Hair loss effects everyone — in one aspect or other. The challenge is finding solutions for hair loss patients that treat a wide variety of causes.
The average scalp is covered with 100,000 hair follicles. No new follicles are formed after birth. Most individuals lose between 50 – 100 hairs a day — but a consistent loss of 150 hairs or more a day is measured as significant hair loss.
Hair grows in a series of cycles. Each cycle includes a growth phase (anagen), a transitional phase (catagen), and a resting phase (telogen).
Although there are several causes of hair loss, male pattern baldness (also known as androgenetic alopecia) accounts for about 95 percent of male hair loss, while over 30 million women in America are struggling with thinning hair.
Medical Causes of Hair Loss
Hair loss is more common than we know. Although most hair loss is caused by genetic receptors, there are also a number of common medical reasons for hair loss in men and women, including alopecia, acute stress, and anemia.
Caused by a combination of genetics and hormones; occurs when hair on the top and front of the head is genetically programmed to thin and die when exposed to the hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a breakdown of the naturally occurring hormone testosterone. Unlike the top of the scalp, the hair on the sides and the back of the head is genetically programmed to resist these effects of DHT.
Alopecia areata is a rare condition that causes patchy loss of hair on various parts of the body, including the scalp. The condition is not life-threatening, but it can have traumatic effects on the individual as the onset is quick and often confusing.
Types of Medical Conditions that Cause Hair Loss
A type of mental illness in which people have an irresistible urge to pull out their hair; related to obsessive-compulsive disorder but is classified as an impulse control disorder that involves compulsive pulling of the hair, eyelashes, eyebrows, or any other bodily hair.
Temporary hair loss that may occur after an emotionally distressing
event, like a death in the family, or may result from, extreme physical and emotional stress, surgery, or sudden and excessive weight loss. This hair loss is not permanent, and hair growth is often restored with time.
Deficiency of iron in the body, has been shown to be the main cause of hair loss in non-menopausal women (ages 35-50)
Medications or Medical Treatments
Certain medications, such as drugs used to treat depression, arthritis and heart problems, or medical treatments, like chemotherapy, may cause hair loss. Chemotherapy in particular affects healthy, growing hairs, but once treatment ends, hair typically begins to grow back.
Also known as hyperthyroidism or hyperthyroidism; patterns are not patchy or in any pattern, but typically produce increased shedding throughout the scalp.
Post Surgery Hair Loss
Hair loss is common in patients who undergo major surgery. Although this type of hair loss is temporary, it is commonly associated with the stresses that come along with the illness. However, patients who undergo gastric bypass surgery can witness hair loss due to the lack of nutrients and vitamins they retain.
After gastric bypass surgery, the amount of calorie intake is limited due to the size of the stomach being reduced. Vitamin B, iron and protein deficiencies have been linked to post weight loss surgery hair loss.
Poor Nutrition or Disease
Poor nourishment and eating disorders may cause excessive hair loss. Diseases like diabetes and lupus also causes of hair loss.
The Facts Behind Hair Loss in Men and Women
So what really causes hair loss and what’s myth?
Brushing your hair a lot will make it grow — Fact or Myth?
The idea of brushing the hair 100 times a day to stimulate the scalp circulation is a myth.
In fact, if you brush your hair too much, you may end up injuring hair follicles and losing them. This myth stemmed from the thought that poor circulation causes hair loss and that brushing or massaging would improve blood flow and nutrition to the follicles. The truth is, bald or not, there is difference in scalp circulation.
Styling your hair too much causes hair loss — Fact or Myth?
There is some truth when it comes to hairstyling causing hair Loss.
It is true that certain hair styles, such as tight braids or tight ponytails, can cause hair loss. These styles put tension on the hair and scalp. As for hair sprays, perm solutions, or coloring resulting in permanent hair loss there’s no truth. These applications may cause damage to the hair strands. But the hair follicles located under the skin remain safe.
Blow drying too much thins out hair — Fact or Myth?
The good news is there is no evidence that hair dryers cause thinning hair.
However, too hot or too much drying may lead to brittle and breakable hair. Keeping the hair dryer at a good distance may help.
Too many supplements and steroids cause hair loss — Fact or Myth?
Vitamin deficiency results in an even distribution of hair loss all over the head. Your follicles width and amount are based on heredity. Claims of hair growing miracle drugs or natural treatments for hair loss are untrue.
However, steroid use can cause hair loss. Research has proven that anabolic steroids raise the levels of baldness-inducing male hormones. For those who are genetically prone to hair loss, steroids can speed up hair loss in as little as 3 to 6 months. While this, hair loss can become permanent.
Sexual activity lessens hair loss — Fact or Myth?
There is no truth to the idea that the more sex you have, the less hair you’ll lose. The same goes for the rumors that the chemicals released during sex can affect hair loss.
Hair loss is only determined by you fathers side of the family — Fact or Myth?
Many men and women believe that if their father has a full head of hair, they’ll keep a good head of hair. But hair loss or hair growth is set by a genetic sequence determined by both sides of your family. Of course, if your family tree has many balding scalps, you do have a better chance of losing hair.
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