Every strand of hair on your head has a lifespan of somewhere between two and five years. Hair follicles have a cycle of active growth, transition, and rest. There are circumstances and lifestyle factors that can bring more of your hair into the rest cycle, during which it falls out. This is called telogen effluvium.
Telogen effluvium can be a symptom of stress, or it can happen after pregnancy, as a side effect of medication, or as a result of an underlying health condition. If you’re experiencing hair loss that leads to bald spots, patchiness, or large clumps of hair coming out, you should see your primary care physician or a dermatologist for a diagnosis.
Whether the hair loss you have is a result of a chronic or short-term health condition, there are things that you can do to protect the hair that you do have. Keep reading for tips on keeping hair healthy and strong.
How to prevent hair loss
You can follow a few hair hygiene tips to make your hair less likely to fall out.
Avoid hairstyles that pull on the hair
Hair is flexible, but research shows that your hair can only be stretched so much before becoming permanently damaged. Hairstyles like cornrows, tight braids, and ponytails can pull your hair away from your scalp and loosen the bond between your hair and scalp over time.
Avoid high-heat hair styling tools
Using heat to style your hair leaves your hair follicle dehydrated and vulnerable to damage. Hair dryers, hair straighteners, and curling irons can all damage your hair over time.
Don’t chemically treat or bleach your hair
Hair treatment chemicals cause sudden and irrevocable damage to hair follicles. If you’re concerned about hair loss, limit your use of dyes, highlights, peroxide treatments, and perms.
Use a shampoo that’s mild and suited for your hair
The purpose of shampoo is to cleanse your hair of dirt and excess oil. But many commercial shampoos contain harsh ingredients. After just one use, they can strip your hair of the natural oil and fatty acids that make it strong and supple. Read the ingredients of your shampoo and purchase one that’s as close to all-natural as possible. Try switching up products if you’ve been losing excess hair.
Use a soft brush made from natural fibers
Using a soft brush with fibers that are natural will promote healthy sebum (oil) levels on your hair. The keratin proteins in your hair are stacked like shingles on a roof, so brushing them gently in one direction, starting at the top and continuing through to the ends, will help smooth and condition your hair cuticle on a molecular level. Brushing hair daily can also help you avoid seeing hair clumps in your shower drain.
Try low-level light therapy
Low-level light therapy promotes cell growth and repair. It’s been shown to promote hair growth in people with alopecia. This therapy can be prescribed by your doctor.
How to prevent hair loss in women
Hair loss in women is typically caused by genetic female pattern hair loss, androgenetic alopecia, thyroid disease, aging, or other hormonal conditions. About one-third of women will experience hair loss in their lifetime. If you are losing your hair, your doctor may recommend some of the following treatments to prevent further hair loss.
Aldactone (spironolactone) or other anti-androgen medications
iron supplements, especially if your hair loss is connected to anemia or heavy menstrual cycles
Women who have reached menopause may also consider hormone replacement therapy (HRT) as a way to treat their hair loss and other symptoms.
How to prevent hair loss in men
Hair loss in men is more common than in women. According to the American Hair Loss Association, about 85 percent of men have thinning hair by the time they reach 50. Hair loss in men is typically caused by genetic male pattern hair loss, androgenetic alopecia, aging, or low testosterone levels. If you’re concerned about hair loss, your doctor may recommend one or more of the following treatments:
Propecia or Proscar (finasteride)
follicular unit transplantation (hair transplant with underlying tissue)
follicular unit extraction (hair transplant with only follicles, no connecting tissue used)
Home remedies for hair loss
If you’re concerned about hair loss, you may want to try a home remedy to see if you can stop your hair from falling out. It’s important to get diagnosed and find the underlying cause of your hair loss, so that you can treat it appropriately.
Nutritional deficiencies can cause hair loss. Iron, zinc, niacin, selenium, vitamin D, and vitamin B-12 supplements can help your body produce hair that’s strong and healthy. Remember to only buy supplements from trusted sources, as they aren’t vetted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Essential oils are aqueous extracts of powerful botanical ingredients. Essential oils can be mixed with carrier oils, like jojoba and almond oil, to create a treatment to stimulate hair growth. Some essential oils might make your hair grow stronger. Research on these essential oils is mostly anecdotal, but we are learning more about how they work. Essential oils for hair growth include:
Scalp massage has been shown to promote hair growth. By promoting circulation in the area of growth, your hair may grow more quickly if you gently massage your scalp every time you wash your hair.
Your diet can have an effect on hair loss. Eating a diet rich in antioxidants can help fight the signs of oxidative stress — environmental factors that damage hair follicles. Strawberries, blueberries, beans and legumes, spinach, and kale are all sources of antioxidants.
Sugar, processed fats, preservatives, and alcohol can all contribute to oxidative stress. Keep this in mind if you’re looking to stop your hair from falling out.
Smoking can prematurely age your hair cells, making your hair follicles brittle and easy to damage. Speak to your doctor to come up with a smoking cessation plan right for you.
