Hair loss is a condition which can affect not just a person’s scalp but the entire body as well. Alopecia is the general medical term used for hair loss. This condition can affect hair growth and can even lead to permanent hair loss in severe conditions.
Normally, a person loses about fifty to one hundred hairs in a day. But then again, the scalp contains more or less one hundred thousand hairs. Thus, this little amount of hair loss should not be enough to cause an evident thinning of the hair in the scalp.
The hair does have a tendency to gradually get thinner as a person ages. But aside from aging, hair loss also has other causes including the following.
The most common reason for hair loss is a particular hereditary condition referred to as male-pattern or female-pattern baldness. For people suffering this condition, some particular sex hormones tend to bring out a certain pattern of permanent hair loss. While it is more common among men, women can also be at risk to this condition. This kind of hair thinning or hair loss can start as early as the puberty stage.
Aside from heredity, other hormonal factors such as hormonal imbalances and hormonal changes can also be the cause of temporary hair loss. Some events that could trigger this hair loss condition include the discontinuation of the usage of birth control pills, pregnancy and childbirth and also the beginning of menopause.
Certain Diseases and Medical Conditions
There are some types of medical condition which may be the cause of hair loss. Thyroid problems, for example, may result to hair loss. Since the thyroid gland is responsible for regulating the hormonal levels in the body, hampering its function may lead to hair loss. Scalp infections, like ringworm, may also attack the skin of your scalp which may then lead to hair loss. However, the hair will tend to generally grow back after the treatment of the infection.
A certain disease, known as alopecia areata, takes place when the immune system of the body attacks the hair follicles. This in turn, causes smooth and somewhat round patches in the scalp. Some types of skin disorders are also known to cause hair loss especially diseases which tend to leave scars. Permanent hair loss may become evident to areas where the scars take their place.
Some Forms of Medication
Some drugs which are used as treatment for certain medical conditions can cause hair loss. Such drugs include those which are used for the treatment of cancer, heart problems, arthritis, high blood pressure and depression.
Aside from the ones mentioned above, there are also other factors which may cause hair loss. A certain mental disorder known as hair-pulling disorder is characterized by a person having an irresistible urge of pulling out their hair not just from their scalp but also from other areas of the body such as the eyebrows. This illness usually results to having bald patches on the head and other parts of the body. Even emotional or physical shock can lead to hair loss. Some people who have undergone such shocks experience thinning of their hair a number of months after the shock took place. Some instances of such shocks include a death of a loved one or family member, sudden or extreme weight loss and high fever.
Some people tend to become much more susceptible to hair loss than other people. Listed below are some of the risk factors involved with hair loss among men and women.
Heredity and Family History
Your risk of experiencing hair loss increases if you have relatives on either or both sides of your family who have also experienced the condition. Heredity will also tend to affect the time when you start losing hair, how fast the hair loss will develop, and the extent and pattern of the hair loss or baldness.
If you are not able to feed your body with enough essential dietary sources such as protein and iron, then you may experience thinning out of your hair. Also, hair loss which is associated with malnutrition more often than not goes along with crash dieting and various eating disorders.
Various Hair Treatments
The misuse or overuse of various hair treatments such as permanent hair waves, hair straighteners and hair color products can cause your hair to become very brittle leading to breakage both in the strands or off from the scalp. Too much hairstyling and various tight hairstyles are also known to cause a condition called traction alopecia.
A lot of individuals who suffer from hair loss or alopecia tend to find it fairly difficult to cope with this condition mainly because it does not just target the person physically but because the person’s confidence and self-esteem will be attacked as well.
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For some kinds of hair loss, the hair may carry on with its growth after some time without the use of any treatment. However, for some conditions, drugs and some forms of treatments may be needed either to promote or encourage the growth of hair or to hide the patches of hair loss. If an underlying disease is the cause of the hair loss, it is then necessary to have that disease treated. Some medications which have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for treating hair loss include Finasteride (Propecia) and Minoxidil (Rogaine).
Aside from using medications, some people even resort to surgeries such as scalp reduction and hair transplant in order to treat hair loss or baldness. However, such procedures are quite expensive and can be very painful. Also, they may include risks such as scarring and infection.
If somehow, you do not respond to medical treatments or would not resort to surgical procedures, you may opt to wear hairpieces or wigs in order to hide your baldness. Wigs and hairpieces can be very effective items for covering temporary or permanent hair loss. These days, it is fairly easy to find natural looking wigs and hairpieces of high and good quality.
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