Symptoms Of Excessive Hair Loss
For most people, excessive hair loss is gradual, which means it happens over a long period of time. This is especially true of male-pattern baldness. Hair loss is considered excessive when it results in bald spots or hair that is noticeably thinning. In some cases, hair can fall out suddenly. This is typically caused by sudden or prolonged stress, either physical or emotional.
What Are The Cycles Of Hair Growth
Hair goes through three cycles:
- The anagen phase can last from two years to eight years. This phase generally refers to about 85% to 90% of the hair on your head.
- The catagen phase is the time that hair follicles shrink and takes about two to three weeks.
- The telogen phase takes about two to four months. At the end of this phase, the hair falls out.
Your shorter hairs like eyelashes, arm and leg hair and eyebrows have a short anagen phase about one month. Your scalp hair can last up to six years or even longer.
Why Hair Falls Out
Hair grows and eventually falls out as part of its normal cycle. It can build up on hair brushes, pillows, or shower drains.
Most people will not notice the natural hair loss that occurs daily. Hair thickness and the hairline usually remain the same.
People are more likely to notice excessive hair loss. This is a good time to take action as it may be due to an underlying condition. Symptoms of excessive hair loss include:
- sudden loss of hair
- noticeable thinning
There are several possible reasons for excessive hair loss.
One of the most common causes is due to genetics. According to a 2019 review, pattern baldness affects up to 50% of men and women.
Commercial products could help to slow and treat this type of balding. One example of these products is Rogaine.
Pattern baldness occurs slowly with aging. Some more immediate causes of hair loss include:
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Central Centrifugal Cicatricial Alopecia
Central centrifugal cicatricial alopecia may occur as a result of hair products or styling techniques that damage hair follicles. The use of hair relaxers, blow dryers, curling irons, and hair extensions can cause central centrifugal cicatricial alopecia, as can the process of creating a permanent wave, or a perm.
The frequent application of oils, gels, or pomades can also cause this condition, which may be reversible if you stop using these hair products or styling techniques. Our dermatologists may recommend taking medication to help hair grow back.
What Causes Hair Loss In Men
Male hair loss is caused by the hormone testosterone being converted to DHT, which causes hair follicles to shrink. Hair growth subsequently slows down or even stops altogether.
Male hair loss is usually genetic, although it can also be caused by:
- Extreme stress
- Side effects to medical treatment
- A major life event
- Skin disorders
- Hormone imbalance.
Its worth noting here that there is no correlation between the level of normal testosterone and baldness.
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What Are The Side Effects Of Taking Finasteride
In rare cases finasteride may cause a skin rash, erectile dysfunction, less desire for sex or tenderness in the nipple area. If you do experience these side effects, they may well disappear quickly as your body gets used to finasteride. If you are at all concerned about the side effects you should stop taking the treatment and consult a doctor.
For more information on solutions for hair loss, visit our blog article on hair growth treatment.
Hair Shedding Often Stops On Its Own
Its normal to shed between 50 and 100 hairs a day. When the body sheds significantly more hairs every day, a person has excessive hair shedding. The medical term for this condition is telogen effluvium.
Excessive hair shedding is common in people who have experienced one the following stressors:
Lost 20 pounds or more
Experiencing lots of stress
Had high fever
Recovering from an illness, especially if it included high fever
Stopped taking birth-control pills
Most people notice the excessive hair shedding a few months after the stressful event. For example, a new mom can see excessive hair shedding about two months after giving birth. The shedding usually peaks about four months after giving birth. This shedding is normal and temporary.
As your body readjusts, the excessive shedding stops. Within six to nine months, the hair tends to regains its normal fullness.
If the stressor stays with you, however, hair shedding can be long lived. People who are constantly under a lot of stress can have long-term excessive hair shedding.
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Find The Hair Loss Treatment That Is Right For You
If youve noticed hair loss and want to stop it, one of the most effective ways is to block the androgen dihydrotestosterone the hormone that causes hair loss using a combination of finasteride, minoxidil and a hair thickening shampoo.
