All About Hair Loss (Alopecia) – Causes, Treatments & Prevention

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Here on this page, you can find valuable information about any question you may have in your mind regarding your hair, hair loss (alopecia), thinning hair, stages, what triggers it, treatment methods, and how to prevent it.

Notice: Please bear in mind that the content on our page is for informational purposes only, it is not suitable for you to consider in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases, and you should definitely consult your doctor for any diagnosis and treatment.

What is hair loss?

Hair loss a.k.a. Alopecia is a very common scalp disease and is one of anyone’s, including the children’s, bad dreams that could happen anytime and anywhere. As surprising as it is, a healthy person can lose 50 or 100 hairs per day, though it may not sound like so many considering having a total of between 90,000 and 150,000 on their scalp.

Not to mention the fact that no sooner does a person lose any hair than new hair replaces the fallen hair. A healthy person won’t even realize that lost hair. Although it may be permanent or temporary, it can have severe effects on the scalp and body.

Then, how about baldness? Well, ‘baldness’, as its name suggests, is understood as excessive hair loss from one’s scalp. It sometimes happens that you lose your hair and your scalp cannot recover with the new ones. That’s right, this is the moment when the actual problem arises!

Why hair loss does happen?

Before the baldness, let’s cover why hair loss does happen? Hair loss is a result of a variety of factors, such as medications, genes, medical conditions, hormonal changes, aging, etc. Hair loss is typically related to one or more of the following factors, which are listed below.

Hereditary/Genes History

The most common cause of hair loss is any genetic condition that shows itself with aging which is sometimes named androgenic alopecia. Because it is seen in both males and females; is therefore named male-pattern baldness and female-pattern baldness.

The scary part of this disease is that it comes to the scene slowly and expands gradually with its receding hairline in men. Women experience it more in the way of having thinner hair patterns along with the crown of the scalp.

When such cases occur, please visit your doctor or dermatologist who will check your medical or genetic history to decide whether the pattern of baldness is running in your family. Whether your pattern baldness is based hereditary or not finalized only after certain tests.

Then, what exactly is the hereditary we talk about? In simple words, it is just your DNAs; your genes that are taken from either of your parents. Certain hormones expedite the hair loss process, such as sex hormones dihydrotestosterone (DHT) which start expedite hair loss the process starting from your puberty to any age. Yes, it happens all of a sudden and your hair growth cycle will come to a stop and you won’t be able to develop new hair anymore.

Hormonal Changes & Medical Conditions:

The reasons causing permanent or temporary hair loss are numerous; however, hormonal changes like childbirth, menopause, and/or if you experience any problems with your thyroid, and even puberty.

Your specialist must first examine, sometimes with the help of biopsy,  your scalp to determine what the reasons are lying behind. As a side note, if the scalp appears perfectly normal with plenty of empty hair follicles, this is called non-scarring hair loss which causes physical as well as chemical damage to the hair shaft.

Medical conditions include alopecia areata which is a type of severe hair loss originating from an immune system by causing the body’s immune system to attack follicles and usually starts with some small circular (ring-like) patterns.

Hair-pulling disorder, on the other hand, is called trichotillomania which is shortly defined as the habit of twisting or pulling hair out. Amongst the reasons are also some hormones that are developed or produced more when a human being goes through some life cycles, such as pregnancy, giving birth, menopause, birth control pills, a.k.a. contraceptive pills, etc.

Besides all of the reasons described above, systemic disease-induced alopecia presents itself to the patient in some traumatic situations, some illnesses, such as cancer, endocrine disease, and telogen effluvium, etc. The good news is that since these situations are temporary, therefore hair loss is also temporary, and the hair may re-growth!

Medications & Supplements:

Hair loss can be a side effect of some specific drugs/medications; such as the ones used for treating cancer, arthritis, depression, heart problems, and high blood pressure. It is reported that the hair may not grow back the same as it was before.

Of course, there are other causes including certain medications, taking supplements without doctor’s recommendation, as such, taking too much vitamin A, or not having enough protein.

