Hair brings confidence and happiness to an individual and improves the attitude of the person. But the problem of hair fall shatters the personality of one and all. It is now no longer limited to elderly people but also affecting the younger generation. No one from us wants to encounter this scary feeling of hair loss. Usually every day there is a hair fall which is very normal. But, some people may experience excessive loss in a day or month.
This type can affect men, women and children. The DHT (Dihydrotestosterone) – the male sex hormone – is the primary trigger for male and female pattern baldness. In addition, more and more follicles go into the resting phase with growing age leading to gradual thinning of hair. Most commonly, hair loss is related with determined genetic factors, family history, and the overall aging process. Many men and women may notice a mild and often normal physiologic thinning of hair starting in their thirties and forties. Further some time, normal life variations including temporary severe stress, nutritional changes, and hormonal changes like those in pregnancy, puberty, and menopause may cause a reversible hair loss. There are many other causes of scalp loss and they do differ individually.
Among adults, the most common cause of loss is Androgenetic Alopecia, sometimes called male or female pattern baldness. It can affect both men and women although men experience a much visible degree of loss. In women, Androgenetic Alopecia appears as diffuse hair loss occurring over most of the scalp. In men however the pattern of loss usually starts with a receding hairline which then advances to thin the top of the head. However, it is now known that it is more specifically the male hormone dihydrotestosterone – DHT (which is converted from testosterone by the enzymes 5 alpha reductase) which contributes to Androgenetic Alopecia in those who are genetically predisposed. It is interesting to note that individuals with a deficiency in 5 alpha reductase do not develop Androgenetic Alopecia. It also can occur in people who take steroids like testosterone to build their bodies.
Alopecia Areata is thought to be an auto-immune disease of the hair, initially appearing as a rounded bare patch about an inch across. These can get bigger, and in a small number of cases, can progress to total hair loss. It affects both men and women equally and is often experienced first in childhood. The hair usually grows back within a year, but not always. Sometimes people with alopecia areata lose their hair again. There are three types of Alopecia Areata which are named according to their severity. Alopecia Areata is mild patchy loss on the scalp Alopecia Totalis is the loss of all scalp Alopecia Universalis is the loss of scalp and all body hair.
: It is a psychosomatic disorder in which people over and over again pull their hair out, often leaving bald patches. As an outcome, it causes baldness by damaging hair of different lengths. People with trichotillomania usually need professional help from a specialist or other mental health professional before they are able to stop pulling their hair out.
Excessive Hair Treatments and Styling:
Getting hair treatments frequently like applying chemicals such as coloring, bleaching, straightening, and applying heat to hair (like using a hot iron or hot blow drying) can cause damage that may make the hair break off or fall out temporarily. Hair fall due to hair styling can be permanent. So avoid wearing hair pulled so tightly that it places tension on the scalp can result in a condition called traction alopecia. Traction alopecia can be permanent if the style is worn for a long enough time that it damages the follicles.
This is one of the commonest reasons for loss, especially in India. Iron deficiency (anemia) tops the list and is followed by protein deficiency. Improper absorption of the nutrients can also lead to poor nutrition. This is why some people with eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia lose their hair. The body isn’t getting enough protein, vitamins, and minerals to sustain growth. Some teens who are vegetarians also lose their hair if they don’t get enough protein from non-meat sources. Disorder in the hair growth cycle: Several major factors can change the growth cycle temporarily. For example, delivering a baby, having surgery, going through a traumatic event, or having a serious illness or high fever can temporarily cause shedding of large amounts of hair. Because the hair we see on our heads has actually taken months to grow, a person might not notice any disruption of the growth cycle until months after the event that caused it. This type of hair loss corrects itself.
: Hormonal problems may cause loss. Pregnancy, childbirth, menopause, hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, etc. can lead to significant hair loss. If your thyroid gland is overactive or underactive, your hair may fall out. This loss usually can be helped by treatment thyroid disease. Hair loss may occur if male or female hormones, known as androgens and estrogens, are out of balance. Correcting the hormone imbalance may stop your loss.
Medications and Infections:
Some medicines can cause hair loss. Medicines that can cause hair loss include blood thinners (also called anticoagulants), medicines used for gout, medicines used in chemotherapy to treat cancer, vitamin A (if too much is taken), birth control pills and antidepressants. Diet pills that contain amphetamines also can cause loss. This type of loss improves when you stop taking the medicine. Certain infections can cause loss. Fungal infections of the scalp can cause hair loss in children. The infection is easily treated with antifungal medicines. Hair loss may occur due to poor blood circulation, mental stress, or while recovering from a serious illness such as high fever, sudden or excessive weight loss, after a surgery or from metabolic disturbances. Since loss may be an early sign of a disease, it is important to find the cause so that it can be treated.