In general, you lose about 50-100 strands of hair each day, but the loss is not visible as new hair grow in their place. However, if you lose more than a 100 strands in a day and more than 200 strands on the day you shampoo, you may be suffering from what is known as excessive hair fall. Certain factors or reasons may cause you to lose hair at an alarming rate, which are,
1. Thyroid problems Your thyroid is responsible for your body’s overall functioning. The hormones (primarily T4 and T3), which it produces help in regulating metabolic activities. Problems with your thyroid gland can cause your hormone levels to rise or fall to unhealthy levels, which can result in hair fall. You can improve the functioning of your thyroid gland through a diet rich in calcium, iodine, magnesium, protein and Vitamins A, B and C.
2. Scalp infections-Infections of the scalp can also be one of the factors that may cause your hair to fall at an alarming rate. Of the different scalp infections, the ringworm scalp infection is the most common. Although this fungal infection can occur in any part of your body, when it develops on your scalp, you end up losing clumps of hair. Alongside the use of anti-fungal medications, even anti-fungal shampoos and creams can provide you with respite from the problem.
3. Poor diet, Gorging on unhealthy foods or going on a crash diet can result in the lack of essential nutrients in your body, which are required to maintain healthy hair. Furthermore, since hair is made of protein, having a balanced diet consisting of proteins and vitamin- rich foods is a must.
4. Stress gives rise to certain conditions such as alopecia areata, telogen effluvium (hair loss caused post-pregnancy or surgery) and trichotillomania (an impulsive need to pull your hair out), which can cause you to lose significant amount of hair. To avert a hair loss crisis caused by stress, make it a point to do some simple stress-reducing exercises, such as meditation or breathing exercises.
5. Using hair styling products like hair colours and straighteners can cause you to experience hair fall problems. Your hair not only becomes dull and dry due to their use, but also becomes weak and brittle, leading to a gradual loss of hair. Regular oiling and use of homemade hair masks are some of the ways you can try to counter the negative effects of these hair styling products.
6. The drugs that are used in the treatment of cancer not only destroy the fast-growing cancer cells, but also the healthy blood cells in your body. For this reason, consuming foods that possess cancer-fighting properties (like oatmeal, tomato, almonds, garlic etc) is a sure-shot way of fighting the disease as well as averting any side-effects that may arise because of the treatment.
7. Alopecia areata. Lastly, hair fall can also be caused by alopecia areata, which is a kind of hair loss that takes place when your body’s immune system erroneously attacks your hair follicles, and prevents growth of new hair.
8. Genetics. The origin of your severe hair fall or baldness can be traced back to your ancestors. So, your genes can be a factor behind your hair fall problem. If this is the cause, your body then becomes unable to produce new hair.
Apart from the changes that you can make in your lifestyle to address the causes of your hair fall, there are also techniques out there that you can employ to permanently treat your problem, such as platelet rich plasma, mesotherapy, stem cell therapy, ozone activated platelet rich plasma & hair transplant.
In order to have healthy volume of hair on your head, the rate of hair loss and replacement should be in tandem. With age, your hair growth cycle shows signs of slowing down and factors like age, disease, and hormonal changes among others affect the pace at which an individual hair follicle moves through the 3 phases of the hair cycle. A disruption in your hair cycle can give rise to loss of hair that’s rapid and unexpected. Hair loss or alopecia can affect both men and women. So what can cause your hair to fall at an alarming rate?
The reasons behind hair loss could be many, but here are 6 major ones: 1. Lack of protein in your diet
When you exclude protein from your diet, your body starts to conserve the protein that it has by altering the growth cycle of your hair. In such cases, your hair enters into the resting stage, resulting in zero hair growth. In India, 9 out of 10 people are said to suffer from low amounts of protein in their diet, with 91% vegetarians reporting protein deficiency.
2. Iron deficiency Iron plays a very important role in the transportation of oxygen to the different organs of the body. Lack of iron in your diet (which is the principle reason behind anaemia) can give rise to several health problems including hair loss. Your body attempts to direct oxygen to important organs so as to support their functioning. As a result, your scalp witnesses a low supply of oxygen, which causes hair loss. 3. Vitamin D-3 deficiency
Deficiency of vitamin D-3 gives rise to a type of hair loss called Telogen Effluvium (TE). This is a temporary hair thinning phenomenon that takes place when the all the hair on your scalp enter the resting phase at the same time, subsequently causing you to shed a large amount of hair later on. 4. Smoking Smoking can also affect the health of your hair, especially the rate at which it falls and the number of strands lost in a day. A research carried out by the Harvard School of Public Health has revealed that smoking can cause a rise in a hormone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT).
