[Hair Loss Demystified] What Millions of South African’s Don’t Know About Hair Loss
Day after day we help men and women of all ages, who suffer from hair loss. In this post I discuss a couple of very important things these people – and millions of others just like them – don’t know (but ought to know) about hair loss…
Does Menopause Cause Hair Loss?
Menopause is a natural biological process that all women experience at some point in their lives. During this time, the body goes through numerous physical changes as it adjusts to fluctuating hormone levels. Many women have unpleasant symptoms during menopause, including hot flashes, mood swings, and insomnia. Hair loss is another common occurrence during menopause.
Hair loss tends to be subtler in women than it is in men. Most women experience overall hair thinning rather than noticeable bald spots. The thinning can occur on the front, sides, or top of the head. Hair may also fall out in large clumps during brushing and showering.
When the levels of estrogen and progesterone drop, hair grows more slowly and becomes much thinner. A decrease in these hormones also triggers an increase in the production of androgens, or a group of male hormones.
Androgens shrink hair follicles, resulting in hair loss on the head. In some cases, however, these hormones can cause more hair to grow on the face. This is why some menopausal women develop facial “peach fuzz” and small sprouts of hair on the chin.
For women going through menopause, the cause of hair loss is almost always related to hormonal changes. However, there are many other factors that can contribute to hair loss during menopause. These include extremely high levels of stress, illness, or a lack of certain nutrients.
Diagnostic blood tests that can help rule out other causes of hair loss include thyroid tests, and/or a complete blood count.
Hair loss may make you feel self-conscious about your physical appearance, but the condition isn’t permanent.
But don’t despair…
…There are treatments and products you can take and do to treat hair loss and improve the quality of your hair.
(Tip: We can help with any hair loss problems. Book a free consultation and find out how we can help YOU. Click here to book now)
Why is My Hair Falling Out? Why is My Hair Thinning? What’s Causing My Hair To Fall Out?
There is nothing unusual about losing hair — we all shed an average of 100 hairs a day. Most of these, about 80 per cent, are lost when washing or brushing your hair; the rest will simply drift away throughout the day.
This will not affect your hair’s overall appearance because it is only a tiny percentage of the hairs on your head — as adults, we start out with up to 150,000. And importantly, more hairs are growing than are being shed.
However, millions of South African’s suffer from excessive hair loss, or alopecia, where they shed hair faster than it’s replaced or stop producing it altogether.
Poor nutrition is another potential contributing factor. There is research indicating that low levels of iron, vitamin D, some B vitamins and zinc are linked to hair loss. While typically not the main cause of your thinning mane, nutrient or vitamin deficiencies can make the problem worse, he says. Fixing your diet or taking supplements can help, but it’s often just one part of a multifaceted solution.
If clumps come out when you shower or you notice thinning in just a few weeks or months, you’re more likely dealing with another common condition called acute telogen effluvium. This rapid hair loss is basically a short-term ramping up of your hair’s normal shedding process.
Any event that puts a lot of stress on your body—like childbirth, surgery or rapid weight loss—can result in this alarming, clumpy hair loss, which tends to start a couple months after the event. The shedding can last for six months and may result in your losing up to 70% of your hair. But typically the hair can grow back.
More good advice…
Stay away from “miracle” cures marketed online or in late-night TV infomercials. They’re not the answer. Hair loss is such an emotionally charged experience and when you’re really upset, you’re willing to try anything.”
Time spent experimenting with different over-the-counter or infomercial products is often time (and money) wasted.
Does Dry Scalp Cause Hair Loss? Why is My Scalp Itchy?
Hair loss is usually caused by problems with the natural hair cycle, but it may also be linked to your scalp health.
One trigger is scalp ringworm, a fungal infection usually passed on by towels, brushes or sheets, which can cause scaly, bald patches.
Psoriasis, an inflammatory skin condition that leads to scaly, itchy plaques, can also cause hair loss.
It is treated with descaling preparations or occasionally coal tar, with steroids to reduce inflammation.
Though they don’t cause hair loss, conditions such as eczema and dermatitis can lead to the hair breaking because they irritate the scalp, prompting scratching.
The first thing to do is to identify any allergic cause — perhaps a preservative or fragrance in a hair product — and remove it.
What Are These Bald Patches On My Head? What Causes These Bald Patches?
Random bald spots on the scalp (or body) are known as alopecia areata. This is an auto-immune problem where the immune system attacks the hair follicle, causing inflammation and stopping the hair growth cycle.
The skin in these patches looks normal (unlike with scalp ringworm), though some patients report a tingling sensation. Alopecia areata affects up to 2 per cent of adults, typically those aged 15 to 29.
With diffuse alopecia areata, hair is shed all over the scalp, which is why it’s often confused with telogen effluvium, but it’s patchier. In some cases, the whole head is affected (alopecia totalis) and sometimes even the body (alopecia universalis).
Possible Causes: These forms of hair loss are thought to have a genetic link, and 20 per cent of those affected have a family history. It’s also associated with other auto-immune conditions, such as eczema and dermatitis.
Does An Over Active (Or Under Active) Thyroid Cause Hair Loss?
Thyroid disease causes your thyroid hormone levels to drop off or rise to unhealthy levels – and one possible effect of this imbalance is hair loss.
Hair loss is a common side effect of thyroid disease, but it’s not a permanent problem as long as you get the treatment you need.
How Do Thyroid Hormones Cause Hair Loss?
Your hair follicles follow a natural cycle of hair growth and resting phases. At any given time, most of your hair is growing while only a small portion of it is resting. But when changes in the body throw off that cycle, too much hair rests at one time and not enough grows, resulting in excessive hair loss, thinning hair, or balding.
Many medical conditions can cause hair loss, with thyroid disease a common culprit. Thyroid problems include both an underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism) and an overactive thyroid gland (hyperthyroidism). Because hair growth depends on the proper functioning of the thyroid gland, abnormal levels of thyroid hormone produced by this gland can result in hair changes, along with many other side effects, if left untreated.
When there is too much thyroid hormone, the hair on your head can become fine, with thinning hair all over the scalp. When there is too little of this hormone, there can be hair loss, not just on the scalp, but also anywhere on the body
Why Am I Losing Hair After Child Birth or During Pregancy?
Telogen effluvium is the excessive shedding of hair that occurs one to five months following pregnancy. This is not uncommon, as it affects somewhere between 40 to 50% of women; but like most changes during pregnancy, it is temporary.
Is there abnormal hair loss during pregnancy?
Hair loss that is connected to pregnancy usually occurs after delivery. During pregnancy, an increased number of hairs go into the resting phase, which is part of the normal hair loss cycle.
This condition is not serious enough to cause bald spots or permanent hair loss, and it should begin to diminish within 3-4 months after delivery. If you feel that you are experiencing unusual hair loss while you are pregnant, this may be due to a vitamin or mineral deficiency.
Hair loss can be triggered by anything that involves a change in the estrogen hormone balance in your system.
So, there you have it….
You now have a better understanding of some of the causes of hair loss, than most other people. I hope you found the information I shared in this post helpful…
Do you have a questions or comment about any of the topics discussed in this post? Let’s talk about it in the comments section below..