7 Reasons You’re Loosing Your Hair and How To Prevent It
Hair loss isn’t something we expect to have to deal with until we are older. However, it can affect both men and women at any age, even in our 20s.
Hair loss can be a difficult topic to discuss with others. It not only affects our appearance but also our confidence.
If you suffer from hair loss, you’re not alone. According to AmercianHairLoss.org, two-thirds of American men will experience some kind of hair loss by the age of 35. By 50, that number jumps up to 85%. While hair loss isn’t as common in women, it still is a concern amongst both genders.
While you should always contact a medical professional with your concerns, hair loss prevention and treatment can start right at home. In this guide, we’ll discuss common causes of hair loss, along with treatment and prevention methods.
What is hair loss?
Hair loss isn’t as simple as it sounds. It’s actually quite complex and can be caused by both external and internal factors. Generally, hair loss is more common in men but also affects women and children as well. The medical term for hair loss is alopecia.
While some choose to let hair loss progress without treatment, you can often stop or prevent it yourself, depending on the cause. As always, you should speak to a doctor before starting any medical treatments.
The earlier you notice your hair loss, the better since you can start treatment immediately. Treating hair loss successfully has a lot to do with timing. If you are able to halt it earlier, you’ll have a higher chance of successful treatments.
Hair loss is personal but it affects millions of people daily.
What Causes Hair Loss?
The causes of hair loss of very wide-ranging, from genetics to everyday stress, and can vary from men and women. Let’s take a look at some of the most common causes:
One of the most common causes of hair loss is genetics. You may be more inclined to lose hair if your parents did as well. Hereditary hair loss is difficult to treat and is more common in men than women. However, you can slow down the process by using topical treatments, such as Rogaine. We’ll talk more about that later on.
Physical Trauma & Stress
Physical trauma and stress not only takes a toll on your body but your hair as well. This type of trauma to your hair is called telogen effluvium. Your hair cycle is stunted, causing your hair strands to temporarily stop growing and move straight to the shedding phase. Fortunately, this is usually temporary.
Amounts of vitamins and nutrients crucial to healthy hair can cause hair loss, such as vitamin B and protein. Similarly, too much of certain vitamins, such as vitamin A, can also cause hair loss. Luckily, these are easy to fix just by changing our diets.
Over-stimulation of scalp
Overstimulation of your scalp due to excessive styling can also cause hair loss. This can tug your hair from its roots, which can be quite painful. Be careful how you treat and style your hair.
Many women experience hair loss during and after pregnancy, since it takes a significant toll on the body. Hair loss can last for many months after birth but usually subsides in about 2-3 months.
Hair loss is symptom of many autoimmune diseases, such as Lupus. While hair loss doesn’t usually signify issues with your immune system, you should contact a medical professional if this problem persists or if you notice other symptoms as well.
Most people, both men and women, will experience some hair loss by the time they reach the age of 60. Hair loss due to aging is completely normal and expected.
How do you treat hair loss?
If you are suffering from hair loss, there are many treatments you can consider. Keep in mind, however, the right treatment for you will depend on the underlying cause of your hair loss. If your hair loss is caused by your lifestyle or diet, there are many treatments that you can try at home:
Nutritionally balanced diet
Your diet contributes significantly to the health of your hair. Healthy hair starts from within. Whether you are experiencing hair loss or not, you should always strive to consume a nutritionally balanced diet. Deficiencies in vitamin B and protein can often cause hair loss.
Vitamins & Supplements
To help you achieve a balanced diet that is optimal for hair growth, you can also take vitamins and supplements. There are vitamins made specially to promote healthy hair growth. These contain a mix of vitamins, minerals, and herbs, such as OptiMSM, that support the growth of thicker and longer hair.
Avoid over styling
While it’s absolutely fine to style your hair, don’t be too harsh. Avoid hairstyles that can cause damage to your hair, such as tight braids or ponytails. Hair tools, such as hair straighteners and curling irons, can also be damaging to hair. Use caution when applying them to your hair.
Avoid touching your hair
Many of us compulsively touch, twist, or pull our hair without even being conscious of it. If you suffer from hair loss, avoid touching your hair as much as possible.
For more ideas on how to grow beautiful and healthy hair, watch this video from Mimi at LuxyHair, in which she discusses hair loss causes and at-home treatments.
Aside from lifestyle changes, there are also medical treatments you can start to cure hair loss. Keep in mind, however, that if your hair loss is caused by another underlying medical condition, these treatments will not be able to stop it.
One of the most popular medical treatments for hair loss is topical minoxidil. In the United States, topical minoxidil is available over the counter without a prescription. The most popular brand of topical minoxidil is Rogaine.
Minoxidil can be used on both men and woman. It’s very easy to use and apply, which is why is such a common treatment. Minoxidil can be applied directly to the scalp. It comes as a liquid or foam and should be applied daily. Minoxidil either comes in a 2% formula or a 5% formula, depending on the state of your hair loss. It may take up to 12 weeks before you see any results.
Another medical treatment aimed at targeting hair loss is Finasteride. Finasteride is a prescription oral treatment that comes in the form of a pill. It should be taken once daily. Finasteride is usually only prescribed to men and not women, especially those who are pregnant or wish to become pregnant.
After starting treatment, men usually report a decreased rate of hair loss and hair regrowth. There are reported side effects and risks of Finasteride, such as decreased sex drive and possible increased risk of prostate cancer. You should consult with your doctor whether Finasteride is right for you.
Aside from topical and oral drugs, scalp surgeries can also be an effective way to permanently fight hair loss.
Two types of scalp surgeries include hair transplants and scalp reduction:
Hair transplants are a common procedure among men. It is typically done under local anesthesia. A doctor will remove a approximately 2-3 inch piece of skin on the lower lower parts of the scalp. This piece will be transported to the top of the scalp, where hair loss typically occurs.
The area of scalp where the skin was removed will be sewn together and covered by the hairs next to it. The piece of scalp will then be divided into tiny grafts containing a few hairs each and placed strategically on the balding area. The amount of scalp and grafts needed will depend on a person’s hair type and color. A hair transplant will typically take 4-5 hours and may require additional sessions.You should start seeing hair regrowth within 3 months.
The costs of hair transplants vary by range anywhere from $4000 to $15000 and is typically not covered by insurance. There are risks associated with this procedure, including bleeding and infection.
Another type of procedure is scalp reduction, where the piece of the scalp with hair loss is removed. As these are medical procedures, they aren’t right for everybody. They include more risk and should typically be considered after topical and oral treatments are proven ineffective.
Instead of medical treatments and procedures, many men and women choose to cover up hair loss instead of curing it.
Hair wigs or hairpieces are common coverups. Wigs and hairpieces come in many different shapes, colors, and sizes. You can typically take a wig to a stylist and have them cut and shape the wig to your liking. As for material, you can choose from either synthetic or human hair.
Synthetic is very affordable and may costs as little as $40 for a full wig. Human hair wigs, however, are much more costly and will set you back anywhere from $500 to $3000. While wigs are convenient, they may not look the most natural.
To get the illusion of more hair without using fake hair, you can also use a hair powder or concealer. By spraying or sprinkling on hair-like fibers on to your own hair, you can give your locks a fuller effect. Lauren from Women’s Hair Project is a huge fan of using hair concealer.
Hair loss is a difficult issue to go through but it’s not hopeless. Be sure thoroughly do your research and find the best solution for you. As always, consult a medical professional before starting any medical treatment.