For those like me who fear close trims, let alone a bald shave, hair loss can be a hefty scare. It’s rather disheartening to see your hair fall off, strand after another, leaving your once fluffy head bare and bleak.
Hair loss, though most common in men, can also occur in women. It can happen slowly, day by day, or dreadful enough, overnight!
But what most people ask: Can we overcome this menace?
Yes and ‘maybe yes’.
Yes, because sometimes we are accountable for making our own hair fall. When you apply endless chemicals to your hair, use hard water on it, leave it unwashed or die it poorly, what do you expect?
‘Maybe yes’, because in other cases, it is all hereditary and hair just gradually disappears as you age. According to American Hair Loss Association, 95% of hair loss in men is hereditary. This can be treated and further loss averted, or even growth restored, but most people choose to let nature take its course. Some shave bald, others wear caps, while another whole lot don’t bother at all to hide it.
In this article we shall look at the symptoms and causes of hairfall, and also learn how to prevent hair fall.
Symptoms- How Do You Know It’s Serious?
Given that the head has more than 100,000 strands of hair, losing 50 of them in a day is no biggie. But when this continues for weeks, and all you see around you is hair; on the bed cover, on your collar, in the shower, then it’s time to get some help. Here are some signs that it’s getting serious:
Patchy bald spots on the head- If you can see some circular itchy bald spots on your head, you are experiencing hair loss.
Thinning on some parts of the head- The affected part will be less dense than others. It mostly begins with hair ceding backward from the hairline at the forehead.
A Widening Part In The Hair Of Women.
Loosening of hair- In some people, hair might get so loose to the extent of some straps coming out when it’s combed or washed. This should stop after a while, but it might be serious if it persists.
Sudden hair loss- All of your hair might fall off just overnight! This is very rare and is only caused by an underlying problem.
Full-body hair loss- It may be caused by treatments such as chemotherapy. The hair usually regrows.
Why Are You Losing Your Hair?
Before cursing your genes and deciding to shave it all bald, check your hair practices because we are sometimes the culprits for losing our own hair. Here are some causes of hair fall you may never have heard of.
Bathing On Hard Water
Hard water is a major cause of hair loss that many people are unaware of. It reacts with the chemicals in cleaning products, forming a film that remains on the scalp or your hair, blocking hair growth. Also, the magnesium and calcium existent in hard water lead to dandruff, brittleness, dryness, and finally, hair loss. Hard water generally dries your hair follicles, resulting in an irritated scalp and brittle and frizzy hair that is more prone to tangles, breakage, and falling. Hard water also causes hair fading.
Extreme Hairstyles And Excessive Use Of Heating Products
It is generally healthy to blow-dry your hair after some time and plait it nicely. However, some styles, such as cornrows and pigtails, pull the hair extremely and may lead to hair loss. Regularly exposing hair to heat destroys the follicles by drying them, leading to massive hair fall. It might get worse if scarring occurs since your hair may never grow again.
Dieting right is not only good for your general health and smooth skin but also improves hair growth. An unhealthy diet can contribute to hair loss. Here’s how: You see, Vitamin E is essential for healthy hair growth, and your body produces less as you grow old. If this is also lacking in your diet, then it might cost you your hair.
Anemia results from lack of enough iron in the body and has been attributed to hair loss, especially in women. Research says that if levels of iron decrease in the body, the follicles may not sufficiently grow new cells. However, hair loss due to anemia is not permanent and is easily treatable.
Stress is responsible for deprived health, poor skins and hair loss as well. If you’ve been losing hair and you can’t see any reason, then you could only be stressed. Signs of stress include lack of sleep, irritability, and general sadness. Hair loss due to stress is temporary and will regrow once you get back your peace of mind.
Also known as androgenic alopecia, heredity is the most common cause of hair loss. If your family has a history of baldness, then you are prone to losing your hair. It occurs slowly from as early as puberty and happens in predictable patterns. This can affect both men and women and can only be countered by medical treatment.
Medical Conditions And Hormonal Changes
Medical conditions such as alopecia areata (an autoimmune related disease that causes dryness of hair), trichotillomania (A hair-pulling disorder), ringworm, and thyroid disease may cause temporary or permanent hair loss.
Hormonal changes result from pregnancy, childbirth, menopause and taking a break from contraceptives and can also lead to hair fall.
Chemotherapy and head radiation therapy can cause hair to fall. Also, the drugs used against cancer, heart problems, diabetes, and other diseases can prompt your hair to fall.
How To Prevent Hair Loss
Be Mindful Of How You Treat Your Hair
- Stay away from hairstyles that require the extreme pulling of the hair.
- Avoid chemical treatments
- Avoid combing or brushing your hair when it’s wet.
- Use a wide-toothed comb to avoid pulling hair out.
- Avoid using strong shampoos. Mild and natural ones will serve your hair right.
- Treat your hair to oil massages.
- Avoid rubbing your hair. After a bath, let it dry naturally.
- Protect your hair from sunlight.
Filter Your Water
We are always conscious of the water we drink, but when it comes to bathing and laundry, who cares? The result is patchy hair and dandruff, and the reason behind it is not known. Hard water is toxic to your hair, and the only means to avert the danger is by softening it. Luckily, shower filters are readily available and are effective. With soft water, you can rest assured that your hair and skin will remain intact.
Improve Your Diet
Vitamin E and proteins are essential for the proper growth of hair. Sources of Vitamin E include vegetables, soybeans, pumpkin, peanuts. Also, eat plenty of fruit. They are rich in Vitamin A, which improves blood flow to the hair follicles. Eating a lot of proteins keeps anemia at bay, which in turn prevents hair fall.
If you are undergoing chemotherapy, ask your doctor for a cooling cap. It is worn before, during, and after treatment and lowers the risk of hair loss. Also, ask for medications that are less likely to cause hair fall.
Scientists link smoking to hair loss because it affects blood circulation and weakens the immune system. Men who smoke are prone to going bald.
Combat Your Stress.
You can lower your stress levels by engaging in physical activity and spending time with people. That way, one cause of hair fall will have been dealt with.
If, after all, the hair loss is not hereditary, it can certainly be prevented. There is nothing as sad as being responsible for your own hair fall. Always be gentle with your hair. Make sure to bathe with soft water, and your head will maintain its glory.