Health and Wellness

Hair loss, worldwide concern for everyone

hair growth
Written by Banani Chakraborty

Hair loss, worldwide concern for everyone, affects mainly our scalp. It is more common in men. It causes due to hormonal changes, medications and heredity.

Hair Loss, Worldwide Concern for Everyone.

To start with, it means loss of hair partially from head or body or both. According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), 80 million men and women in America experience hereditary hair loss (alopecia). Even nowadays children are also facing the problem.

What is Hair Loss?

hair loss causes

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According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), 80 million men and women in America experience hereditary hair loss (alopecia). Even nowadays children are also facing the problem.

It is a normal phenomenon. As a matter of fact, there are around 1,00,000 hairs on our head. Usually, we lose 50- 100 hairs daily. New hairs also grow in at the same time to replace them. Therefore, it is not the reason for the noticeable thinning of our scalp hair.

But, it does not always follow the same pattern. New hairs grow in less quantity than the falling hairs. They fail to replace the lost hair. Whenever there is any prolonged disturbance of this cycle of hair growing and shedding, it causes hair loss.

To tell the truth, this problem generally develops gradually. But, sometimes it may happen abruptly. Whatever be the reason, we destroy our hair follicle.  It is replaced with the scar. It may be either temporary or permanent.

Types of hair loss:

Common types of this loss are

  • Male-pattern.
  • Female-pattern.
  • Alopecia areata.
  • Telogen effluvium.

1)Male-pattern- This is due to the combination of genetics a male hormone.

2)Female-Pattern-It is not very clear.

3)Alopecia areata-It is due to autoimmune.

  • To begin with, pattern baldness is a permanent type of hair loss.
  • Then telogen effluvium is a temporary or short-term type loss. It happens while the hair follicles are in the ‘resting’ phase. But the process of growth of new hair continues. It is very common after pregnancy.
  • Anagen effluvium is a long-term type. It includes hair thinning or loss in other parts, like eyebrows and eyelashes, of the body. It happens in the ‘new growth’ stage of hairs.

How Can We Notice Hair Loss?

It’s absolutely impossible to count how many hairs have fallen within a given day. We may notice the followings:

  • a large quantity of hair, after washing, in the drain
  • bunches of hair in the brush.
  • thinning hair or baldness.




When we lose abnormal hairs for a stretch of time, that is hair loss.

How is Hair Loss Diagnosed?

In the first place, persistent loss of hair often leads to an underlying health problem. A dermatologist can fix the cause. At first, he undergoes some physical examination. He also wants to know our health and family history.

How do Physicians Classify Hair Loss?

To begin with, we can categorize it in numerous ways. At first, the physician will examine the scalp. Thereafter, he can determine the reason behind this.

  • It may be because of physical destruction as well as the loss of hair follicles (cicatricial alopecia or scarring).
  • Sometimes, the scalp appears to be perfectly normal. But there are enough empty hair follicles. This situation is familiar as non-scarring hair loss.
  • On the other hand, in the case of cicatricial alopecia, it permanently destroys our hair follicles.
  • Further, we may damage our hair shaft. The reason behind this damage may be physical or chemical. As a result, hair breakage occurs. This is famous as Non-scarring hair loss.
  • Occasionally, we have to undergo a biopsy of our scalp for proper diagnosis. At times, a physician can pull hair. He does it to inspect whether there is any sort of the hair shaft or to determine the percentage of the growing hairs (anagen phase).

Patchy Hair Loss:

Causes of it are as follows:

  • Traction alopecia (thinning due to tight braids, ponytails and etc).
  • Alopecia areata (Coin or small circular size bald patches on our scalp. Within months they that normally grow back).
  • Tinea capitis(fungal infection).
  • Trichotillomania (the practice of pulling hair out or twisting it).
  • Secondary syphilis.

Diffuse Hair Loss:

Causes of it are as follows:

  • Pattern alopecia.
  • Protein malnutrition.
  • Systemic disease-induced alopecia (endocrine disease, cancer and telogen effluvium).
  • Drug-induced alopecia.

