A few Causes of Hair Loss
Hello Good people, I hope you’ve all been enjoying the world cup recently. It looks like Germany came out on top as far as football is concerned, but If there was a hairdressing world tournament, who would come out number one? We all know the Americans can work it but I think the UK is catching up!
Talking to both the ladies and the gents, I want to discuss the major reasons why we lose hair; there are so many but here are some of the top 4.
When reading this, remember that the average person has around 120,000-150,000 hairs on their head and they lose about 100 strands a day, so don’t worry if you find strands of hair on your brush.
Sometimes it’s our genes that determine hormonal balance or the lack thereof. You may have heard of the term DHT, which stands for dihydrotestosterone, it’s derived from testosterone using the enzymes 5-alpha reductase.
Hair loss caused by DHT is called androgenic alopecia and is part of the natural ageing process. This hormone causes the hair to become more fine by causing the hair follicles to shrink. Though its part of ageing it can occur much earlier in-life, because of genetics. Men have more of these types of hormones called androgens which including the main offender DHT than woman, and they also have more of the reducing enzymes hence androgenic alopecia in ladies is much less severe than in men.
2- Diet & Nutrition
The hot-stuff when it comes to hair growth is biotin otherwise know as vitamin H or vitamin B7. It is particularly abundant in eggs, liver and leafy green vegetables. Its a co-enzyme needed for the production of fatty-acids and constructive metabolism of some amino acids such as those important in hair and nail structure.
A severe deficiency of biotin has been known to cause hair loss and well as conjunctivitis and dermatitis whilst a mild deficiency can be indicated by neurological and psychological symptoms such as depression and tingling of fingers. Iron, folic acid, protein and zinc are also nutrients that can affect hair growth if in short supply.
Again, the action of DHT is part of the natural ageing process. DHT causes hair follicles to shrink causing hair to appear thinner. Also, as people get into old age their rate of hair growth slows down.
4. Stress And Trauma
Stress increases the levels of testosterone in the scalp which is converted into DHT, the effects of which we have already discussed. Here are some alopecias that can result from stress
Trichotillomania– This is the obsessive urge to pull out hair from the eyebrows, scalp or other areas. Now it could be just a bad habit but its more likely a coping mechanism or its symptomatic to a mental health issue.
Alopecia areata– This can be stress induced. It’s when the body’s immune system starts attacking the hair follicles causing hair loss all over the body
Telogen Efluvium– To cut a long story short, the hair has a growth cycle ending with a ‘resting phase’ which is when the hair shed. Usually we lose 100 strands a day to this process, which is less that 1% each day- High stress can push a higher proportion of the hair into the resting phase causing unusually high amounts of shedding.
So that’s enough for today but keep watching because I plan to discuss more common reasons for hair loss including pregnancy, menopause, braiding and relaxing.
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