Hair loss is something that worries all. Everyone from any age group or ethnic group can be affected by hair loss due to some reason. Hair loss at small scale is seen as normal. Human hair naturally grows in three phases: anagen, catagen, and telogen. Anagen is the active or growing phase. Catagen is a fairly short phase of the natural hair cycle during which hairs begin to break down. Telogen is the resting phase.
During the resting period of the cycle, the hair follicle is reaching the point of detachment and the bulb of the hair shaft moves closer to the surface of the scalp. As time passes during this period, shampooing and other movement on the scalp will cause the hair to disengage from the scalp. This is part of the normal shedding process.
We shed an average of 50-100 hairs per day. Under normal conditions new hairs grow to replace each hair that has been shed, keeping the average number of growing hairs about the same at all times. Hair loss may involve many unknown factors; however, healthy hair is part of the overall good health of any person and is directly related to healthy conscientious nutrition. A well balanced diet may not interfere with a genetic predisposition – however it will support the health and appearance of the hair that is retained on your head.
There can be many causes behind hair loss. Few of them are:
• Heredity. In most cases, hair loss is inherited, which means it’s passed down from one or both of your parents. This is called male-pattern or female-pattern hair loss.
• Stress, including physical stress from surgery, illness, or high fever.
• Chemotherapy, which is powerful medicine that destroys cancer cells.
• Damage to your hair from pulling it back too tightly, wearing tight braids or ponytails, or using curling irons or dyes.
• Age, since you grow less hair as you get older. Hair also gets thinner and tends to break more easily as you age.
• Poor diet, especially not getting enough protein or iron.
• Thyroid diseases, like hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism.
• Ringworm of the scalp, which is common in children
• Trichotillomania which is a psychological disorder in which people repeatedly pull their hair out, often leaving bald patches.
• Alopecia areata-This disease occurs when the body’s immune system attacks hair follicles — causing smooth, roundish patches of hair loss.
Symptoms of hair loss are easily identified. Few of them are:
• Gradual thinning on top of head
• Patchy bald spots
• Saddening loosening of hair
• In some conditions like Alopecia areata, full body hair loss
• Abnormal shedding of hair while combing or shampooing
When you feel that you have any of the above symptoms then you must consult your physician as abnormal hair loss can be caused by some underlying disease which needs to be treated as soon as possible. After consulting your physician you can go for any of the various treatments available.
There are many treatments available for treating hair loss like:
• By treating the underlying disease that is causing hair loss.
• If it is due to malnourishment then giving proper supplements.
• Surgery in the most severe cases where permanent hair loss. Hair transplant is an option under surgery.
• Treatment of the skin disease like ringworm that is causing hair loss.