When to seek medical advice for hair loss

To some people, they consider their hair as their best asset. But to those who are suffering from hair loss, this is not the case. Instead of being a source of pride and confidence, this very condition serves as a factor that lowers their self-confidence.

Contrary to common belief, age alone does not cause the hair to fall. In fact, more and more experts agree that there are more particular factors that cause hair loss both in women and men regardless of age, race, and status in life.

Studies show that it is healthy for people to lose at least 100 strands of their hair everyday. This is because this very phenomenon is a normal part of the hair growth cycle. Usually, the stands of hair the fell are replaced with a new set of hair stands in less the sixteen weeks or four months.

However, people who experience more amount of hair loss on a daily basis should consider seeking medical advice. Visiting the doctor about this is very important not only to find out what causes it but also to ensure that there is no related complication along with the excessive hair loss.

Risk factors of hair loss

Experts say that almost all people are prone to losing their hair especially if they don’t pay attention to the risk factors involved. It is said that the primary cause of hair loss can be traced to heredity. People whose parents have baldness genes are said to have the strongest risk factor. Hair loss for these people is quite inevitable since nothing can be done when it comes to their genes. The thinning of hair and receding hairlines usually manifest once one ages.

Aside from heredity, people who are suffering from terminal illnesses such as cancer and auto immune diseases such as those related with thyroid also have greater risks for hair loss because the disease themselves weaken the immune system and affect hair growth. Taking in medications and medical treatment for certain illnesses and conditions also increases the risk to hair loss as well as alopecia areata, which is may cause permanent baldness brought about by stress as well as other infections in the environment.

People who do not pay attention to proper nutrition also have higher risks for hair loss especially those who are low in protein intake. Women who are pregnant may also experience temporary hair loss since the nutrition in their bodies is shared with the growing fetus inside. Those who are taking in birth control pills also experience this condition because of the hormonal changes that take place in the body. People who change hairstyles often and those who use too much hair treatments may also undergo temporary hair loss.

The needed medical attention

A person who has at least three risk factors of hair loss should seek medical advice immediately to prevent further complications. When you go to the doctor, make sure that you point out all your concerns so he or she can make the right diagnosis and recommend possible treatment option for you.

The doctor will run some tests to find out what causes your excessive hair loss. Once all the tests have been made, she or he will then explain your condition and will try to give you medication or offer you treatments for temporary hair loss. Since no treatment can cure permanent hair loss such as those caused by heredity and medical conditions, the doctor can give you options to at least slow down the rate of hair loss.

What you need to know about hair loss

A person’s mane is considered his or her crowing glory. But once a person experience hair loss, this is no longer the case. Majority of the people who are going through this problem cannot help but feel shame once they pass through this certain stage.

Many of them try to conceal it using wigs or many undergo through medical treatments and process such as hair transplants in order to bring back their so-called « crowning glory. » Although it is quite inevitable to feel shame once one experiences hair loss, this should not prevent him or her to lose self-confidence totally.

Hair loss basics

People—regardless of their age, gender or status—can experience hair loss due to several factors. If you are one of those who are experiencing this problem, it is a must that you know the basics of hair loss to give you an idea what to do. Knowing the basics can help you determine the status of your condition, can give you an idea when to seek medical attention, can help you decide which hair loss treatments to use and can even help you prevent it if you are prone to the condition.

One of the misconceptions about hair loss is that age solely causes it. While it is true that age primarily causes it because of the cells that are already giving up, there are other factors that might cause it. These include heredity especially if your family has a long running history of baldness, taking in certain medications for a specific condition and an underlying medical condition that weakens the person overall system such as cancer and other terminal illnesses.

A person who is undernourished can also experience hair loss being he or she is not getting the right nutrients to keep the hair grow healthy. People, who are into switching hairstyles that puts too much pressure on the scalp, may also experience hair loss because the pulling on the hair such as those in braids or dreadlocks can weaken the roots of the hair.

Temporary hair loss can also be caused by too much stress since people don’t have enough time to take care of their mane. It can also be caused by pregnancy since women tend to lose nutrients for themselves for the growing baby inside. Because of these causes, it is inevitable that everyone can be prone to losing their hair.

