Hair loss: it’s a problem.
Whether it takes the form of thinning hair or the growth of unsightly bald patches, hair loss (or alopecia) can take a mean toll on a person’s confidence and psychological health.
As with any problem, it’s important that we understand the root causes of alopecia in order to prevent further damage, and seek quality treatment.
Read through our guide to learn about some of the common types of hair loss, and the reasons behind them.
Androgenic alopecia is the leading cause of baldness around the world.
Caused by a sensitivity to the hormone DHT, androgenic alopecia is a source of lowered confidence for men and women across the world. It is more commonly known as male-pattern or female-pattern baldness.
The severity of the condition varies from case to case, and patients are classified according to either the Norwood Scale or the Ludwig Scale for diagnosis. As a general rule, however, hair loss due to androgenic alopecia is permanent when untreated, but reversible in the hands of a qualified hair restoration specialist.
The best way to address androgenic alopecia is to consult a medical specialist for your options. People turn to dietary supplements, oils, shampoos, and natural “medicines”, only to find themselves in no better shape. A professional consultation is the best way to know how you should proceed given your case.
Among those who have been diagnosed by medical specialists, the common treatments include:
Your lifestyle and general health play a big role where hair fall is concerned.
Telogen effluvium is a medical condition that drastically increases the amount of hair a person would naturally shed. Factors like high stress, sudden weight loss, and the use of certain medical or recreational drugs can lead to noticeably thinner hair.
This form of hair loss is reversible, and will not lead to either total or permanent baldness.
There are many ways to prevent hair loss due to lifestyle factors:
The right diet is good for more than a sharp mind and healthy body –it also affects the growth and loss of hair.
There are certain key nutrients that the human body needs in order to keep hair growing according to the natural schedule. The best diet for preventing hair loss includes the proper amounts of iron, fatty acids, biotin, and protein.
The volume of lost hair tends to scale according to the gravity of one’s nutritional deficiencies. Simply put, the greater you lack in these hair-friendly nutrients, the worse your hair loss becomes.
There are plenty of guides to the types of food that promote hair growth, but here are a few to keep in mind for the next time you do your grocery shopping:
Tight hairstyles, the frequent use of caps or hats, and even a bad habit of pulling your hair can lead to hair loss over time.
Traction alopecia is the loss of hair due to heavy and recurring stress placed on a person’s hair. Wearing tight ponytails, braids, or dreadlocks can cause increased hair loss due to strain given enough time, and so can a habit of wearing headgear that causes excessive stress.
Similar to hair loss from lifestyle factors, traction alopecia is reversible and rarely ever leads to complete baldness. However, the bad habits at its core may lead to the same psychological injuries that follow other victims of hair loss.
Prevent traction alopecia by keeping the following pointers in mind:
Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disorder, meaning that in these cases, hair loss is caused by the body’s own immune system. Medicine has yet to define the specific cause behind this form of baldness, although it has been linked to thyroid disorders, lupus, and other autoimmune disorders.
People suffering from alopecia areata experience one or many patches of baldness, most noticeably across the scalp –though this form of baldness can strike any place on the body that grows hair.
Hair loss due to alopecia areata is rarely permanent, but cases exist where patients with bald patches fail to recover the lost hair after the standard period of a year.
Due to a lack of understanding among the medical community, and because of the unpredictable nature of the disorder, no permanent cure exists for alopecia areata. It can be treated however, through immunomodulation –balancing the immune system with the use of corticosteroids.
If you suffer from hair loss but aren’t sure of the cause, your best course of action is to seek a professional diagnosis from a licensed doctor.
Don’t fall into the trap of self-diagnosis, or buying “cures” that turn out to do more harm to your scalp than good.