The most effective hair loss treatments, such as 5-reductase inhibitor finasteride, are designed to stop further hair loss. This means that the earlier you start taking them, the more of your hair youll be able to preserve.
In some cases, drugs like finasteride and minoxidil can cause you to regrow some of your lost hair, although theres no guarantee that this will happen.
Our guide to DHT and hair loss explains more about how hair loss treatments like finasteride work, and the potential effects you can expect from starting the treatment.
If you are worried about whether or not you can grow your hair back, a hair transplant may be the option for you.
You can also complete an online consultation with our healthcare providers to learn more about whats causing your hair loss and how you can encourage hair growth.
And Here’s What You Can Do To Fix It:
Ok, so now you know what triggering the hair loss, here’s how to deal with it…
Recognise the problem
Hair loss doesn’t happen fast, our strands grow in cycles, which means it can take up to 3 months for hair to fall out after a trigger has caused it. “If you notice excessive daily hair shedding for longer than 3 months, see a trichologist or your GP, there could be an underlying factor that needs to be addressed”, Anabel advises. “Very importantly, try not to panic. Telogen effluvium is almost always self-eliminating and hair will start to grow back as usual once any internal imbalance is put right”.
Change up your diet
1) Get More Protein
“Hair is made of protein, making adequate daily intake of protein rich foods essential. Include at least a palm sized portion of protein at breakfast and lunch .” Anabel recommends.
2) Complex carbohydrates are essential
“They provide our hair with the energy it needs to grow. Snack on a healthy carbohydrates if longer than four hours is left between meals as energy available to hair cells drops after this amount of time.”
That being said, Anabel explained that if you are losing your hair because of something other than diet, like stress or an illness, changing what you eat will not remedy it.
Take a supplement
Anabel recommends looking out for the following ingredients: Iron, Vitamin C, Vitamin B12, Vitamin D3, Copper, Zinc, Selenium, and the essential amino acids, L-Lysine and L-Methionine.
Head message = more than self-care
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How Will A Healthcare Provider Diagnose Hair Loss In Women What Tests Are Done
The tests performed to diagnose hair loss in women can be simple or complicated:
- Gently pulling on your hair to see how many hairs come out.
- Blood tests. These check for vitamin and mineral levels and hormone levels .
- Scalp examination under a microscope and trichoscopy.
- Scalp biopsy to remove and examine a very small piece of scalp skin.
Follow The Mediterranean Diet
Eating fruits, vegetables and protein the main ingredients in the Mediterranean diet can be helpful, especially compared to other trendy diets.
When you go on these restrictive diets, you may lose weight but its probably something you cant maintain, says Dr. Bergfeld. And theyre usually lacking in something that your hair follicles need.
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A Red Light Therapy Device
Low-level laser light therapy is an FDA-cleared way to treat hair loss. These devices might come in the form of a wand you point at the scalp or a cap you can wear. They emit a constant red LED light that is believed to reduce inflammation and increase blood flow to the hair follicles.
According to a 2017 meta-analysis of studies published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, minoxidil, finasteride and LLLT were found to be superior to placebo in regrowing hair . However, the researchers concluded theyre all effective for promoting hair growth in men with male pattern hair loss.
Some other therapies for thinning hair include:
How To Prevent Hair Loss In Men
Hair loss in men is more common than in women. According to the American Hair Loss Association, about 85 percent of men have thinning hair by the time they reach 50. Hair loss in men is typically caused by genetic male pattern hair loss, androgenetic alopecia, aging, or low testosterone levels. If youre concerned about hair loss, your doctor may recommend one or more of the following treatments:
to promote hair growth. By promoting circulation in the area of growth, your hair may grow more quickly if you gently massage your scalp every time you wash your hair.
