Looking at the amount of hair you’re losing every time you brush your hair or wash it and feeling horrified? Don’t worry. You’re probably losing an amount of hair that’s okay to lose. But if you’re paranoid and wondering if something’s actually wrong, read on to get acquainted with facts about hair loss.
All You Need To Know About Hair Loss
How Much Hair Loss Is Normal?
It’s perfectly normal to lose hair every day. However, whether your hair loss is normal or not depends on the amount of your hair you’re losing. It’s normal to lose about 50–100 strands of hair a day. While this may seem like a lot, know that you have thousands of strands of hair on your head. Also, most of the hair you lose is likely to grow back.
However, if you feel like you’re shedding significantly more hair than usual, chances are your hair loss might actually be a problem.
What Are The Causes Of Hair Loss?
If you’re wondering why you’re losing a lot of hair, here are the most likely causes.1
- Genes: Most often, people lose excess hair because hair loss runs in their families. In such cases, it’s called pattern hair loss and it affects both men and women. Your genes also decide at what age you start losing hair. They’re also responsible for pattern baldness, which is common in men and can begin as early as puberty; pattern baldness is characterized by hair thinning, bald patches, and a receding hairline.
- Hormones: Hormonal changes are also often responsible for hair loss. This is most common in women during pregnancy, after childbirth, and when menopause begins. Any problems with the thyroid gland, which is responsible for the production of many of the hormones in your body, may also result in hair loss.
- Infections: Scalp infections like ringworm infections may lead to hair loss. If you notice excessive hair loss accompanied by scaly patches, it’s a good idea to visit your dermatologist.
- Medications: Medications for cancer, arthritis, blood pressure, and birth control are also likely to result in hair loss.
- Poor Diet: A diet with insufficient iron and protein often results in hair loss.
- Stress: People often tend to lose a lot of hair when they’re stressed out by something. The hair loss lasts as long as the cause of the stress remains. Once the cause is eliminated, the hair loss stops.
Trichotillomania – a disorder that makes people suffering from it compelled to yank out hair from their heads, eyebrows, and eyelashes – is another possible cause of hair loss. You may also be experiencing hair loss because of damaging your hair by wearing tight ponytails or braids, curling or straightening your hair often, or coloring it frequently.
What Are The Treatment Methods For Hair Loss?
If you’re worried about your hair loss and feel like it could be a serious issue, consult a dermatologist. He/she will determine whether you need treatment or not. If the cause is temporary, then your hair loss is likely to reduce over time. However, in severe cases, dermatologists treat hair loss with medications.
When hair loss is hereditary, it may be difficult to treat and you may require a hair transplant. If you decide to get a hair transplant, remember that it is likely to come with side effects and may need to be done multiple times. Think things through, and make the right decision.
Many people also prefer not to tamper with their hair when experiencing hair loss and let things go their natural way.
While hair loss is most often inevitable, you could take some simple steps to reduce the amount of hair you’re losing when it’s not a medical problem.2
- Ensure that you’re eating a balanced diet that has sufficient iron and protein.
- Avoid tying your hair up very tightly. Tight hairstyles like braids and ponytails are likely to increase the amount of permanent damage to your hair follicles.
- Don’t straighten or curl your hair too often. Even if you decide to, use your straightener or curling iron at low temperatures when your hair is dry to reduce damage. Also, avoid using a hair dryer.
- Don’t wash your hair too often. This is likely to make your hair very dry. Try using a mild baby shampoo to reduce hair loss.
If your hair loss gets out of hand, consult a dermatologist to understand what is causing it and see if it can be treated.