What Causes Hair Loss and How It Can Be Treated
Most people normally shed 50 to 100 hairs a day. This usually doesn’t cause noticeable thinning of scalp hair because new hair is growing in at the same time. Hair loss occurs when this cycle of hair growth and shedding is disrupted or when the hair follicle is destroyed and replaced with scar tissue.
The exact cause of hair loss may not be fully understood, but it’s usually related to one or more of the following factors:
- Family history (heredity)
- Hormonal changes
- Medical conditions
Today, I’d like to discuss two types of hair loss with you – Acute Hair Loss, and Chronic Hair Loss along with their treatments.
Acute Hair Loss
What causes Acute Hair Loss?
Acute hair loss is just temporary and can be caused by a multitude of factors. The usual culprits are the following:
- Stress Many people experience a general thinning of hair several months after a physical or emotional shock. This type of hair loss is temporary.
- Diet. A strict low-calorie diet or extreme diet can cause hair loss.
- Illness or High Fever
- Hormones. Lower estrogen levels after childbirth.
- Hair Care and Hair Styles
Your hairstyle and even some of the products you use on your hair can cause hair loss.
Products: Frequent bleaching or permanents can cause the hair to break as well as using harsh over the counter hair care products. A botanical based hair line that is rich in vitamins and nutrients like our H&H Hair Science line is preferable as it stimulates hair growth and reduces breakage.
Blow dryers, flat irons, and other devices: Frequent use of a blow dryer tends to damage hair. The high heat from a blow dryer can boil the water in the hair shaft leaving the hair brittle and prone to breakage. Using a thermal protectant like our H&H Hair Science Protect My Hair Styling Mist protects your hair from the damaging effects of heat.
Hairpins, clips, and rubber bands: When used to hold hair tightly, hairpins, clips, and rubber bands can break hair. Here are dermatologists’ tips for choosing these:
- Hairpins: Use hairpins that have a smooth, ball-tipped surface.
- Hair clips: These should have spongy rubber padding where they touch the hair.
- Rubber bands: Try scrunchies made of fabric instead. Rubber bands often cause the hair to break. Scrunchies should fit loosely. To prevent hair loss, you should wear them in different areas of the scalp. This can prevent lots of hair breakage in one area.
Hairstyles: Years of wearing hair in a style that pulls on the hair such as a ponytail, cornrows, or braids can cause a type of hair loss known as traction alopecia.
Improper washing, drying, and combing: The following practices often cause the hair to break:
- Too much shampooing, combing, or brushing (100 strokes or more a day).
- Rubbing wet hair dry with a towel.
- Brushing or combing wet hair (especially people who are Asian or Caucasian).
Treating Acute Hair Loss
Understanding the contributing factors to your current hair loss is important. If you have been sick and taking medication, on a strict diet, stressed out or recently had a baby, all of these can cause temporary hair loss.
The H&H Science Grow My Hair Kit can be used daily to treat acute hair loss. Use the shampoo and conditioner every time you wash your hair. The Follicle Stimulating Serum should be used twice daily, once in the morning and once in the evening. In addition to using the Grow My Hair kit, an oral vitamin supplement containing Biotin should be taken daily. Our H&H Science Biotin supplement contains the daily recommended dose of Biotin for healthy hair growth.
Chronic Hair Loss
Chronic alopecia is a condition where you lose your hair. It may happen on any part of the body. Many conditions can affect the hair follicles and reduce hair growth. Chronic alopecia may be a symptom of an illness, an infection, or another condition.
Causes of Chronic Hair Loss
Another way to diagnose what the problem is just by looking and listening. Understanding what a patient’s mother, aunts, or grandmothers look like – if they have similar or greater amounts, of hair loss. Using magnification on the scalp can show if a woman’s follicles vary in size – with some thick and others thin. These are two telltale signs of female pattern hair loss, also called androgenetic alopecia.
This is a hereditary condition that affects about 30 million American women, according to the America Academy of Dermatology, and is the most common kind of hair loss. It happens to about 50% of women. Although it mostly occurs in the late 50s or 60s, it can happen at any time, even during teenage years, Rogers says.
There are many types of chronic alopecia. With some types, the hair loss is temporary and hair grows back. With other types, hair loss may continue or get worse. Some conditions result in permanent hair loss.
- Alopecia areata: This condition affects any part of the body, including the scalp. It may be caused by your immune system attacking your hair follicles. It may start with patchy hair loss. Many people will recover from this condition within a year. Alopecia areata may come back or progress into a more severe hair loss.
- Androgenic alopecia: This is also known as male pattern baldness and affects the scalp. It is a genetic condition where the hair follicles get smaller and produce less hair over time. It usually starts between 12 to 40 years of age and is more common in men.
Treating Chronic Hair Loss
Dermatologists are the skin care experts and specialize in treating scalp conditions. Early detection is key to treatment success. See your dermatologist if you are distressed by hair loss and want to pursue treatment. Also talk to your dermatologist if you notice sudden or patchy hair loss or more than usual hair loss when combing or washing your hair. Sudden hair loss can signal an underlying medical condition that requires treatment.
Chronic hair loss is treated with a myriad of treatments. Daily use and continued use of the Grow My Hair Kit and oral supplement of Biotin is essential. These will be used in conjunction with several other treatments that your dermatologist recommends for you to provide the most comprehensive treatment for your chronic hair loss.