed hair. In fact, we lost between 50 to 100 strands a day. And this is perfectly normal. Knowing the difference between hair loss and hair thinning is crucial so you know what medical treatment to get or lifestyle changes to make in order to correct the issue.
Hair Loss Treatments
There are several treatment options for your hair loss problems. Here are the four most popular ones:
- Minoxidil – a type of hair loss treatment that you apply on your skin. This topical medicine helps reverse the shrinking of your hair follicles so it can grow new strands of hair again. Studies show that this hair loss medicine is perfect for young people.
- Finasteride – this type of drug blocks the formation of male hormones that can cause hair loss. Initially used to treat prostate problems, Finasteride is now a widely-used treatment for slowing down or reversing hair loss.
- Propecia – this is a branded version of Finasteride which is available as a pill that you can take once a day.
- Hair Transplant – if the above hair loss treatments don’t work, then your last option is hair transplantation. This medical procedure involves taking plugs of healthy skin from your scalp and transplanting them to bald spots on your head.
We will Help You Get Your Confidence Back
While hair loss is not medically serious, it can damage your self-esteem. Talk to our hair loss experts today and we’ll help you find the best hair loss treatments that suit your needs.