Lifestyle & Diets

Yes, that’s right! When someone is going through a very stressful period in their lives, this kind of hair loss is seen under stressful situations which may lead to hair loss and/or thinning of hair several months.

However, this type of hair loss is temporary. Sometimes, hair loss may occur with wrong or excessive change in the hairstyle you choose, which may cause intense pressure on hair follicles.

For instance, tight ponytails, pigtails, or cornrows can also cause a type of hair loss called traction alopecia. What is more, the diet a person is following may also cause hair loss if it is deficient in protein and nutrients such as iron?

Let’s learn further on hair loss: It is an acknowledged statement that baldness is more common in men than women, and the most common cause of the illness originates from hereditary backgrounds. Then, let’s learn what male pattern baldness is!

It is a genetic trait that comes solely from the parents. A recent study carried out by the British Association of Dermatologists (BAD) has shown that around half of the men aged above 50 years face hair loss in their lives.

It was found that not only men but females do also confront baldness showing itself as female baldness. According to BAD, around 40% of females aged over 70 are facing female pattern hair loss. When untreated, both females’ and males’ pattern baldness can progress to an incurable advanced phase.

Commonly, some people don’t seek treatment whereas others seek further treatments to restore their hair growth by traveling to other countries as medical tourists. Consult with your doctor about the cause of your hair loss and treatment options before going under a treatment.

There are a few ways to understand that define hair loss. For instance, if you are having a lot of hair falling in the shower let alone brushing or combing your hair.

Ways to Diagnose Hair Loss

No worries indeed; because there are a couple of ways to diagnose hair loss. Your specialist doctor can do an in-depth analysis, and check your medical background. It often happens that if you have an unidentified cause for a hair loss which is named traction alopecia, your doctor needs to identify the underlying reasons to cure you.

Sometimes the patients are recommended to follow a certain diet or change their medications.

Before that, a biopsy is sometimes taken to identify the underlying reasons if the hair loss is somehow linked to any autoimmune diseases or not. Now the question is whether there is anything to stop your hair from falling. Please read on to learn about the solutions.

What are the different ways to treat hair loss?

There are a lot of ways to cure hair loss, it is no wonder the medication tops the list. There are a couple of medications recommended by the doctors and are used commonly amongst hair loss patients one of the most common ones is Minoxidil/Rogaine.

It is applied directly to the scalp and is required to be used consistently to maintain growth. Another popular medication used is finasteride which is taken daily to cure pattern baldness. There is a corticosteroid (prednisone) designed to replicate the hormones produced by the adrenal glands.

However, most of the medications come with some side effects and need to be examined and researched, and investigated thoroughly. As such finasteride has been associated with prostate cancer. Most people don’t rely on medications, therefore they prefer to go under surgical procedures, such as hair transplants.

What is Hair Transplantation?

Hair transplant is a new method developed for the past 10 years, is a microsurgical method that requires a surgeon to extract healthy donor follicles from the back and sides of the scalp, which is then to be implanted into thinning or bald areas to stimulate new growth.

There are a couple of different surgical methods preferred, such as Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) which is the most popular form of hair transplantation. FUE restores growth without visible scarring.

Another surgical method is named Scalp Reductions, which is a procedure that involves cutting away the bald area of the scalp then closing it with a piece covered with hair. Alternatively, the surgeon may simply fold a section of the scalp with healthy hair growth over a bald area.

Moreover, there is also another surgical method to grow hair, named Tissue Expansion which requires 2  surgical procedures.

In the 1st surgery, the surgeon positions a tissue expander beneath an area of the scalp that’s covered with hair and adjacent to the bald section. The expander will stretch the piece covered with hair over several weeks.

Solutions to Combat Hair Loss?

You need to consult with a doctor to see if the hair loss you are experiencing is permanent or temporary. Now that we are talking about hair loss, then have you wondered what the causes of the hair loss could be and how it could be cured?

Then, please read further to learn more as we explain every question you may have in mind. Hair loss may progress because you are taking medications, undergoing chemotherapy, or have alopecia, cancer, female pattern baldness, or male pattern baldness.

