Want to know why hair loss occurs?

Losing hair or alopecia, mostly occurs on the head, but it can also occur on other body parts. There is no specific age that it happens and can affect 30% to 40% of the population. It can be difficult at times to identify the cause of hair loss, but reasons can range from genetics, ageing, disease, stress and poor diet and exercise. Many women have complained of losing a lot of hair after childbirth as well.

Below we identify the different types of hair loss:

1. Hormones and Genetics – Androgenic alopecia Occurs mostly in men and causes balding of the crown and temple area. For women, the balding  occurs first in the temple area and the cown and can move down the sides of the head. Generally the back of the head still remains quite dense with hair. This type of balding usually only occurs in women after menopause.

2. Physical and Emotional Stress – Toxic Alopecia This type of hair loss can sometimes only occur 2 – 3 months after the stress that ignited the hair loss reaction. The types of things that cause this type of Alopecia are scalp infections, illness, sudden weight loss, child birth and preganancy. Diabetes and thyroid issues also play a role here, as well as medications, such as chemotherapy, heart disease drugs and radiation.

3. Skin Disorders – Areata Alopecia This is a skin disorder, that causes hair in the affected areas to fall out. It can happen in the scalp or beard and is common amoung young people. Luckily the hair usually grows back once the skin condition has been treated.

4. Psychological problems – Totalis Alopecia The hair follicle in this type of Alopecia is not at all damaged, but the inability to grow the hair back is psychological. Hair is lost from everywhere including the eyebrows and eyelashes. This type of hair loss is very difficult to fix.

5. Pulling at the hair – Trichotillomania This type of hair loss is caused by constant tugging at the hair. It is a bad habit that can be corrected with the correct treatment.

6. Scars and Skin Cancer – Scarring Alopecia This type of hair loss occurs in area where there is damaged skin or scarring often caused by skin cancer or burns.

7. Hairstyling – Traction Alopecia Hairstyles that tug too hard at the hair follicles, such as tightly winding hair onto rollers, tight ponytails and cornrows can cause hair loss.

What can I do to prevent hair loss?

1. Take care of your hair

Try not to use heat on your hair often, heat damages the hair follicles and scalp burns can permanently  inhibit hair growth. Allow your hair to dry naturally as often as possible and avoid hair dryers, curling tongs and hair straightening irons. Don’t use damaging hair extensions, such as keratin bonds and micro-ring extensions, which tug at the hair follicles and cause hair loss. If you want to wear hair extensions, go the safest NO DAMAGE route and try a set of clip-in hair extensions. Slow down on the dyeing. All hair dyeing uses hydrogen peroxide to achieve the desired colour. This process raises the hair cuticle to enable penetration of the colour molecules, this cuticle raising causes damage to the hair. If you have to dye your hair, only do it every 6-8 weeks and no more.

2. Be careful when styling your hair

Stick to loose braids and ponytails rather than pulling the hair back into tight ponytails or braids such as cornrows. Certain hairstyles when done daily can cause unneccessary hair loss. Cutting your hair into layers can add body and make it appear thicker, but make sure you go to the right hair dresser for this, as you don’t want to cut off too much hair. Hair that is thin and all one length can cause the hair to lie flat at the roots, causing it to appear thinner. Remember to use the correct brushes for your hair

3. Eat the right foods in the correct quantities

Remember a healthy body is much more likely to have a healthy head of hair. Your hair says a lot about the general health of your body. Check out our detailed article on what foods will promote healthy hair and hair growth. Be sure to avoid low calorie and liquid diets. These will really deplete your energy and can also cause hair loss. Avoid eating raw egg whites as this can interfere with the absorption of Biotin which promotes hair growth.

4. Take some vitamin supplements

You should consult with your health practitioner about the best supplements for you. Generally an increase in Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Iron, Protein and biotin will promote hair growth.

5. Deal with your stress

Hair loss can be a sure sign that it is time to take it easy. One of the best ways to counteract stress is with exercise. Start running, even if it is for 20 mintues a day. The increase in bloodflow, will promote hair growth, by ensuring that all the nutrients your hair needs to grow reach your hair follicles. Make sure you get enough sleep. For most adults 7 – 9 hours per night is sufficient.

6. If your hair loss has been confirmed consider treatment options. Medications – These will be prescribed by your health care provider Egg oil massage – This moisturizes the scalp and promotes hair growth. It can prevent greying and hair fall. Steroid creams – These are used to treat scapl conditions such as Alopecia Areata. Hair Transplants, laser treatements  and hair restoration surgery are also some other alternatives.

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