Hair Loss 101: Symptoms, Causes and Cures

Hair Loss 101: Symptoms, Causes and Cures

Hair loss is a complex medical issue that anyone can experience. We’ll break down the most common causes, show the symptoms you might have, then provide resources for cures. It is important that you talk to your doctor before starting treatment to ensure that there is not a more major medical condition underlying.

Spotting the Symptoms

If you’ve noticed these symptoms, you likely have experienced hair loss. Hair loss can show in different ways, and it can be concentrated to one area of your scalp or even your entire body.

  • Sudden loosening of hair – If you begin to notice handfuls of hair coming out while washing, combing, or even running your fingers through it, you are beginning to have the symptoms of hair loss. You’ll likely have hair thinning all over, and not bald patches.
  • Slow thinning on the top of your head – The most common form of hair loss that affects men and women is from this. You’ll usually notice a receding hairline or broadening of your hair part.
  • Patchy and/or circular balding spots – These circular, coin-sized spots are typically just found on the scalp; however, they can also occur on your eyebrows or beards.
  • All over hair loss – Certain medical conditions and treatments can cause hair loss over your entire body.

Hair Loss Causes

There are many medical conditions, medications, hormonal changes that can contribute to hair loss. However, the most notable reason people have hair loss is due to hereditary factors. Hair loss can happen to both men and women, and it occurs when your hair follicle is damaged. Most people lose approximately 100 hairs a day, but usually don’t notice because new hair begins to grow at the same time. Those with hair loss typically see thinning of the scalp because the hair growth is hindered by the damaged follicle.

The most common causes of hair loss include:

  • Heredity (family history) – Male-pattern baldness and female-pattern baldness usually happens gradually over time. You’ll notice signs of a receding hairline or bald spots in men, and typically thinning hair in women.
  • Medications – Certain drugs can cause hair loss as a side effect. Some of these medications treat cancer, depression, heart conditions, high blood pressure, arthritis, and more.
  • Stress – Some people experience thinning of their hair during periods of tremendous stress or shock. The good news with this type of hair loss is it is usually only temporary.
  • Hormonal changes – Hormonal changes, especially during pregnancy or menopause, can cause permanent to temporary hair loss problems.
  • Medical conditions – There are many medical conditions like alopecia, ringwork, trichotillomania, and even thyroid conditions that can cause hair loss.

If you have noticed any signs of hair loss and do not have a family history of it, you should see a doctor if you are interested in pursuing treatment. They can ensure that there is no underlying medical condition or that your medications are not causing the hair loss.

Ways to Prevent Hair Loss

Before we get into the cures for hair loss, we’d like to discuss some ways to prevent certain types of hair loss. Although some are not preventable, we advise you to follow these guidelines to help the prevention of hair loss.

  • Avoid tight buns, ponytails, and braids.
  • Avoid twisting, pulling, rubbing your hair.
  • After washing, do not pull brush harshly through hair. Instead, use a wide-tooth comb to prevent additional hair loss.
  • Limit harsh treatments such as bleach, permanents, curling irons, etc.
  • If you are a smoker, stop smoking. Studies have shown there is a link between smoking and baldness in men.

Cures

Depending on the reasons for your hair loss, you might need a treatment to get your scalp back to being healthy. Certain conditions like ringworm and other infections will require medication before you can begin regrowing your hair. If your hair loss is from a medical condition or medication, you will need to find ways to minimize inflammation. Please speak with your doctor if these are the reasons for your hair loss.

If you are suddenly noticing hair loss from heredity, stress, or hormonal changes, there are a few different options available to you.

Medications

Over the counter options like Rogaine (minoxidil) is a medication that has been approved for both men and women. You rub the product into your scalp on a daily basis, however, you’ll need additional patience as this treatment takes at least six months to see results.

Another medication is Propecia (finasteride) which is a prescription drug that is approved for only men. It is a daily pill that slows the loss of hair, and some studies have shown it even helps new hair growth. You have to continue taking the pill to continue seeing the results.

Hair Transplants

This cure provides immediate results for hair loss in both men and women. You will work with a dermatologist or cosmetic surgeon and they implant multiple hairs follicle by follicle into the bald sections of your hair. You might require multiple surgeries to get the desired results, and if your hair loss is heredity, you might continue to have hair loss in the years following.

Laser Therapy

The newest cure to hair loss that has been approved by the FDA is a low-level laser that has been shown to improve hair density. Although more studies are needed to determine long-term effects, this has currently helped many men and women with their hair loss.

Lifestyle, Diet, and Home Remedies

There are numerous other non-medical solutions that can help cure hair loss in men and women. These include changes to your diet, and utilizing the following products in your hair care routine:

  • Onions
  • Honey
  • Vitamins
  • Aloe Vera
  • Coconut Oil
  • Fish Oil
  • Ginseng
  • Rosemary
  • Lemon
  • Vicks VapoRub
  • And more!

There are numerous different articles found on our website that can help you find home treatment options for your hair loss.

No matter what, it’s important to remember that everyone is different. If you find one type of treatment is not working to help your hair loss, try another or consult your doctor. You won’t see results overnight, but you will begin to notice changes with the appropriate treatments.

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