Alopecia, or the loss of hair, is quite prevalent. Although it is more common in the elderly, it can affect anyone at any age.
Hair thinning can happen steadily over time or suddenly and dramatically. It could be short-term or long-term depending on the underlying reason.
Phases in the life of hair
In what ways does time play a role in the hair’s growth and development? There are three distinct phases in the life of hair:
- The anagen (growing) portion can last anywhere from two to eight years. Between eighty-five and ninety percent of your scalp hair is considered to be in this stage.
- In the catagen phase (also called the transition phase), hair cells gradually diminish in size over the course of about two to three weeks.
- The telogen period (the resting phase) lasts for around 2-4 months. As this stage concludes, hair loss occurs.
Causes of Hair Loss
i. Enlarging a portion
Widening of the portion when you part your hair is a telltale indication of hair thinning.
ii. Loss of hair at the temples and/or front of the head
Also, if your hairline is higher than normal, it could be a sign of thinning hair.
iii. Diffuse hair loss
Look over your hair care tools like a brush and comb after each use. Do you find it accumulating more hair than usual? If so, it could be an indication of balding.
iv. Lack of hair in certain areas
There is a wide variety of possible sizes for these, and they can even increase over time.
v. Obstructed pipes
It’s possible that hair will block the pipes in your bathroom.
vi. Discomfort or itchiness
If your hair loss is the result of an underlying skin problem, you may also be experiencing pain and itching.
vii. Pattern hair loss caused by testosterone
Hereditary hair loss, such as that seen in male pattern baldness or female pattern baldness, is referred to as androgenic alopecia, or “pattern alopecia” for short.
viii. Alopecia areata
Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disorder in which the body’s immune system attacks healthy hair follicles, leading to the gradual or abrupt loss of hair from tiny areas to the entire scalp. Complete baldness has been reported in a few instances.
ix. Excessive loss of Anagen
Hair falls out suddenly due to a condition called anagen effluvium. Chemotherapy and radiation treatments are common causes of this side effect.
x. Effects of telogen phase transition on hair
Sudden hair loss, also known as telogen effluvium, can be the outcome of a traumatic event, a time of extreme stress, or a serious illness.
Head lice (tinea capitis)
Ringworm of the scalp, or tinea capitis, is a fungal infection that can impact the skin and follicles of the hair. It leads to scaly, irritating areas of hair loss. Without prompt attention, the pus-filled patch(es) will grow in size.
xi. Acne caused by hair-pulling
Too much strain on the hair, such as when it is worn in a braid, ponytail, or bun, can cause traction alopecia.
Myths About Hair Fall
In other words, what are the common misconceptions about balding? There are many untruths circulated about hair loss. None of the items on the following list are correct:
- You’re experiencing hair loss as a result of over-washing, the use of hair dyes or relaxers, or a recent perm or other style alteration.
- Dandruff is the leading cause of female pattern baldness.
- Women’s hair can and does fall out permanently as a result of stress.
- Hair grows back twice as thick if you shave your scalp.
- Standing on one’s head has been shown to boost blood flow and promote hair growth.
- Healthier hair can be achieved by brushing it 100 times daily.
- Wearing a hat or disguise can lead to thinning hair for women.
- Intellectual women are the only ones who suffer from hair loss.
Your doctor will probably conduct a full physical examination and inquire about your diet, hair care regimen, and medical and family histories before making a diagnosis. It’s possible that you’ll also need to pass exams like the ones listed below:
i. Blood analysis
Possible use in diagnosing medical problems underlying hair loss.
ii. Test by pulling
If your doctor pulls softly enough, you may see dozens of hairs. This is useful for pinpointing where in the cleansing process we currently find ourselves.
iii. Biopsy of the scalp
Your doctor will take a small sample of your skin or a handful of hairs from your scalp and study the follicles under a microscope to determine the cause of your hair loss. This can be useful in figuring out if hair loss is due to an illness.
iv. Microscopy using only visible light
When your doctor examines hairs that have been shaved close to the roots, he or she employs a specialised instrument. Hair shaft diseases can be identified with the aid of microscopy.
Solutions to Hair Removal That Don’t Harm the Environment
i. Onion Extract
Onion juice, due to its high sulphur content, is thought to promote hair development. There isn’t a tonne of research on this, but one small study did test it in individuals with alopecia areata, a form of hair loss that occurs in patches. One group used onion juice twice daily on their hair while the other used plain water. After just two weeks, significantly more people in the onion juice group (74%) than those who drank municipal water (13%). If you do decide to give it a shot, you may want to attempt covering up the aroma with something else.
Low amounts of this vital nutrient are associated with anaemia and hair loss. It’s unclear why, but eating lots of iron-rich foods like meat, seafood, poultry, tofu, broccoli, and different types of greens is highly recommended. But before you start taking iron supplements, you should consult your doctor. Toxic levels can lead to nausea, vomiting, and bowel obstruction. Extremely high amounts are potentially lethal.
Biotin (also known as vitamin B7) is recommended by some doctors for hair loss with positive outcomes. (It helps the epidermis, too!) You presumably get enough from the foods you eat, and it’s safe to do so. Biotin is found in relatively large concentrations in eggs, wheat germ, and mushrooms. Do not stress so much about applying it to your head. Many hair care products claim to contain it, but there is little evidence to suggest that they will actually prevent hair loss.
