Suffering from Hair Loss?


Hair loss is extremely common in the U.S. affecting about 50 million men and 30 million women. About 50% of men will experience hair loss by the time they turn 50. Although hair loss is not life threatening, it is devastating and has psychological effects especially in women.

Hair loss is often caused by genetics; it runs in the family and is not a symptom of a disease. It can also be caused illnesses like thyroid, anemia, ringworm of the scalp, anorexia. Medications such as cancer chemotherapy may also cause temporary hair loss. As soon as medication is stopped, hair growth will return to normal again. Hormones after giving birth or during menopause can also cause hair to thin out.

There are several types of hair loss, it can be localized, it can affect large areas, it can be patchy or it can affect the entire scalp.

Alopecia Areata also known as AA is a common form of hair loss. Believed to be an autoimmune condition where circular bald patches appear on the scalp. The hair loss may occur spontaneously and hair may regrow if the inflammation subsides. If the alopecia covers the entire scalp it is called alopecia totalis. Some alopecia spreads to the entire body affecting the eyebrows, lashes, beard and pubic hair, this is called alopecia universal is. If the alopecia appears only in the beard area in men, it is called alopecia barbae. Alopecia is often mistakenly associated with stress although there is no evidence that shows this to be the case. There are several contributing factors including hormones, allergies and viruses.

Traction Alopecia is caused over time by constant pulling on hair roots. There are hairstyles that cause tension on the hair follicles such as tight braids and pony tails. It can also be caused by chemical straightening or hair weaving. The sooner this condition is diagnosed the easier it is to treat and if left untreated over a long period of time, the hair loss may become permanent. Prevent hair loss by wearing a loose hair style an avoid pulling on the roots to lessen the damage.

Trichotillomania is a medical disorder that causes people to pull out their own hair. Often a person feels compelled to pull out hair on their scalp, eyelashes, eyebrows or other hairs on the body. Therapy and medications can help treat the condition.

TineaCapitis or fungal infection or ringworm of the scalp attacks the hair shafts and follicles leading to hair loss. It appears as bald spots with black dots where the hair has broken off. It commonly affects children but can also affect adults as well. This can be treated with antibiotics and topical shampoo.

Telogen effluvium or TE is a thinning of the hair on the scalp, not necessarily evenly. Hair growth involves several phases. Hair grows for a few years, rests (the telogen phase) sheds, and then regrows. When hair roots prematurely reach the resting phase, this is called telogen effluvium. TE is often caused by a “shock to the system” with the hair loss occuring weeks to months after the initial shock. Some causes of TE includes severe infection, severe or chronic illness, childbirth, high fever, severe physiological stress, major surgery, over or underactive thyroid, crash diets, medications such as retinoids, beta blockers, calcium channel blockers, antidepressants.

Because the stage following the resting (telogen) phase is regrowth, there is no treatment needed. Hair will resume normal growth but it is important to determine that there is no other underlying medical condition that is causing the hair loss.

Male Pattern baldness accounts for the majority of hair loss in men, but it can also affect women and is usually caused by a combination of hormones and genetics. Some men may start to notice thinning hair as early as their 20s and by age 50, 50% of men see some hair loss. Hair is usually lost in pattern, starting at the temples, revealing the classic “M” shaped hairline seen as men age.

But it is not just men who lose their hair; women tend to notice hair loss appearing on the top and crown of the scalp commonly seen after menopause.

It is important to determine that hair loss is not caused by an underlying medical condition. If that is the case, the medical condition needs to be addressed. If there is no medical problem causing the hair loss, treatment options include medications, surgery. Wigs are also an option or using hair fibers to conceal thinning areas. There are number of ways to address hair loss issues today. One just needs to research and try to see what’s best to work. Some sufferers rely on hair fibers like Infinity Hair Fibers for instant solution while searching for a long term answer to the problem.

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