Ever stop and think about the amount of time you spend tending to your tresses? Ever notice how long you spend in the hair care aisle comparing shampoo and conditioner ingredients, or the hours spent poring over hair style magazines in search of your next cut and style? Let’s face it: Male or female, we all want to have a beautiful head of hair. And although we take good care of our locks, it is shocking when we see all the strands that end up in the hairbrush or on the bathroom floor.
What Causes Hair Loss?
Did you know that the average person loses between 100-150 hairs each day? While this number may sound a bit high, it is a perfectly normal part of the hair’s life cycle. Hair grows in three phases:
Anagen Phase: The Anagen Phase is also known as the active phase in which the hair grows.
Catagen Phase: The Catagen Phase is the part of the cycle when the hair begins to break down.
Telogen Phase: The Telogen Phase is also known as the resting phase. This is the phase in which you will notice the amount of hair you shed daily.
Of course there are many people who lose more than the average number of strands per day. In such cases, there may be an underlying health condition responsible for the premature fall-out. Stress, hormones and changes in diet can do a number on your hair. Women who have just given birth tend to lose more hair than normal because their bodies are undergoing certain hormonal changes. Hair loss can also be associated with such health conditions as anemia or thyroid problems. These types of hair loss are all quite normal, and in most cases, normal hair growth will resume once the factor causing the loss has been identified and addressed. There are, however, cases in which the hair falls out and is not able to grow back. They are:
- Involutional Alopecia: This type of hair loss occurs as we age and more hair enters the Telogen or resting phase. As a result, our hair becomes noticeably thinner.
- Androgenic Alopecia: This is the technical term for baldness, a genetic condition that can begin as young as the 20s for men and the 40s for women.
- Alopecia Areata: This is a sudden hair loss that occurs in patches and can affect children as well as adults. In most cases, hair loss of this type eventually grows back.
- Trichotillomania: This is a condition in which a person will pull out his or her own hair. This type of hair loss occurs as a result of behavioral changes, and may require counseling and/or medication in order to break the habit.
Certain over-the-counter hair restoration treatments such as Minoxidil can help to slow down the rate in which hair loss occurs. Check with your doctor before using any of these types of topical treatments, as people with heart conditions may experience adverse affects.
Finasteride is a prescription medication that could potentially reduce hair loss. Side effects include, but are not limited to, impotence or a decrease in sex drive. Women who are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding should avoid any contact with this medication.
Certain prescription medications administered for an enlarged prostate actually works to treat hair loss in men.
Bimatoprost Solution, an eye drop used to treat glaucoma, was also found to be an effective treatment of hair loss in men. Supplements specifically designed to support healthy skin, hair and nail growth will also work in some cases of hair loss. Certain hair styles such as cornrows, tight hair rollers and pigtails could also induce hair loss. Likewise, chemical treatments such as permanents, relaxers and hair dye may also promote hair loss.
Nourish your locks with shampoo and conditioner that contain gentle and healthy ingredients. Limit the amount of time in which you use heating appliances on your hair. Let your hair air dry when possible. Avoid chemical processes when able. Take care of your hair, and your hair will take care of you.