Aside from the probable causes, the next thing that you should pay attention to is the symptoms. Many people experience the greater effect and burden of hair loss because they did not pay to much attention to it when it was just starting.

Experts say that it is common for people to lose at least 100 strands of their hair everyday. This is because these strands are meant to be replaced by new set of strands over time. People who are losing more than this estimated number of strands should worry that they have greater chances of losing their hair.

People who are losing more than a hundred strands per day should analyze what might cause it. Once the cause is determined, she or he can do some lifestyle changes to improve on it. If these modifications in lifestyle did not work, one should visit a doctor immediately to know what causes this abnormal amount of hair loss. Going to specialist is very important because aside from telling you what the cause of the condition is, the doctor will know what treatment will work for you.

Types of hair loss

It is only normal for people to lose at least a hundred strands of their hair on a regular basis. This is because in the normal cycle of a person’s hair growth—which is expected to last for at least two to six years—strands of hair fall out regularly and the scalp will grow new ones in about 12 weeks. However, some people lose more than the expected number of stands in a day. In fact, there is a growing number of people who experience the burden of hair loss nowadays.
Experts say that many of the people who are losing their hair are not even aware of it. If truth to be to be told, many of them are nonchalant about the condition of their hair and don’t notice that they are losing their crowning glory if not for the comments of people around them.

The type you are in

If you think you are one of those who are prone to hair loss, the first thing that you need to know is what the specific types of hair loss there is are. This will serve as a sign if you are really into losing your hair in the long run or not.

The first type is the “androgenetic alopecia” or commonly known as the pattern baldness. Males and females who are prone to this experience slow growth of hair as well as weaker stands of hair compared before. In this condition, the primary cause could be heredity because the history of pattern baldness may increase your risks of losing your hair. Because of heredity, age is also affected which in turn speeds up the rate of hair loss.

Another type is called, “cicatricial alopecia” or the scarring alopecia, which is a type of permanent hair loss, occurs caused by inflammation. In this condition, the inflammation was able to damage the hair’s follicle and later, became scars. Because of these scars, the new hair is prevented from coming out. Scarring alopecia can be caused by certain skin conditions like lupus erythematosus and lichen planus wherein experts are yet to discover what is it that causes the inflammation.

The “alopecia areata” is the type of hair loss, which is considered as an autoimmune disease. Although there is already a classification for this, the cause of the condition is not yet discovered. Experts say that those people who suffer from his condition are those who are generally healthy. Some say that the condition can be caused by autoimmune disorders like thyroid illness, genes, or certain virus in the environment where the person spends a long time in.
On the other hand, there is also a type that is caused by a change in the normal hair cycle, it’s called “telogen effluvium”. This condition might occur when something shocked system that leads to the premature resting of the hair’s growth. This shock can either be physical but mostly emotional such as when a person sulks into depression caused by factors like death and other distress events. It can also be caused by physiological stress that lead fever, changing weight conditions, deficiencies in nutrition as well as other disturbances in metabolism.

Lastly, the type of hair loss which is becoming popular today, the « traction alopecia ». This specific hair loss is usually caused by too much hairstyling that puts too much pressure on the scalp. The pulling causes the roots of the hair to be weak and disables it from growing healthy hair.

Symptoms of hair loss

Hair loss or baldness is becoming one of the most common problems of people. This is because more and more factors contribute to it compared before. Called « alopecia » by experts, hair loss can be categorized into permanent and temporary baldness depending on the condition the person is in.

Experts say that that most common form of alopecia is called, pattern baldness or the « androgenetic alopecia. It is said that this type of hair loss condition affects almost one third of the men and women in the world. The sad thing about this is it is permanent, meaning there is no way to go about it but to cope with it.

Knowing the signs and symptoms

When a person loses at least a hundred stands of hair per day, it is considered normal. But when he or she loses more than that estimated amount along with glaring symptoms such as thinning of the hair, a hairline that is receding, and bald patches in some areas of the head, then you might be suffering from hair loss.