There are plenty of ways to fight against/combat hair loss, avoid tight hairstyles that put excessive pressure on your hair and follicles, such as braids and ponytails which may cause permanent damage, and avoid pulling or twisting your hair hard.

Also, it is reported that some shampoos may cause damage to the hair because of the harsh chemical it may include, therefore, it is recommended you wash your hair with a less harsh chemical shampoo such as baby shampoo which is formulated for babies.

It is a surprising fact that you are advised not to wash your hair every single day, rather wash your hair every other day or some days in between. While washing doesn’t wash it too harshly or don’t rub it vigorously with a towel either, just pat gently should suffice. Blow dryer hair straighteners may damage the hair.

If you have to use it do it at the lowest settings if possible.  Can we say that all hair loss can be treated and have the same effect on every patient? In fact, no, some preventative measures and treatments for hair loss are more effective than others.

Some medications are good for hair loss, and combining them with your hair-thickening shampoo may give a better result than DHT (dihydrotestosterone). DHT is a hormone that triggers hair loss. Although it is not guaranteed and may give different outcomes from patient to patient; however, finasteride and minoxidil can help re-grow the hair.

With the advancement in technology, there have been so many other methods that help treat hair loss. Also, there are still other options that the patients and individuals, in general, can decrease their hair loss a great deal. This section is dedicated to how to find other solutions to cope with hair loss.

If you are facing a developed hair loss, you can temporarily use some real hair wigs and use some powders on your scalp to make hair look fuller. There are a lot of different hair fiber powders produced in different colors.

You can use hair extensions. Although this is also a temporary solution, yet, using some artificial hair may help you boost your confidence when attached to your hair. Hair extensions also come in a variety of colors and shapes.

Surgical treatment: this is a permanent solution to combat hair loss and the surgery is painless and is based solely on taking healthy hair follicles from the sides, and then they are transferred to the balding or hair thinning areas.

Hair treatment surgeries have been attracting a lot of attention from all around the world and the patient needs to prepare himself/herself in a better way. As such, She/he needs to do detailed research about the doctor and the hair treatment centers if all have the required credentials.

Platelet-rich plasma is another method to combat hair loss permanently. The method is focused on taking out the sample of blood from the patient and after the blood is processed it is injected back to the patient. This method is still in the phase of progress.

How to Understand What Causes Balding?

Now that you’ve experienced or you’re experiencing hair loss, it is important to know what the reasons are behind it all. To do so, you need to check with your specialist doctor for a thorough check-up as there may be some other important conditions related to your balding or hair loss.

Such as thyroid dysfunctions which reveal themselves in fatigue and weight gain. Another reason might be protein/vitamin/mineral deficiency that may result in malnutrition and hair loss as well as hair color change. Other reasons could be alopecia areata, telogen effluvium, tinea capitis, and more.

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Know before you plan your hair transplant

  • A hair transplant does not promise a dense hair.
  • If you have any disease that will constitute a contraindication to an operation to be performed under local anesthesia, you should first get treated with your disease and then start your hair loss treatment.
  • If you have unrealistic expectations and your donor area is insufficient, you are not a good candidate and you should not take this treatment.
  • If you have active skin disease, it should be treated before.
  • Your B12, B6, and zinc levels should be normal.
  • If you have any thyroid issues, it should be treated before.
  • Your blood sugar levels should be at the normal levels especially for those who have diabetic,
  • If you have psychological disorders such as trichotillomania, obsessive-compulsive disorder, depression, and body dysmorphic syndrome, you should be aware and all those should be investigated.

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    The content on our page is only for informational purposes. Please consult your doctor for any diagnosis and treatments. We do not have any partnerships with the clinics, hospitals and doctors. We do not make operations, treatments, etc. We are not responsible for any unexpected situations you may have as all are health issues.

    Plus, the information provided on our medical pages is not a guide to action and should not be construed as medical advice or treatment recommendation and doesn't substitute the visit to a doctor.

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