Hair loss, also known as alopecia or baldness, is a loss of hair from the head or body, although it is commonly associated with the head. A normal adult may lose 50-100 hairs a day, although there can be differences in the severity of hair loss. As per estimates, 80 million Americans suffer from male / female pattern baldness and others suffer hair loss due to stress, autoimmune disorders and other factors.
Men Vs Women
Hair loss does not recognize gender boundaries and affects both the sexes, albeit differently. Men develop a bald spot or a receding hairline, while women experience a gradual thinning of hair.
Male pattern baldness is a major cause of hair loss among men and in this condition, hair recedes at the temples and leaves an M-shaped hairline. Female-pattern hair loss is the female version of male pattern baldness.
Permanent Vs Temporary
Some kinds of hair loss, such as male and female pattern baldness, are permanent and are noticeable across the family. Other types are temporary and can be caused by an illness, stress and cancer treatment.
Causes of Hair loss
Hair loss may take place due to a variety of reasons ranging from a simple vitamin deficiency to complex health conditions.
Genetic factors are the most common cause of hair loss, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. The suspect gene can be inherited from the mother’s side or the father’s side of the family tree, or from both.
Physical trauma such as surgery, accidents and illnesses can cause temporary hair loss. Hair has a programmed life cycle, which includes a growth phase, rest phase and shedding phase, and a stressful event can disturb this hair cycle.
Divorce and death of a loved one can lead to emotional stress, thereby causing hair loss.
Chemotherapy not only destroys the rapidly dividing cancerous cells, but also other cells such as hair.
Treatment for Hair Loss
A multi-pronged strategy is necessary to fight hair loss. A diet rich in whole grains, salmon, oysters and eggs is an important antidote to hair loss. The Niacin, folic acid, B6 and B12 present in whole grains stimulate hair follicles. Salmons provide vitamin B and omega-3 fatty acids, which spur the healthy growth of hair locks. Oysters are rich in antioxidants and zinc, which help the body to repair damaged hair and strengthen follicles. Eggs are an important source of a B vitamin called biotin, which stimulates new cell growth in the hair.
Male pattern baldness and female pattern baldness can also be treated with the use of drugs. However, drugs are not 100% effective and can be pretty expensive. DHT Blockers can also block the formation of DHT or Dihydrotestosterone, which causes hair loss by restricting the blood supply to hair follicles. Herbs and nutrients are some examples of natural DHT blockers. Steroid injections, steroid creams and immunotherapy are other forms of treatment.
Excessive hair loss need not be worrying and scary after all.
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