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What Does Hair Loss Mean

Thinning Hair Following Pregnancy

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Other hormonal imbalances can also lead to hair loss, especially the wildly fluctuating hormones that occur following pregnancy and childbirth. It takes time after pregnancy for hormone levels to return to normal, so it’s not at all uncommon for post-partum moms to notice thinning hair or even patches of baldness. This often occurs about three months after babys arrival. Don’t worry as the rest of your body recovers, so will your hair follicles. The hair loss is only temporary your hair will grow back.

Is There A Test For Alopecia Areata

There is no single test to tell you if you have alopecia areata. Doctors usually see if you have the disease by:

  • Looking at the areas where the hair has been lost and at your nails.
  • Looking at your hair and hair follicle openings.
  • Asking about your medical and family history.
  • Ordering blood tests or other lab tests.

There Are Different Types Of Hair Loss Genetic And Reactive

Genetic:

There’s a chance you’re genetically predisposed to hair thinning, which means you may see a progressive, gradual reduction in hair volume. “In these instances, certain hair follicles are sensitive to male hormones and this sensitivity causes follicles to gradually shrink and produce slightly finer and shorter hairs with each passing hair growth cycle.” Explains Anabel Kingsley.

Reactive:

This means your hair loss is the result of a trigger. “Excessive daily hair shedding is not reliant on having a genetic predisposition, it occurs as the result of an internal imbalance or upset, such as a nutritional deficiency, severe stress, crash dieting or an illness” says Anabel Kingsley.

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Physical Trauma: A Shock To Hair Follicles

When your body is under serious physical stress, the natural cycle of hair growth and resting can be disrupted, resulting in hair loss, often in the form of thinning hair strands may come out in clumps. Any shock to the system, such as being in a severe accident, undergoing surgery, experiencing burns, or becoming very ill, can also shock the hair follicles, resulting in up to 75 percent of your hair falling out, sometimes months after the fact.

Certain Skin Conditions Can Cause A Loss Of Body Hair

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If youre noticing hair loss from a certain part of your body, one of the first things to consider is your skin. Do you suffer from any of the following?

  • keratosis pilaris an inflammatory disease of the hair follicles
  • dermatitis general skin inflammation
  • eczema/seborrhea forms of dermatitis that cause patches of itchy, red skin
  • psoriasis a skin condition where the bodys immune cells start attacking healthy skin
  • ringworm please see this page for information about scalp ringworm

Any of these conditions can cause damage to the hair follicles, which can then have a negative impact on hair growth. In some cases, the damage may be impossible to reverse, which means that the hair loss will be permanent.

Burns and injuries to the skin may also cause follicular damage and, in the case of burns, the damage is even more likely to be permanent.

Even if you suspect a skin condition as being the cause of your loss of body hair, its important that you speak to your doctor to be sure in part, to receive treatment if possible, but also to make sure that there isnt another, underlying issue causing the problem.

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What Are The Symptoms Of Abnormal Hair Loss

Hair loss may affect just your scalp, hair on another part of your body or all hair on your body. You may notice increased hair shedding that occurs suddenly, short or broken hair, or patchy hair loss, depending on the cause.

Round ring-like patches either on your scalp or elsewhere may indicate ringworm as the cause. You would be wise to check your cat or dog for the source your vet can easily diagnose the fungus causing ringworm.

If your hair loss is caused by a medical condition affecting other parts of your body, you may also notice other symptoms. These are listed below.

See your doctor if you experience hair loss at the same time as any of the following symptoms:

  • skin problems
  • pain, particularly back pain or eye pain
  • constipation or diarrhoea
  • swelling of your hands and feet
  • a rapid heartbeat.

Hair Loss Differs From Hair Shedding

Hair loss occurs when something stops the hair from growing. The medical term for this condition is anagen effluvium. The most common causes of hair loss include:

  • Hereditary hair loss

  • Hairstyles that pull on the hair

  • Harsh hair-care products

  • Compulsion to pull out ones hair

If you have hair loss, your hair will not grow until the cause stops. For example, people who undergo chemotherapy or radiation treatments often lose a lot of hair. When the treatment stops, their hair tends to regrow.

If you suspect that a treatment or drug is causing your hair loss, talk with your doctor. Serious side effects can occur if you immediately stop a treatment or drug.

Other causes of hair loss may require treatment. Many people who have hereditary hair loss continue to lose hair without treatment. A woman who inherits the genes for hereditary hair loss may notice gradual thinning. Men who have hereditary hair loss tend to develop a receding hairline or bald patch that begins in the center of the scalp.

Treatment helps many people who have hair loss, but not everyone. A dermatologist can tell you what to expect.

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What Should I Do If My Dog Is Losing A Lot Of Hair

One of the best things you can do to control massive shedding is to brush your dog regularly. This will help collect your dog’s old and damaged hair in a convenient place without scattering it all over the carpet.For dogs, depending on your dog’s condition, consistent brushing means daily, weekly, or monthly grooming.

How Common Is Hair Loss In Women

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Many people think that hair loss only affects men. However, it is estimated that more than 50% of women will experience noticeable hair loss. The most significant cause of hair loss in women is female-pattern hair loss , which affects about one-third of susceptible women, which equals out to some 30 million women in the United States.

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Causes Of Hair Loss On Legs

Hair loss occurs when individual hairs break away from the follicles and the follicles fail to produce new hairs.

