Coping with Hair Loss
Causes, prevention tips and
Everyone loses between 50 and 100 hair strands per day. The
average life span of an individual hair is 3 to 7 years. Ninety
percent of the hair strands on your head are actively growing;
the other 10 percent are resting. The resting stage lasts
between 2 and 6 months, after which the hair strands fallout.
Losing more than 100 hair strands a day has a variety of causes.
Hereditary balding is the most common cause of hair loss. It can
be Inherited from either your mother's or father's side.
Hereditary balding affects both men and women, although in
different ways. Men's hairlines recede and eventually join bald
spots on the top and back of the head, Some women notice a slow
or occasional thinning on the front of the head. The earlier the
thinning starts, the worse it's likely to be.
Medical treatments can cause hair loss in some people. Some
blood pressure medicines, anticoagulants, antidepressants, and
antiarthritis and anti-gout medications can cause reversible
hair loss. Radiation and chemotherapy used to treat cancer can
cause people to lose up to 90 percent of their hair. Birth
control pills can cause increased hair loss while they are
Hormones in women can cause hair loss as their levels rise and
fall. Many women lose hair after childbirth, and some have hair
loss during menopause or during postmenopausal hormone therapy.
Alopecia areata is a disease that causes hair to fall out,
leaving smooth, round patches. The scalp
looks normal (no dandruff, scales or sores).
Other causes of hair loss include:
1. Thyroid disease
3. Major surgery, infection or high fever
4. Ringworm (a fungal infection)
5. Crash diets
6. Wearing tight braids or ponytails
Hair transplants can be done to move hair from other parts of
your body to your scalp, sometimes a hair strand at atime.
Transplants can cost several thousand dollars.
A medication (finasteride) may help men keep their hair; women
cannot use finasteride.
Alopecia areata often goes away on its own. If it doesn't, your
doctor may prescribe a steroid lotion.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
Although there's no cure for hereditary baldness, there are some
things that can make hair loss less obvious:
1. Minoxidil, an over-the-counter hair restorer, is successful
in producing hair in about one-third of the people who try it.
The newly grown hair on the crown of the scalp falls out,
however, when the drug is no longer applied.
2. Use toupees, wigs or hairpieces to cover thinning or bald
3. Do what hairdressers do: color or perm your hair (avoid
over-bleaching, which causes hair breakage), use a hair dryer
for more volume, wash daily with a gentle shampoo or use mousse.
4. If you suspect your hairstyle is causing your hair to
fallout, avoid curlers, braiding, ponytails or anything that
pulls your hair.