With changing lifestyles and environmental pollution, hair fall is becoming a bigger issue than it was a few decades ago. People in their 20s and 30s are losing hair, necessitating hair transplant.
Hair fall definitely affects a person’s esthetics, but it is a bigger issue than what just meets the eye. Hair fall especially in men can lead to baldness and when it occurs in the younger years, it affects their overall personality and self-esteem. Hair loss is usually associated with old age and this gives them an appearance much older than they actually are. This can even lead to depression and personality changes.
Ayurveda believes that hair loss has a deep-rooted problem. It believes that a combination of hair products, massage, meditation, and yoga can help in curing hair fall.
There are various products which are believed to have a dramatic effect on hair fall.
1. Bhringaraj: This literally translates to the “king of hair.” Available for use in various forms like oil, powder or paste, this helps hair health in multiple ways reversing hair loss, promotes growth, and controls premature greying.
2. Ritha: Ritha and shikakai are used as natural hair wash products for centuries. Minus the chemicals, they are excellent for preventing hair fall and also add to hair shine and strength.
3. Shikakai: Another natural cleanser for the hair, it is loaded with vitamins antioxidants. It also helps retain the natural oils in the scalp. It can be mixed with water or with tea residue and applied as a paste on the hair.
4. Brahmi: Another wonder product for the hair, it promotes hair follicles, nourishes the roots, removes dead skin from the scalp, and reduces hair fall. This can be used in combination with amla, tulsi, and curd for combined benefits.
5. Neem: This again can be used as oil or as a paste. Neem helps hair fall by improving blood circulation, reducing dandruff and reduces itchiness. It has a cooling effect on the scalp.
In addition to these products, Ayurveda has other ways to control hair fall.
Specific yoga asanas are believed to improve hair fall. These asanas which mostly require the person to stand on their head increase blood flow to the scalp and promote hair growth.
A major reason for hair loss is stress and anxiety, and so meditation which helps in stress management can help in controlling hair fall and hair loss.
Various oils like castor oil, coconut oil, neem oil, olive oil, almond oil, etc., can be used at slightly warm temperatures to massage the scalp. This promotes the hair follicles and promotes hair growth.
The next time you are worried about hair fall, try these options and see the difference.
Hair today, gone tomorrow. That might be your condition if you are not taking care of your hair properly. There are a lot of things you do almost daily that are adversely impacting your hair health. You might not even be aware of the damage you are doing to your tresses by indulging these activities. Read on to find out about the 5 worst things you do to your hair on a daily basis.
1. Excessive hair brushing: Here’s why brushing your hair excessively is bad for your hair: it causes breakage and strips your hair of its natural nourishing oils. To avoid this, try limiting the use of your hair brush to about just two times in a day. Brushing right after you wake up is a good idea, as it helps in distributing the oils produced by your scalp down your hair shaft, which act as a natural conditioner for your hair.
2. Tying your hair in a ponytail everyday: If you tie your hair in a ponytail everyday then chances are you are applying consistent pressure to on the same hair shafts, resulting in brittle and weaker hair. In fact, doing so continuously can even retard hair growth. Try to leave it open as much as you can, but if you absolutely must tie a pony tail, then tie a loose one. Maybe even use booby pins to keep your hair in place instead of scrunchies. Alternating between high and low ponytails helps too.
3. Using a pre-used hairbrush: Your hairbrush contains a lot of germs, which can severely damage your hair. Using an unclean brush is one of the main reasons of damage hair, as these brushes contain dirt gathered from your hair which you’re giving back to your hair by using. It’s best to clean it once in a while to maintain proper hair health. The same holds true for other styling agents such as combs, curlers, rollers, straighteners etc.
4. Delaying a hair cut: Most of us are guilty of this crime. What with your jam-packed schedule and work overload, you often ignore that much needed trip to the salon. Prolonging a haircut is never a good idea as it can lead to a bad case of split ends, which can result in hair that tangles a lot and causes hair fall. Regular trimming sessions, once every 6 weeks, are a must.
5. Shampooing in excess: Some of you prefer your scalp to be squeaky clean every single day, believing that daily dust and pollution require you to indulge in this unhealthy habit. Well, it’s best to stop right now as you’re harming your hair by shampooing daily. Daily shampoos can completely strip your hair of its natural oils, causing your scalp to become dry, leaving your hair with a dry, messy and rough feel. However. Delaying hair wash is not good either. It is best to shampoo whenever your hair feels greasy and dirty.
Avoid doing these to your hair, and let your tresses breathe so that they look healthy and shine with a natural glow.
Most people lose about 50 to 100 strands of hair each day. Yet, the thinning of scalp hair is almost unnoticeable owing to the simultaneous hair growth filling up the vacant spots. But permanent hair loss occurs if the cycle of shedding and growth is disrupted or the hair follicle is damaged and substituted with a scar tissue.
