Why do hair break or beggins to thin out?
What Kills Your Hair:
The hair undergoes a cycle which proceeds in three distinct phases: anagen, catagen, and telogen. During the anagen phase, roughly 85 percent of the hair is growing. The anagen phase can last from two to three years at any one time. Approximately 5 percent is degrading during the catagen phase that only lasts for about two to three weeks. Ten percent, on the other hand, is shedding during the telogen phase which can last for about two to three months.
Under the normal telogen phase, losing 50 to 100 hair strands a day is just normal. However, when the telogen phase, or when the normal hair growth cycle at large, is interrupted, hair loss can become excessive. Excessive hair loss is a condition that a considerable number of people around the world suffer from—and the causes can be diverse.
Hereditary factors do not really make a person lose his/her hair but it plays a big role in its occurrence. Apparently, one has a greater tendency to experience it when both sides of the family have it —the ‘bad’ genes have been passed down. Hair loss is influenced by more than one gene (polygenic); therefore, contrary to common belief, hair loss is not just inherited from the mother’s side of the family.
Genetic hair loss is a permanent condition and can transpire differently in men and women. However, as stated earlier, genetics per se do not cause hair loss, rather it can be directly linked to any of the factors presented below.
In the vast majority of cases, the male hormone, dihydrotestosterone (DHT), is the reason hair loss occurs in men and women. It creates a genetic pattern—a condition called androgenetic alopecia or male/female pattern baldness which exactly happens when testosterone is converted by the enzyme 5-alpha reductase into DHT. DHT is an aggressive testosterone derivative because it attaches to the androgen receptor sites in the hair follicles. This prevents successful blood flow, further causing the hair follicles to shrink and eventually die if left untreated.
During pregnancy, the telogen phase is suspended as the level of oestrogen increases. The increase of oestrogen levels prolongs the anagen phase, explaining why pregnant women usually have a more beautiful hair than when they are not pregnant. But the spell usually ends two to five months after pregnancy. This is because the frozen telogen phase resumes, causing more than the usual count of hairs to fall out. This is a condition called postpartum hair loss. Postpartum hair loss is only temporary and it can happen in one pregnancy but not in another.
In some other cases, hair loss results when the T-cells, the white blood cells responsible for fighting infection, attack the hair follicles. Why the immune system does so is not exactly known. This condition is called alopecia areata which is characterized by smooth and round patches of hair loss anywhere in the body. The abnormality in the immune system leaves the hair follicles in a shrunk state, hence inept to perform its role. Usually it starts in the scalp hair then progresses in the rest of the body.
Alopecia areata is both temporary and chronic. Until the immune system recovers from its triggers, this condition may go on.
Whether metabolic or hormonal, stress can cause telogen effluvium as observed in many cases. As the name suggests, telogen effluvium is a condition wherein the number of telogen hairs increase. (Postpartum hair loss is an example of telogen effluvium.) However, the exact mechanism how stress triggers hair loss is still unknown.
Telogen effluvium is only temporary. Usually, it occurs a few months after the stressful event but once the body returns to its normal shape, the hair will continue growing.
Antidepressants, thyroid medications, cholesterol-lowering drugs, anabolic steroids, and birth control pills are common drugs that trigger temporary hair loss as a result of using or stopping the use of these medications. Sometimes, hair loss is only a form of the body’s adjustment to a certain medicine while in some cases, an effect of the body’s accumulation of the substance. Hair loss caused by medications is only temporary. Once the body completely adjusts to the change, hair loss will eventually stop.
HAIR PULLING AND/OR FRICTION
Constant friction or traction such as those employed during grooming procedures (dreadlocks, tight braids, tight ponytails, etc.) inflames the hair follicles (folliculitis). Repetitive friction against the hair follicles interferes with the blood supply to the hair root. This causes hair loss in a condition called traction alopecia that becomes visible through damaged hair shafts and bald patches in the hairline and temples. Hair loss caused by traction is not painful and is only temporary. Traction alopecia is prevalent in women, particularly African American women.
Dyes, tints, bleaches, straighteners, relaxers, and permanent waves can cause hair damage particularly when they are used too often. Caustic chemicals make the hair weaker and to eventually break off. Besides harming the hair shafts, these chemicals may seep through the pores of the scalp and can kill the hair follicles beneath the skin, that is, if done improperly. In some cases, these can even cause chemical burns that would result in permanent hair loss. Therefore, it is imperative that only experienced hairstylists perform hair treatments.
The hair needs as much nutrition as the rest of the body receives. Partial lack of nutrients can affect hair growth. In fact, without certain vitamins and minerals, hair cannot grow normally. The hair is a non-essential part of the body; therefore, it would most certainly rank last in receiving nutrients. Hence, it is all the more essential to consume certain vitamins and minerals required for the hair to grow.
Hair Loss and Hair Thinning:
The immune system — which includes the bone marrow, thymus, spleen, lymph nodes and the white blood cells — normally protects the body from infections and diseases brought about by bacteria, viruses, fungi and other abnormal body cells.
However, when the immune system fails to distinguish between the foreign invaders and the normal healthy cells, autoimmune diseases may result. When an autoimmune disease develops, the immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys its own tissues and organs, producing a wide range of symptoms like nausea, hair loss and hair thinning problems.
Society deems the hair as a defining part of a woman’s personality. It is a mark of her femininity, beauty and style. This statement holds a universal truth, which is why it is crucial for women to nurture and protect their crowning glory.