Studies show that androgenetic alopecia can affect both men and women but the manifestations differ in some ways. Among men, the thinning of the hair starts at the temples as well in the crown. In the long run, it is expected that they will be either completely bald or partially bald. In women, lesser hair loss is expected and though there is also receding hairlines along the forehead and temple, they will not completely go bald as men do.

The pattern baldness in males are known to begin at such an early age even before their teenage years. This condition may be characterized by a receding hairline—especially at the temples—and hair loss at the top of the person’s head. Eventually, the person can be completely or partially bald. The symptoms of hereditary pattern baldness in men include thinning or loss of hair stands starting in the front or forehead, at the crown, down to the sides of the person’s hairline.

Some women start losing hair at puberty but most of those who have pattern baldness do not. The estimated year is around mid-20s to early-30s. Unlike in men, the androgenetic alopecia in women starts with the thinning the front or forehead down to the crown. What differs the hereditary pattern baldness in both genders is that hair loss in women are only limited and they don’t experience total baldness.

Aside from pattern baldness, another permanent type of hair loss is the « cicatricial alopecia » or the scarring alopecia which is caused by the inflammation in the hair’s follicles. This result to scars which hinders the growth of the new set of hair.

When it comes to temporary hair loss, the most common is called « alopecia areata » wherein the baldness starts from a small and round patch and will grow in size; the « telogen effluvium » which occurs suddenly and characterized by thinning without patches; « traction alopecia » that is caused by changing hairstyles which out too much pressure on the scalp and creates bald spots especially between the rows of the hair, and « trichotillomania » which is caused by a mental problem wherein the person cannot help him or herself from pulling out the strands of hair from the scalp and in other parts of his or her body.

How to prevent hair loss

Baldness or hair loss is one of the most dreaded situations people can find themselves into. This is because this will not only affect their overall physical appearance but can also affect their emotional status as well.

Experts categorize hair loss into two types—the permanent hair loss and the temporary hair loss. Permanent hair loss is associated with hereditary factors. People who have a bloodline that is prone to baldness cannot do much anything about it since it is in their genes.

The pattern baldness or androgenetic alopecia can affect both men and women. In men, pattern baldness can lead to thinning hair and receding of hairlines even at an early age. Eventually, this condition may lead them to total or partial baldness. In women, pattern baldness may come at a much later age and does not lead them to total baldness. Usually, the thinning hair manifests at their temples and hairlines.

When it comes to temporary baldness, it can be caused by certain factors such as illnesses, taking in medications for certain conditions, undergoing medical treatments wherein the drug that was used takes too much toll on the hair, hormonal changes which can either be caused by pregnancy or by taking in birth control pills, hairstyles that put too much pressure on the scalp and stops it from growing new strands of hair, and using hair products and treatments that may irritate the scalp and affect healthy hair growth.

Prevention as the key

People who have risks for pattern baldness cannot stop the condition but can slower the rate of hair loss through various treatments. But for those who are undergoing temporary hair loss, prevention can be the key to avoid total baldness in the long run. The following are some of the tips that can help prevent hair loss:

1. Proper diet.

Having a diet that is balanced is one of the major keys to prevent excessive hair loss. Eating foods that are nutritious especially for the hair can be an effective tool to fight against the signs of hair loss. People who are experiencing hair loss because they are under nourished should take time to make a diet plan which can provide sufficient nutrients not only for the hair but for the overall health as well.

2. Developing good hair habits.

Unhealthy hair habits such as improper handling of the hair can lead to excessive hair loss. People—especially those who have sensitive scalp—should ensure that they handle their hair gently especially when it’s wet. Proper handling to wet hair is very important because the hair is weaker when wet. If possible, opt for natural air drying methods instead of using electronic ones such as blower.

3. Stick to one hairstyle for a longer period of time.

This will really help you prevent hair loss because you are letting your hair undergo its normal growth cycle. If possible, try to avoid hairstyles that are tight like buns, ponytails, or braids because these put too much pressure on the scalp and hinder it from growing.

4. Don’t twist, rub or pull your hair.

People who experience hair loss are those who twist, rub, or pull their hair often. If it has become a habit, try to break it. You can do this by focusing on other things instead of putting too much pressure on your hair and on your scalp.

