Expert Speak on hair fall: 9 culprits behind your thinning mane
Hair fall is a pretty common concern for a lot of us. In this exclusive article penned by Dr Sruthi Gondi, Founder & Managing Director, Science of Skin, Hyderabad, you will get to know about the triggers behind the condition.
We are very conscious when it comes to our looks. After a certain age, every individual loses his or her hair and this affects our overall appearance. We lose hair usually when we shower or while combing our hair. This is normal. On an average, we all lose about 50-100 hairs every day. This is a normal cycle which a hair goes through and there will be a new one to replace it.
But if you experience hair fall, don't ignore it. It can be a sign of a more serious medical condition, which might need treatment. Hair loss could be hereditary. But usually, it is the result of hormonal changes and stress. At times, it is stress related. Medications and supplements you take can also cause hair loss. An illness or a major surgery can lead to a large amount of hair loss. This is related to the stress of the illness and is temporary. Hair fall can also be due to a hair pulling disorder called trichotillomania, which is a serious impulse control disorder. Here are the most common triggers behind hair fall you need to know about.
[caption id="attachment_674325" align="alignnone" width="655"] Consumption of caffeine and alcohol can hinder iron absorption and cause hair fall. Shutterstock[/caption]
Iron deficiency leads to anaemia. Less oxygen is carried to the scalp and this starves the follicles. Eventually, this will cause gradual and uniform hair loss. Vitamin C deficiency and consumption of caffeine and alcohol can hinder iron absorption. But drinking fruit juices with iron-rich food aids absorption and helps in regrowth.
You may like to read
[caption id="attachment_674326" align="alignnone" width="655"] People who limit their calorie intake to maintain a low weight, may have wispy, dull-looking hair. Shutterstock[/caption]
The growing phase of the hair cycle is prematurely halted by reduced food intake. Hair loses its shine and falls out. Those who lose weight suddenly or limit their calorie intake to maintain a low weight, may have wispy, dull-looking hair. You must eat right to reverse the condition. Increase your protein intake at breakfast and don't skip meals. Also increase the intake of food rich in vitamin A .
[caption id="attachment_674327" align="alignnone" width="655"] Family history affects both men and women. Shutterstock[/caption]
This is one of the major causes of hair loss. It affects both men and women. It goes through a predictable pattern. In men, it means a receding hairline and bald spots whereas, in women, it means thinning of hair in a gradual manner with age.
[caption id="attachment_674328" align="alignnone" width="655"] Changes in menstruation cycle, childbirth, or thyroid related problems can cause hair fall. Shutterstock[/caption]
Hormonal imbalances and certain medical conditions also cause either permanent or temporary hair loss. These could be changes in menstruation cycle or menopause, childbirth or thyroid related problems.
[caption id="attachment_674329" align="alignnone" width="655"] Infections of the scalp like ringworm or excess lice makes hair fall problem worse. Shutterstock[/caption]
Medical conditions like alopecia areata causes patchy hair loss. Infections of the scalp like ringworm or excess lice makes the problem worse.
Medications and therapies
[caption id="attachment_674334" align="alignnone" width="655"] Side effects of taking drugs for treating cancer, arthritis, depression etc. may include hair fall. Shutterstock[/caption]
Hair loss can be a side effect of certain drugs like the ones used for treating cancer, arthritis, depression, heart problems, gout and high blood pressure. It is also a common side effect of anti-depressants, blood thinners, excessive fitness supplements and anabolic steroids. Radiation therapy can cause hair loss as can chemotherapy.
[caption id="attachment_674331" align="alignnone" width="655"] Hair loss due to stress is a temporary problem. Shutterstock[/caption]
Many people experience a general thinning of hair several months after a physical or emotional shock or setback. This type of hair loss is temporary and is due to excess stress, tension and family issues.
[caption id="attachment_674335" align="alignnone" width="655"] Excess exposure to heat during straightening can affect quality of hair and eventually lead to hair loss. Shutterstock[/caption]
Excessive use of hair products and wearing a hairstyle that pulls your hair tight, like pigtails or cornrows, can cause a type of hair loss called traction alopecia. Excess exposure to heat during straightening can affect quality of hair and eventually lead to hair loss. Hot oil hair treatments and perms can cause inflammation of hair follicles that leads to hair loss. If scarring occurs, hair loss could be permanent.
[caption id="attachment_674333" align="alignnone" width="655"] Oestrogen levels drop drastically and hair follicles go on rest mode after pregnancy. Shutterstock[/caption]
Hair fall can increase after childbirth. During pregnancy, women have high oestrogen levels, leading to a prolonged growing stage of the hair. There are very few hairs in resting mode and the overall hair fall is less. As a result, during pregnancy, women have thicker and stronger hair.
However, post-delivery everything changes. Oestrogen levels drop drastically and hair follicles go on rest mode. Hence, there is hair fall. But this isn't a permanent situation. But for some women, the problem might be so severe that their scalp becomes visible. In such cases or situation, they must seek proper medical guidance.