There are about 5 million hair follicles on the human body and close to 100,000 of them are on the head. Around 10% of the hair follicles are in the telogen phase at the same time, and because these follicles are distributed all over the scalp, you might not notice any bald spots.
In the anagen phase, the hair grows longer and so it also becomes heavier, which is why the follicle is not able to hold on to the hair. This leads to the start of the second and third phases of the hair.
The shape of the hair follicles actually has a role to play in the length of your hair – studies have shown that round follicles have a better grip, which is why they will grow into long hair.
The reason why balding and overall thinning of hair starts with growing age is that the follicles stop growing after a particular age.
While hair loss can be attributed to genes, it is not caused by the genes from the mother’s side; rather studies have shown that hair loss is caused by the genes inherited from the father’s side.
Wearing a cap or spending too much time out in the sun will not lead to hair loss. Wearing an overly tight cap could lead to shedding, but this hair will grow back. Similarly, the radiation from sunlight can make the hair brittle and this could lead to temporary breaking and hair loss, but nothing permanent.
Now let’s move onto the main causes of hair loss and its treatment methods will be discussed in the latter part of the article:
Hair loss is a broad term – it can refer to anything from an overall thinning of hair to excessive hair loss to bald spots to complete balding. Although they might all seem the same, they are actually different and each could be representative of a different stage of hair loss. There are several types of hair losses and each could be caused due to one or a combination of reasons.
Understanding the root cause of hair loss is the first step to charting out a course of treatment and it is essential to understand that hair loss can be temporary and permanent. Most temporary hair loss scenarios will resolve themselves on their own and over a period of time you will see that your hair grows back again; however, if the hair loss is permanent, you might have to consider surgical options and these decisions would be best taken with professional advice.
Causes of Hair Loss
Incorrect hair habits – if you are tying your hair too tight, if you are using too much heat, if you are using too many styling products, you will be inviting trouble and hair loss. However, if you correct these mistakes, your hair loss should reduce and you should be able to see more hair on your head.
Incorrect eating habits – when you do not have enough nutrients in your diet, it will start to show on your body and your hair too. Malnourished hair will not be healthy and it will be more prone to breaking too. Include plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables in your regular diet and ensure that you are constantly hydrated to enjoy great hair.
Medications – certain medications, particularly ones related to chemotherapy and radiation can lead to hair loss, however, these types of losses should be seen as temporary, because when the treatment or medicine routine stops, hair should grow back.
Medical conditions – if you have been in an accident or any other such trauma, you could lose your hair, but in most cases, this can be considered as temporary hair loss. However, if there is intense burning or if there is the presence of scar tissue, natural hair regrowth might not be possible.
Genetics – this is perhaps one of the most common causes of hair loss because if there is a tradition of hair loss in your family, the chances of the same affecting you are also high. And if your hair loss is because of genes, then you might be looking at what is commonly known as pattern baldness.
When you are looking at hair loss treatments, you need to understand that there are mainly three types of treatments – natural, medical, cosmetic and surgical and the choice of treatment will be based on the type of hair loss you are facing and the cause for the same.
Natural – When you first start noticing hair loss, there are plenty of home remedies that you can try and many of them can prove to be extremely effective. For instance, you can use onion juice on your scalp or you can try natural oils such as coconut or olive oil to massage your scalp, which in turn will stimulate your hair growth. There are plenty of hair masks that you can prepare at home, with everyday ingredients such as eggs, avocado, and coconut cream, and these can not only nourish your hair from within but also strengthen them to ensure reduced hair loss.
Making the necessary changes in your diet and hair care habits should also show the kind of results that you are keen on seeing.
Medical – With advances in the world of medicines, there are several medications that can help you with hair loss and hair regrowth. The two most common medicines are Minoxidil and Finasteride – while Minoxidil is a topical medication that can be purchased over the counter, Finasteride is an oral medication, for which you will need a doctor’s prescription. By regularly using these medications as per the directions, you should be able to see promising results in a matter of months.
Cosmetic and surgical – These are the options that you will need to look at when your hair loss has been classified as permanent. Cosmetic procedures such as PRP (platelet-rich plasma) therapy and laser therapy can be done at reputed centers and clinics and they are known to show good results when done properly and at the intervals that are decided by the doctor or technician performing the same.
For men, a great way to create a look of volume, particularly when they have really close-cropped hairstyles is scalp micropigmentation or SMP, wherein tiny dots matching the color of the natural hair are tattooed onto the scalp. The final option for permanent hair loss would be a hair transplant procedure – FUT or FUE. The choice between FUE and FUT would be based on the condition of your hair loss as well as your donor and recipient areas.