Thick And Thin: Why Hair Density Matters
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Ever heard the phrase I know it when I see it? Youd think its easy enough to determine if your hair is thick or thin just bywell, looking at it. But looks can be deceiving. Its not always easy to tell if you have thick, thin, or average hair density.
Hair density measures the number of hairs per square inch of your scalp. Dense hair has more hairs per square inch than average. Sparse or thin hair has fewer hairs per square inch of scalp.
Hair density is different from hair texture . You can have fine, thick hair or coarse, thin hair. And it can get even more complicated than that.
Sometimes hair that appears really thick and dense turns out to be coarse with thicker individual hairs, but fewer actual hairs on the head. Other times, hair that looks thin is actually densely packed with slender, baby-fine strands.
But does it really matter if your hair is thick, thin, or somewhere in between? It definitely does.
The overall thickness density of your hair dictates how you should style, cut, and care for it. If youve been wondering why certain cuts and styles that look great on others just dont work for you, your hair density could be the culprit.
Take our quiz to find out if your hair is thick, thin, or medium-density! Its 5 quick questions and you just might have the Aha! hair moment youve been waiting for.
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How Can I Prevent Hair Loss
There are things you can do to prevent further hair loss. Dont wear tight hairstyles like braids, ponytails, or buns that put too much pressure on your hair. Over time, those styles permanently damage your hair follicles.
Certain beauty regimens can worsen or cause hair loss.
If youre currently losing hair, use a gentle baby shampoo to wash your hair. Unless you have extremely oily hair, consider washing your hair only every other day. Always pat the hair dry and avoid rubbing your hair.
Styling products and tools are also common culprits in hair loss. Examples of products or tools that can affect hair loss include:
- blow dryers
Hair Type Chart: How To Determine Your Actual Hair Type
Think you know your hair type but cant always find products that will work for it? Chances are youre not as in tune with your hair type as you thought. Much like understanding your skin type is crucial for implementing an effective skincare regimen, determining your hair type can play a massive role in the efficacy of your daily hair care routine. And yet, figuring out your correct hair type may be easier said than done. Thats where a hair type chart comes in handy.
In addition to the obvious categories like straight, wavy, curly, and coily, a hair type chart can include several other factors to consider when pinpointing your unique hair type. If choosing among all the different hair types and factors sounds overwhelming, dont worry were here to help. Were sharing everything you need to know about determining the type of hair you have and what that means for your daily hair care routine.
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Treatment For Other Causes Of Hair Loss
If a disease, medicine, or stress is the cause of hair loss, then treating the disease, changing medicines, or managing stress may stop the hair loss. And your hair is likely to grow back. For example, if an underactive thyroid is causing the problem, taking thyroid medicine may help. And most hair lost during chemotherapy will grow back after the treatment ends.
If alopecia areata is the cause of hair loss, medicines such as corticosteroids can be used to treat it. But because hair often grows back within a year, you may decide not to have treatment. Understanding the come-and-go nature of hair loss with this condition can help you make the best treatment decision. Children and teens may need counseling to help them adjust to the hair loss.
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Articles On Hair Loss
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:
How Is Alopecia Areata Treated
For many people, hair grows back without any type of treatment.
The main goal of treatment is to stop the immune system attack on hair follicles and to help hair grow back. While there are no drugs that have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for alopecia areata, medications that have been approved for other conditions may be used to treat it.
Alopecia areata is treated by:
- Dermatologists, who specialize in conditions of the skin, hair, and nails.
Other specialists who may be involved in your care include:
- Mental health professionals, who can help with the psychosocial challenges caused by having a medical condition.
- Primary care doctors, such as family physicians or internal medicine specialists, who coordinate care between the different health providers and treat other problems as they arise.
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Different Types Of Alopecia
Alopecia is the medical term for hair loss, and there are two main types: alopecia areata and androgenic alopecia. Alopecia may cause hair loss only on the scalp or all over the body. It may result in thinning hair, patches of hair loss, some balding, or total baldness, and it may be permanent or temporary. There are numerous causes, including genetics. Talk to your doctor about possible treatments.
How Is It Treated
Treatment for hair loss depends on the cause. It also depends on your feelings. You may decide that you need treatment, or you may not be worried about thinning hair or baldness. The choice is up to you.
If hair loss is caused by something that won’t last or can be treated, your hair is likely to grow back. For example, if an underactive thyroid is causing the problem, taking thyroid medicine may help. And most hair lost during chemotherapy will grow back after the treatment ends.
Hair loss that runs in the family can be treated with medicines or hair transplant surgery. Some people choose to wear hairpieces, like wigs or toupees. Finding different ways of styling your hair, like dyeing or combing, can help.
