It’s normal for everyone to usually shed 50 to 100 strands of hair a day. This usually isn’t noticeable because new hair is growing in at the same time. Hair loss occurs when the new hair doesn’t replace the hair that has fallen out. It can be temporary or permanent and anyone can lose hair, although it’s more common in men.
Hair loss can appear in many ways and depends on the cause of it. It can come on suddenly or gradually. Some signs of hair loss include:
- Gradual thinning on top of head, this is the most common type of hair loss that affects people as they age. For men, their hair starts to recede at the hairline on the forehead as women usually have a broadening of the part in their hair.
- Circular or patchy bald spots, some people may get this type of balding and your skin may become itchy or painful right before your hair falls out.
- Sudden loosening of hair is a physical or emotional shock that can cause hair to loosen. Handfuls of hair may come out when combing or washing. This is typically temporary and usually causes overall hair thinning.
- Full- body hair loss results from some medical conditions and treatments like chemotherapy. However, hair usually grows back.
- Patches or scaling that spread over the scalp is a sign of ringworm and may be accompanied with broken hair, redness, swelling and at times oozing.
Causes of hair loss can be of heredity, hormonal changes, medical conditions or it’s just a normal part of aging. Heredity hair loss with aging is the most common cause of baldness. Hairstyles and hair treatments can be another cause to hair loss. Having hair styles that pull your hair tight, like pigtails or cornrows can cause a type of hair loss called traction alopecia. Hot- oil treatments and a hair perm can also cause hair loss, but if scarring occurs, then the hair loss can become permanent.
Most hair loss is caused by genetics and this type of hair loss unfortunately is not preventable. Some ways to help prevent hair loss are:
- Be gentle with your hair, use a detangler and avoid tugging and pulling your hair especially when wet.
- Avoid harsh treatments like hot rollers, curling irons, hot- oil treatments and perms.
- Ask your doctor about supplements you can take to help hair growth.
- Protect your hair from sunlight and other sources of ultraviolet light.
- If you are being treated with chemotherapy, ask your doctor about a cooling cap, this cap can help reduce the risk of you losing your hair.
When Should I See a Doctor?
You should see a doctor if you have persistent hair loss and is loosing more hair than you would on average. For women, if you are experiencing a receding hairline, you’d want to get early treatment to avoid permanent baldness. If you also notice sudden or patchy hair loss more than usual you would want to speak with your doctor as this can be an underlying medical condition that would require treatment.
There are many treatments out there to help restore your hair from custom blended topical medications and shampoos to oral medications and supplements to injections and light therapy. Talking over the different treatment plans with your doctor and finding the one that best suits you will help with your hair loss.