As you age, your leg hair may become thinner and start to fall out. This is especially true if hair loss runs in your family.

Alopecia areata, a type of hair loss disorder, is also hereditary. With alopecia areata, your immune system attacks its own cells that contribute to hair growth. Alopecia areata more commonly affects the scalp in patches. Body-wide hair loss is called alopecia universalis. Anterolateral leg alopecia refers to hair loss on your legs thats primarily located on the front and outer sides.

Leg hair loss may also be related to the following symptoms and conditions:

  • poor circulation

Good Nutrition Is Important For Healthy Hair Growth

And whilst a lack of proper nutrients in the diet usually shows up in the hair on your head causing anything from poor condition to hair loss a loss of BODY hair can be the result too. Iron is a particularly important nutrient for the hair, but often our iron levels are far lower than we realize.

Its a good idea to review your diet with your doctor if youre losing body hair and even if you feel your diet is varied and nutrient-rich, its still a good idea to have your iron levels checked. Maintaining healthy iron levels is good for your whole body, not just your hair, so identifying a deficiency is important for your general well-being.

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Alopecia Doesnt Just Affect The Scalp

In fact, alopecia areata can cause patchy hair loss on the body and can, in rare cases, progress to alopecia universalis, an autoimmune condition that results in total loss of body hair .

A condition called frontal fibrosing alopecia, which usually causes loss of hair along the frontal hairline, can also trigger loss of body hair.

Alopecia can only be diagnosed by a doctor, so do discuss your concerns with a medical professional if you feel you may be affected.

Unfortunately, experts are unclear about what actually causes alopecia and there is no cure available.

However, encouraging news is that researchers from Columbia University may have discovered the genetic cause, linking alopecia to 8 genes. This came after they found that the 8 genes associated with alopecia were the same genes associated with autoimmune diseases like diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis. This discovery may lead to new treatments for alopecia in the future.

Other Symptoms That Help With Diagnosis

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You may also experience a range of other symptoms if your hair loss is caused by an underlying condition.

  • Hypothyroidism may cause anything from fatigue to weight gain, muscle weakness to joint swelling.
  • Ringworm may cause scaly and painful gray or red patches on the scalp.
  • Celiacdisease may cause anything from mouth ulcers to headaches, skin rashes to anemia.
  • Hodgkinsdisease may cause symptoms like fever, night sweats, and swelling of the lymph nodes.

Your doctor will take into account the other symptoms youre experiencing besides hair loss to help pinpoint the cause. This may involve anything from a physical examination to blood tests to scalp biopsies.

Some conditions, like celiac disease, may be genetically inherited. If you have a family history of a condition that leads to hair loss, be sure to mention it to your doctor.

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Is There A Way To Slow Or Prevent Baldness Once You Notice Hair Loss

Whether or not hair loss can be stopped depends on the diagnosis. In certain conditions, such as hormonal or familial hair loss, treatments can be expected to halt progression of the shedding or regrow some but not usually all of the lost hair.

When hair loss is due to an underlying medical condition, such as a thyroid disease, iron deficiency or anemia, the hair will regrow when the condition is treated.

In cases like telogen effluvium, a sudden type of hair loss that happens typically three months after a stressful event or illness, the hair loss is completely reversible without any treatment.

Unfortunately, there are some types of hair loss in which the follicle becomes scarred or closes off, and hair can no longer regrow in those areas. In these cases, the goal of treatment is to prevent further scarring and preserve the hair that is left.

Hair Loss Spiritual Cause Meaning And Healing

Your hair is not there by mistake. It has a precise purpose, which saints will discover and other men will laugh at. Yogi Bhajan.

In ancient days and even till a few decades ago, people from different cultures did not regularly cut their hair.

However, their hair was cut forcefully, as a symbol of slavery, during the time they were enslaved or conquered.

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Whats Hair Loss In Women

Hair loss in women is just that when a woman experiences unexpected, heavy loss of hair. Generally, humans shed between 50 and 100 single hairs per day. Hair shedding is part of a natural balance some hairs fall out while others grow in. When the balance is interrupted when hair falls out and less hair grows in hair loss happens. Hair loss is different than hair shedding. The medical term for hair loss is alopecia.

Hair grows on almost all of your skin surfaces not the palms of your hands, soles of your feet, lips or eyelids. Light, fine, short hair is called vellus hair. Terminal/androgenic hair is thicker, darker and longer.

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Hair grows everywhere on the human skin except on places like the palms of our hands and the soles of our feet, our eyelids and belly buttons, 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 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 — active hair growth that generally lasts between two to eight years
  • Catagen — 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.

As people age, their rate of hair growth slows.

There are many types of hair loss, also called alopecia:

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What Support Is Available With Abnormal Hair Loss

Hair loss can be distressing and difficult to accept initially. Talking with others who have experienced hair loss may help. If you need to talk to someone, ask your doctor about counselling sessions available in your area, or for a referral to a counsellor.

Below are also some support groups you may find helpful.

NZ Alopecia Facebook support groupNZ Alopecia website Information from fellow New Zealanders living with alopecia. Links to support groups, personal experiences through to information about the wig subsidy.Wigs and hairpieces subsidy Information from the Ministry of Health regarding wigs and hairpieces subsidy for people who suffer from serious hair loss because of a medical condition or from certain cancer therapies.

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.

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