As part the hairs’ normal growth cycle, people tend to lose about 100 hairs every day. However, with the average scalp containing about 100,000 hairs, this should not be enough to cause evident hair thinning or even noticeable bald patches on the head. If somehow, you notice that you are losing hair such that the thinning or bald patches become evident, then you may be experiencing hair loss.
Generally, the development of hair loss is gradual and may tend to either be patchy or diffused. Alopecia, which is the general medical term for hair loss, does not only occur on a person’s scalp but may affect the entire body as well. While genetics usually accounts for about 95% of hair loss on the scalp, there are also some other factors such as medications and illnesses which can cause balding on other parts of the body.
Some of the various factors which can cause evident hair loss are the following.
Medications – Some forms of medications are known to cause hair loss. A concrete example to this is the various medications used for treating cancer specifically chemotherapy, which is widely known to attack the hair follicles of the body and thereby cause balding. Some medications used for treating gout and high blood pressure are also known to have side effects which include the shedding of hair.
Surgery or Illnesses – The strain that an individual experiences due to surgery or an existing illness can also be a cause for the body to temporarily stop some non-priority tasks in the body like hair production. Some conditions may also cause this including lupus, syphilis, severe infection, thyroid disorders and iron deficiency. A certain autoimmune condition referred to as alopecia areata is also found to cause rapid hair loss which affects the entire body.
Aging – For some individuals, hair thinning and slowed hair growth may not necessarily be caused by an illness or a hereditary condition but is considered to be a natural effect of aging.
Hormonal Imbalance – Among women, hair loss may be due to hormonal imbalances caused by pregnancy and childbirth, usage of birth control pills, and menopause.
Nutritional Deficiency – Crash dieting and various eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia are known to cause hair loss as well as the ceasing of hair growth. People who do not have enough minerals, protein and vitamins may experience this condition as well.
Certain Hairstyles and Hair Treatments – Various tight hairstyles and also those which make use of rollers, barrettes and rubber bands can damage the hair follicles and thereby cause hair fall. The misuse or overuse of hair treatments especially those which contain a lot of chemical products can also lead to hair loss.
There are various types of hair loss and each type more often not carries different symptoms which may show either on the head or other parts of the body.
Male-pattern Baldness or Female-pattern Baldness
The male-pattern or female-pattern baldness is given such a name because generally, it makes itself evident following a set pattern. For men, the male-pattern baldness generally begins around their late 20s or early 30s. By the time men reach their late 30s, the condition may already show a certain hair loss degree. The first stage of the condition is usually characterized by a receding hairline which is then followed by the thinning of hair located on the temples or the crown of the head, leaving a shape of hair similar to that of a horseshoe around the sides and the back of head. This condition can develop into complete baldness. However, this progress is not very common.
When it comes to women, it is generally known that hair thinning is a gradual process which comes with age. Usually, women will tend to lose some hair only from the top of the head. This condition becomes fairly evident after a woman’s menopausal stage.
Scarring alopecia is generally caused by some other underlying health condition. Because of this, the symptoms which you may experience may include some other symptoms which are related to that health condition aside from the hair loss itself. Unlike other types of hair loss, the location of the skin where the hair loss took place is probably affected in one way or another. In this certain type of hair loss, the hair follicles are generally damaged and are then replaced by scar tissues. This prevents new hair from growing, making the hair loss permanent.
Alopecia areata is a certain hair loss condition which is characterized by patches of baldness with sizes which are similar to that of a large coin. Generally, these patches show on the scalp. However, it can also appear on other parts of the body. Usually, this is the only symptom. But then again, even though it is very uncommon, the fingernails may be affected as well, giving it a rough look.
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In most cases of this condition, the hair of individuals experiencing it will tend to grow back after a number of months. At first, the newly grown hair is white and tends to be fine. But eventually, the hair will recover its normal thickness and color.
However, while other people may regain their hair, alopecia areata may progress into a much more severe type of hair loss, like alopecia universalis and alopecia totalis, for some people.
Aside from the ones mentioned above, there are other forms of hair loss which have their own set of symptoms. If you somehow happen to experience one or two of these symptoms, it is highly advised for you to consult your health care practitioner in order for you to fully understand what it is you are going through. These days, there are now different kinds of treatments for hair loss ranging from medicines recommended by doctors to remedies which you can find in your own home. Learning all you can about the condition will also prove to be truly useful. Thus, it will be greatly helpful for you to read articles form health magazines and from reliable websites as well.
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