Hair loss is often seen in men and women nearing the age of 40. In some cases, it also starts much earlier, sometimes as soon as their twenties. My younger brother is doing under graduate and is facing this problem. This problem, if aggravated, makes the person an easy target of jibes and comments from peers and mars his/her confidence.
This problem is not due to random bacterial/viral infections like common-cold/flu. There are specific medical reasons for hair loss –
- Heredity: A great lot depends on the genes, we often inherit the hair growth like thick, thin, fine, straight, curly, wavy or sparse. If all the elders in a family have hair loss issues in their 30s etc, then the children have a higher probability of facing this problem.
- Nutrients: By having an unhealthy diet consisting mainly of fast-food and less vitamins/minerals, we increase our chances of hair fall. Insufficient nutrients in the blood lead to hair fall.
- Mental state: It’s also caused by stress, tension, worries and mental or nervous disorders.
- Blood supply: Sometimes, excessive worries or other diseases lead to poor blood flow to the scalp. This results in hair fall.
- Age: Ofcourse, this is also triggered by ageing.
- Medicines and toxic substances: The following medications may sometimes have a side effect of hair fall – Anti acne medications like accutane, cortisone; calcium blockers for controlling high blood pressure, drugs for treating scars, lower cholestrol, cancer etc.
- Radiation: Exposure to chemotherapy, radiation can lead to hair fall.
- Injuries and accidents: Sometimes, injuries involving the scalp – like pulling the hair too much in ponytail/pigtail styling can create a pressure on the roots and the hair fall at particular spots of pull.
- Hormonal imbalance: This includes thyroid disorders, diabetes, pregnancy, contraception by use of birth control pills and menopause. Such hormonal changes in the body are sometimes the cause of hair fall problems
Menopause: Menopause slows down the production of female hormone estrogen and leads to hair fall.
Pregnancy: During pregnancy, the endocrine glands function increases to meet extra demand. After the child birth, there is irregular thyroid functioning and new lifestyle for mother. It may lead to temporary hair loss for about 2 months, after which the growth should become normal.
Any grouping of 2 or more causes mentioned above can further aggravate the hair loss. All this said and done, however, there are some common avoidable practices which we can take care of so as to reduce the possibility of hair fall. Just follow these simple cautions in your daily routine-
- Frequently washing hair with harsh shampoos or hard soaps having chemicals
- Long and frequent travel by bus, air, train and passing through places of big temperature and climatic variations
- Lack of nutrient balanced diet
- Personal hair styling like use of hot comb, curling iron or blow dryer can make the hair brittle and break.
- Dyeing and coloring the hair frequently
- Changing to variety of scented oils and not sticking to use of conventional hair oils like coconut, mustard or those used regularly in child hood.
- Wearing a helmet for long periods everyday.
- Hard combing of hair, frequent combing.
- Consistent tightening and pulling of hair.
- Wounds, burning and scarring.