Hair loss or alopecia is a skin disorder characterized by excessive loss of hair. Hair loss, balding or hair shedding is a common medical condition that affects millions of people around the world.
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What is Hair Loss?
Everybody loses some hair on a daily basis, which means that it is completely normal if you find some hair on your brush after brushing them. What’s not fine is finding an unusual amount of hair on your hairbrush.
Losing a few hairs daily is not something you should be concerned about because you have a lot of new hair growing out to make up for it.
But if all of a sudden you shed more hair than usual and start seeing bald spots on your scalp then you should definitely see a dermatologist.
What Causes Hair Loss?
There can be a lot of factors that can have an impact on your hair.
Below mentioned is the list of top most reasons behind hair loss:
1. Nutritional deficiencies that cause hair loss
Hair loss is directly linked to nutritional deficiencies in your body. Zinc and iron deficiency is the biggest reason for hair fall among most people.
However, some dermatologists also believe that people who are deficient in copper, vitamin A, vitamin B 12, vitamin D, fat, selenium, vitamin C, and biotin may suffer from hair fall.
2. Medications that cause hair loss
No matter how safe the label says that your medications are, almost all medications come with side effects.
Some medications that may cause hair loss are:
- oral contraceptives
- thyroid medications
Chemotherapy is another big cause of hair loss.
3. Hormonal changes that cause hair loss
Studies show that women lose hair after childbirth and while they are in menopause. It is because of the hormonal changes that are taking place in their bodies. While men suffer from hair loss because of the changes in hormonal composition in their bodies as they age. Another leading cause of hair loss in men is genetic male pattern baldness.
4. Stress and hair loss
Be it physical or psychological stress, both can be responsible for hair loss.
People report that they shed more hair when they’re suffering from extreme anxiety or mental stress.
Others may lose hair after going through high fevers, surgeries, and severe blood losses.
Since childbirth also puts extreme levels of physical stress on the women’s bodies, it causes severe alopecia. But as soon as the body starts healing and the causes of physical stress subside, hair loss stops.
5. Lupus and hair loss
Hair loss in some cases is triggered by lupus which is an autoimmune disease. Lupus causes patchy baldness along with lesions on the scalp.
Medications used to treat lupus may also be the cause of hair loss in some cases.
6. Thyroid disorders that cause hair loss
Thyroid disorders can be the reason behind your hair loss. Usually, hair loss is triggered when you have too much thyroid hormone (hyperthyroidism) or too little thyroid hormone (hypothyroidism) in your body.
Hair loss in this condition can only be reversed if you get your thyroid disorder treated.
Other conditions that can lead to hair loss or abnormal balding are:
- liver disease
- inflammatory bowel disease
- renal failure
- ring worms on the scalp
What Is the Treatment for Hair Loss?
If even after taking multivitamins or changing your hair styling habits your hair is still falling out then it is a sign that your hair is begging for help and you need to see a dermatologist.
Some treatment options for hair loss that dermatologists recommend are:
1. Topical ointments
If you suffer from alopecia areata or other skin-related diseases of the scalp you will be prescribed topical solutions. These solutions are available in pharmacies in the form of foams and liquids. You need to apply these solutions on a daily basis.
At first, these solutions cause extreme hair loss and new hair growth after the application is thinner and shorter, but it gets better with time.
Dermatologists recommend using these topical solutions for at least six months to get rid of the disease completely.
2. Prescription pills
If your hair loss is caused by hormonal imbalances in your body then you will be prescribed hormone balancing pills. You need to take these pills on a regular basis until your hormone levels are completely balanced and your hair fall stops.
3. PRP therapy
Platelet rich plasma or PRP therapy is another great treatment option for hair loss. For this therapy, your dermatologist will draw your blood, process it, and then reinject it into your scalp.
PRP therapy requires several sessions to treat hair loss completely.
4. Light and laser therapy
If you suffer from androgenic alopecia or pattern balding then light and laser therapy will work best for you in treating hair loss.
You can either visit a dermatologist for this treatment or you can get laser devices in the form of combs, brushes, and other handheld items from pharmacies. These devices emit light that promotes new hair growth and thickens existing hair too.
You can easily apply laser light twice or thrice in a week yourself or maybe go to a dermatologist if you’re not able to do so yourself.
You will only start noticing differences after you use laser and light therapy for a few weeks or months consistently.
Acupuncture works really well for some people who are suffering from hair loss. It is a Chinese method of treatment in which needles are inserted in the scalp to stimulate hair follicles and promote new hair growth.
How to Prevent Hair Loss?
There are many things that dermatologists recommend that you can do to slow down or stop hair loss.
But before you jump into preventing your hair loss make sure that you know the reason behind your hair loss then only you will be able to reverse it or prevent it.
Below is the list of some tips that can help prevent hair loss:
- Dialing in your nutrition is the first and foremost thing that you need to do if you’re planning to prevent hair loss. Consult your doctor and get yourself some multivitamin pills and start taking them regularly.
- Change your hair styling habits and by saying that we mean, stay away from tightly bound hairstyles like braids, ponytails or buns. And maybe switch to a wide toothed comb so that you don’t tug your roots every time you are untangling your hair.
- Keep all the unnecessary stress under the carpet. And if stress is an integral part of your life, try including yoga, meditation and mindfulness techniques in your day to keep yourself calm.