HAIR LOSS

About Hair Loss

Also known as Alopecia alopecia (al-o-PEE-shah)​

Average Hair Loss

The hair that we see is actually a string of dead protein cells called keratin. An average adult head has about 100,000 to 150,000 hairs and loses up to 100 of them a day; finding a few stray hairs on your hairbrush is not necessarily cause for alarm.

At any one time, about 90% of the hair is growing. Each hair follicle has its own life cycle that can be influenced by factors such as age, disease, etc. This life cycle is divided into three phases:

 

  • Anagen -- Active phase of hair growth that lasts between two to six years

  • Catagen -- It is a transitional phase of hair growth that lasts two to three weeks

  • Telogen -- Resting phase that lasts about two to three months; at the end of the resting phase the hair is shed and a new hair replaces it and the growing cycle starts again.

Types Of Hair Loss

  • Involutional alopecia  

 A natural condition in which the hair gradually thins with age. More hair follicles go into the resting phase, and the remaining hairs become shorter and fewer in number

  • Male Pattern Baldness

This is also called, “Androgenetic Alopecia”. It can begin as early as their teens or early 20s. It's characterized by a receding hairline and gradual disappearance of hair from the vertex of the head and other areas as the hair loss progresses.

  • Female Pattern Baldness

Hair loss is limited to thinning at the crown, front and sides of the scalp. Frontal hairline is usually maintained. Usually females notice it in late 30's.

  • Alopecia areata 

Starts suddenly and causes patchy hair loss in children and young adults. This condition may result in complete baldness (alopecia totalis). But in most, the hair returns within a few years.

  • Alopecia universalis

Total loss of body hair including the eyebrows, eyelashes, and pubic hair.

  • Telogen Effluvium

Temporary hair thinning over the scalp that occurs due to changes in the growth cycle of hair. A large number of hairs enter the resting phase at the same time causing diffused hair loss and thinning. It is usually noticed when a handful of hair comes out while combing or washing the hair. 

  • Traction Alopecia

One can see bald patches due to pulling of hair due to certain hair styles or tight rollers. It occurs in between rows of hair or at the particular area where the hair gets pulled.

  • Scarring alopecias

Permanent loss of hair due to Inflammatory skin conditions  (cellulitis, folliculitis, acne), and other skin disorders (such as some forms of lupus and lichen planus) often result in scars that destroy the ability of the hair to regenerate.

Causes for Hair Loss

  • Genes, from both male and female parents, may influence a person's predisposition

  • Hormones such as abnormal levels of androgens (male hormones normally produced by both men and women)

  • Diseases such as thyroid

  • Physical or psychological stress

  • High fever

  • Nutritional deficiencies

  • Drugs, including chemotherapy drugs used in cancer treatment, blood thinners, beta-adrenergic blockers used to control blood pressure, and birth control pills

  • Dieting, resulting in decreased protein intake

  • Hormonal changes: Pregnancy/Childbirth/Menopause/OC Pills

  • Hair treatments like colouring, bleaching, straightening, etc

  • Scalp infections like fungal infections.

Tips To Prevent Hair Loss

  • Eat a balanced diet

  • Handle hair gently/ avoid blow dry/ tight hair styles

  • Avoid straightening/ re – bonding hair

  • Seek medical advice as soon as possible.

Dr Gauri's

Skin & Hair Clinic

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