Home remedies for hair loss

It is common for people to lose strands of their hair especially when it is wet or when they comb it very often. Experts say that there is a need for some strands of hair to fall so these can be replaced with a new set of hair strands. The average strands should at least be a hundred. Once there is excess in this estimate, then you might be suffering from hair loss.

If you think you are suffering from hair loss, the best way to deal with it is to visit an expert to ensure that he or she will give proper diagnosis. People who are prone to permanent baldness caused by genes or those that are caused by skin disorders, they should consult a doctor what treatment options are available.

But for those who are experiencing temporary hair loss, they can deal with it even if they are at home. The following home remedies can be used to deal with hair loss at home:

1. The wonders of massage.

Ancient people have proven that massage can help stop excessive hair fall because it makes the follicles of the hair stronger. Aside from that, it is also good because it aids hair growth by putting the right amount of pressure on the scalp. Usually, this is done manually. You can do it your self or you can ask somebody to massage your scalp at home. If you don’t have enough energy to do manual massage on your own scalp, you can opt for electric hair massage available in most wellness stores.

2. Hot oil treatments.

Experts say that people who are prone to hair loss can benefit so much from hot oil treatments because these can help prevent falling hair and can cure minor scalp disorders as well. To get effective results, at least three treatments are advised weekly. You can do this at home with the use of a shower cap. You can buy ready-to-use hot oil treatments that contain oils of several herbs such as sesame, olive, and coconut. For more relaxing hot oil treatment at home, opt for those that contain essential oils such as thyme, lavender, and others.

3. Aloe vera extracts.

Considered as a « wonder plant » aloe vera is popular to many people—especially those living in tropical countries—as a remedy for hair loss. Depending on the degree, aloe vera can be used as a shampoo by using fresh pulp that is directly applied on the hair and scalp, as a hair tonic along with other herbs, and a drink or oral aloe juice for the body to absorb its ingredients faster.

4. Mixture of cinnamon and honey.

Many people say that one of the effective home remedies for hair loss is the combination of cinnamon powder and honey with olive oil because these contain properties that make the scalp as well as the hair stronger. By coming up with a paste that can be applied directly to from the hair’s roots down to the scalp, people can make use of it before they use their favorite shampoo.

5. Extracts of ginger.

A piece of ginger, once chopped and directly applied to the area of the head that has bald spots, can be an effective hair remedy for hair loss because it aids the healthy growth of hair follicles. Since it can be smelly, you can also use its extract that is combined with fine lead powder to get best results.

Diagnosis for hair loss

Hair loss or alopecia in medical terms refers to the loss of hair due to several factors. These causes may include such heredity which causes pattern baldness both in men and women, lack of proper nutrition, taking in medications, certain illnesses such as cancer, thyroid disease or lupus which weaken the immune system, undergoing medical treatments for certain conditions, pregnancy, and varying hair styles that put too much pressure on the scalp that hinders hair growth.

If you are losing more than what is expected, now is the time to worry that you might be suffering from hair loss. If you suffer from symptoms such as the hair falling out suddenly or in clump, patchy hair loss, red scalp or areas that have flakes, and total loss of hair in almost all parts of the body, now is the time to visit the specialist. He or she will pinpoint what causes your hair fall and can offer you alternative treatments and other options.

Visiting the doctor

If you are visiting the doctor for the first time to seek medical advice on your hair loss, expect that he or she will ask about your medical and family. The doctor will ask questions on your recent medical status to know if you underwent treatments that may cause this condition. He or she will also ask about your family’s history to know if the hair loss is caused by the genes or hereditary because this might indicate that you are suffering from pattern baldness.

Before going to the clinic or the hospital, it is advisable to list down the foods that you eat and the medications you take if there are any. This will help the doctor find out faster what causes your condition. During your visit, expect that she or she will ask details like your hair care habits, your current emotional and physiological status as well as other aspects of your life because your hair loss might be caused by stress.

Aside from asking questions, expect that the doctor will do examination on your hair and your scalp. This is very important so the doctor will know how much hair you have lost and what is the condition of your scalp. Be ready because the doctor will examine your scalp to know if there are signs and symptoms of infection such as redness, scaling or flaking. To be sure about the diagnosis, there will be a need to pull some of your hair strands to find out how string or weak it is. This test is called the « pull test ». Seeing how easy the hair comes out from the follicles will help the doctor determine which part of your hair is resting and which part is growing.

