If you lose more than 50-100 hairs every day, you are not alone. By the age of 55, over half the population, including over 30 million women, search for a way to keep their locks from falling out. Before you don the baseball cap or shave it off completely, there are several steps you can take to limit and even reverse the trend.
Medical causes of hair loss
You have over 100,000 hairs on your head, and each strand goes through a lifecycle. On a normal, healthy head, when a hair reaches the end of its life, it falls out and gets replaced with new hair. Several medical conditions disrupt this cycle, leading to bald patches and clumps of hair in the drain and your brush. These include:
Hormonal Changes that lead to hair loss
Often called male pattern baldness, the most common cause of hair loss is the change in how your body produces and processes testosterone as you age. Other hormonal factors that cause hair loss include:
- Stopping the use of birth control
Often referred to as Telogen effluvium, this type of hair loss, though temporary, presents itself as an allover loss of hair. Large bald spots are rare.
Illnesses that cause hair loss
Hair loss often occurs as a symptom of an underlying medical condition. Some of the more common ailments include:
- Thyroid Disorder
- Nutritional deficiencies
Diets that restrict the consumption of foods rich in protein, iron, zinc or biotin, as well as a heavy menstrual flow are also associated with hair loss.
Medications associated with hair loss
Some medicines have been known to cause hair loss as a side effect. These include some used for:
- High blood pressure
- Heart problems
The most common medications associated with hair loss include:
- Beta-blockers and calcium channel blockers
- Warfarin and heparin
- Birth control pills
- NSAIDs (including ibuprofen)
Habits that lead to hair loss
Your everyday routine could be causing hair loss. Everyone wants to look their best at all times. To do so requires the use of products and methods that cause excessive shedding. Some of the more common habits that cause hair loss include:
Showering and hair loss
Though relaxing, long, hot showers wash away the protective oils on your scalp. Then, the pores on your scalp to go into overdrive to try and keep up with oil production, resulting in damaged roots and increased shedding.
Sun and hair loss
Prolonged exposure to UV rays increases hair loss. Even on the days you are not soaking up the sun at the beach or pool, it is important to protect your head from the sun. Choose a product with sunscreen or wear a hat to reduce shedding.
Extreme dieting and hair loss
Consuming fewer calories than your body needs to function causes your body to direct its energy towards survival. Essential functions, including maintaining your heartbeat and brain activity, take precedence over your hair. Severe hair loss is common in those diagnosed with anorexia.
Styling routines to limit hair loss
Traumatic alopecia often results from how you style and control your mane.
Techniques and hair loss
Some of the more common practices that result in hair loss include:
- Aggressive towel drying
- Brushing or combing while hair is still wet
- Tight braiding or cornrowing that pulls your hair
- Curling irons, hairdryers, and hot rollers that expose your hair to extreme heat and twisting
Products and hair loss
Strong chemicals, including those used for bleaching, hair coloring, and perms, cause hair loss and frizzy hair. Additionally, everyday products and Mega-hold hairsprays and gels that make your hair stiff or sticky leave behind a residue that causes hair loss.
Using the right type of hairbrush can help prevent hair loss. Use the anti-static brush from Forbabs as the best type of brush to prevent breakage and tangles.
Hair washing and hair loss
Dry shampoos and leave-in conditioners make it easier to skip hair washing for a few days. While a day or two is ok, waiting too long in between washes makes it more difficult for your hair to grow. Product residue, dandruff, dirt, and oil clog the pores on your scalp and your hair follicles.
While many of these conditions are temporary, it is best to see your doctor for help ascertaining the underlying cause of your hair loss and for an appropriate treatment plan.
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