Few possible causes can be-
Genetic factors- Genetic factors bring about gradual hair loss in both the sexes; resulting in bald spots and a receding hairline in men and the thinning of hair among women. Hereditary factors also determines the age at which you could start losing hair.
Medical conditions- Medical conditions such as hormonal imbalances attack the body’s immune system, thus resulting in damaged hair follicles, scalp infections such as ringworm, skin disorders and hair pulling disorder, a psychological condition that causes people to pull out hair from the scalp, eyebrows or other parts of the body.
Medications- Hair loss can be caused due to intake of certain drugs, such as the ones for birth control or for treating high blood pressure, heart problems, depression, arthritis or cancer. Consumption of excessive Vitamin A can cause hair fall as well.
Stress: Physical and emotional stress can cause hair loss. Surgery, high fevers, and blood loss can cause enough stress to cause excessive shedding. Childbirth can result in hair loss for several months after delivery. As for psychological stress, the link is less well defined, but many people have reported losing hair at times of extreme mental stress or anxiety.
Other Possible Reasons: Other reasons such as radiation therapy to treat cancer, emotional or physical trauma, surgery, extremely high fever or sudden and excessive weight loss can all contribute to hair loss. Hair styling equipment and other chemical based treatments are some of the other triggers of hair loss.
Anemia: Anemia (insufficient red blood cells in the blood), Polycystic Ovarian syndrome (a condition marked by enlarged ovaries and the formation of tiny cysts on the outer edges of the ovaries), thyroid disorders or pregnancy can also result in hair loss.
6 Causes of hair loss you didn’t know about and how you can combat this problem
In order to have healthy volume of hair on your head, the rate of hair loss and replacement should be in tandem. With age, your hair growth cycle shows signs of slowing down and factors like age, disease, and hormonal changes among others affect the pace at which an individual hair follicle moves through the 3 phases of the hair cycle. A disruption in your hair cycle can give rise to loss of hair that’s rapid and unexpected. Hair loss or alopecia can affect both men and women.
So what can cause your hair to fall at an alarming rate?
The reasons behind hair loss could be many, but here are 6 major ones:
1. Lack of protein in your diet
When you exclude protein from your diet, your body starts to conserve the protein that it has by altering the growth cycle of your hair. In such cases, your hair enters into the resting stage, resulting in zero hair growth.
In India, 9 out of 10 people are said to suffer from low amounts of protein in their diet, with 91% vegetarians reporting protein deficiency.
2. Iron deficiency
Iron plays a very important role in the transportation of oxygen to the different organs of the body. Lack of iron in your diet (which is the principle reason behind anaemia) can give rise to several health problems including hair loss. Your body attempts to direct oxygen to important organs so as to support their functioning. As a result, your scalp witnesses a low supply of oxygen, which causes hair loss.
3. Vitamin D-3 deficiency
Deficiency of vitamin D-3 gives rise to a type of hair loss called Telogen Effluvium (TE). This is a temporary hair thinning phenomenon that takes place when the all the hair on your scalp enter the resting phase at the same time, subsequently causing you to shed a large amount of hair later on.
Smoking can also affect the health of your hair, especially the rate at which it falls and the number of strands lost in a day. A research carried out by the Harvard School of Public Health has revealed that smoking can cause a rise in a hormone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT).
An increase in DHT level prevents new hair cells from growing and causes hair follicles to reduce in size with each hair cycle. As a result, the area on your scalp that gets affected by DHT experiences a lack of hair growth.
5. Use of testosterone supplements in gym
Intake of testosterone in the form of supplements and injections to build muscle mass can trigger hair loss in men. This takes place when the testosterone in these supplements gets changed into DHT, thereby affecting your hair loss rate and amount.
6. Past illnesses (dengue, TB and typhoid)
Falling of hair can also be brought on by illnesses such as typhoid, TB and dengue as the hair growth cycle comes to a stop. Hormonal or metabolic stress that is experienced during the course of such diseases may cause hairfall.
What are the treatments available to cure hair loss?
1. Hair transplant
Hair transplant is a minimally invasive surgical technique that transfers hair follicles taken from other parts of your body to the balding area. Known by the name of Follicular Unit Transplantation, this hair loss treatment can help to bring back the natural appearance of a fuller head of hair. Hair follicles are harvested using two procedures- follicular unit extraction and strip harvesting. Procedure can vary from 4-8 hours or more depending on the case.
2. Platelet- Rich Plasma (PRP)
Platelet- Rich Plasma (PRP) is another treatment alternative that can reverse hair loss. It’s a simple non-surgical procedure that lasts about 60-90 minutes. In this form of hair treatment, the patient’s own blood cells, more specifically blood platelets are injected into the scalp. Usually 8 sittings are required with each sitting being 2 weeks apart for better results.
3. Low Level Laser (Light) Therapy (LLLT)
This form of hair therapy utilises light energy of a specific wavelength and threshold to stimulate cellular activity, thereby promoting hair growth. Various controlled clinical tests have revealed its effectiveness in encouraging hair growth in both the genders.