Coping with Hair Loss   



Coping with Hair Loss

 

Causes, prevention tips and treatment options

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.

CAUSES

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 taken.

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

2. Lupus

3. Major surgery, infection or high fever

4. Ringworm (a fungal infection)

5. Crash diets

6. Wearing tight braids or ponytails

TREATMENT

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 areas.

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. 

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Happy reading,
Evelyn


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