From a woman’s point of view, there’s hardly anything worse than losing their healthy head of hair. Most women feel upset and distressed when they start to begin losing their hair. To them, hair loss can be a very terrifying and distressing scenario.
With this general supposition, hair thinning or hair loss can be extremely hard to accept and deal with especially for women. This condition is more than just a minor cosmetic problem. It has the potential to make women feel vulnerable, anxious and at times depressed. It causes unfavorable changes in how women feel about themselves.
Approximately, 20 percent of women suffer from having hair loss or pattern baldness. This condition usually develops progressively and may be patchy or diffuse. Roughly 50 to 100 hair shafts are lost from your head every day. The average scalp contains about 100,000 hairs shafts. Hair grows from its follicle at an average rate of about 1/2 inch per month. Each hair grows for 2 to 6 years, then rests, and then falls out. A new hair soon begins growing in its place. At any one time, about 85 percent of the hair is growing and 15 percent is resting. Loss of hair occurs when hair falls out but new hair does not grow in its place.
Studies show that hormone plays a great role in women’s hair loss. Hormones are thought to influence the onset, severity and pattern of hair loss experienced by women. Changes in hormone levels caused by menopause, pregnancy, thyroid conditions and medications like (birth control pills) are some possible causes of hair loss.
Women who are in their pre- and post-menopausal period suffer from hair thinning. Moreover, during and after pregnancy, a woman experiences hormonal fluctuations. At the course of the pregnancy, a woman may experience shinier and healthier hair. However, 3 to 6 months after giving birth, the hormones of the woman can enter a resting phase while the body returns to its pre-pregnancy condition. When this happens, a woman usually begins to notice an increase in falling hair.
Other causes of hair loss in women are highly individual, but can include any of the combinations:
How do we prevent this to carry on?
Stop Hair Loss: The Natural Hair Regrowth Alternatives
Iron conditions the blood’s good health. It is essential for metabolism, which carries the lungs’ oxygen and dispatches it to all the organic tissues in the body. With regards to the hair, iron is vital for the nutrition and oxygenation of the hair follicles. Hence, the lack of iron in the body may lead to thinner and duller hair.
What Is Iron deficiency?
Iron deficiency, also known as sideropenia or hypoferremia, is the most common form of nutritional deficit. This happens when there is not enough iron consumed by an individual. Without a sufficient amount of iron, the body cannot produce ample quantity of hemoglobin and it cannot adequately transport electrons within the cells. This occurrence affects the body in various ways.
Iron and Hair Loss
The majority of iron supply in the body is found within the red blood cells which carry oxygen throughout the body cells. This mineral also regulates cell development, which is necessary for many bodily processes, including healthy hair regrowth. With an inadequate amount of iron, the cells may not get enough oxygen; hence, this results to fatigue, weakness, pale skin, brittle nails, shortness of breath, arrhythmia, pica, headache and hair loss. Hair loss due to iron deficiency may occur in large quantities but at times it can also be subtle, slow hair thinning that might last for several months or even years.
Diagnosis and Treatment
Most people with iron deficiency hair loss can be treated with iron supplements. However, before purchasing iron supplements, it should be noted that overindulgence of iron may increase the risk of infection and can lead to toxicity. Hence, the most ideal thing to do is to visit a physician to see if you really are in need of iron supplements. Sometimes, iron deficiency may also be a cause of an underlying medical condition such as an ulcer, so it makes sense to seek help from a medical professional and sort out any potential underlying causes.
The most common type of iron supplement is ferrous sulfate. However, other types may include the following: ferrous succinate, ferrous fumarate, ferrous lactate, ferrous gluconate, ferrous glutamate, ferrous glycine and ferric ammonium citrate.
Hair loss induced by iron deficiency can be stabilized once its cause disappears. But one needs to be patient, because it takes a while to rebuild the body’s level of iron, which involves long-term supplementation. In the mean time, you can eat iron-rich foods to help you fight iron deficiency. Foods rich in iron include red meat, dried fruits, liver, oysters, whole grains, soy bean flour and cereals.
Essential oils: Aromatherapy is a good hair loss treatment in women which is natural, safe, effective and low cost. The use of essential oils is a great alternative to help prevent or stop hair loss. Some of the best oils for hair care are Jojoba, Rosemary, Basil, Lavender and soybean extracts.
Exercise: Exercises are the one of the natural hair loss treatments in women that is a viable option. To further reduce the chances of hair loss you simply need to add an exercise program to your plan. Exercising will improve the delivery of the proper nutrients to your hair follicles and reduce the effects of stress on your body.
Hair Massage: A daily massage can work wonders on your hair. A scalp massage can reduce stress levels, increase blood flow to the hair follicles and promote an overall feeling of relaxation. If done properly it opens up the blood vessels to promote blood flow which increases the amount of nutrients available for hair growth.
Natural supplements: These supplements are essential to help speed up hair follicle cell division and help the follicles produce stronger hair shafts. The ideal supplement to help your hair regrow should contain just the right amount of vitamins and minerals to stop hair loss.
Proper Diet: Nutritional deficiencies caused by improper diet can contribute to increased hair loss by weakening hair shafts that cause breakage to the hair and slow down hair regrowth. Sometimes changing what you eat is all you need to stop and prevent your hair loss condition. By eating the right kind of foods like cereals, grains, poultry, meat, fish, vegetables and fruits you can achieve a well balanced diet.
These are some of the common natural hair loss treatment tips and options to stop hair loss in women. These things are good alternatives which are effective to help you regain your beautiful locks in due time.
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