Güncelleme tarihi: 11 Tem 2022
Hair loss is prevalent in all countries and segments of people. Both men and women can suffer from this disease. Hair loss can occur at any stage in life and has a major impact on people’s self-confidence. Addressing this prevalent disease is only possible with hair transplants thanks to technological developments. FUE and DHI techniques are unrivalled techniques to restore hair and confidence. But what are the exact causes of hair loss? Not only are the factors that cause hair loss diverse but also fundamental and inherent in human physiology.
The root causes of hair loss depend on gender and age as well as other individual biological factors. Men tend to be more prone to hair loss then women. Age is also a correlating factor with hair loss. Normally people can shed 50-100 hair every day. Higher amount of shedding means that you are suffering from hair loss. Below are the main causes of hair loss:
Most of the people will notice hair loss and thinning as they age. Lifecycle of hair follicles change as people grow up. Cells quickly die and slowly regenerate as we age. This is also the case for our hair.
Scalp tissue contains lesser oil as we grow older. This implies that hair follicles are getting less nutrition and weaker as a result.
The most widespread type of hair loss is androgenetic alopecia. It totally stems hereditary factors. The genes that pave way for androgenetic alopecia affect hair follicles by responding to male hormones. This type of hair loss occurs among both men and women. It affects 50 million men and 30 million women in the United States alone. As the most extreme form of hair loss, androgenetic alopecia generally begins after puberty and progresses with age.
Male pattern balding starts at the temples and top of the scalp. The balding then expands to all over scalp. For females, hair loss is noticed when hair is divided. Likewise, it spreads all over the scalp. In contrast to male pattern baldness, the receding of hairline is not observed on women.
This type of hair loss is rather experienced by women. People with health problems such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) possess high levels of androgen. This would trigger female pattern hair loss. It is due to the fact that these syndromes trigger higher androgen levels, which results in female pattern hair loss.
Pregnancy, childbirth, menopause and hypothyroidism may also cause abrupt changes in hormone levels. Additionally, change in medication also influence hormone levels and affect hair follicles. For instance, interruption of birth control pills could trigger hair loss. However, proper medical treatment can reverse shedding.
A Traumatic Live Event
There is a medical term to define sudden shedding of hair due to a stressful event, which is telogen efflevium. One would see fallen hair on pillow, floor, bathroom, shower drain or clothes out of nowhere. Even brushing hair could be stressful as follicles get easily plucked.
Telogen effluvium is temporary process that starts with hair shedding 2 to 3 months after a traumatic event. It is actually a type of response to stress when a person fears that he or she would go bald in the rest of life. The effects of the stressful physical or emotional event on hair follicle reaches climax 4 to 5 months after the stressful event. The good news is that body would adapt to depression and gradually stop falling out. Almost 9 months after the stressful event, body hair follicles will be mostly restored.
Traumatic and depressing events could be loss of loved one, diagnosis of a serious illness or exposure to threatening situation. Hair loss is a response to this trauma and it could be also a new source of stress which would cause a vicious cycle. Yet due to temporary condition of telogen efflevium, it should not be worried as this vicious cycle should be prevented from the start. In order to overcome this temporary situation, it is better to deal with the cause of the emotional stress by receiving aid from close friends and family members.
Having a poor diet in terms of nutritional items may lead to hair loss. Low intakes of iron, zinc, vitamin D and protein could cause long term hair shedding. On the other hand, this type of hair loss is reversible and can be corrected with dietary supplements. In consultation with a dietician, the deficient nutritional values should be determined. It is always recommended to address the deficiencies with the supervision of dietician.
This form of hair loss is called alopecia areata. In this medical case, body’s immune system attacks healthy hair follicles and lead to their shedding.
In most of these type of cases, alopecia areata appears as one or more coin-sized hairless patches. You may first hear about it when you go to hairdresser, who will notice the missing cluster of hair. Furthermore, women can see this spots in their eyebrows or eyelashes. Men can notice these bald patches in their beard. This situation can be accompanied with a stress. The most severe form of this disease is the spread of shedding to all parts of the body.
Thankfully, hair follicles are still alive in alopecia areata. Fallen hair can come back on its own over time. Yet there is no specific cure rather than recovery on its own. As a supportive treatment, cortisone injections can speed up the healing process. Dermatologists can also treat severe forms of alopecia areata with light therapy and set of medications.
Hair might fallout as a result of bacteria, yeast or fungi growth and invasion in hair follicles. Infections caused by these creatures can be seen in the form of redness, scaling and bumps. It causes itching, pain and swelling on the scalp. In such cases, it is highly advised to consult a dermatologist.