If hair loss is caused by something you can control, like stress or medicines, you can treat it by getting rid of the cause.
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You Lost A Lot Of Weight Very Quickly
Sudden weight loss is a form of physical trauma that can result in thinning hair. This could happen even if the weight loss is ultimately good for you. It’s possible that the weight loss itself put unnecessary stress your body, or that not eating right can resulted in vitamin or mineral deficiencies. Loss of hair along with noticeable weight loss may also be a sign of an eating disorder such as anorexia or bulimia.
This type of hair loss, too, will correct itself once after a while. “Sudden weight loss seems to shock the system and you’ll have a six-month period of hair loss and then it corrects itself,” says Dr. Hammonds.
What Does Inherited Hair Loss Look Like
Inherited hair loss is the most common cause of hair loss. It is inherited from either or both the mother and the father.
- In men, hair loss occurs on the scalp above the forehead and on the top of the head. Bald spots are noticeable.
- In women, hair loss occurs as thinning of the hair all over the scalp, but mostly on the top of the head. Women tend to keep their front hairline and do not generally develop bald spots.
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Progressive Vs Reactive Hair Loss
There are several ways to categorize hair fall, which can be based on a myriad of different criteria. However, the idea of this post is to address how products are usually divided, so lets look at that from the point of view of the customers who wish to find the very best product for their problem.
You Have Female Or Malepattern Baldness
You might already know about malepattern baldness, a type of hair loss caused by a combo of genes and male sex hormones that usually makes the hair on a man’s head recede at the temples, leaving an Mshaped hairline.
But hormone-related hairloss for femalesor femalepattern baldnessis also a thing, according to the US National Institute of Health. This type of hair loss occurs when the hair follicle shrinks so much over time that it doesn’t grow new hair. In women, the symptoms of femalepattern baldness includes a widening of the center hair part, and, sometimes, coarser hair on the face.
The only FDAapproved treatment for female and malepattern hair is minoxidil , but if that doesn’t work, your doctor may prescribe oral medications such as finasteride that can halt hair loss or even cause some to grow surgery to transplant or graft hair is also an option.
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Is Thin Hair The Same As Thinning Hair
Its easy to confuse naturally thin hair with thinning hair, especially if youre a man who is especially concerned with losing his hair. Having thin hair does not necessarily mean youre losing it, though. All types and textures of hair can become thinner and having thin hair to begin with doesnt mean youre more prone to hair loss.
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What Are Some Tips For Dealing With Hair Loss In Women
There are some things you can do on your own. You might check with your stylist or try some of these:
- Coloring your hair adds volume to the strands, making your hair seem fuller.
- Massaging your head, like when you are washing your hair, can stimulate blood flow to the scalp and hair follicles.
- Getting your hair cut shorter, and having layers added, can make your hair seem fuller.
- Using the right kind of shampoo can also help. Look for a shampoo that adds volume without using sulfate detergents.
- Using the right kind of product at the right time can also help. There are products that add volume that you add while your hair is still wet. However, using too much product can add weight.
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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.
Causes Of Hair Loss And Baldness
A variety of factors from illness to poor nutrition to hormonal imbalances to major stress can contribute to hair loss. If you’re experiencing thinning hair or baldness, you need to get to the root of the problem to determine the best treatment.
Hair loss whether baldness or noticeably thinning hair can occur for a number of different reasons. Sometimes hair loss is a side effect of a health problem that needs to be addressed and will remedy itself when the health problem is properly treated. When hair loss is due to a condition involving the hair itself, as in the case of alopecia, the hair loss can be permanent.
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Living With Alopecia Areata
Alopecia areata may affect your sense of well-being. There are many things you can do to cope with the effects of this disease, including:
- Learn as much as you can about the disease, and talk with others who are dealing with it.
- Visit a mental health professional if you experience higher levels of stress, depression, or anxiety.
Protect bare skin and stay comfortable.
- Use sunscreens for any bare areas.
- Wear wigs, hairpieces, hats, or scarves to protect your scalp from the sun and to keep your head warm.
- Wear eyeglasses or sunglasses to protect your eyes from sun and dust if you have lost hair from your eyebrows or eyelashes.
Consider cosmetic solutions.
- Wear a wig, hairpiece, or bandana to cover up hair loss. Some people choose to shave their heads to mask patchy hair loss.
- Use fake eyelashes or apply stick-on eyebrows if you lose hair from your eyelashes or eyebrows.
Take care of your health.
- Visit your primary care doctor regularly. People with alopecia areata have a higher risk of certain other diseases, and early diagnosis is important.