What Causes Hair Loss?

To start with, this problem is very common these days. It is a reason of worry to millions of people irrespective of sex and age. Although, it is more often in men than in women. As a matter of fact, men are more prone to it or alopecia than women.

However, hair loss of men is easily noticeable. It is also making them morose and demoralize. Sometimes, they may lose their motivation too. Apart from this, it is helpful to maintain a positive attitude.

Actually, the reason behind this is still unknown. It is impossible for us to attribute or pinpoint a single reason. It may be a few reasons that all together do the damage.

Generally, we can broadly divide these causes into two groups.  Some of them are temporary, like a vitamin deficiency. We can overcome this problem with the help of medications and treatments.



While some reasons are long-term(prolonged). It is also complex, like poor health or genetics. It needs prolonged or long-term treatment. Even, sometimes may require surgery, like hair transplantation.

Causes of Hair Loss in Men:

In men, the most important reason for hair loss is a hormonal imbalance. The male hormone testosterone is responsible for severe hair loss. In fact, we will find the presence of 5 alpha-reductase, an enzyme, in the hair follicles. It helps to change testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT). This DHT is a potent androgen. It helps to promote androgenetic alopecia which is the reason for premature hair loss or common pattern of male baldness.

Causes of Hair Loss in Women:

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The causes of it in women may be many factors like:

  • alopecia areata,
  • hormone imbalances,
  • menopause,
  • dietary protein
  • amino acid deficiency,
  • intestinal parasites,
  • damage from hair treatments, and
  • stress.
  • Imbalance in thyroid hormones

Illness That Causes Hair Loss:

In all honesty, illnesses that cause hair loss are as follows:

  • High fever.
  • Severe infection.
  • Depression.
  • Flu.
  • Cancer treatments.
  • Heart Problems.
  • Fungus.
  • Gastrointestinal problems.
  • Thyroid Dieses.
  • Scalp infections. (ringworm).
  • Alopecia areata.
  • Arthritis.
  • High Blood Pressure.
  • Some dermatological disorders.

Symptoms of Hair Loss:

Hair loss may cause for various reasons. It depends upon the cause of it. Some of the hair loss causes are temporary, while some are permanent.

Signs and symptoms are as the followings:

  • Gradual thinning on top of head: This type is the most common. It affects both men and women as they grow old.
  • Circular and patchy bald spots:  It usually affects mainly our scalp. But sometimes it occurs in eyebrows and beards.
  • Sudden loosening of hair: Due to physical or emotional upset it may happen. Some hair may come out while combing or washing our hair. It causes overall hair thinning.
  • Full-body hair loss: It generally occurs due to some medical treatments. The hair again grows back while the cause is over.

Risk factors of Hair Loss:

There are a number of risk factors. They are:

  • Age.
  • Stress.
  • Family history of balding.
  • Some medical conditions.
  • Significant weight loss

Causes of Hair Loss:

causes of hair loss

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1.Family History (Heredity):

Heredity is the most common cause of hair loss. It may cause male-pattern baldness or female-pattern baldness. This occurs gradually as we grow older. The reason may be a combination of male sex hormones along with genes. However, it follows a predictable pattern.

In men, this happens as receding hairline along with bald spots. As a matter of fact, it resembles the English word M

Our family history may be that the women lost their hairs after attaining a certain age. Therefore, there is every possibility of losing hair around that age.

Women generally do not have a tendency to a receding hairline, like men. Instead, they face alarming thinning of hair. Otherwise, some part of the front head may widen. These are famous is as female–pattern baldness.

2.Certain Hairstyles:

In fact, over the years’ vigorous hairstyle and hair treatments can damage our hair. Some hairstyles may cause hair loss. In these cases, we have to pull our hair tightly. This type of hair loss is famous as traction alopecia.

Some hair treatments may be the reason for the inflammation of hair follicles. As a matter of fact, these damage our hair root. Therefore, it leads to hair loss. The problem may be permanent as scarring occurs.