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How To Stop Menopausal Hair Loss According To A Trichologist
Lets face it If youre a woman, youre eventually going to experience the dreaded menopause. Hot flashes, mood swings, insomnia, weight gain. And, if that isnt enough, millions of women experience hair loss during menopause. Most doctors declare menopause as an estrogen-deficient time, where a womans estrogen level drops by 90%, so there may be even more hair loss after youve completed menopause.
Menopause And Hair Loss: Whats The Connection
When entering the years of menopausal transition, it is a good idea to check the bodys hormone levels. This can help explain symptoms such as hair loss.
When a person experiences hair loss and other symptoms of menopause, it is predominantly due to hormonal changes. With age, the ovaries begin to decrease the amount of sex hormones that are normally produced. As the body responds to the fluctuations in hormones, numerous physical changes occur. Menopausal hair loss is directly related to the decreased production of estrogen and progesterone.
As these hormone levels drop, hair may begin to grow more slowly and become thinner. Over time, the decrease in estrogen and progesterone causes an increase in the activity of male hormones that the body makes. Androgens cause the hair follicles on the head to shrink, which leads to hair loss. These are the same hormones that are responsible for increased facial hair growth in menopausal people.
Among other factors that contribute to hair loss are lack of nutrients, stress, and illness. A health care provider may suggest tests for basic blood count, thyroid function, or hormone levels to identify the cause of hair loss.
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What Causes Excessive Hair Loss
A number of things can cause excessive hair loss. For example, about 3 or 4 months after an illness or a major surgery, you may suddenly lose a large amount of hair. This hair loss is related to the stress of the illness and is temporary.
Hormonal problems may cause hair loss. If your thyroid gland is overactive or underactive, your hair may fall out. This hair loss usually can be helped by treating your thyroid disease. Hair loss may occur if male or female hormones, known as androgens and estrogens, are out of balance. Correcting the hormone imbalance may stop your hair loss.
Many women notice hair loss about 3 months after theyve had a baby. This loss is also related to hormones. During pregnancy, high levels of certain hormones cause the body to keep hair that would normally fall out. When the hormones return to pre-pregnancy levels, that hair falls out and the normal cycle of growth and loss starts again.
Some medicines can cause hair loss. This type of hair loss improves when you stop taking the medicine. Medicines that can cause hair loss include blood thinners medicines used for gout, high blood pressure, or heart problems vitamin A birth control pills and antidepressants.
Certain infections can cause hair loss. Fungal infections of the scalp can cause hair loss in adults and children. The infection is treated with antifungal medicines.
Is Baldness Preventable
Losing your hair isn’t the end of the world, but for most people it certainly isn’t ideal. You may be wondering what you can do to prevent hair loss from happening to you. According to NYU Langone Health, as many as 80 percent of men and 50 percent of women will experience some form of hair loss in their lifetime. But are there things you can do to prevent baldness from happening altogether?
There are certain factors to take into consideration. âAs people age, their rate of hair growth slows. Some people, however, due to genetic makeup or underlying medical conditions develop alopecia, which is also known as hair loss or baldness,â Ricardo Castrellon, MD, a plastic surgeon at Mercy in Miami Hospital tells WebMD Connect to Care.
In most cases, hair loss actually can be prevented, but taking early action is important. âBaldness is preventable, but early intervention is key. If a person starts to notice thinning and shedding or hair loss of any kind, it is important to get on a regimen as soon as possible. Hair loss is a progressive condition and only gets worse with time, and there is a point where it is not treatable,â Jared Reynolds, BIOCHEM, founder of Zenagen Hair Care says.
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What Is Common Baldness
Common baldness usually means male-pattern baldness, or permanent-pattern baldness. The medical term for this is androgenetic alopecia. Male-pattern baldness is the most common cause of hair loss in men. Men who have this type of hair loss usually have inherited the trait. Men who start losing their hair at an early age tend to develop more extensive baldness. In male-pattern baldness, hair loss typically results in a receding hairline and baldness on the top of the head.
Women may develop female-pattern baldness. In this form of hair loss, the hair can become thin over the entire scalp.