Hair grows everywhere on human skin, except on the palms of the hands and the soles of the feet. They consist of a protein called keratin, which is produced in the hair follicles, in the outer layer of the skin.
On average an adult has about 100,000 to 150,000 hairs and loses up to 100 of them a day, so finding some lost hairs in your hairbrush is not necessarily alarming.
The reasons for hair loss are numerous. When hair loss starts suddenly, the cause can be a health disease, unbalanced diet, recently used medications, or even hormonal changes especially after birth. If hair loss is gradual and becomes more apparent with each passing year, a person may have hereditary hair loss. Some hair care practices can also cause noticeable hair loss.
Below we describe some causes of hair loss:
1. Genetics (also called androgenic alopecia):
This is the most common cause of hair loss and affects both men and women. When men have hereditary hair loss, a falling hairline initially becomes apparent, while another section sees more pronounced hair absences in the form of round spaces, especially on the upper part of the head. Women, on the other hand, are not prone to such signs of hair loss, at least not at the same rate as men. At first, thinning of the hair follicle is noticed in them, then thinning of the hair in the front areas of the scalp and more rarely, visible drops may appear in the upper part of the scalp.
2. Health diseases
Hair loss can be the first sign of an illness. About 30 types of diseases, including thyroid and anemia, cause hair loss. By treating the disease, hair loss can often be stopped. On the other hand, a significant hair loss can occur after an illness you have gone through. A surgical intervention, high fever, severe infection, or even a severe flu can cause hair loss.
3. Hormones and stress
Birth: After giving birth, some women experience noticeable hair loss. Decreased estrogen levels cause hair loss, but this is a temporary process. After a few months, women see their hair regenerate.
Menopause: Hair loss is common during menopause. This decline is often temporary. Hair re-grows over time, but if a woman is in her 40s or older, she should not expect her hair to have the same firmness and density as before.
Stress: Experiencing a traumatic event, stress of different situations of daily life can cause hair loss.
4. Poor food diet
Weight loss: Some people experience hair loss, as they lose weight quickly and in greater quantities than the body. Hair loss can occur 3 to 6 months after weight loss.
Lack of protein:
When the body does not get enough protein it starts to ration the protein it gets. One way the body can ration protein is to inhibit hair growth. About 2 to 3 months after a person does not get enough protein, hair loss is noticed. Meat, eggs and fish are good sources of protein. Vegetarians can get more protein by adding nuts, seeds and beans to their diet.
Iron: Iron deficiency can lead to hair loss. Good vegetarian sources of iron are iron-fortified cereals such as soy, pumpkin seeds, white beans, lentils and spinach. On the other hand, to get more iron, it is advisable to consume supplements or preparations that contain iron.
Eating Disorder: When a person has an eating disorder, hair loss is common. Anorexia and bulimia can cause hair loss.
5. The use of medications for the treatment of various health cases
Some types of medications can cause hair loss. These include: blood thinners, high-dose vitamin A, medications that treat arthritis, depression, heart problems, and high blood pressure.
Contraceptive pills can also cause hair loss in some women. There are other cases when hair loss starts after stopping taking these pills.
Steroids taken to build muscle and improve athletic performance, can cause hair loss.
7. Improper hair care
Hair styling and some of the products you use for hair, can cause them to fall out.
Frequent opening of hair color can damage them. Regular use of dyes, styling or fixing gels, fixing or styling foams and sprays can also cause damage and hair loss. Dermatologists recommend limiting the use of these hair products. Less use often means less hair damage.
Frequent use of dryers or other hot styling items tends to damage the hair. High heat can remove water from the hair shaft, leaving them brittle and prone to drying and breakage. Dermatologists recommend limiting the use of these devices, or the use of heat protection products.
Hair clips, clips and rubber bands, when used to hold hair firmly, tend to tear and damage the hair strand.
Improper washing, drying and combing
Simple seeming mistakes, but which cause great damage to the hair also occur in the following procedures:
-Using shampoo in larger quantities than necessary;
-Daily combing or styling of hair with the above products (dryer, straightener, gel, etc.);
– Drying wet hair with a towel. (Instead of a towel it is advisable to use a soft cloth, mainly made of cotton, which absorbs moisture without damaging the hair from friction);
Wet hair styling (especially Asian or Caucasian people).
How to treat hair loss?
Just as there are many causes, there are also many treatments for hair loss.
Dermatologists recommend early treatment of hair loss.
Here’s how to treat hair loss:
1. First find out the cause of hair loss, in order to find the right solution. Check with your specialist doctor if your hair loss is hormonal, from stress, from medication use, from a bad diet or is genetic.
It is important to discover the source of hair loss, as each cause has special treatment.
2. Use soft hair products.
When you notice that your hair is getting thinner, switching to natural hair products is a good idea. Many shampoos, conditioners, hair protectors and other products contain chemicals that are harsh on the scalp and hair, thus accelerating hair loss and damaging the remaining hair. Use shampoo that does not contain sulfates or any kind of alcohol. These ingredients are very harmful to the hair. Look for a conditioner that does not contain silicone, as silicone damages the hair.
3. Use a comb instead of brushes. Combing your hair with a brush, makes the latter pull more hair, especially when you have wet hair. The best way to comb your hair is to use a wide-toothed comb. Start near the ends of your hair, first combing the strands and finally working up to the roots. Also, avoid as much as possible the use of styling equipment and products, which accelerate damage and hair loss.
4. Massage your scalp with a nourishing oil. Scalp massage (at least once a week) stimulates hair growth, increasing circulation around the hair follicles. Rub your scalp in a circular motion, starting from the side area of the forehead, continuing to the middle of the scalp and ending in the lower area of the head. Remember to focus more on the areas that have the most hair loss. You can try almond oil, orange oil, coconut oil, lavender oil or jojoba oil for massage. You can also use oily complexes or solutions in the form of sprays, suitable for hair and scalp massage.
5. Improve your food diet.
Make sure the foods you eat have enough protein and omega-3s. Protein is essential for strong hair. A deficiency in protein can lead to dry and weak hair, and ultimately, hair loss. An adequate amount of protein can help provide hair-strengthening amino acids. On the other hand, the body needs omega-3 fatty acids to create new hair. Consumption of omega-3 is essential for hair growth, so try to consume foods rich in omega-3 supplements as well.
6. Use the right supplements
The key word in any hair loss supplement should be biotin.
Biotin is a water-soluble vitamin, part of the B family of vitamins. It is also known as vitamin H. Your body needs biotin to help convert some nutrients into energy. It plays a key role in the health of your hair, skin and nails.
But do not forget to pay attention to vitamins or other minerals of hair loss supplements. Make sure the selected supplements have:
-Vitamin B complex
7. Use of other preparations
In case of a pronounced hair loss, which requires more vigorous treatment than the aforementioned, further consultation with a dermatologist is required, as well as a precise definition of the products to be used and the time of treatment.
This drug is applied to the scalp. It can stop thinning hair and stimulate hair growth on the top of the head. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved minoxidil, to treat hair loss. Minoxidil is suitable for both women (not recommended during breastfeeding) and men. It can be used alone, or with other stimulant products to strengthen the hair.
Finasteride interferes with the production of a form of testosterone, which is associated with hair loss. It is a drug approved by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration), to treat hair loss in men (androgenic alopecia). Helps slow down hair loss in most (about 88%) men. Helps stimulate hair regrowth (about 66%) and works by stopping the body from producing dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Reducing the amount of DHT leads to increased hair regeneration and slower hair loss. Hair growth on other parts of the body is not affected by finasteride.
Women and children should not use this medicine.