Hi friends, thanks for your support and sharing your thoughts. Few days ago, one of my blog friends send me her thoughts and doubts about her hair loss. She also shared a lots of problems what she is facing because of this problem. So today I am writing about it part by part because you should know about this in detail. This topic is very common. As this topic is so common same as we all are sufferers less or more. From the title you already knew the topic of today. So friends, no more extra talking, here comes the information about the topic what we all should be known.
The Basic of Understanding Hair Loss
What Is Hair Loss?
Hair grows everywhere on the human skin except on the palms of our hands and the soles of our feet, but many hairs are so fine they're virtually invisible. Hair is made up of a protein called keratin that is produced in hair follicles in the outer layer of skin. As follicles produce new hair cells, old cells are being pushed out through the surface of the skin at the rate of about six inches a year. The hair you can see is actually a string of dead keratin cells. The average adult head has about 100,000 to 150,000 hairs and loses up to 100 of them a day; so finding a few stray hairs on your hairbrush is not necessarily cause for alarm.
At any one time, about 90% of the hair on a person's scalp is growing. Each follicle has its own life cycle that can be influenced by age, disease, and a wide variety of other factors. This life cycle is divided into three phases:
- Anagen or growth phase -- active hair growth that lasts between two to six years. About 90% of the hair on the head is in the anagen or growth phase.
- Catagen or transitional phase -- transitional hair growth that lasts two to three weeks.
- Telogen -- resting phase that lasts about two to three months. At the end of the resting phase the hair is shed and a new hair replaces it and the growing cycle starts again.
Alopecia means loss of hair from the head or body, sometimes to the extent of baldness. Alopecia can also be caused by compulsive pulling of hair (trichotillomania). It can also be the consequence of hairstyling routines such as ponytails or braids, or due to hair relaxer solutions, and hot hair irons. In some cases, alopecia is due to underlying medical conditions, such as iron deficiency.
There are many types of alopecia:
- Involutional alopecia is a natural condition in which the hair gradually thins with age. More hair follicles go into the resting phase, and the remaining hairs become shorter and fewer in number.
- Androgenic alopecia is a genetic condition that can affect both men and women. Men with this condition, called male pattern baldness, can begin suffering hair loss as early as their teens or early 20s. It's characterized by a receding hairline and gradual disappearance of hair from the crown and frontal scalp. Women with this condition, called female pattern baldness, don't experience noticeable thinning until their 40s or later. Women experience a general thinning over the entire scalp, with the most extensive hair loss at the crown.
- Alopecia areata often starts suddenly and causes patchy hair loss in children and young adults. This condition may result in complete baldness (alopecia totalis). But in about 90% of people with the condition, the hair returns within a few years.
- Alopecia universalis causes all body hair to fall out, including the eyebrows, eyelashes, and pubic hair.
- Trichotillomania seen most frequently in children, is a psychological disorder in which a person pulls out one's own hair.
- Telogen effluvium is temporary hair thinning over the scalp that occurs because of changes in the growth cycle of hair. A large number of hairs enter the resting phase at the same time, causing hair shedding and subsequent thinning.
What Causes Hair Loss?
Doctors don't know why certain hair follicles are programmed to have a shorter growth period than others. However, several factors may influence hair loss:
- Hormones, such as abnormal levels of androgens (male hormones normally produced by both men and women).
- Genes, from both male and female parents, influence a person's predisposition to male or female pattern baldness.
- Stress, illness, and childbirth can cause temporary hair loss. Ringworm caused by a fungal infection can also cause hair loss.
- Drugs, including chemotherapy drugs used in cancer treatment, blood thinners, beta-adrenergic blockers used to control blood pressure, and birth control pills, can cause temporary hair loss.
- Burns, injuries, and X-rays can cause temporary hair loss. In such cases, normal hair growth usually returns once the injury heals.
- Autoimmune disease may cause alopecia areata. In alopecia areata, the immune system revs up for unknown reasons and affects the hair follicles. In most people with alopecia areata, the hair grows back, although it may temporarily be very fine and possibly a lighter color before normal coloration and thickness return.
- Cosmetic procedures, such as shampooing too often, perms, bleaching, and dyeing hair can contribute to overall hair thinning by making hair weak and brittle. Tight braiding, using rollers or hot curlers, and running hair picks through tight curls can also damage and break hair. However, these procedures don't cause baldness. In most instances hair grows back normally if the source of the problem is removed. Still, severe damage to the hair or scalp sometimes causes permanent bald patches.
So dear friends hope you are enjoying my posts. The next part of the post will be published very soon with new tests, treatment and with some new things. Till then stay healthy, be passionate, share your thoughts with me and of course do not forget to visit our blog.