A Complete Guide to Hair Loss – Causes and Treatments

AgataAgata
Aug. 28, 2020
Hair loss is a very common condition that affects most people at some point in their lives. It is a concern for men, women and children of all ages and may even be an indication of an underlying health issue. Before we can understand the causes of hair loss and its treatments, we need to understand what hair loss is. 
What is Hair Loss?
Over 80 million people in America alone struggle with hereditary hair loss or alopecia. This condition can affect the hair on your scalp as well as the hair on the body. It’s normal to lose about 100 hairs a day and with an average of 100,000 hairs on the head, this is rather unnoticeable. The shed hair is normally replaced by new hair, but this does not happen in all cases. Hair loss can develop gradually over time or it can happen all at once. Most cases of hair loss are temporary, but some can be permanent. 
While it can be difficult to track the amount of hair lost on a daily basis, if you notice chunks of hair in the drain after washing or clumps in your hairbrush there may be cause for concern. You may even notice patches of hair that have thinned out or baldness in certain spots. If you recognize severe hair loss, then discussing your options with a doctor is recommended. 
Causes of Hair Loss
Once you consult a doctor or physician, they will try to determine the underlying cause of your hair loss. The most common causes are hereditary baldness. If your family has a history of baldness, then it’s likely that you may also have this type of hair loss. Specific hormones are known to trigger this type of hair loss, starting as early as puberty. 
Hair loss can occur simply due to a stop in the hair growth cycle. Things like surgeries, illnesses or trauma can trigger hair loss, but in these cases, hair will usually grow back without further intervention. 
Certain hormonal changes can cause temporary hair loss such as pregnancy, childbirth, menopause and starting or stopping birth control pills. Certain medical conditions can also cause hair loss like ringworm or thyroid diseases. Medications for cancer, arthritis, depression, heart problems, etc. can also cause major hair loss due to the harsh effects of the medication. Physical or emotional trauma can also trigger hair loss whether it’s a death in the family or extreme weight loss. 
Treatments for Hair Loss
The first step in treating hair loss is typically medication. There is an abundance of over the counter (OTC) medications that can be directly applied to the scalp. Your doctor may recommend a common hair loss treatment as a first course of action. If this option does not work, then there are plenty of prescription medications that can treat hair loss. Although this medication may be more effective, it also has slightly more serious side effects. A corticosteroid may be prescribed for those with alopecia areata. This medication reduces inflammation and suppresses the immune system. If your doctor prescribes any of the above medications, it’s important that you monitor your side effects carefully as they could lead to severe side effects. 
Medications are not always enough to prevent hair loss which means other measures must be taken. Surgery is another way to treat hair loss. Hair transplant surgery involves moving small sections of skin with hair to bald parts of the scalp. Another surgical option I having the bald patch removed and covering it with another section of skin that has hair. Surgery can be dangerous and is a fairly expensive option, however in some cases it may feel like the only option. 
Hair loss is sometimes inevitable, but it doesn’t mean that you’re stuck with patchy, thinning or balding hair. There are plenty of simple lifestyle changes that can help to prevent hair loss. Try using low manipulation styles, eating a balanced diet, using natural hair products, limiting washes, cutting out heat and limiting chemical damage. Hair loss can be difficult, but there is always a resolution. 
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