An increase in DHT level prevents new hair cells from growing and causes hair follicles to reduce in size with each hair cycle. As a result, the area on your scalp that gets affected by DHT experiences a lack of hair growth. 5. Use of testosterone supplements in gym
Intake of testosterone in the form of supplements and injections to build muscle mass can trigger hair loss in men. This takes place when the testosterone in these supplements gets changed into DHT, thereby affecting your hair loss rate and amount. 6. Past illnesses (dengue, TB and typhoid)
Falling of hair can also be brought on by illnesses such as typhoid, TB and dengue as the hair growth cycle comes to a stop. Hormonal or metabolic stress that is experienced during the course of such diseases may cause hairfall. What are the treatments available to cure hair loss?
1. Hair transplant
Hair transplant is a minimally invasive surgical technique that transfers hair follicles taken from other parts of your body to the balding area. Known by the name of Follicular Unit Transplantation, this hair loss treatment can help to bring back the natural appearance of a fuller head of hair. Hair follicles are harvested using two procedures- follicular unit extraction and strip harvesting. Procedure can vary from 4-8 hours or more depending on the case. 2. Platelet- Rich Plasma (PRP)
Platelet- Rich Plasma (PRP) is another treatment alternative that can reverse hair loss. It’s a simple non-surgical procedure that lasts about 60-90 minutes. In this form of hair treatment, the patient’s own blood cells, more specifically blood platelets are injected into the scalp. Usually 8 sittings are required with each sitting being 2 weeks apart for better results.
3. Low Level Laser (Light) Therapy (LLLT)
This form of hair therapy utilises light energy of a specific wavelength and threshold to stimulate cellular activity, thereby promoting hair growth. Various controlled clinical tests have revealed its effectiveness in encouraging hair growth in both the genders. Hair fall is a very common phenomenon that plagues millions of people around the globe. Most of you take supplements of vitamin on a regular basis as it aids the build-up of new hair and skin cells. Read on to find out how exactly do the various vitamins help your hair:
1.Vitamin A: This vitamin controls the production of retinoic acid in your hair follicle. It is not only helpful for skin care but stimulates hair growth. It is immensely fruitful in moisturizing your hair and keeping it healthy. Vitamin A is usually found in sweet potatoes, carrots, tuna, lettuce, mango, sweet red peppers, green leafy vegetables and spinach.
2.Vitamin B: Variants of this, such as B12, aid in hair growth by managing stress. Vitamin B is found in fruits such as oranges and papayas, and beans.
3.Vitamin C: This vitamin helps you absorb iron from the food you eat which is an absolute essential for hair growth. It also boosts the synthesis of collagen that is required to repair the damage and sustain the structure of your hair. Fruits such as papayas, guavas, lemons, sweet lime, orange, kiwi, vegetables such as broccoli, yellow bell peppers and leafy vegetables are replete with Vitamin C.
4.Vitamin D: This vitamin rejuvenates the hair cells in order to form new shafts of hair. Vitamin D is found in dairy products, mushrooms, soy milk, tofu, and cheese. Vitamin D is also naturally made by your body when you expose your skin to the sun, and is called the sun-shine vitamin.
5.Vitamin E: This aids in stimulating capillaries and enhancing blood circulation on the scalp. This additionally contributes to hair growth due to its high anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidant content. Certain foods loaded with Vitamin E are pumpkin, broccoli, olive oil, sunflower seeds, almonds, avocado, tofu and spinach.
6.Vitamin B5: It is also known as Panthenol, is a vital ingredient that is used in medicines to regulate hair fall. Foods enriched with Vitamin B5 are sweet potatoes, sunflower seeds, avocados, cheese and mushrooms.
Other Ways to Help Hair-
We have gone over the vitamins that may be important for the health of your hair. But lifestyle changes can help just as much. Try:
1.Cutting back on gels, blow-drying, and brushing hair when wet
2.Lowering your stress by exercising at least 30 minutes a day
3.Drinking enough water, 6-8 glasses a day
Being mindful of the foods and drinks you consume, the products you use, and the way you manage stress, can all help improve the well-being of your hair. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult me.