WHAT IS HAIR LOSS?
Hair loss, also known as Alopecia, is a condition that can affect not only your scalp, but also your entire body. It can be either temporary or permanent in nature.
Hair loss is more commonly observed in men as Baldness, although it can happen to anyone. There are several factors that can lead to hair loss, including heredity, hormonal changes, underlying medical conditions or normal aging process.
CAUSES OF HAIR LOSS
People lose about 50 to 100 hairs every day, which is usually unnoticeable as new hairs grow equally as fast and frequent. However, when hair fails to replenish itself, the loss becomes noticeable. There are various factors that can cause hair loss in men and women. They include:
- History of hair loss in the family
- Hormonal changes
- Underlying medical conditions that can cause hair loss
- Medications or supplements with a side effect of hair loss
- Excessive hairstyling and treatments
SYMPTOMS OF HAIR LOSS
There are various symptoms that indicate hair loss in men and women. Some include:
- Gradual thinning on the top of the head
- Circular or patchy bald spots
- Sudden loosening of hair
- Hair loss throughout the body
- Patches of scaling spread across the scalp (mostly caused by ringworm)
The chances of you experiencing hair loss in your lifetime can, however, depend upon these few factors:
- Hereditary hair loss
- Significant weight loss
- Medical conditions, such as diabetes or lupus
- Poor nutrition
WHEN TO CONTACT A DOCTOR?
It is good to consult a doctor if you notice persistent hair loss that is affecting your mental wellbeing. If you also happen to notice sudden patches of baldness, or hair loss in random patches, it is advisable to consult a doctor as sudden hair loss maybe a sign of an underlying medical condition.
PREVENTING HAIR LOSS
If you experience hair loss that is a direct cause of your heredity or genetic makeup, it is not preventable. However, there are steps you can take to prevent potential chances of hair loss, in controllable cases:
- Be gentle when handling your hair: Avoid tugging at your hair, especially when wet, and use a detangler when brushing or combing. Using a wide-toothed comb can also help reduce any hair loss due to tugging or friction. Avoid excessive hair treatments such as hot irons, curlers, etc. and also limit the usage of hair ties and rubber bands that could cause tension to the scalp.
- Check your medication/supplements for any side effects that could cause hair loss. You may consult the doctor in charge about the medication and its effects.
- Protect your hair from excessive sun exposure and ultraviolet exposure of any kind.
- Avoid smoking: Smoking has been proven to cause hair loss in many.
- If you’re undergoing any treatment, such as chemotherapy, that can cause hair loss, consult your doctor about wearing a cooling cap as it can reduce the chances of excessive hair loss.