The reasons may be as follows:

  • Pigtails.
  • Hair weaves.
  • Chemical relaxers to straighten our hair.
  • Cornrows.
  • Tight braids.
  • Hot oil hair treatments.
  • Use of any kind of harsh chemical or high heat.

3.Stress.

Physical, as well as psychological stress, is the cause of hair loss.

When we are in physical trauma, we feel stress. It may be due to our illness or a car accident or surgery. Usually, we witness temporary hair loss in such situations. It is famous as telogen effluvium.

In the first place, our hair has a life cycle. These phases are

  • Growth.
  • Rest.
  • Shedding.

When we are in massive stress, the hair cycle also changes. It pushes more hairs into this shedding phase. As a result, hair falls rapidly. However, we may notice this problem for around 3-6 months after the trauma.

In all honesty, it is a temporary phenomenon. If we are able to come out of the stress, then the problem of hair fall generally recovers. Therefore, we will have to know the stress management techniques. It can minimize the hair loss problem.

A physical, as well as emotional shock, can aggravate hair loss. Some examples are:

  • extreme weight loss.
  • a death in the family.
  • a high fever.

4.Pregnancy:

Pregnancy is another example of physical stress. It causes hair loss. But this hardly occurs during the pregnancy period. Usually, pregnancy-related hair fall takes place after the birth of the baby. We may even face this problem for a few months after delivery.

The reason for psychological stress and hair loss is not well-known.  These stresses are mostly for the time being. This will stop with the healing of the body. However, women during pregnancy experience hair loss due to a hormonal imbalance

Estrogen hormones secretion increases to a great extent during pregnancy. But after the childbirth, we can see a drastic fall in the secretion of estrogen hormone. As a result, numerous hair follicles fall out.

Therefore, we witness women are losing their hairs throughout the post-pregnancy period. As a matter of fact, childbirth almost on every occasion will cause temporary hair loss. Sometimes it continues still a few months.


If it continues for a long-term after pregnancy, then it indicates towards our hormonal imbalance.

5.Sudden and Substantial Weight Loss:

Amongst the reasons for hair loss, there is a sudden loss of substantial weight. This is another example of physical trauma. If we are overweight and not losing our weight in a natural way, then also it may happen. It may be due to over stress or nutritional deficiency. Even it may be for an eating disorder like anorexia or bulimia.

5.Medications:

As a matter of fact, hair loss sometimes occurs due to the effect of some medicines. It may occur due to

  • Thyroid medications.
  • Chemotherapy.
  • Antidepressants.
  • Beta-blockers.
  • HIV/AIDS.
  • Oral Contraceptives.
  • Anticonvulsants.
  • Acne.
  • Cholesterol-lowering drugs.
  • Weight loss.

In fact, these medications have variable effects on people differently and may not cause hair loss in everyone.

6.Too Much Overeating of Vitamin A:

According to the American Academy of Dermatology overeating of Vitamin A supplements or medicines can aggravate. Adults as well as children above 4 need 5,000 International Units (IU)of Vitamin A daily. It is a temporary problem. If we start to maintain the balance, the problem will evade. The hair growth may restore normalcy.

7.Hormonal Changes:

Some example of hormonal changes that can cause temporary hair loss are:

  • Usually, women lose hair at the time of pregnancy and after childbirth.
  • Further, it occurs at the time of menopause.
  • It may also happen if they have a hormonal imbalance.
  • Besides, birth control pills may be the cause.
  • Men also may lose hair when hormonal changes occur with the change of age.
  • Furthermore, there may be a genetic male pattern baldness. The reason for this loss is due to the response of our follicles to the hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT).

In nutshell, hormonal imbalance takes a major part in temporary hair loss.

8.Nutritional Deficiencies:

Low intake of the followings may cause hair loss

  • Fats
  • Vitamin D.
  • Zinc.
  • Vitamin B-12.
  • Iron.
  • Vitamin C.
  • Copper.
  • Vitamin A
  • Selenium.
  • Protein.

