10 Reasons Why You’re Losing Your Hair
Hair loss is quite distressing. It can affect you both psychologically and emotionally.
Have you been observing the rate of hair loss? If it’s more than usual, then, it’s about time to check what’s going wrong.
The causes for deep hair loss may range from hereditary reasons to lifestyle changes, deficiency of vitamin D or even underlying health conditions. The American Academy of Dermatology reports that most people lose anywhere from 50 to 100 strands of hair each day.
Excessive hair loss is a common problem that can affect both women and men of all ages. According to the report from The Hair Society, approximately 35 million men and 21 million women suffer from hair loss.
Here are the top 10 reasons that cause hair loss:
- Heredity – Hereditary conditions are the most common reasons for hair loss, resulting in male-pattern baldness and female-pattern baldness. Hereditary hair loss occurs in people who have a family history and inherited genes.
Hair loss due to genetic reasons is known as androgenetic alopecia and can affect both men and women. In women, the hair on the head begins thinning, and then gradually the hair loss progresses over the years. If you have a family history of hair loss, you should follow a proper diet and lifestyle to reduce your chances of losing a lot of hair.
- Over usage of chemical products
Frequent use of conditioners, shampoos, hair dyes or even oils that contain chemicals like Dihydrotestosterone or DHT can cause irreversible damage to the hair and hair loss. Such chemicals when used in excess over time, can weaken and damage your hair, and may also cause scalp burns, itching, irritation and scalp redness.
Though chemical cosmetic treatments are used to give a new look to your hair or even to treat problems such as dryness and split ends, it can result in thinning, balding or complete hair loss on the scalp.
- Excessive styling and tight hairstyles
Excessive styling and coloring can have harmful effects on hair follicles. Avoid tight hairstyles such as braids, buns or ponytails, as it can cause traction alopecia and add stress to your scalp. Heat styling also damages the hair stands and can cause breakage.
The American Academy of Dermatology recommends using a conditioner after shampooing your hair, and while letting your hair air dry, its advised to limit the amount of time the curling iron comes in contact with your hair. Also, heat-driven products should not be used more than once a week.
- Vitamin D and iron deficiency
Vitamin D deficiency and low levels of iron could play a key role in thinning your hair. Certain vitamins are crucial for the hair follicles to grow and to be healthy.
For instance, if your body is devoid if iron, it can’t produce the hemoglobin in your blood, which carries oxygen for the growth and repair of cells in your body, including the cells that stimulate hair growth. To balance Vitamin D levels and iron in your body, take more fortified dairy products or consider Vitamin D supplements and iron supplements.
Also, without adequate protein intake, the body cannot efficiently make new hair to replace the hair that has been shed. Make sure to eat a nutritionally balanced diet.
- Fungal infections
If you suspect that the hair loss is due to a fungal infection, it’s important to take immediate action to stop the infection spreading. Fungal infections that cause hair loss can be dermatophytes (ringworms), malassezia infections (pityriasis capitis or dandruff) or agents causing piedra.
Such infections can attack the hair and skin of your scalp, leading to scaly patches and hair loss. Once infections are treated, the hair generally grows back.
- Changing weather conditions
Hair often responds severely to any atmospheric variations such as changes in weather. For instance, hair loss is more noticeable during winter. In the same way, even though the air conditioner in the office or home may appear to be comfortable, it may impact your hair growth.
Such seasonal shedding usually affects women but can also occur in men. Conditioning your hair as often as possible can prevent this to a great extent.
- Lack of sleep
One of the chief causes of hair loss is lack of sleep. Sleep disorders such as insomnia and narcolepsy can affect the body’s immune function and hormone secretion, resulting in physical issues and hair loss.
Lifestyle changes and a better diet can ensure good sleep. Make sure to sleep at least eight hours daily to prevent premature hair loss.
Problems caused by severe stress including telogen effluvium (the hair follicles go into the resting phase), trichotillomania (people feel the urge to pull their hair) and alopecia areata (the body’s immune system attacks the hair follicles and causes hair loss) can impact the healthy growth of your hair.
Prolonged anxiety can also cause hair loss and hormonal imbalance. In case of stress or anxiety, take precautionary measures such as getting more exercise, trying talk therapy, or getting more support if you need it.
- Too many medications
Certain drugs and medications, mainly those for conditions such as cancer, arthritis, depression, heart problems, high blood pressure and birth control are linked to excessive hair loss and baldness. Hair grows in three different cycles: anagen, catagen, and telogen. Some antidepressants, such as Zoloft, may shorten the anagen phase or growth phase, which lasts anywhere from two to eight years.
Other drugs that might cause hair loss include methotrexate, lithium, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
Other than genetic causes, hair loss in men may indicate a nutritional deficiency, toxemia (toxins in the blood), anemia, or other hormone-related conditions. Toxemia can also be a contributing factor of psoriasis, which can cause hair loss.
Take this piece of advice – consider finding ways to eliminate acidic toxins and improve the overall scalp health.
Increase your fiber intake to ensure that the toxins are eliminated rather than reabsorbed by the intestine. Fruits, vegetables and whole grains are excellent sources of fiber. Also, start taking antioxidant foods. Recipes with matcha as an ingredient are an excellent choice.
If the problem persists, consult a dermatologist or you can benefit from certain treatments such as PUVA therapy or ultraviolet light therapy to restore hair growth.