Loss of hair is a devastating event particularly for women who view gorgeous hair as a symbol of youthfulness and energy. If you’re among the over 80 million men and women throughout the United States struggling with hair loss and thin strands we’re here for you.
What Is Hair Loss?
If you’re washing or brushing your locks, you may be able to see a large amount of hair strands separating away from your scalp. Do not panic, it’s probably not loss of hair. Based on the Dr. Dominic Burg, chief scientist and trichologist of evolis professional, it’s normal to lose as much as 100 hairs every day. “If this sounds like a lot, you have to remember that you have around 100,000 to 150,000 hairs on your head, so this only represents 0.001% of your total hair,” Dr. Burg assures. “After they fall they are generally replaced by a new hair growing in its place,” Dr. Burg adds.
What exactly is hair loss? “Hair loss describes the gradual or sudden loss of actively growing hair follicles on the scalp, usually following a change in the hair growth cycle,” Dr. Burg. To comprehend the causes of hair loss, it’s essential to comprehend the growth cycle. “The hair cycle is a repeating pattern of growth, rest and fall that happens many times over your life, with the average hair cycle being six or seven years in length,” Dr. Burg says. But, the cycle does not occur all in one piece. “The hair cycles asynchronously, with each hair following its own timing and pattern.”
In the middle in the process of hair growth as well as growth are hair follicles. “Hair follicles are actually little organs–much like any other organ in your body–and like other organs, are made up of different parts that do different jobs,” Dr. Burg explains. Dr. Burg. “Ultimately hair follicles are small machines designed to produce hair shafts made of Keratin. They have to be extremely active in doing this continuously, burning off lots of energy during their process.” He explains. “The body’s control of the process is complicated, and , like everything else complicated, it is very easy to upset the equilibrium and cause things to go out of whack. This is what causes the root in hair loss, and loss of volume,” he explains.
Based on the research of Dr. Burg, most forms of loss of hair is due to a shorterening of the growth phase in the cycle of hair. “When the growth period becomes too short, hair falls out quickly, excess shedding occurs and the regenerating hair comes in finer and is less substantial,” Dr. Burg says.
Why Does Hair Loss Occur in Some Women?
A shorter growth cycle may be the cause behind losing hair, however what causes the problems with the cycle of hair at all? “Hormones, diet, stress, genetics, aging and [damaging] hairstyles are many of the reasons,” says Dr. Burg. “The causes of loss of hair vary and are complex, and may be the result of a combination of genetic and lifestyle causes. The common factor is the resultant dysfunction of the hair cycle , and a reduction in the length of the anagen stage (the initial phase of the growth cycle)” the author writes.
Here’s a more detailed review of some popular hair loss causes:
- Hormones: ” Hormones have a potent effect on the body and impact the body in a variety of manners,” explains Dr. Burg. “Many of them can also impact the way hair grows, metabolizes and cycles,” Dr. Burg notes. If hair loss is because of hormones, it usually has to do with changes in the level of testosterone, for instance during menopausal and pregnancy. But hormonal hair loss may be triggered by challenges to thyroid hormones as well as hormones altered through birth control.
- Diet: According to Dr. Burg an equilibrating diet is essential to maintain healthy hair. But, if we follow strict or restricted diets “we may not be getting all the nutrients and energy we need for healthy hair growth,” Dr. Burg writes. “The body is an incredible machine that meticulously manages the balance of energy and nutrition. Your body recognizes that your hair isn’t vital to maintaining your health, unlike the lungs, your heart, and brain. When your body is in tension or doesn’t have sufficient nutrients, it’ll shuttle the energy and nutrients to vital organs, and away from hair.” If this happens hair follicles “prematurely transition into the resting stage and begin to slow growth.” Dr. Burg explains.
- Stress: “Along along with diet, stress can affect the way in which the body moves and handles nutrients and energy,” says Dr. Burg. “High levels of constant stress put the body into a constant fight-or-flight mode where hair growth is not a critical function and is reduced in favor of other systems,” Dr. Burg adds.
- Genetics: Your lost hair may be caused by your genetics. However the doctor. Burg says genetically caused hair loss is more complicated. “From recent studies on males, we have discovered that more than 150 genes are involved with hair loss, which includes the hair cycle regulator FGF5 (a protein that stops and begins hair growthand growth. Similar findings are likely also happening for women,” he notes.
- Medicines and illnesses: Just like diet, medications can influence your hair’s growth. “Some medications can result in hair loss and many people experience some hair loss in the weeks and months after an anesthetic or large medical procedure,” Dr. Burg. “Prolonged illness can also cause hair loss.”
- The process of aging: Aging can also have an effect on the hair cycle that could lead to hair loss. “Our hair follicles work extremely hard, dividing their cells and producing the keratin and melanins that comprise the hair shaft,” Professor. Burg. “Hair hair follicles go through cycles consisting of rest, growth and then fall which is followed by regenerative the stem cells that remain. Since this cycle has been repeated numerous times throughout life, hair follicles begin to get tired , and hair-cycle disruptions begin to take place,” he adds. The disruption in the cycle of hair can occur in conjunction with “cycle shortening and miniaturization.”
- Styles for hair: We often put hair in the dryer to get good looks. And , according the Dr. Burg, it can result in negative consequences. “Very tight hairstyles may harm the follicles and arrector pili muscles, resulting in traction alopecia (gradual hair loss. The excessive use of heat and harsh chemicals may cause injury to the scalp and hair follicles” the doctor warns.
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