9. Not eating sufficient protein.

Protein deficiency makes our hair brittle and hampers its growth as well. As a result, we face the problem of losing our hairs. Most importantly, we will notice it if the situation runs for a few months.

Again, if we start to intake sufficient protein the problem will be over. It is also a temporary phenomenon.

10.Lupus:

Hair loss may also cause due to autoimmune disease lupus. It is patchy along with lesions on the scalp.

11.Anaemic Tendency:

Generally, women over 20 years of age are anaemic prone. This is mainly due to iron deficiency. This problem is also temporary. If they can intake iron sufficiently, the problem will be no more.

12.Alopecia Areata:

Another reason for this is Alopecia areata. Actually, the reason behind this disease is an autoimmune or overactive immune system. In fact, in such a situation, our immunity system judges our hair as a foreign body. Therefore, by mistake, it targets our hair. This is why it attacks the hair follicles. As a result, hair fall occurs.

13.Polycystic Ovary Syndrome:

In the first place, it is a reason for hair loss. Under this circumstance, both male and female sex hormones remain in imbalance condition. Excessive androgens secretions can lead to

  • A higher risk of diabetes.
  • Infertility.
  • Ovarian cysts.
  • Changes in menstrual period.
  • Weight gain.
  • Hair thinning.

14. Compulsively Pulling Hair Out:

Trichotillomania is an “impulse control disorder”. In this situation, people generally pull their hair out. Moreover, they constantly play with their hairs. At the same time, they also pull them.

Unfortunately, for this constant playing and pulling our hairs, they lose their natural protection. Trichotillomania generally starts before 17 years of age. Further, it is four times more common in women than in men.

15.Imbalance in Thyroid Hormones:

It is amongst the most general causes of unexpected loss of hair in women. It happens due to the overactivity or under activity of the thyroid glands. The hair follicles have a definite sensation for the concentrations of hormones that are derived from the thyroid gland. Thyroid hormones possess a large influence on the

  • Cellular metabolism of scalp proteins
  • Carbohydrates
  • Lipids
  • Minerals.




The cells of our hair matrix are highly sensitive to metabolic activities.  Therefore, they are most intensely influenced by the excess or deficiency of thyroid hormones

Nutrition and Diet for Hair Loss:

Nutrition also plays an important role in hair loss.

Foods That Causes it:

  • Sugar.
  • Alcohol.
  • Starchy White Foods.
  • Swordfish.

Foods That helps in Hair growth:

The following healthy foods are good to prevent hair loss;

foods that prevent hair loss

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  • Nuts (rich in biotin, omega-3 fatty acids, copper, vitamin E)
  • Prunes.
  • Peanut Butter.
  • Sweet Potatoes (omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, magnesium, phosphorus, sodium, potassium, and vitamins A, B, C, E and K)
  • Carrots.
  • Green peas.
  • Eggs (a good source of protein, plus biotin, other B vitamins, zinc, iron, sulfur and selenium).
  • Low-Fat Dairy Products
  • Avocados.
  • Oats.
  • Spinach. (iron, folate, beta-carotene, vitamin A and vitamin C).
  • Walnuts.
  • Seeds.
  • Lentils. (one of the daily items of Bengali Foods.)
  • Shrimp.
  • Chicken. (May see chicken korma recipe.)
  • Soybeans.
  • Kiwi.
  • Red Peppers.
  • Strawberry.
  • Apples.
  • Oysters. (rich in zinc).
  • Fatty foods like salmon, tuna, mackerel, sardines, herring.
  • Spirulina.
  • Yoghurt
  • Olive oil.
  • Calona oil.
  • Flaxseed oil.
  • Mangoes.
  • Guava.
  • Foods are rich in Vitamin C.

By the by, we will get our necessary antioxidants from these foods.

Vitamins and Nutrients for Hair Growth:

The followings are essential Vitamins as well as minerals necessary for hair growth. Therefore, they protect hair loss:

  • Vitamin A.
    vitamins help in hair growth

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  • Vitamins-B.
  • Vitamin-C.
  • Vitamin D.
  • Vitamin E.
  • Iron.
  • Zinc.
  • Protein.