Fungal infections tend to spread all over scalp and it is most commonly seen among children. To prevent occurrence of this type of infections, clothes worn on scalp should be kept clean and hygienic. Children should be prevented from sharing other children’s wear accessories.
Dermatologists are the right persons to address the root cause of the infection by detecting the type of bug. A laboratory analysis might be performed to get assured about the type of the bug. Depending on the type of infection, a treatment is designed and implemented by dermatologist.
The treatment in this type of hair loss is also within reach. Antibiotic or antifungal medication can effectively root out the bug and start reversing of the loss. Otherwise, these infections could cause permanent scarring.
Some drugs might cause hair loss due to their interaction with the body. Summary of product characteristics of those drugs contain alerts for hair shedding. Below are mentioned some of those medications:
Some cholesterol-reducing medications (e.g., atorvastatin, simvastatin)
Some blood pressure medications (e.g., captopril, lisinopril)
The antacid cimetidine (Tagamet)
The gout drug colchicine (Colcrys)
The acne drug isotretinoin (Accutane)
The steroids testosterone and progesterone
In order to gain consciousness about their effects before medication, consult with your doctor or physician. It is also essential to ask your doctor when side effects of medication are seen. Doctor could change dose or prescribe alternative medications to stop and reverse hair loss. It is always advised to remain on the safe side by counseling doctor.
Chemotherapy and Exposure to Radiation
Cancer treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation are best known for their side effects. It is challenging and horrifying for patients to accept the fate of experiencing hair loss after receiving cancer treatment. The damage of chemotherapy on hair cells is caused by killing of tumors along with healthy cells. In chemotherapy, all parts of the body are affected. Shedding of body hair is prevalent in this treatment. Whereas in radiation, only the treated area is affected.
The bright side is the reversing of hair loss after termination of cancer treatment. Hair is expected to regrow in a few months’ time.
Recommendations for Preventing and Managing Hair Loss
It is natural for people to look for effective treatment to stop and reverse it. People also wonder about causes of this disease to prevent before occurring. Here are several tips for you to prevent hair loss.
Meticulous Hair Care
First and foremost, looking after your hair is essential aspect of hair care. Regular washing with the shampoo which is suitable to your hair type is the first step. The quality of shampoo is also important as it should not contain irritants and remain gentle to your skin. Excessive chemicals would exacerbate your situation. Washing with mild water is the optimum choice as too hot water would risk your skin health.
Styling of hair is important in the sense that binding tightly would cause unnecessary strain on scalp. When wearing ponytail or braids, much strain should be avoided. It is also required to dry hair with cool air. Last but not the least, refrain from using hair processing products that contain harsh chemicals such as ammonia or peroxide.
As the famous saying goes, you are what you eat. Your diet determines the health of your body and your hair. Although reversing of hair loss with diet is not possible, stopping it is within reach. Healthy, strong and glamorous hair requires a rich nutrition. Broad range of food groups would contribute to your hair health. Diets that rely on fresh vegetables and herbs and that exclude processed foods are best choice to protect your hair.
Protein rich foods should be included in your diet. Nuts, beans, fish, meat and eggs are rich source of food in terms of protein. This is due to the fact that hair follicles are made up of protein keratin. Supplementary content such as vitamins and minerals also contribute to a healthy diet. Vitamin A, B, C, D, B7 and H, Iron Selenium and Zinc are important building blocks of health diet.
High stress causes hair loss and vice versa. It is a vicious cycle when stress enters the game. The only way out of this cycle is to break it and address the root cause of stress. Mediating, taking long walks, journaling and all types of healthy activities will help you get out of this cycle. Reducing your stress will help you to control also other types of hair loss.
Although may sound simple, keeping hair hydrated is a wise way to protect it. Drinking sufficient amount of water everyday has proven effect on hair since follicles contain water. Hydration is also essential in maintaining overall body health.
Get Advice by Hair Transplant Surgeon or Dermatologist
If hair continues to fall out despite all individual measures, it is time to receive a medical examination by medical specialists. Your medical history will be reviewed and lifestyle factors shall be considered by specialist. A scalp analysis will result in detecting the cause of hair loss. A scalp biopsy might be performed at this stage. If it is caused by dermatological factors, a medication will be introduced to prevent and reverse the disease. Whereas if hair loss is described as genetic born disease and there seems to be no way to restore with medications, hair transplant will be advised.