Hair growth is cyclic. So a normal hair on your head goes through the growing stage for two to six years. After this, it stops growing and rests on your head for about two to three months. Once the hair has rested, it falls out. Every hair that falls out is then replaced by a new one that once again goes through this three stage cycle. At any point of time therefore, some hair is in the growing phase, some in the resting phase and some in the falling phase. But anything more than this can be easily classified as being abnormal and people suffering from this degree of hair loss should immediately consult a dermatologist or trichologist to control this phenomenon.
What Are The Main Causes Of Hair Loss?
Protein Deficiency: Hair is made up of a protein called keratin. While a diet that is high on protein helps you maintain your normal head of a hair, a protein deficient diet is a major cause of hair loss. In a day and age where fast, supermarket food and crash dieting is in vogue and balanced diets are a thing of the past, hair loss caused due to protein deficiency is extremely common, especially in women and strict vegetarians. Taking a balanced diet that includes protein in the form of poultry, fish, meat, eggs, cheese, tofu, grains and nuts can help in restoring hair to its natural health and prevent abnormal hair loss.
Androgenic Alopecia: Androgenic alopecia is commonly known as pattern baldness and is the most common cause of hair loss in adults. Pattern hair loss follows a pattern where hair first thins out at the front of the scalp causing a receding hairline, then moves towards the back and the top of the head. This kind of progressive hair loss is often hereditary and contrary to popular belief, also affects women who experience thinning but not absolute hair loss like what is seen in the case of men.
As of date, there is no cure for pattern baldness, but a number of remedies are available for delaying and treating this problem. Some of the most common over the counter treatments are Monoxidil and Finasteride. While Finasteride is a prescription drug used for treatment of hair loss in men only, Monoxidil is topically applied on the scalp to stop hair loss in both men and women. Another common treatment nowadays is hair transplantation, which ends up giving people a head full of natural hair when done professionally and properly.
Stress and Illness: After a continued period of high stress or a shocking episode like a death in the family, it is quite common to lose large amounts of hair. This happens four to twelve weeks after the stressing out episode. Major illnesses that require strong medications, surgery, infections or high fever also often cause this kind of hair loss. In most cases, the situation corrects itself naturally but treatment may also be required in some cases to control hair loss.
Hormonal Imbalance: Hair loss due to hormonal imbalance is quite common in women who often lose hair badly in the case of hypothyroidism or when they take birth control pills. Many other hormones also play an important part in hair loss and while this condition can generally be treated with medication and hormone replacement therapy, it can become irreversible if it is left too late.
Pregnancy And Childbirth: When women are pregnant, hair that is supposed to enter the resting phase keeps on growing and even a normal hair fall of 50 to 100 hairs per day is stopped. However, once the child is delivered, a large number of hairs enter the resting phase as a result of which an abnormally high hair fall rate is experienced two to three months after delivery as all this hair falls out together. This situation generally corrects itself naturally if a woman eats a balanced diet and does not different from any kind of deficiency.
Medication: A number of strong drugs and medication often causes large amounts of hair loss. While drugs used in chemotherapy generally cause all hair to fall out, many other drugs used in treating heart diseases, arthritis, psoriasis , gout and acne often cause noticeable hair loss.
Infections: Fungal or Ringworm infections often cause hair loss in both children and adults, resulting in hair falling out in patches. This is generally treated using topical anti fungals and oral medication.
Alopecia Areata: This is a hair loss disease where hair falls out of the scalp resulting in coin sized, round and smooth patches. This disease afflicts both children and adults but can be treated using steroids.