Hair Loss


Hair shedding is normal. Each hair strand on our scalp has a lifespan of between two to seven years. The hair follicles go through three phases, active growth, transition, and rest. However, there are life factors that can cause the hair to reach the rest phase, during which it falls out. While it's completely normal to lose 50 to 100 strands a day, you should be wary when you begin to shed significantly more than that.

Here, we discuss the reason why your strands may be falling out and how to remedy the problem. 


Causes of Hair Loss

Genetics


The most common cause of hair loss in both men and women is heredity. This type of hair loss is also called androgenetic alopecia or female/male pattern hair loss. In women, the condition usually starts with the part line gradually thinning, followed by increasing hair loss from the top of the head. In men, androgenetic alopecia begins above the temples and hair on top of the head also thins, normally progressing to baldness.


· Pregnancy


Also known as postpartum telogen effluvium, hair loss after childbirth is caused by a fall in estrogen levels after pregnancy. This temporary condition normally happens three to six months after pregnancy and resolves itself within six to eight months after onset.


· Anemia


Iron deficiency can also affect hair health. Hair follicle cells are sensitive to low levels of iron and may not be able to effectively grow new cells when there are low iron stores.

There is a wide range of conditions that can cause hair loss and they include polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), thyroid disorders, autoimmune diseases, and skin conditions such as seborrheic dermatitis and psoriasis. Shedding of hair can also be brought about by physical trauma like serious illness, extreme stress, taking too much Vitamin A, and losing too much weight over a short period.


How to Prevent Hair Loss


You can follow these five hair loss treatment tips to keep hair loss at bay. 


1. Avoid wearing a tightly pulled hairstyle


Hair is flexible, but it can only be stretched so much before it becomes permanently damaged. Hairstyles like ponytails, cornrows, buns, tight braids and up-dos can result in pulling hair away from the scalp, thinning of hair and causing follicles to break around the hairline, resulting in traction alopecia.



2. Eat a nutritious diet


Hair thrives on vitamins such as Vitamin A and Vitamin B12 and minerals like zinc, iron, proteins, and omega-3 fatty acids. To ensure you eat a healthy diet, load up on foods with nutrients like lean meat, fish, beans, nuts, leafy greens, and fruits. These foods provide compounds and essential nutrients that promote hair growth and fight hair loss.


3. Ditch high-heat hair styling tools


Frequently using heat on the hair can cause the hair strands to fracture, damage the hair shafts and leave your hair follicle dehydrated. This can cause brittle hair and excessive hair shedding. Curling irons, hair straighteners, and hair dryers are good examples of hair tools that can damage your hair over time. If you have to use any of these tools, make sure not to leave it on one area for more than ten seconds.

Also, avoid hot showers as it can strip the scalp of essential oils that protect it, causing dryness, thinning, and miniaturization of the hair follicles.


4. Change your hair products


Hair treatment and other styling products can cause damage to the hair and scalp. The chemicals in these products stay on the scalp and get trapped in the follicles, preventing hair from surfacing. If you are concerned about your hair falling out, limit your use of hair gels, dyes, perms, peroxide treatments, and hair gels. You can also try more natural styling products.


5. Consider prescription medications


There are several clinically approved drugs for fighting hair loss. Some work by increasing nutrient and blood flow to the follicles while others inhibit dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a hormone that causes the hair follicles to shrink and fall out. However, you should consult a healthcare professional before starting any hair loss treatments as some have side effects in a minority of patients, such as decreased libido, allergic reactions or skin irritation.