Hair loss: what causes it, how to prevent it and how to treat it!

rachel.wrachel.w
Aug. 27, 2020
Hair loss – ironically, it’s so stressful it makes you want to rip your hair out!
But over 80 million men and women in America alone suffer from hair loss. And it’s not spoken about enough.
While its normal to lose between 50 and 100 hairs a day, new hair normally replaces the old hair so the loss is hardly noticeable. But those suffering from hair loss might start noticing an increase of hair caught up in the shower drain, clumps coming out in your hair brush and thinning and bald spots covering the scalp.
What are the causes of hair loss?
Hair loss can occur no matter your age, sex or lifestyle. 
Most hair loss comes down to your health, your emotions or your genetics. 
Firstly, hormonal changes that occur due to pregnancy and childbirth, birth control and menopause can all activate hair loss. Beside hormones, hair loss could also be a symptom of a health condition such as thyroid disease, alopecia and scalp infections. That is why you should always get medical advice if you start to notice your hair is thinning.
Prescribed medications are also known to cause hair loss. Most commonly, medications used to treat cancer, high blood pressure and heart problems result in hair loss. If you are taking any medications, check the packet to read up on any potential side effects. 
Sometimes hair loss is a result of a big life change. All too often we overlook the link between the emotional and the physical and things like relationship break downs, job changes or deaths can all cause hair loss. 
Finally, hair loss might be written in your DNA. You’re likely to be predisposed to hair loss if your close relatives have also experienced hair thinning. 
But remember, hair loss is not the end of the world. And there are plenty of things you can do to prevent your hair from looking sparse. 
How do you prevent hair loss?
Simple changes to your hair care such as refraining from tight hairstyles like braids, ponytails and buns that put pressure on your hair or switching to gentler shampoos and conditioners made for infants can do a world of good for your hair. 
Also stay away from styling tools such as blow dryers, straighteners or curlers that put unnecessary and harmful heat on your hair. And don’t go anywhere near hair colour kits or bleach – instead stick to your natural hair colour. 
Finally, try and make your diet as healthy and balanced as possible. To build up the strength of your hair make sure you are getting enough iron and protein in your meals – even if that means switching out the potatoes and pasta for the beans and lentils. 
How do you treat hair loss?
Preventative measures are all well and good but some people prefer to get to the root of the problem and treat the hair loss. The good news is that a lot of time and effort has been put into treating hair loss. The current options available range from medications all the way to surgical procedures. 
Most medications for hair loss can be picked up over the counter. Usually in the form of creams and gels they can be applied directly to the scalp. 
For slightly more serious situations there are prescription medications available. These include oral medications such as Propecia and Prednisone. While very effective for treating hair loss, you should be wary of side effects that can include glaucoma, higher blood pressure and higher blood sugar. 
If medications simply aren’t doing the job then you can also look at surgical procedures. The main two options are hair transplant surgery and a scalp reduction. 
In the former, a doctor will move small plugs of skin with some hair follicles to bald patches on the scalp. The treatment will take several surgeries before the process is complete.
In the latter procedure, a doctor removes a section of the scalp without hair and replaces it with a section of the scalp where there is hair. 
As long as you manage your expectations and do your research well the process shouldn’t be too stressful. That means keeping in mind that surgery is expensive and with all procedures there are potential side effects. These range from patchy hair growth, to scarring and infection. Or, the graft that the doctor has placed might not take which means the whole process starts from scratch again. 
But when the potential end result is a beautiful head of hair, who’s complaining? 
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