A beautiful thing is among the various features of womankind and it gives you a new look every time when you add simple twist and turns to the long tresses. Since the woman’s body undergoes various physical and physiological changes in her lifetime, which leads to the hormonal imbalance and thus causes hair fall in most cases. But, there are also other factors which contribute in hair related problems like heredity, unhealthy eating habits and lifestyle, stress, pollution and excessive use of chemical based hair styling products. It is important to note that if there is any problem develops in the body’s internal environment, then it will be reflected by the skin and hairs. In order to prevent hair related problems, especially hair loss caused by physical factors, you have to turn towards a healthy lifestyle and natural products, but if it is related to your internal environment like infection or disease then you should seek help from a medical professional. You must be aware of the common causes like scalp infection, dandruff, dryness, etc. but there are many of them and you will enable to cure it wisely when you have a better understanding of them.
Here are the top 10 causes of the hair loss:
Mishandling of hairs
Generally, you lose 50 – 100 strands and these are replaced by others, but when you get a fistful of hairs with every combing session then you should be worried. Both genders have hair loss issues, but the reasons are different for them. Men hair loss is more related to genetics while women hair problems are related to their health conditions. But at the present time, hair styling products like colors, sprays, mousse, gels, etc. and hair tools like curling and flattening irons, strengtheners etc. cause hair loss more prominently by damaging the hair shaft and their prolonged uses slow down their growth process.
The growth cycle of hairs has three different stages which are Anagen, Catagen and Telogen which are commonly known as growth phase, transition phase and resting phase respectively. About 90 percent hairs remain in the Anagen for a long time approx 2 – 8 years. The second phase is relatively shorter, which lasts up to 2 – 3 weeks and it involves the shrinking of hair follicles. The Telogen or the resting phase remains for two to three months. So, hairs are in growing stage most of the times.
Telogen effluvium is a phenomenon which occurs when the growth cycle of hairs completes in less time means growth phase shifts to Telogen phase much faster than in normal condition. It happens in cases of post pregnancy, post surgery, heavy weight loss or extreme weight loss, etc. and you will lose a large amount of hairs during brushing, shampooing or styling. This phenomenon has been noticed for the duration of 6 weeks to 3 months in a patient after a stressful event and you will lose a handful of hairs at its peak.
Although there are no tests for this condition, but if you find small “club shaped” bulbs in the roots of fallen hair, then it can be deduced that the hair has completed its growth cycle which must have sped up due to increased stress. The solution for this problem is either you wait for some months if it slows down or if it is caused by heavy dosage of medication, then you can ask your doctor to reduce the dosage or give you an alternate. You should also tackle the stress by meditation and distress therapy.
Heredity based hair loss is the most common reason of hair loss. You can have the hair loss gene either from your father or mother’s lineage, but if both of them have a family history of hair loss then you are more likely to have it. You should start looking for any symptoms like thinning of hair at the hairline behind the bangs when you reach 20 years of age. The genetic condition starts expressing themselves at this age and thinning of hair can be spread from hairline to all over the scalp. Your dermatologist will look out for these genetic expressions by assessing the pattern of hair loss and examining the scalp biopsy for miniaturized follicles, which is a major sign of heredity based hair loss. Application of the drug Minoxidil (Rogaine) on the scalp twice a day can prevent the hair loss. But women should not use it during pregnancy or nursing period.
The thyroid is a vital hormone for proper functioning of the body and if it is produced in a very low amount then it is called ‘Hypothyroidism’ and it affects your body on a large scale, such as basal metabolic rate or in easy terms, it is the rate at which our body utilize oxygen and energy for overall growth including growth of nail, skin and hair. Hair loss is one of the symptoms of this deficiency disease and it caused by slowed down metabolism. The hair roots get less nutrition and becomes brittle causing more hair fall. Studies have found that it is ten times more frequent in women as compared to men. To confirm the condition of hypothyroidism in the body, a blood test is required which will measure the amount of Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) in the body. It can be cured by taking regular thyroid hormone medication as it will help in maintaining the hormonal balance in the body.
This autoimmune disease affects approx. 1.5 million people around the world and it affects the women patients during their child bearing age. This disease affects the healthy tissues in the body and includes symptoms like fatigue, headache, painful and swollen joints, oral ulcers, fever, chest pain, anemia, hair loss, etc. In case of hair loss, it can be mild or severe and the hair comes out in patches leaving rashes on the scalp. This disease can be confirmed by examining joints and other tissues for inflammation signs such as swelling, redness, pain. The blood test is recommended to measure the amount of anti nuclear antibodies. So, if you feel joint pain, fatigue along with heavy hair fall, then you should immediately see a rheumatologist.
Women are more vulnerable to anemia or iron deficiency due to heavy periods or low iron diet. Studies states that one in ten women ages ranging between 20 – 49 suffers from iron deficiency and it is a major cause of hair loss. Other symptoms include fatigue, dizziness, pale skin, cold limbs, headache. The blood test is performed to measure the level of ferritin, a protein responsible for storing iron in the body. Doctors will also check that how much blood is made up of RBC’s. Since, it is a deficiency disease, therefore it can be easily cured by including iron rich diet in your meal and by taking iron supplements. You should also take more vitamin C because it helps in the absorption of iron. The recommended daily intake of iron for women is 18 mg in normal age and 8 mg after menopause.
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
This syndrome is a common problem in women and caused by hormonal imbalance. The ovaries or female reproductive organs produce high level of male hormones, which causes many serious complications like infertility. It will increase your facial hair growth, acne, irregular periods, thinning of hair and hair loss on scalp. A blood test showing elevated levels of male hormone Testosterone and its byproduct DHEAS (dehydroepiandrosterone) confirms the disease. This can be treated with birth control pills which contents an anti androgen which blocks the testosterone.
Infection on scalp causes inflammation, which hampers the growth of hairs. A physical examination of the scalp will help the dermatologist identify the type of infection. It can be Seborrheic dermatitis, commonly known as dandruff which makes your scalp shed its skin and you will notice yellowish and greasy flakes in your hair and on your shoulders. The scalp shows red patch in case of a fungal infection such as a ringworm infection, which can be contracted by the infected person and an animal. An autoimmune disease, Psoriasis also damage the scalp by developing a thick white scale on the scalp which will bleed when you remove it. You can take doctor prescribed medication to treat such conditions.
It is an autoimmune disease which mainly attacks the hair follicles and affects men and women equally. A theory proposed about its cause that it may occur due to stress or illness. This disease has three forms, namely Alopecia areata (causes round and smooth patches of baldness), Alopecia totalis (total hair loss on the head) and Alopecia Universalis (total hair loss on the body). Alopecia areata can be treated with intralesional corticosteroids and in some cases Minoxidil (Rogaine is also recommended since it helps in reducing stress.
It is found that hair loss is more common in people on medication than the healthy persons. Some drugs like Methotrexate (prescribed to rheumatic patients and in some skin problems), lithium (prescribed for bipolar disorder), non steroidal anti inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen and antidepressants may cause hair loss. So if your medication causes hair loss, then you can ask your doctor for another prescription.