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  5. Hair Loss: 10 Causes, Treatments and Prevention Tips

Losing a few strands in the day while combing is normal. But when you start to notice hair everywhere in your home, does it shock you? We know exactly how you feel about dealing with hair fall.

That's why we spoke to hair care experts at SkinKraft to help you out. This is your guide to the various causes of hair fall, treatments and preventive measures.

Signs And Symptoms Of Hair Loss

Hair loss can occur suddenly or gradually. While some kinds of hair loss are temporary, some are permanent. The most common symptoms of hair loss are:

  • Gradual thinning at the forehead or receding hairline
  • Circular patchy bald spots or alopecia [1]
  • Loosening of hair
  • Patches of scaling due to an infection
  • Full body hair loss due to medical treatments like chemotherapy

What Causes Hair Fall?

1. Heredity

Hair loss caused due to genetic makeup is a natural condition. It is called androgenetic alopecia [2] and is common in men. It is also called male-pattern baldness or hereditary-pattern baldness.

2. Hormonal Changes

Women experience hormonal changes during pregnancy, childbirth, menopause or during a change of contraceptives. Hormonal changes affect the growth cycle of hair and lead to increased hair fall.

Childbirth involves extreme stress on the body and can push a lot of hair follicles to a resting phase or telogen phase. Telogen effluvium [3] is a term used to describe this sort of hair loss from the scalp. But fret not, this condition is totally reversible.

3. Medications And Radiation Therapy

Medications like chemotherapeutic [4] drugs, antidepressants, arthritis and high blood pressure drugs can lead to hair loss. Radiation therapy is used to treat cancer and it can lead to hair loss.

4. Stress

Whether you are stressing about work or personal issues or about your hair loss itself, stop! Stress can deprive your hair of essential nutrients making them weaker. Studies show that some people can develop alopecia in prolonged periods of stress or emotional trauma. Remedy? Yoga, meditation or work out for a healthy mind and body.

5. Excessive Hair Styling

Noone likes to repeat hairstyles, right? In an attempt to look chic and trendy, we put our hair through heat styling and other damaging styling techniques. Such procedures like bleaching, perming, curling and straightening can lead to hair breakage.

6. Hair Care Products

Harsh chemicals in hair care products like shampoos can lead to hair fall. It is important to choose a gentle shampoo that is made for you. Know your hair before you figure out your shampoos and conditioners.

7. Infections

Fungal and bacterial skin infections [5] can reduce the amount of hair on your scalp, causing balding or hair thinning. Treating conditions like syphilis can restore your hair growth.

8. Vitamin Deficiency

Your hair is made up of protein [6], amino acids and peptide bonds. To nourish these structures, it is important to eat a balanced diet. Lack of proteins (animal or plant sources), iron, zinc, vitamin C and B in your diet can cause hairfall.

9. Pollution

A study found out that dust and fuel particles from the air can affect the scalp and interfere with hair proteins. Air pollution is one of the causes of premature hair loss and greying of hair. Check out SkinKraft’s customized hair care that can save your hair from environmental damage.

10. Lifestyle Habits

Lifestyle habits like inadequate sleep, working outdoors in the sun and smoking can cause hair loss. All these disrupt the mechanisms in the body that make healthy hair.

How To Stop & Control Hair Fall?

1. Medications

If you have been trying medications for hair regrowth, you must be well aware of Minoxidil. Minoxidil [7] is an over-the-counter drug that is believed to help in hair growth. Be gentle with the concentrations as high dosage can lead to scalp irritation and acne.

Phenylephrine is another medication that helps the hair follicles to contract, thereby preventing hair breakage when pulled.

Finasteride is also a medication that is available on prescription and helps in hair growth.

Word Of Caution:

If you are planning a pregnancy, avoid finasteride.

2. In-Office Treatment Options

A. Hair Transplantation

Hair transplantation involves the surgical removal of hair follicles from a donor site in your body to the areas of baldness. This is a minimally invasive procedure and commonly performed for male pattern baldness.

B. Scalp Reduction

Scalp reduction, as the name suggests, is a procedure that involves surgical removal of regions of scalp that are affected by baldness. It is like scalp lifting and is performed in both men and women.

C. Laser Therapy

People with genetic hair loss or chemotherapy can benefit from low-level lasers [8]. The red light therapy works by stimulating epidermal stem cells.

D. Platelet-rich plasma

Your blood is run through a centrifuge to separate out platelets. This platelet rich plasma is then induced in your scalp for hair growth [9].

3. Alternative medicine

People have been using natural methods since ages to help prevent hair loss, though there is no scientific evidence. Onion juice, hibiscus leaves, massaging with essential oils, coconut oil, green tea and aloe vera are common natural treatments for hair growth.

4. Diet

Have a protein rich diet. Include amla in your diet as it prevents hair fall and greying of hair. Dr. Zeel, our in-house doctor, recommends you to cut down on salt and spice.

She says, “Coconut and moong beans are exceptionally good for preventing hair loss. Excess salt consumption is a definite cause of early greying and hair fall.” Consumption of raw Aloe leaf juice regularly will help balance hormones and prevent hair fall linked with hormones.

Hair Fall Prevention Tips

  • Switch to a balanced diet.
  • Get adequate sleep.
  • Steer clear of tight hairstyles.
  • Pop a multivitamin tablet.
  • Cover your hair with a scarf when you are out in the pollution.
  • Stay away from hair styling techniques as much as possible.
  • Regular oil massages will calm the mind, relieve stress and strengthen the roots.
  • Washing hair with hot water can cause hair fall. Cool water is always recommended for hair wash.

Pro Tip:

Restrict the application of shampoo to the hair to a minimum. Shampoo can be used to wash the dirt off the scalp. Don't apply conditioner to the scalp but to the hair length starting from your ears. Conditioners can form a protective layer against pollution.

Diagnosing Hair Loss

1. Pull Test

This is a manual examination where your doctor pulls out a few dozens of hair to see how many come out [10].

2. Blood Test

A blood test can help determine an underlying medical condition associated with hair loss.

3. Scalp Biopsy

Scalp skin is scraped out or hair is plucked to examine hair follicles.

Is Hair Loss In Women Different Than Men?

Androgenetic alopecia (hair loss due to genetics) affects men due to high levels of male hormones (androgens). It affects a minority of women [11] too, due to high levels of androgen in blood. In women, other factors like hormonal imbalances during pregnancy can cause hair fall.

When To See A Doctor?

If you notice sudden and unusual hair loss, talk to your doctor. Sudden hair loss can be a sign of an underlying medical condition. You can also see a doctor if you are worried about your long term hair loss and want to take a treatment.

How Long Does It Take For Hair To Grow Back After Hair Loss?

Whether or not the hair grows back depends on the kind of hair loss. In cases like telogen effluvium, hair grows back within 3-6 months. Consult your doctor to understand that hair regrowth time based on the in-office treatment you are opting for.

Wrapping Up

We hope that all the above preventive measures and timely treatments make sure you no longer see hair clogging up your shower. Talk to your doctor before you adopt any of the hair loss treatments. Also, remember that hairfall has phases and some hair strands that are falling, are already in telogen i.e. shedding phase for a while. So, the difference in hair fall reduction can never be observed immediately. Be patient to see results.

Begin By Knowing Your Skin

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