Hair loss is a symptom of a great many medical conditions which causes huge embarrassment and a decline in self-esteem. However, hair loss can also be genetic. While it’s common for men to suffer from genetic hair loss, women can also be susceptible. This is also known as androgenic or androgenetic alopecia. Male pattern baldness is a common condition affecting an estimated 85% of men (male pattern baldness) and while some thinning of the hair is a normal part of the aging process for women, a significant loss of hair is not.
Hair is a big part of most women’s personal identity. This is why most women take such pride in taking care of their hair from shampoos and conditioners, to hair masks, heat protectants, oil and various other forms of lotions and potions. As a result, it causes significant emotional distress for women when their hair begins to fall out. With this in mind, if you’re experiencing hair loss, the most important thing is that you identify the cause so that you can begin to manage the treatment.
What Causes Hair Loss?
Stress – It is one of the most common causes of hair loss. Stress is a condition which affects everyone to varying degrees. A little bit of stress is entirely normal. However, excessive stress can wreak havoc on the body. One of the most common examples of the damage that stress can do to the body is hair loss. Others include weight loss, heart disease, and even stroke.
Cancer – Hair loss and cancer are strongly linked. This is because one major cancer treatment known as Chemotherapy causes hair from your head, eyelashes, and body to fall out. Chemotherapy works by killing the rapidly growing cancer cells in the body. Unfortunately, this means it also kills the cells that control hair growth and often leads to hair loss.
Alopecia – It is a medical condition that causes rapid and severe hair loss. This is an autoimmune disease, which means it is caused by the immune system attacking the body. In the case of alopecia, the immune system attacks the hair. There are different types of alopecia, including androgenetic alopecia and traction alopecia. All types cause hair loss.
Eating disorders – They are a common cause of hair loss. In particular, anorexia nervosa and bulimia can cause this distressing side effect. This happens because people with these eating disorders have fewer protein stores in their bodies. When this happens, the body has to prioritize other bodily functions that depend on protein, such as organ function. As a result, hair follicles don’t get the amount of protein that they need (they are basically made up of protein), and growth is stunted as a result.
Other Common Causes of Hair Loss
For women, pregnancy is also a common cause of hair loss. Most women will experience thinning of the hair when they become pregnant, others experience a receding hairline. In most cases the hair will grow back around the hairline and may thicken again, however in fewer cases, women’s hair doesn’t grow back. This is all due to changes in hormones. Other female hormones can affect hair loss in women besides pregnancy. Changing or coming off birth-control pills and cause telogen effluvium.
Here’s a list of some causes of hair loss;
· Iron deficienc
· Telogen effluvium
· Problems with the thyroid gland
· Skin conditions such as seborrheic dermatitis
· Hormonal imbalance
Another cause is too much vitamin A and a lack of protein. If you are taking vitamin A supplements it’s possible that overdoing it could trigger hair loss. If you are not getting enough protein in your diet, your body turns into “ration mode”. When this happens it shuts down hair growth.
Treatment Options for Hair Loss
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, there are a number of things that you can do to maintain healthy hair and keep hair loss at bay.
Hair Care – Practicing good hair care can make a significant difference to the health of your hair. Keeping the hair clean without over washing, using hair masks and serums to lock in moisture, and avoiding the use of heated styling tools and tight braids can all maintain healthier hair.
CBD Oil – CBD oil (also known as Cannabidiol) comes from the cannabis sativa and hemp plant. It’s non-psychoactive and researchers are delving deep into the possible therapeutics of the plant. Since CBD is high in vitamin E and many other fatty acids, it may have a valuable softening effect on the hair and scalp. In turn, when the roots of your hair start to grow stronger, it is less likely that hair loss will be as severe or as frequent.
Diet – Your hair relies on certain vitamins, minerals, and other key nutrients in order to be at its best. Consuming a healthy, balanced diet can make a huge difference to your hair health. In particular, eating vitamin-rich foods such as leafy green vegetables and natural fats such as oily fish can give your hair a boost from the inside out.
Managing Stress – Stress is one of the leading causes of hair loss, so managing stress can be a highly effective preventative measure. Stress management can look different to everyone.
For some people, it involves taking long walks and getting plenty of fresh air. For others is involved tackling the work/life balance. For some people mindfulness meditation and talk therapies are great stress relievers. Finding what works for you and working it into your day to day life can make a huge difference to your mood and your health as a result.
]If your hair loss is caused by an underlying medical condition, medical treatment is most likely required. Depending on the condition in question, the treatment could be anything from topical corticosteroids to antidepressant medications. The health of your hair, skin, and nails may not seem particularly important. However, it is a strong indication of your general health and when problems arise, it often suggests that there is something amiss.
While these lifestyle changes can certainly go a long way to preventing hair thinning or loss, sometimes they aren’t enough. This is why it’s recommended that, if you continue to experience hair loss having taken these steps, you should make an appointment with an MD, a dermatologist or other medical professional.