It should come as no surprise that zinc, which aids in basically every vital bodily function, also helps strengthen the follicles under the scalp that provide nourishment to your hair. Zinc is an essential mineral, but the human body has no means to store it. Evidence suggests that oral zinc supplementation may slow hair loss in people with deficient amounts, though more study is warranted. It’s likely that your doctor will have you attempt different therapies first.
For more than a century, people who suffer from thinning hair have turned to perfumes made from sandalwood, lavender, rosemary, and thyme. Some believe that a compound in them can stimulate hair development. One night per week, spend at least two minutes massaging your hair with one of these oils. Then, place a warm towel over your cranium to aid in absorption. One additional benefit of this nighttime massage is the pleasant aroma and calming effect it can have.
vi. Green Tea
The chemicals it contains may be extracted and used to treat a variety of conditions, hair loss among them. It’s possible that EGCG is the compound in question, which promotes hair development. After 6 months of treatment with green tea extract, researchers noticed a change in the hair loss of experimental rats. But there have been no human trials of this. However, care should be used when taking green tea supplement. There are some that include other chemicals that are toxic.
Treatment of the underlying disease is required if hair loss is induced by that. Your doctor may recommend stopping use of the drug for a time if he or she determines that it is the root cause of your hair loss.
Pattern (genetic) baldness can be treated with medication. The most frequently chosen are:
Topical Minoxidil (Rogaine): Minoxidil is available in liquid, foam, and shampoo versions and is available without a doctor’s prescription. Use the product on the scalp skin once a day for women and twice a day for males to see the best results. When applying foam, many people find it most effective to do so while the hair is still damp.
Many individuals report success with minoxidil-containing products in either reversing hair loss or regrowing lost hair. To stop hair loss and begin hair regrowth, therapy must be continued for at least six months. In order to know if the therapy is helping, it may take a few more months. If the medication is effective, continued use is required forever to sustain the positive effects.
Irritation of the scalp and the development of hair on the cheeks and hands are two potential negative effects.
Finasteride (Propecia): Prescribed only to males, please. You need to consume a pill once a day. Hair loss is reduced or even reversed in many men taking finasteride, and some even experience hair growth. You might not know if it’s helping you for a while. If you want to keep seeing results, you’ll have to keep taking the medication. If you’re a man over the age of 60, you might not see the same results from finasteride.
Reduced libido and decreased sexual function, as well as an increased chance of prostate cancer, are among the rare side effects of finasteride. Pregnant or potentially pregnant women shouldn’t handle broken or crushed pills.
Extra meds: Spironolactone (Carospir, Aldactone) and dutasteride (Avodart) are two other dietary medications that may be helpful (Avodart).
Methods to Promote Hair Growth
While at-home remedies may be more convenient, in most cases, having the process done by a dermatologist who is board certified will yield better results.
This is why your dermatologist might recommend one of the following for your therapy.
i. Corticosteroids administered via injection
Your dermatologist will inject this medicine into your bald (or thinning) spots to promote hair growth. You’ll need to schedule follow-up appointments with your physician every four to eight weeks to continue receiving these injections.
Most individuals with alopecia areata, a condition that results in patchy hair loss, benefit most from this approach. One research found that after 12 weeks, 80% of patients treated with these injections for patchy alopecia areata saw at least 50% hair regrowth.
A dermatologist may suggest a hair transplant if you’re experiencing thinning or receding as a result of male (or female) pattern baldness. This has the potential to be a long-term fix.
ii. Check out to read more
Results from a hair transplant are long-lasting and undetectable.
If the thought of applying minoxidil twice a day or taking medicine to stop hair loss is too much to bear, laser therapy may be a viable alternative.
Some research suggests that this technique, also known as low-level laser treatment, can aid in:
Alopecia areata, also known as baldness, can be inherited.
Reverse chemo-induced hair loss Promote hair development after a transplant
Laser therapy has been shown to be a safe and painless option, but it does take a significant time commitment. To see any development at all, you may need months of treatments at a rate of several per week.
iii. Platelet-rich plasma
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) has been shown in studies to be a viable option for treating hair loss in both males and women. In PRP, a tiny amount of blood is drawn, placed in a machine that separates the blood into its components, and then injected into the area experiencing hair loss.
Typically, there is no downtime necessary, and the complete process only takes about 10 minutes.
Injections will need to be repeated. After the initial three months of once-monthly visits, most patients return every three to six months.
Possible reduced or stopped hair loss could occur within the first few months of therapy.
Why does one suffer from baldness, exactly?
It can be caused by heredity, hormonal changes, medical conditions, or the natural aging process. Anyone can experience hair loss, but it is more prevalent in men. Typically, baldness refers to excessive hair loss from the scalp. Age-related inherited hair loss is the most common cause of baldness.
What age does hair loss begin?
In their 30s and 40s, most individuals begin to observe the signs of hair loss. Beyond the age of 60, people frequently experience a significant hair loss.
How do I know if I am balding?
How do I determine if I am balding?
If your hair begins to thin at the temples, generating a more prominent widow’s peak and an M-shaped or horseshoe-shaped hairline, your hairline may appear to recede or flatten uniformly.