Hair Loss [ Alopecia ]
What is Hair Loss [ alopecia ]?
Hair is a matter of concern for everyone and that makes everyone curious to know about what normal hair loss is and what amount of hair loss can lead to baldness.
Everyone should know each hair follicle has its own cycle that can be influenced by age, disease, and other factors. At one point about 90 % of the hair on a person’s scalp is growing.
As hair follicles produce new hair cells, old cells are being pushed out through the surface of the skin at the rate of about six-inch a year; the hair you can see is actually a string of dead keratin cells.
The average adult head has about 100,000 to 150,000 hairs and loses up to 100 hair a day.
And finding few hair strands on comb is not a cause for alarm. About 50-100 hair falls per day is normal.
Hair life cycle is divided into three phases :
• Anagen — active hair growth that lasts between two to six years.
• Catagen — transitional hair growth that lasts two to three weeks.
• Telogen – falling phase that lasts about two to three months; at the end of the resting phase the hair is shed and a new hair replaces it and the growing cycle starts again.
Types of hair loss :
1. Generalized or Diffuse hair loss or Telogen Effluvium:
Hairloss is a normal phenomenon and in some cases even losing 100 hair loss per day is normal. But in Telogen Effluvium there will be excessive amount of hair loss without sort of pattern balding over the scalp. This phenomenon happen normally after childbirth, after suffering from prolong fever like typhoid, malaria, chikungunya, dengue or with some history of prolong bed-rest. In this kind of condition more and more scalp hairs are coming into Telogen phase (normal 10-20% of scalp hairs) causing more and more of hairloss. This condition is mostly self-limiting and sometimes needs a prompt and effective treatment. Some perceptible causes for this kind of hair loss are severe stress, nutritional changes (crash dieting), chemical (dye or hair color, after straightening, perming of hairs), hormonal changes like pregnancy, puberty, and menopause, and some disease conditions like PCOS, thyroid diseases, iron deficiency anemia are also responsible.
2. Traction Alopecia:
This is a small or localized hair loss area caused by repetitive or persistent pulling or force on hair roots. Tight braids and ponytails can pull hard enough on hairs to make them fall out.
This condition is habit of voluntarily pulling at own hairs or twisting them without realizing it. Most of the time, this condition is associated with period of depression or anxiety. It causes some broken off hairs over some particular patches of the scalp.
4. Tinea Capitis:
This condition is fungal infection over the scalp shows bald spots with broken-off hairs. Due to fungal infection over a particular area of the scalp the hairs are broken from the shaft.
5. Androgenic or Androgenetic alopecia (Male-pattern or Female-pattern Baldness).
This type of alopecia is often attributed to genetic predisposition and family history. Traditionally, this was originally described only in men, but we now know it is seen in both men and women. The hair loss in men is often faster, earlier onset, and more extensive.
Causes of hair loss :
1. Genes: both parents may influence a person’s predisposition to male or female pattern baldness.
2. Prolonged Stress, childbirth, fungal infection can cause hair loss.
3. Chemical and cosmetic procedures: such as dyeing, perming, straightening, bleaching can damage and break the hair.
4. Medical conditions: typhoid, anemia, lupus, lichen planus can cause hair loss and in some cases, if scarring is there than permanent hair loss can occur.
5. Diet: a low protein diet and severely calorie-restricted diet.
6. Drugs: certain drugs such as chemotherapy drugs, blood thinners, blood pressure medicines, birth control pills can also cause hair loss.
7. Burns, injury, x-rays can cause temporary hair loss.
8. Hormones: abnormal level of androgens produced by both men and women.
Complications of hair loss :
Hair loss if neglected in early stages can cause permanent hair loss or complete baldness.
Hair loss in children and young generation affects the quality of life can cause low self-esteem, depression…and social withdrawal.
DO’S AND DON’TS IN HAIR LOSS:
• Avoid harsh chemicals like dyes, gel, or creams.
• Avoid excessive use of hairdryers and other gadgets on hair.
• Avoid combing in wet hair.
• Avoid stress and stressful surroundings.
• Start meditation and practice yoga to avoid daily stress.
• Always take nutritious diet which is full of minerals and antioxidants.
• Never ignore early symptoms start the treatment early to get good results.