Also known as alopecia, hair loss is a form of hair fall that not only occurs on the scalp but anywhere on the human body. The condition is common in adults (both males and females), but children could also be affected.
Hair loss is not just annoying: For many people discovering a growing bald spot on their head or seeing their hairline receding can be an existential threat. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, it is normal to lose 50-100 hair per day as new hair replaces that loss – this number may increase as you age. However, if that does not happen, it can be defined as either temporary or permanent alopecia.
Hair loss treatment
Depending on the underlying cause and symptoms that an individual may experience, some effective hair loss treatments are available. Medical prescription by a doctor is the first course of treatment; the medicines can include oral medication like finasteride and corticosteroids like prednisone. Medicated creams and gels with minoxidil ingredients can also be prescribed.
When the above medications fail to work, other expert methods of hair loss treatment can be applied. For extreme cases of hair loss, doctors can perform intensive medical procedures such as hair transplant surgery.
Hair loss prevention
Although it is believed that genetic disorders are behind most cases of hair loss, this condition can be prevented naturally in many ways.
Some of the steps that can help prevent hair loss include:
- Avoiding supplements or medications with hair loss side effects.
- Avoiding tight hairstyles.
- Quitting or reducing smoking.
- Avoiding extreme heat on hair.
- Being gentle with your hair while brushing, washing, or cleaning.
- Avoiding bleaching agents, coloring products, and chemical-laden styling products, among others.
Debunking six common myths about hair loss
There exists a lot of false information about hair loss that has confused many people. Myths about hair loss causes are everywhere; most of this information is inaccurate and needs to be debunked. While 50% of men over the age of 40 usually experience hair loss, none of the causes are due to the conditions listed below.
Myth 1: Wearing hats causes hair loss
Typically, day-to-day hat wearing does not cause hair loss. Contrary to popular belief, wearing your hat so tightly to deny air circulation to your hair does not cause hair loss. The oxygen that is essential for healthy hair growth is supplied by blood to the hair follicles; therefore, wearing a hat tightly will not weaken or damage your hair.
Myth 2: Baldness originates from the maternal side
While the genetic condition androgenetic alopecia is the leading cause of hair loss in both men and women, the hereditary trait is not confined to either parent. If your father’s or mother’s family has a baldness history, it is possible to inherit the trait and experience female hair loss or male pattern baldness.
Myth 3: Too much stress can cause hair loss
While excessive trauma or stress like an accident or a death in the family can cause telogen effluvium, a condition of temporary hair loss, everyday mental stress does not necessarily lead to hair fall. As highlighted earlier, genetics affects most issues related to pattern baldness or hair loss.
Myth 4: Brushing your hair instead of combing is good for follicle stimulation
Combing hair reduces hair breakage and split ends, unlike brushing. However, neither action will cause hair loss or hair growth.
Myth 5: Use of styling products, frequent hair washing, and blow-drying can cause hair loss
While excessive washing and blow-drying can damage the hair, making it brittle or dry, hair loss cannot happen if done sensibly. Similarly, when hair styling and coloring products are used as recommended, there are no hair loss effects.
Myth 6: Men are more prone to losing hair than women
Hair loss is commonly equal among men and women. The only difference is that men’s thinning of hair begins at the frontal hairline and crown area. For women, however, it is less apparent because thinning is diffused over the entire scalp.
Myth 7: Direct sunlight leads to hair loss
Excessive direct sunlight is harmful to your skin, but it does not affect hair follicles and doesn’t cause hair loss. Instead, the hair shields the scalp from direct sunlight.
Whatever the reason for your growing bald spot or a receding hairline, it can be something out of your control. But you can control what you can do about it.