One of the most famous bald actors Guess Who!?
Hair loss has become a common problem, mostly attributed to genetic factors. Although, it is essential to differentiate pathological hair loss from normal hair loss, because you can normally lose up to hundreds of hairs from your scalp every day!
Different Types of Hair Loss
- Universalis and Totalis,
- Androgenic Alopecia,
Despite the high prevalence in men, women account for forty percent of the hair loss sufferers, hair loss seems to have a devastating effect on women’s emotional and mental well-being.
Most women suffer from hair loss.
Androgenic alopecia is by far the most common form of hair loss and it is accounted for 95% of men’s hair loss, although hereditary hair loss seems to be the dominant etiology. Hair loss can be attributed to a wide spectrum of causes: emotional stress, systemic diseases (DM, thyroid problems, anemia and lupus) drugs side effects.
Hereditary hair loss can be identified by various names, some of which are:
- Male-pattern baldness,
- Female-pattern baldness
In many cases, the underlying hair loss etiology can be determined from the time span in which the hair loss process has taken place. For example, sudden hair thinning or bald patches could be ignited by acute diseases, such as infections or the exacerbation of an inflammatory disease. Whereas, a gradual slow hair loss may be indicative of a hereditary disease.
Emotional Stress and Psychiatric Diseases
Many hair loss sufferers feel compelled to pull their own hair, a condition known medically as trichotillomania. People who have recently undergone a stressful traumatic events may notice thinning of the hair.
Hair loss problem can be the first sign of a systemic disease, which can be further divided into hematologic, endocrinologic and so forth. A proper treatment of the underlying disease will help cure the hair loss or even reverse it.
A low protein diet can leave people highly susceptible to hair loss, malnourishment can highly affect hair growth. It is vital to have enough supplements of A, E and, C vitamins for a healthy hair growth. Other vitamins that should be mentioned are B5, B6 and B12.
Based on the aforementioned hair loss etiologies, one can conclude that treatment options are mostly dependent on the underlying cause. Just as there are various causes of hair loss problem, there are also various treatment methods.
High doses of vitamin A, steroids, birth control pills, chemotherapy and many other drugs can be an attributing factor in hair loss.
Androgenetic alopecia, a very common form of hair loss, usually tends to have a specific pattern of temporal-frontal loss in men and central thinning in women. Telogen effluvium, Alopecia areata, trichotillomania, traction alopecia, and tinea capitis respectively are some of the most common hair disorders causing baldness.
Medical treatment of alopecia aims to increase blood supply to the scalp. Thus, promoting hair growth in the designated region. This effect can be demonstrated using many pharmacological agents. Minoxidil, in addition to finasteride, has been approved by the US food and drug administration for treatment in men and women.
Another option for the treatment of hair loss is steroids, especially if the underlying cause is inflammatory in nature.
It may seem surprising for many hair loss sufferers that so many underappreciated hair-care habits are of a great value in sustaining a healthy hair, some of which are the following:
- Using a conditioner after shampoo,
- Gently combing the hair while it is still damp,
- Letting the hair air dry after shower,
- Spending less time on hot combing or curling iron, less frequent use, for example: once a week,
- Avoidance of hairstyles that consume so much fixating hair products, or hairstyles that apply too much pressure. Thus, making the hair more prone to (traction alopecia) hair loss,
- Be cautious when out in the sun, wearing a wide brimmed hat may reduce exposure and subsequent hair damage,
- Some people acquired the false habit of over brushing their hair in order to keep it healthy. On the contrary over brushing had been established to have negative effects on hair growth,
- Less frequent coloring or perming of the hair,
- According to many studies, in some cases gently massaging the hair can help restore hair growth. Especially when used in conjunction with hair oils such as: aloe vera, coconut oil and fish oil,
- Lastly, protein and vitamin rich nutrition has proven its important role in hair growth.
The sooner the problem is addressed and dealt with, the better outcomes one might observe. Therefore, it is essential to consult with a doctor if there are signs of slow or absent results when switching to healthy hair-care habits.