The doctor may also do the following set of tests during your visit:

1. Getting samples of skin scrapings.

If there are flakes or scrapings, the doctor will get samples of it and examine it to find out if there is infection or what causes the condition.

2. The punch biopsy.

This is considered as the last option when all the tests are done and no result or diagnosis has been made. People who suffer from alopecia areata and scarring alopecia are asked to undergo this test immediately. Here, the doctor makes use of a piece of circular tool to be able to remove a small section from the deeper layers of the skin.

3. Blood tests.

This is usually not common in screening for hair loss but some doctors recommend it to find out if the condition might be caused by an underlying medical condition like autoimmune diseases.

Coping with hair loss

Hair loss is one of the most difficult things to cope with especially to people who are very particular about the appearance. But this doesn’t mean that one should give up his or her life just because he or she lost the crowning glory!

The best way that people can go about hair loss is to know what causes it. Experts say that hair loss can either be permanent or temporary depending on the overall status of the person. Permanent hair loss or pattern hair loss is common to those people whose parents had the same thing. This is because the condition can be hereditary.

Temporary hair loss on the other hand is usually caused certain medical conditions and illnesses, which weakens the immune system and eventually, affects the growth of the hair. This can also be caused by taking in medications and undergoing treatments that use drugs that can be harmful to the hair as well as hormonal changes during pregnancy in women. This type of hair loss can also be brought about by changing hairstyles that put too much pressure on the hair follicles and using too many hair products that hinder healthy hair growth.

Dealing with male hair loss

In men, the most common type of hair loss is thinning brought about by « adrogens » or « male hormones ». Experts say that men experience pattern baldness even at an early age. And as they grown older, hair loss becomes more and more obvious especially when thinning starts at the front and sides of the head.

Many men who experience this condition say that the easiest, fastest, and cheapest way cope with hair loss is to ignore it. Since male pattern baldness is inevitable due to the genes, it can be useless to worry too much on something that is inevitable. This will work for those who have mustered enough confidence not to care too much on what other people would say about them. But there still those who cannot ignore the effects of hair loss on their lives.

For those who are bothered by hair loss, the best way to go about it is to take an action, a positive one. In fact, you can do something to fix it through drug and other treatments. Although these will not totally cure it, these can somehow slow the rate of hair loss. Topical medicine such as minoxidil or oral medication like finasteride can be used. But, before you take in any medication, make sure that you consult your doctor first to avoid further complications.

Going about female hair loss

More than the men, women feel more burdens when they lose their hair. This is because they are more conscious about how they look and their confidence greatly depends on their physical appearance. To avoid a feeling of shame, there are many ways to cope with it.

But, before doing anything, make sure that you know what the cause of the hair loss. Visiting the doctor to know the status of the condition and to ask for available treatment options that might work on you.

One of the best ways to cope with hair loss among women is to increase the circulation to the scalp using a soft and multi-tipped scalp massager everyday. You can also use milder shampoos or those that are formulated to treat thinning hair and receding hairline. To look more fashionable, women can also use hair accessories such as hats to cover bald spots or areas that are already showing the scalp.

Causes of hair loss

Surveys say that one of the things that make people lose their confidence is hair loss. This is because many people cannot be confident in front and even around with others knowing that these people are openly staring into his or her bald spots.

Experts say that hair loss or baldness can be inevitable to people especially if their families have a history of it. These people—whose genes came from older generations who are prone to hair loss—cannot really do much about it since the condition runs in their genes. But for those who don’t have it in their genes and still lose so much hair, now is the time to worry.

What causes hair loss?

More and more people are becoming prone to hair loss because they don’t pay much attention to the signs and symptoms of the condition. If you think you are prone to baldness, the first thing that you need to check—aside from the family’s history of hair loss—is the number of strands of hair that you lose in a day.

Although it is quite impossible to keep track to the exact number of strands, a hundred will be noticeable if examines closely. Experts say that losing this amount of hair is normal because new stands of hair are expected to grow in 12 weeks. But if the amount is more than this, it is a must to consider what might cause it.

