Hair loss is also known as alopecia. It is a common condition with a long list of causes. Although it is customary to lose up to 100 strands of hair a day, if you are losing more than the ‘average’ amount of hair, it can be a sign of a severe condition or reaction to your lifestyle. Losing hair on your body or scalp can feel embarrassing, but it is normal!
It is not uncommon to see individuals losing hair both on their heads and the rest of their bodies, and losing hair can occur in patches or entire sections. Hair loss and balding typically occur mainly in men, but women can also suffer from hair loss. It is also essential to understand that some types of hair loss are permanent, while others can grow back.
Types of Hair Loss
Many causes and conditions can be the leading cause, especially since expected. The types of hair loss are listed below.
It could be hereditary and is passed down from the father’s side. As humans and animals continue to evolve, we start needing less hair. This condition is common in men over 20, with at least one parent who suffers from hair loss or adult-onset balding.
Genetic hair loss is also referred to as male-pattern baldness and female-pattern baldness.
Did you know that medications with side effects contribute to hair loss? The ingredients in pills can cause hair loss, and it is a common side effect of taking antidepressants and high blood pressure medications. However, most side effects resolve independently, and no further treatment is necessary.
Anxiety and stress are biological responses and emotions to situations. Usually, there is a physical and emotional response to stress. However, some people that suffer from stress and anxiety show physical responses!
There are two ways that people can develop hair loss through stress. One of the ways is a reaction from your body and its hormones. The other way is by excessively pulling and plucking at the hair as a form of calming yourself down.
Pregnancy Hormonal Changes
After pregnancy, hormones change drastically. During pregnancy, the rise of hormones strengthens hair, which decreases afterward. Usually, hormonal changes lead to hair loss that starts as thinning, and it can be permanent or temporary depending on genetics, medications, and environmental factors.
Hair Loss Symptoms
Since it is a visible condition, the symptoms are identical. Although the causes may differ, people suffering may notice signs like:
- Thinning at the crown
- Receding hairline
- Starts slowly
- Skin conditions
- Frequent shedding
Diagnosis is a quick and easy process. Your doctor will start by asking you questions about your family history. If you have a family member who also suffers from male-pattern baldness, you should pass this information to your doctor.
Since the leading cause is genetics, family history is important information. Sometimes you can diagnose yourself with hereditary hair loss; however, since there are many different causes, you should watch out for any uncommon or worrying symptoms!
Since underlying conditions could also be the cause, your doctor may schedule blood tests and X-Rays. Blood tests can rule out any health conditions. If the cause is still unknown, you may need to see a dermatologist. This doctor is a professional in skincare and may take a scalp biopsy. The scalp biopsy can be used to rule out or detect any severe infections.
How Can I Treat My Hair Loss?
The treatment entirely depends on the cause. However, you can try a few simple solutions at home to increase and encourage hair growth.
For example, some shampoos have active ingredients to help you prevent further hair loss. In addition, the shampoos are over the counter, which means you don’t have to wait for any doctors. Always consult a medical professional if you take any medicated approaches to hair loss.
Your doctor may also prescribe you topical treatments to get rid of bacteria-causing infections. The prescription can be a cream that goes directly on your scalp or body. Sometimes, it is an oral medication that fights hair infections or bacteria.
Minoxidil is a popular shampoo that you can find over the counter. It works by encouraging hair growth. However, you will not see results for a minimum of 6 months. If you decide to use this shampoo, you must follow the instructions and wash your hair frequently for the best chances.
Hair Loss Prevention
Did you know that you can prevent hair loss? There are many things you can do from the comfort of your home to prevent hair loss, regardless of the cause. Be careful brushing your hair too tightly. This can pull at your scalp, causing inflammation and pain.
You should also limit hairstyles that are too tight and pull at your scalp. For example, it is okay to wear high ponytails occasionally, but if you do so every day, you risk pulling at your scalp and releasing the hair.
Smoking increases your risk of hair loss. Try not to do so often or if you are concerned about hair loss. This is especially important if you have a genetic predisposition to baldness. Ask your doctor about any medications they recommend for hair loss and inquire about the side effects. Some side effects include permanent hair loss.
How Do I Deal With Hair Loss?
All in all, hair loss is a normal condition. However, if you are losing hair frequently and in large patches, it could be a sign of an underlying condition. While the leading cause is genetics, it is still recommended to get blood tests and x-rays to rule out any underlying conditions.
Thankfully, it is not a severe complication, and in most cases, there are ways to encourage your scalp to regrow the hair. For example, you can use over-the-counter shampoos, scalp massages, and prescriptions to promote hair growth.
- Are there medications I can take for hair loss? Yes, there is. However, it is always advised to seek advice from a medical professional before deciding on any medication.
- Is hair loss hereditary? Yes. Genetics play a huge role in the amount of hair you have from birth to adulthood and the type and hair texture you have.
Healthier Me Today is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment, always consult with your healthcare professional. Stay healthy!