Some hair loss is perfectly normal, roughly 50 to 100 hairs per day to be exact. But that doesn’t change the emotional aspects of living with hair loss. Discovery of hair loss is a stressful experience for both sexes, but substantially more distressing for women.
Good news is once you find out the root of the problem – you can get to work solving it:
Hereditary Hair Loss:
Hair loss that is genetic is known as androgenetic alopecia and is the most common cause of hair loss.
- What you can do: Visit your dermatologist for advice, you can slow the hair loss down by prescribed medication.
Various chemical salon treatments like relaxers, hair dyes and perms can trigger shedding in some women.
- What you can do: Avoid using appliances that overheat your hair. Set your hair dryer on cool and low settings and minimise your use of flat irons. It is advised not to dye your hair more than one or two shades darker or lighter than its normal colour. Remember not too tie your hair to tight as this might cause it to break.
Iron Deficiency Anemia:
Meaning you do not get enough iron in your diet and you have lower levels of blood cells than normal.
- What you can do: Ask your doctor for a blood test to confirm and if you are iron-deficient - Eat iron-rich foods such as beef, pork, fish, leafy greens, fortified cereals, and beans—preferably, along with foods rich in vitamin C, which enhances iron absorption.
Effects of Medication:
Certain medication will also take its toll on your hair such as blood thinners and blood pressure medications. Drugs used to treat depression, heart disease, arthritis and birth control pills can also have a hair thinning affect
- What you can do: Visit your medical practitioner to find out which alternative medications you can use instead which might not have the same side effects.
Physical or emotional trauma:
Temporary hair loss can be triggered after pregnancy, major surgery, drastic weight loss, or extreme stress.
-What you can do: In some cases, you may have to bide your time until the hair loss slows.
Millions of people, most of them women, suffer from thyroid disease. Hypothyroidism (too little hormone) causes hair to become more brittle and break more easily. Whereas Hyperthyroidism may cause hair loss as metabolism speeds up.
- What you can do: Your doctor may prescribe a thyroid hormone medication to restore levels to normal. Please chat to your doctor about a prescription.
Skin Conditions of the Scalp:
Skin conditions that lead to hair loss include dandruff and fungal infections such as ringworm.
- What you can do: Each condition usually requires a prescription: such as a medicated shampoo or oral antifungals creams.
Not so common causes that might be more difficult to treat such as:
This is an autoimmune disorder in which the immune system attacks hair follicles.
- What you can do: The condition is usually treated with cortisone creams prescribed by a medical professional.
A trichologist is a dermatologist who specialises in the health of the scalp and hair. We suggest you book an appointment if you are overly concerned about the condition of your hair or the rapid loss of hair you might be experiencing.
Date Published: 30 January 2018