We shed hair at a rate of approximately 50-100 strands per day. However, anything in excess of this is considered as beyond-normal hair loss. Factors that may influence hair loss include heredity, illness, and ageing.
Hair loss can either be permanent or temporary. Most cases lean on the temporary side, with flare-ups that are triggered by factors such as illness, weight changes, excessive stress, and iron deficiency.
There are several possible root causes of hair loss. These causes create various forms of hair loss which look different from each other:
Gradual thinning of hair on the top of the head. This is the most common hair loss form, and it affects both males and females. Males experience a receding hairline starting from the forehead and going backwards. Females experience an increased outward broadening that starts from their hair partings.
Patchy and circular bald spots. These spots are typically the size of a coin and can affect the scalp. Some people even experience bald spots on their beards and eyebrow hairs. Pain and itchiness may often accompany the spots.
Sudden hair loosening. This happens when hair suddenly comes out in handfuls during washing and combing. You may also notice it while finger-combing your hair. Loosening hairs can lead to gradual hair thinning.
Full-body hair loss. This is a hair loss type where there is loss of hair from the entire body, not just from the head. This condition can be the result of a medication course such as chemotherapy or certain illnesses. Hair regrows once the illness completely heals or the medications are discontinued.
Losing hair can become mentally devastating both to females and males alike. You may ask your doctor for a referral to a counsellor or a support group with people experiencing the same hair loss problems as you.
You can help avoid and stop hair loss by adhering to the following strategies:
You may consider limiting or stopping the use of the following hair products to ease your hair fall:
If you absolutely need to style hair using dryers or heated combs, make sure to thoroughly dry hair first before applying heat. Also, use the lowest heat settings in styling your hair.
UK hair loss clinics report skyrocketing statistics about hair loss in the country. 1/3 of men over the age of 25 already struggle with hair loss problems. Around 40% of women face the same dilemma. And since hair loss increases as one age, the numbers rise to a prevalence rate of 70% of men aged 70 years old and above. And 39% of men lose hair altogether.
British surveys also revealed that men are more afraid of losing their hair than they fear losing their job. This reflects the seriousness of hair loss and the emotional blow that a person struggling with it have to experience.
Here are the three common types of hair loss prevalent in the UK today:
A person needs to undergo physical examinations conducted by a physician and dermatologist. They can determine the root cause of hair loss through this. Lifestyle changes and medications may then be prescribed once the physicians point out the main cause of your hair loss.
Hair loss causes may take a bit of time to be determined fully. For instance, if the physician suspects an autoimmune disorder behind the hair loss, he may send the patient for biopsy – obtaining a small amount of skin from the patient and testing it in a lab to look for possible causation of hair loss. Biopsy is just among the many possible alternative diagnostic methods your doctor may perform if he suspects a medical condition underlying your hair loss problem.
Over-the-counter medications such as topical creams and gels are usually the treatment of choice for managing hair loss. These remedies are directly rubbed into the scalp to promote hair growth and stop excessive shedding. Prescription oral medications may also be an option if your hair loss is worse than usual. However, these oral medications may have unpleasant side effects that may not feel worthy of tolerating just to bring back lost hair.
Severe forms of hair loss may require hair transplant surgery. This procedure involves small plugs of skin with a few hair strands being moved to bald parts of the scalp. The surgery can be costly and runs the risk of having patchy hair growth and scarring in the future.
Another treatment option for severe hair loss is micro-pigmentation. It is a cosmetic technique involving a tattoo that closely resembles a shaved or clipped hairstyle. The tattoo is then carefully applied to the balding head.
Proper treatment may reverse or completely resolve hair loss. However, inherited hair loss may be more challenging to treat and mplete success in reversing the condition may not be fully achieved.