The following are some of the common causes of hair loss. Although some of which can be self-determined, it is always best to consult an expert because he or she can pinpoint what exactly causes your baldness.

1. Diseases, illnesses and other medical conditions.

This is one of the most common causes of hair loss. Diseases such as diabetes, lupus, or those that are associated with the thyroid glands can affect the growth and the overall production of hair in the person’s system.

2. Taking in certain medications.

The side effects of certain medications like those of isotretinoin and lithium and other diet pills that contain amphetamines are known to cause hair loss especially among teens. People who are undergoing chemotherapy sessions to treat cancer as well as those drugs for gout, depression, arthritis, and heart problems may trigger baldness. In women, birth control pills may also be the culprit for hair loss.

3. Undernourishment or poor nutrition.

People who have insufficient protein and iron in their bodies will most likely suffer from hair loss. This is because these two are the most important component that strengthens the hair to make it grow. Hair loss due to improper nutrition are more common among women because they are the ones who are more into fad and diets which lead to eating disorders that cause under nutrition. Experts say that when a person has poor nutrition, there is not enough supply of nutrients such as vitamin and minerals to sustain the growth of the hair.

4. Undergoing medical treatments.

People who have to undergo medical treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation therapies are getting more risks in losing their hair because these treatments can kill the hair from the roots and may even cause a condition called « alopecia » that can lead to permanent hair loss.

Other causes of hair loss include hormonal changes, hair treatments and hairstyling, scalp infection, « trichotillomania » or hair-pulling disorder, and disruption of the hair’s growth cycle.

Boost your self-confidence despite hair loss

Many people are confident in handling themselves in front of other people because they are satisfied with the way they look. But for people who are experiencing hair loss, being confident in front of others can be a difficult thing. This is because they cannot help but think that the people they are dealing with only focus on their falling crown of glory and not on what they are saying.

While it’s true that hair loss can greatly affect one’s overall physical appearance, this is not enough reason to lose self-confidence totally. If you are one of those persons who are slowly losing their self-confidence due to hair loss, one of the best things that can be done is learning how to cope with it.

Coping with hair loss can start with the acceptance that you might really be suffering from a condition that is really our of your control. Experts say that baldness or hair loss can be categorized into two—permanent hair loss and temporary hair loss. People who are suffering from permanent hair loss are those who have the condition in their genes. Since it is hereditary, one cannot really do so much about it but to learn how to accept it, and try to seek for alternative remedies that can slower the pace of losing hair. Other conditions where one cannot really do something about hair loss is if they are suffering from autoimmune illnesses such as cancer, thyroid complications or lupus. People who have to undergo treatments are also in greater risks of losing hair fast.

People who are suffering temporary hair loss are those who undergo hormonal changes such as pregnancy in women or taking in birth control pills as well as those who put to much pressure on their scalp by changing hairstyles often or those that are using hair products that are harmful to the hair.

Knowing the cause of your hair loss can help you cope with it easier. Of course, you cannot determine this on your own so you have to visit your doctor to address your concern. Once he or she had the final diagnosis, you can now ask for available treatment or options that will work for you.

Tips to be more confident

People who are losing their hair can still look good despite their condition. Since not so much can be done about their hair, they should try focusing on other aspects of their body and personality to look beautiful and be confident in facing others. The following are some beauty tips and regiments that can be done to boost beauty and self-confidence despite hair loss.

1. Maximize the potentials of make-up.

For women, make-up greatly affects their overall appearance. If you are losing your hair, try to get your confidence from your beautiful face with the aid of some cosmetics. To do this, knowledge in the proper use and application of eyeliner, eye shadows, lipsticks, blush ons and foundations is a must to help you flatter your features and enhance your overall aura if done properly.

2. Take good care of your skin.

Since the skin is the largest organ of the body, having radiant and youthful skis despite hair loss can make a lot of difference. To achieve good skin and fair complexion, make it a habit to use sunscreen to protect yourself from the harmful rays of the sun, avoid smoking, get enough rest and proper nutrition, learn to relax to avoid too much stress, and get regular exercise.