Must Know about Excessive Hair Loss – Causes, Treatment and Prevention
Basically, hair grows everywhere on the human skin except in some places like eyelids, palms of our hand, belly button, etc. Hair can be so thin as to be almost invisible or can be thick enough to be seen from a distance. Hair is made up of keratin that is produced in hair follicles in the outer layer of skin.
Since hair is present almost all over the body, hair loss (alopecia) can affect not just your scalp but even in some cases, the entire body. Reasons can be hereditary, hormonal imbalances, some illness, or just because you have aged. Excessive hair loss can result in baldness, which is more common in men.
Losing around 80-100 strands of hair per day is considered normal, if more than that, can lead to excessive hair loss. Normally, the old ones are replaced by the new follicles, but not in all cases. Hair loss can’t happen at the same pace in all individuals as it may vary from gradual change to sudden loosening of hair.
What are the causes of hair loss?
Many changes in the human body are caused due to heredity. Hair loss is one of them, which is more likely to happen as a person ages but can start at any point after puberty. This condition is usually called androgenic alopecia, male-pattern baldness, and female-pattern baldness. It is normally predictable just by seeing through your genealogy. It usually involves losing hair along the sides in men (you can see bare patches along the sides) and through the crown part in the case of women.
- Hormonal changes or disease
Hormonal changes due to pregnancy, childbirth, menopause, and thyroid problems can lead to temporary or permanent hair loss. Alopecia areata, an immune disorder, can cause patchy hair loss and various infections in the scalp.
In many cases, it is observed that women tend to lose more hair shortly after having a delivery. This is caused due to a sudden decrease in the estrogen levels in a woman’s blood. This is usually a temporary condition and recovers in a year or so.
- Stress or shock
Extreme physical stress or shock to your body may cause temporary hair loss, like mental illness or any death in your family. Events like losing a lot of weight in a short period of time, a major surgery, etc., also contribute to temporary hair loss.
- Cosmetic procedures
Shampooing too often is generally not advisable for healthy hair growth. Bleaching or dying your hair makes it weak and brittle and thus breaks off very often resulting in excessive hair loss. Straightening using hot appliances can also damage and break hair.
What are the treatment options available?
- Hair transplantation
It involves the relocation of plugs of skin from parts of the scalp containing active hair follicles to bald areas. Depending upon the amount of hair loss, a person may need hundreds of these follicles – 10 to 60 follicles per session. The transplanted hair follicles usually fall off but you may start to see the hair regrowth within a month from the transplanted follicles. For a natural look, a person may need a large number of follicles transplanted very close together.
Your doctor, if hair fall happens due to some immune disorder, may apply corticosteroid drops directly onto your scalp to speed up the treatment process.
- Generic Propecia
Earlier used to treat prostate issues, generic Propecia that contains finasteride is now being used for the treatment of male pattern baldness. Receptors for the specific hormones that are responsible for hair loss are blocked using this medication. It is a once-a-day pill and is usually prescribed by professionals.
- Laser treatment
Some laser comb devices are found to enhance hair regrowth once applied controllably. Although this treatment is generally very costly.
Minoxidil 5 mg oral tablets help in the regrowth of those patches of hairs that were no longer growing. It works on hair follicles to turn around their shrinking process to animate new hair development. Studies show that this medication is more effective in younger individuals who are about to experience the signs of hair fall or already experiencing it.
How to prevent hair loss?
To start with, you may want to try some lifestyle changes to reduce stress and eat a Mediterranean diet that includes protein, fats, and certain other essential components. Eating lean meats, fish, soy or other proteins can help strengthen the hair roots and can thus prevent hair fall. The best outcome is seen when you devour high measures of food sources — like parsley, basil, salad greens — over three days a week.
Washing hair daily helps the hair to free itself from any infection and also prevents possible hair loss. You should use a gentle cleanser or shampoo for hair wash. In some types of cleansers, harmful chemicals are present that may dry hair and make it weak, prompting going bald. Coconut oil nourishes the hair at its root, keeps the hair protein intact, and prevents any breakage.
Avoid any tight braids or ponytails that may pull on hair at the root and forcefully lead to hair loss. Also, avoid any heating that may weaken your strands. Be delicate, and try not to brush your hair when wet, when it is particularly tantalizing. Let your hair breathe a little.