In honor of National Hair Loss Awareness Month, I’m going to share some chapters from my e-Book, “Hair Loss: Causes and Solutions” to educate the consumer with facts, as well as cover some basic information when it comes to hair loss. One of hardest things to deal with when experiencing hair loss is having to diagnosis, treat, or navigate your way through a problem you aren’t familiar with. There are so many magical potions and lotions that are said to “regrow your hair,” but how are you supposed to know what’s right for your specific situation? Hopefully these excerpts will help…
Are You Experiencing Hair Loss? You Are Not Alone
Do you find yourself looking in the mirror and feeling dissatisfied with the appearance or condition of your hair? Is it becoming thin throughout? Do you have patches of baldness? Can you seen through to your crown? Have you searched for solutions and found nothing for your specific hair loss situation? Or are you simply tired of not knowing what to do about it? It is important to know that you are not alone.
Some Facts About Hair Loss:
- 35 million men and 21 million women experience hair loss in the United States alone.
- By the age of 50, approximately 85% of men have some type of baldness or hair loss.
- 9 out of 10 balding men cite hair loss as their number one concern.
- 1 in 4 women suffer from hair loss, thinning hair or pattern baldness.
- Over 800,000 people seek hair restorations each year.
- The average scalp has about 100,000 hair follicles. Most people on average lose about 50 to 100 hairs a day. Once you begin to lose more than that it can become an issue.
These statistics show that hair loss affects millions. Though the causes vary, the physical changes that one experiences can result in emotional and/or psychological suffering – from self-consciousness to immobilization to extreme depression. This change in our appearance not only affects our self-esteem, but also our quality of life. We can allow it to limit our physical activities and our social interactions.
The Good News:
You don’t have to suffer from any more “bad hair days.” The right solution for you is dependent on the specific cause of your hair loss, your budget, your time, your expectations, and your temperament. Below you will find a list of many causes of hair loss, and in the following pages, suggestions for which treatment could be best for you.
Ch. 1: Why Am I Losing My Hair?
The causes of hair loss for both men and women vary. It’s crucial to understand what’s causing your hair loss so you can make an informed decision about the best treatment for you. Some of these causes only lead to temporary hair loss – while others are more permanent.
- Hereditary Thinning or Baldness (Androgenetic Alopecia): Inherited male-pattern or female-pattern hair loss is the most common cause of hair loss. Male-pattern hair loss can result in a receding hair line and bald patches, mainly on the top of the head. Female-pattern hair loss can result in noticeably thinning hair throughout the scalp; the first sign being a widening part. The hormone dihydrotestosterone or DHT (a derivative of the male hormone testosterone) is associated with this.
- Alopecia Areata and Other Types: Classified as an autoimmune disorder, alopecia areata causes the body’s own immune system to attack healthy hair follicles. This causes patches of hair loss on the scalp and other areas of the body. There are many other different types of alopecia that have different effects on people.
- Trichotillomania: This impulse-control disorder causes people to repeatedly and compulsively pull out their own hair. They often feel a constant urge to pull out the hair on the scalp.
Medical Conditions and Disease
- Disease: There are about 30 diseases overall that can lead to hair loss. Thyroid and other ailments that affect your hormones can cause loss of hair. Skin and auto-immune disorders like anemia and types of lupus can result in hair loss as well. By treating the disease, hair loss often can be stopped or reversed.
- Illness: A major surgery, high fever or even the flu can cause hair loss. Your dermatologist may call this telogen effluvium. In most cases complete remission is probable.
- Infections: Scalp infections, such as ringworm, can invade the hair and skin of your scalp, leading to hair loss. Once infections are treated, hair generally grows back.
- Some prescription medicines can cause hair loss. These include:
-High-dose Vitamin A.
-Medicines that treat arthritis, depression, gout, heart problems, and high blood pressure.
-Birth control pills
Stress and Shock
- Experiencing a traumatic event (e.g., death of a loved one or divorce) can cause hair loss. Anytime your body experiences high stress or shock emotionally or physically hair loss can occur.
Diet and Poor Nutrition
- Poor diet can definitely affect the health of your hair. Eating regiment regiments lacking sufficient protein or iron, too much Vitamin A, drastic weight loss programs, and eating disorders can all affect the growth cycle and the condition of your hair.
- Pregnancy and Child Birth: After giving birth, some women have noticeable hair loss due to falling estrogen levels. This is usually temporary.
- Menopause: Thinning hair is very common during menopause. This loss is often temporary and the hair will re-grow with time. Aging affects hair loss because hormones are involved; if a woman is 40 years or older, she unfortunately should not expect her hair to have the same fullness that it did when she was younger.
- Birth control: Birth control and other hormone related medicines can lead to thinning hair.
Hair Care – Styling and Treatments
- Chemical Processing: Frequent bleaching, perms and relaxers can cause breakage and other damage to your hair. Improper or excessive use of other hair products (dyes, gels, hairsprays) can also cause damage.
- Heat Damage: Frequent use of high-heat styling tools (blow dryers, curling irons, flat irons,) can dry out the hair shaft, leaving hair brittle and prone to breakage. Limiting use and if possible lowering the heat settings are ways to help avoid damage. Letting your hair air dry before styling is also recommended.
- Traction Alopecia: Wearing your hair in a style that pulls on the hair (tight braids or tight ponytails) can cause hair loss. This is known as traction alopecia. If done repetitively, it can lead to gradual hair loss, specifically, along the hair line.