Hair Loss Causes and Treatment
- 25 01
Hair loss can be a psychologically damaging experience for the sufferer, especially if it occurs rapidly and for unknown causes. Both men and women can experience hair loss at any time, for reasons including genetics, stress, a hormonal imbalance, environmental factors and a poor diet.
There are treatments to address hair loss, but before you attempt to find a solution to your problem it may be a brilliant idea to find out the cause of your hair loss.
Genetics and Male and Female Pattern Baldness:
Almost 95 percent of thinning hair in men is a result of male pattern baldness, which is generally due to a genetic predisposition, with a 4 in 7 chance of inheriting the ‘baldness gene’. Genetic hair loss can begin at a young age and for men the thinning of the hair usually starts at the hairline, which then recedes further over the crown.Female pattern baldness isn’t as common as male pattern baldness and it is though that environmental factors as well as genetics can play a part in the process. With female pattern baldness the hair generally thins across the scalp, but not along the hairline and rarely ends with complete baldness, as occurs with male pattern baldness.
Medication and hair loss:
Medications used to control blood pressure, heart disease, cholesterol problems and diabetes can all cause hormonal imbalances in the body, which leads to hair thinning. The contraceptive pill, acne treatment and steroids are all also linked to hair loss.
Hair loss after childbirth:
This is a extremely common occurrence, which happens because of the over production of hair during pregnancy. The levels of oestrogen are heightened at the time of pregnancy, which stimulates the production of hair. However, once the baby is born this extra hair falls out and the thickness of the hair returns to how it was before the pregnancy.
Diet related hair loss
A deficiency in protein, zinc, iron and biotin combined with a high consumption of fatty, processed foods is thought to decrease the production of hair growth and weaken the hair. Fish, nuts, dark green vegetables, beans, eggs, dairy and carrots are all excellent food sources for a healthy head of hair.
Alopecia is an autoimmune disease, which involves white blood cells attacking the hair follicles, leading to either patches of hair falling out, or complete hair loss. Alopecia can occur at any age and may also involve the loss of eyebrows and eyelashes. However, as the hair follicles in Alopecia sufferers are dormant rather than dead, it is possible for hair to grow back, but research has still been unable to determine how to encourage this process.
Stress and hair loss:
Continual stress can have hugely negative effect on the body as a whole, but when hair loss becomes a symptom it may be a nifty idea to seek help and advice to address your situation. Stress induces hair loss by restricting the blood to the capillaries, which inhibits the distributions of oxygen and nutrients to the hair follicles, so the hair does not grow or remain in the scalp.
Treatments for hair loss:
As there are many causes of hair loss there is no one treatment to stop or reverse the problem. However, tailored care can be implemented into your daily routine to prevent hair loss and promote hair growth or, if the problem is irreversible, procedures are available to replace the hair that has been lost.
A number of medications exist that have been showed to slow hair loss and regrow new hair. These can either be applied topically in the form of a spray or ointment or taken in the form of a pill. Medications such as Propecia and minoxidil are the only two FDA approved treatments for hair loss prevention and growth and for the treatment of Alopecia immunosuppressants may be used. However, with both forms of medication, continued use is the only way to maintain hair growth and results are not guaranteed.
Reducing your stress levels:
It may be incredibly difficult to address certain stress inducing problems and if your stress is related to financial or employment problems you may feel powerless and out of control. However, allowing your health to deteriorate will only worsen the situation, so do whatever is possible to give yourself time away from your stress. Re-evaluate your situation and see where changes can be made and if possible treat yourself to times of relaxation and TLC. If you’re stressed enough to lose your hair you certainly deserve some pampering!
Certain hair care products have been created to stop the collection of pollutants and excess sebum, which lead to blocked follicles and inhibited hair growth. Scalp treatments help to keep the follicles open, so hair can grow strong and healthily.
If you are unable to treat the hair loss or thinning with any of the above treatments there is always the option of hair transplant surgery. This involves removing strong healthy hair from the parts of the head that still produce hair growth (usually the backs and the sides), which are then transplanted into the areas of the scalp where hair production has stopped. All of this will be carried out under local anaesthetic, so no pain will be felt and the treatment usually takes between 4 and 8 hours to complete. After a few weeks the transplanted hair will fall out, but it then grows back permanently a few months after. This treatment is the last resort to hair loss problems and you should always consult with a medical professional before you undergo the treatment.
Hair loss can seriously affect a person’s confidence, but finding the source of the problem could help you find the solution to your problem. As with any major changes to your body it is essential to visit your doctor, who will be able to make a proper diagnosis and provide treatment if possible.
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