Loss of hair (LH)can affect just your scalp or your entire body. It can be the result of genetics, hormone changes, medical conditions or medications. Anybody– men, women and children– can experience LH.
Baldness normally refers to excessive LH from your scalp. Genetic hair loss with age is the most typical cause of baldness. Some individuals prefer to let their baldness run its course unattended and unhidden.
Others might cover it up with hairdos, hats or headscarfs. And still others select one of the treatments readily available to avoid more LH and to bring back growth.
Prior to pursuing loss of hair treatment, talk with your doctor about the cause of the hair loss and the best treatment choices.
Signs and symptoms of loss of hair
Hair is a type of dead protein that pushes through the layer of skin on the scalp. Through a regular life cycle, hair goes through a growing stage, a resting stage and a dropping stage. As the hair is shedding, the growing stage starts all over again.
If you’re losing your hair, after the dropping phase is over, brand-new hair does not begin growing back in. This process can be truly sluggish or actually quick, and it can be caused from heredity, hormone problems, stress or side effects of medications. If you’re losing your hair, there are numerous signs you can look for to make a decision.
Inspect your hairline if you are male. Take a look at the edges of your hairline by your temples. If they have begun to decline up towards the top of your scalp, then you are losing your hair. Ultimately, your staying hair will form a horseshoe shape.
Use a hand held mirror to examine the top of your head if you are male. Turn your back to a big restroom or bed room mirror. Lift the hand held mirror up and at a small angle. Look at the top back part of your head in the mirror. If it is flesh colored and the hair is spread out apart, then you are losing it. If you are female, examine your entire head for thinness with the mirror. Thinning hair over the whole scalp is more common in women.
Examine typical areas where your head is resting for long periods of time. Look on your bed pillow, chairs that you sit on typically, your car seat and clothes. If you are losing your hair, you will see high quantities of it in these locations.
Browse the drain when you are done showering. It prevails for body hair to be discovered in the drain of your tub when you shower, but if you constantly find clumps of hair, then you could be losing it from your hair. Likewise check your comb or brush for greater than normal amounts of hair. It could be falling out when you are combing it.
When to see a doctor
See your doctor if your child or you are distressed by hair loss and wish to pursue treatment. Likewise talk with your doctor if you discover abrupt or patchy LH or more than usual LH when combing or washing your or your child’s hair. Abrupt loss of hair can indicate an underlying medical condition that needs treatment.
Causes of loss of hair
The majority of people typically shed 50 to 100 hairs a day. This generally doesn’t cause noticeable thinning of scalp hair because new hair is growing in at the same time. Hair loss takes place when this cycle of hair growth and shedding is interrupted or when the hair roots is ruined and changed with scar tissue.
The exact cause of LH might not be totally understood, however it’s typically related to one or more of the following factors:
- Family history (genetics).
- Hormone changes.
- Medical conditions.
Family history (genetics)
The most typical cause of loss of hair is a genetic condition called male-pattern baldness or female-pattern baldness. It typically occurs gradually and in predictable patterns– a declining hairline and bald spots in men and thinning hair in women.
Genetics also impacts the age at which you start to lose hair, the rate of LH and the extent of baldness. Pattern baldness is most common in men and can begin as early as puberty. This type of hair loss may involve both hair thinning and miniaturization (hair becomes soft, alright and brief).
Hormone changes and medical conditions
A variety of conditions can cause LH, consisting of:
- Hormonal changes. Hormone changes and imbalances can cause temporary LH. This could be due to pregnancy, giving birth or the start of menopause. Hormone levels are likewise impacted by the thyroid gland, so thyroid problems may cause loss of hair.
- Patchy LH. This type of nonscarring LH is called alopecia areata. It happens when the body’s immune system attacks hair follicles– causing unexpected LH that leaves smooth, roundish bald patches on the skin.
- Scalp infections. Infections, such as ringworm, can get into the hair and skin of your scalp, causing flaky spots and LH. As soon as infections are treated, hair generally grows back.
- Other skin conditions. Diseases that cause scarring alopecia might result in permanent loss at the scarred areas. These conditions include lichen planus, some types of lupus and sarcoidosis.
- Hair-pulling disorder. This condition, also called trichotillomania , causes people to have an irresistible desire to take out their hair, whether it’s from the scalp, the eyebrows or other areas of the body.
LH can be caused by drugs used for cancer, arthritis, depression, heart problems, hypertension and contraception. Intake of too much vitamin A may cause hair loss too.
Prevention of hair loss
These pointers may help you prevent avoidable types of LH:
- Eat a nutritionally well balanced diet.
- Avoid tight hairstyles, such as braids, buns or ponytails.
- Avoid compulsively twisting, rubbing or pulling your hair.
- Treat your hair gently when cleaning and brushing. A wide-toothed comb might help prevent pulling out hair.
- Avoid extreme treatments such as hot rollers, curling irons, hot oil treatments and permanents.