Why Am I Losing My Hair? Six Reasons Your Hair is Falling Out
Sudden hair loss or hair shedding episodes can be nothing short of distressing. Yes, hair fall is a normal part of having hair on your head, but when we start to experience the steady appearance of thinning hair or patchy balding spots, the situation can progress rapidly from being concerning to tragic.
Hair loss or alopecia occurs more frequently in men but does affect one in three women. Thinning hair can launch us into a whirlwind of hair product and styling ritual trial and error practices, generating hopes of finding a hair loss solution. However, it is difficult to manage the problem if you do not know the origin or cause.
The Hair Growth Cycle
Our hair moves through a series of hair growth phases known as the hair growth cycle. It grows from the root or follicle that lies just beneath our skin and relies heavily on the healthy circulation of blood, nutrients, and oxygen that to the scalp region without any disruption. Any hindrance of blood flow or transport of nutrients creates an atmosphere for balding and thinning.
Any number of natural, physical or external factors can disturb the cycle, hurling your hair into the resting phase of the hair cycle too soon. We depend on the hair growth cycle for the arrival of new hair. When there is a disruption in that cycle (i.e., three months or more), we do not gain any new growth. Meanwhile, the remaining tresses on your head become more vulnerable without the proper nutrients leading to an embarrassing of hair loss.
The thing that disturbs or destroys your hair growth cycle can vary. Some of our hair loss is the result of our hair care practices, others may be the result of the genetic makeup, and some individuals may have to endure hair fall that happens in close relationship with external forces.
Whatever the trigger, it is essential that you understand the cause and how to manage it.
What Causes Hair Loss?
We generally lose anywhere from 60 to 100 hairs a day. However, it is important to note that regular hair loss rates do not generate bald patches. We have upwards of 100,000 strands of hair.
There are a variety of factors that may contribute to noticeable hair loss.
Not surprisingly, our hair loss issues may be the result of our genetic makeup. If your mother or father has problems with thinning hair, a receding hairline, or balding, there is a chance that you will also endure the same as you continue to age.
Stress and Hair Fall
Do not underestimate the power of stress on the rate at which your hair grows or falls out. It is not uncommon for some people to experience a bout of hair loss after a traumatic or stressful event occurs in their life. Two types of hair loss that we can associate with stress are known as telogen effluvium and alopecia areata.
Telogen effluvium can trigger your hair to enter the resting or telogen phase ahead of schedule. When this happens, its only a matter of months before you start to notice a rapid rate of hair loss when styling or washing your hair.
Alopecia areata is another by-product of stress in some individuals. Stress can activate this condition, triggering hair fall as a result of the immune system attacking our hair follicles.
Medical Causes of Hair Loss
Multiple medical conditions or events can lead to hair loss. Thyroid disease is one of the more common conditions that may wreak havoc on the quality and quantity of hair you have on your head. Thyroid disease occurs when our body produces too little or too much of the thyroid hormone. When this happens thinning hair, or bald patches can emerge if the problem goes without treatment.
Another condition that may contribute to hair loss is iron-deficiency anemia. Low iron levels in our blood are also known to cause hair shed. After all, our red blood cells rely on iron to transport hemoglobin and oxygen throughout the body. If these essential nutrients cannot reach our scalp, our hair will not grow or remain healthy.
Medications and Thinning Hair
The medicines we take for various health conditions including blood pressure, depression, heart disease, and cancer may also lead to thinning hair or balding. Alopecia often occurs as a side effect of consuming these medications because they contain properties that are potent enough to disrupt the hair growth cycle or damage your hair follicles.
Hair Style Choices and Shedding
Your penchant for wearing certain hairstyles or using certain chemicals on your hair and scalp may result in hair loss. Ponytails, cornrows, improper wig adhesive use or removal, chemical relaxers, hair twists, and braids can all contribute to balding.
Also, hair styling tools like curling irons, flat irons, and blowdryers, with excessive use or extreme heat settings, can damage the overall structure of your hair making it vulnerable for breakage or thinning.
Diet and Hair Growth
Your hair depends on you to consume healthy foods and to drink plenty of water for hydration. When we fail to incorporate adequate levels of vitamin A, vitamin B, vitamin C, healthy fats, protein, and zinc into our diet, our hair does not always fair well.
In summary, there are multiple reasons you may be experiencing hair loss issues. If you find that some of these issues are not things you can solve for independently, do not be afraid to get help. Hair loss resulting from a medical condition or medication may be curable with the care of a physician.
There are a few over-the-counter medications and creams such as minoxidil that may be able to assist you in treating hair thinning or baldness.
Another excellent option for hair loss may include the use of natural remedies such as essential oils like rosemary oil, tea tree oil, peppermint oil, lemongrass, and clary sage oil to help stimulate the scalp and seal in moisture within your strands.
Finally, contact Melanie Day at You’ve Got Curls and Hair Loss Center for a private consultation. As your hair care professional I can meet with you to provide valuable tips for how to care for your hair and scalp as well as styling options that may be available to fit your individual needs.