Whether you’ve recently noticed a few extra strands on your pillow or have been grappling with thin hair, this guide aims to provide valuable insights and actionable steps to help you navigate hair loss.
What causes hair loss?
There isn’t one cause for all hair loss, as it can be determined by lots of different factors.
Genetics and hormones
Hereditary hair loss is the most common cause of hair loss, affecting both men and women. This condition, known as androgenetic alopecia, is typically called male or female pattern baldness. It is determined by genetic predisposition and hormonal changes — both of which lead to thinning and loss.
Hormonal imbalances can play a significant role in hair loss too. Hormonal changes due to pregnancy, childbirth, menopause and thyroid disorders can all contribute. Fluctuations in hormone levels affect the hair growth cycle, leading to excessive shedding or hair miniaturization.
Medical conditions and stress
Certain medical conditions like alopecia areata, autoimmune diseases, scalp infections and underlying health issues like diabetes and lupus can also trigger hair loss.
Additionally, treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation for cancer may lead to temporary or permanent hair loss.
Stress is another significant factor that can contribute to hair loss. Extreme physical or emotional stress can disrupt your normal hair growth cycle and cause your hair to enter a resting phase prematurely. This then leads to excess shedding and stunted regrowth.
Lifestyle and diet
Certain lifestyle choices and environmental factors can impact the health of your hair. Poor nutrition, deficiencies in essential vitamins and minerals, excessive hairstyling and heat damage can contribute to hair loss over time.
How much hair loss is normal?
Hair loss is a natural part of the hair growth cycle, and it is normal to lose between 50 and 100 hairs a day. However, it can be challenging to determine how much hair loss is within the normal range and when it’s a problem.
You typically only need to worry about hair loss when you notice clumps of hair falling out or notice a significant change in the thickness of your hair and have visible bald patches.
Which vitamin deficiency causes hair loss?
Hair loss can be influenced by various factors, including vitamin deficiencies.
Vitamin D deficiency
Vitamin D deficiency is an essential nutrient that plays a role in your hair follicle cycling and functioning. Low levels of vitamin D can disrupt the hair growth cycle, leading to increased shedding.
Vitamin B7 (biotin) deficiency
Biotin, also known as vitamin B7, is often associated with hair health. It is involved in the production of keratin, a key component of hair structure. A biotin deficiency can lead to brittle, weak hair and shedding.
However, biotin deficiency is relatively rare, as it is found in a wide range of foods, including eggs, nuts, seeds and vegetables.
Vitamin E deficiency
Vitamin E is an antioxidant that helps protect cells from damage, including those in the scalp and hair follicles. Low vitamin E levels may contribute to hair loss or hinder growth.
What is the best hair loss treatment?
There are many different types of hair loss treatment, and you may have to try a few different ones before seeing results. Not all hair loss remedies work for everyone, and you might not be able to regrow your hair.
When it comes to combating hair loss, medication has shown promise. Several FDA-approved medications are available that have effectively restored hair growth and slowed down hair loss.
There are multiple hair loss medication providers on the market, if you’re confused refer to our review guide Hims vs Keeps.
Minoxidil (rogaine) is a topical medication available over-the-counter that is approved by the FDA for both men and women. It is applied directly to the scalp and is thought to increase blood flow to the hair follicles, promoting hair growth.
Finasteride is an oral medication available by prescription that is used to treat male pattern baldness. It works by inhibiting the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone, a hormone that contributes to hair loss.
Finasteride has shown significant efficacy in reducing hair loss and promoting hair regrowth in men. However, it is not approved for use in women due to potential risks during pregnancy.
Hair transplants offer a permanent, surgical solution for hair loss. This procedure involves harvesting hair follicles from donor areas (typically the back or sides of the scalp) and transplanting them into areas experiencing hair loss.
Hair transplants can provide natural-looking results and long-term hair growth. Hair transplant results can vary, so you need to be realistic about your results.
Natural hair loss remedies
If you want a more natural approach to hair loss, there are some remedies you can try at home. While scientific evidence supporting their effectiveness may vary, incorporating specific lifestyle changes and natural remedies can be a good way to boost growth.
Massaging your scalp can help stimulate blood flow to the hair follicles, potentially promoting hair growth. Use gentle circular motions with your fingertips or a soft brush.
Some essential oils, such as lavender, rosemary and peppermint, are believed to have potential benefits for hair health. These oils can be diluted and applied to the scalp.
Natural remedies may not work for everyone, and results can vary. If you’re considering natural remedies for hair loss, it’s always best to speak with your doctor first so that they can provide you with guidance and rule out underlying medical conditions.
How to prevent hair loss
Preventing hair loss is something a lot of people want to do. However, it’s not always possible to stop it completely. There are some changes you can make to your lifestyle that can reduce your risk of hair loss and keep your locks luscious for longer.
These changes can include:
- Maintaining a healthy, well-balanced diet.
- Avoiding harsh hair treatments such as bleach, heat styling tools and chemical treatments.
- Practice gentle hair care by using a wide-toothed comb or brushes with soft bristles.
- Protect your hair from sun and environmental damage by wearing a hat or using hair products with built-in UV protection.
- Managing your stress levels.
- Avoid smoking and excessive alcohol.
- Look after your scalp to promote growth.
Hair loss can be a distressing experience, but understanding its causes, treatment options, and preventive measures can empower you to take control of your hair health.
From medications to hair transplants, there are multiple avenues to explore when addressing hair loss. Additionally, adopting healthy habits can contribute to maintaining your hair health and reducing the risk of excessive hair loss.
Remember, whether you are on a journey to restore your locks or seeking ways to maintain healthy hair, taking proactive steps and seeking expert advice can make a significant difference. Embracing your unique hair and finding confidence in your appearance is a journey worth embarking on.