Hair Loss Vitamins:

The above list tells us useful vitamins for hair growth. Indeed, we require a certain amount of them. If there is any shortfall of it, then it will surely face this loss.

Hair loss diet:

In the first place, we will follow the above-mentioned diets. If we cannot eat them in sufficient quantity, then we will have to face this problem.

How vitamin deficiency can cause hair loss:

From the above discussion, it is clear that we can also face losing hairs due to vitamin deficiency.

How Can We Prevent Hair Loss?

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In fact, we will see male-pattern baldness and female-pattern baldness in maximum cases. As the main reason behind it is genetics, so we cannot prevent this type of hair loss.


To tell the truth, sometimes it is preventable if we can take necessary steps. The following tips may somehow assist us to avoid the problem.

  • Ultraviolet light not only harms our flawless skin but also damages our hair. We use sunscreen to protect our skin. Similarly, we must be cautious to defend our hair from sunlight, as much as possible. Besides, we will try to avoid all other sources from where ultraviolet light may come.
  • Then, we must avoid tight hairstyles. These may be ponytails, buns or braids. Moreover, we will try not to do a rubbing, pulling or twisting our hair. Added to this, we will eat a balanced diet as described above.
  • Next, we will always wash or brush our hair gently and politely. We will use such a comb that has wide-tooth. To tell the truth, it will help to stop our hair loss.
  • Besides, we will try not to use those medications and supplements which may cause it.
  • Further, we will avoid hot rollers, hot oil treatments, curling irons and permanents.
  • Furthermore, we must avoid both smoking and drinking alcohol.
  • Apart from this, some beauty routine is the reason for this type of trouble.
  • However, we can use a cooling cap after consulting our doctor. We will do this at the time of chemotherapy. This may be helpful to some extent
  • Above all the following hairstyle items also causes hair loss.
  • blow dryers
  • Hair straighteners.
  • Hair colour products.
  • Heated combs.
  • Relaxers.
  • Perms.
  • Bleaching agents.
  • Added to this, if we are facing such a problem, then we may use gentle baby shampoo. Only, if someone has extremely oily hair, he/she can use shampoo every alternate day. We will dry our hair normally and will not rub it.

Hair Loss Shampoo:

Below are some Anti-Hair Fall Shampoos that we may try to check hair loss:

  • L’Oreal Paris Fall Repair 3X Anti-Hair Fall Shampoo.
  • TRESemme Hair Fall Defence Shampoo.
  • HealthKart Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo.
  • Himalaya Anti-Hair Fall Shampoo.
  • Kesh King.
  • Dove Hair Fall Rescue Shampoo.
  • Khadi Mauri Amla and Bhringraj Shampoo.
  • Biotique Bio Kelp Fresh Growth Protein Shampoo.
  • VLCC Hair Fall Repair Shampoo.
  • Lever Ayush Anti-Hair Fall Bhringraj Shampoo.
  • Patanjali Kesh Kanti Natural Hair Cleanser Shampoo.
  • Vaadi Herbals Hair Fall and Damage Control Amla Shikakai Shampoo.
  • Indulekha Bringha Hair Cleanser.

What Are the Treatment Options for Hair Loss?

Medication:

There are some topical creams and gels that we can get to a medicine shop. These products contain one common item. This item is minoxidil or Rogaine.

But it will be better if we consult a dermatologist for our hair loss problem. He will suggest our treatment. If he thinks he can also suggest hair transplant surgery.

Anyway, flawless skin along with no hair loss may be the two amongst our life goals. Because these two are an inevitable part of our attractiveness at first sight. They also help to improve our self-esteem indirectly.

If they are our goals, then we have to know our goal-setting strategy. I hope, this article will however help us to tackle this problem. We will try what is possible to avoid hair loss and live with happiness.

If we are already facing the problem, then we will take some necessary damage control steps.  Otherwise, we will be able to keep this problem away from us.

 

About the author

Banani Chakraborty

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