Permanent or temporary hair loss can occur for many different reasons, and sometimes hair loss can be reversed, depending on the cause. Hair loss and baldness have been problems for both men and women for centuries, and there is still no sure-fire cure for hair loss. However, there are treatments for hair loss and baldness that a trained hair stylist at a luxury salon can discuss with you.
The normal cycle for hair growth lasts from 2-6 years, and each hair on your head grows approximately one half inch per month during this phase. About 90% of the hair on your scalp is growing at any one time, and about 10% is in a resting phase. After 2-3 months, the resting hair falls out, and new hair starts to grow in its place. It is perfectly normal to shed some hair each day as part of this cycle. However, some people may experience excessive hair loss, and hair loss affects men, women and children.
Causes of Hair Loss
A number of factors can cause excessive hair loss including:
· Hormonal problems: If your thyroid gland is over or under-active, you may lose your hair. This type of hair loss can actually be helped by treating your thyroid disease. Hair loss can occur if the male and/or female hormones are out of balance, and correcting the hormone imbalance may help stop hair loss.
· Illness or major surgery: About 3-4 months after an illness or surgery, you may suddenly lose a large amount of hair. This hair loss is related to the stress of the surgery or illness and is temporary.
· After pregnancy: Many women notice hair loss about 3 months after having a baby, and this loss is also related to hormones. During pregnancy, high levels of certain hormones cause the body to keep hair that would normally fall out. When the hormones return to pre-pregnancy levels, the hair falls, out and the normal cycle and loss of hair starts again.
· Medications: Some drugs can cause hair loss, but the hair loss typically stops as soon as the medications are stopped. Some of the medications that can cause hair loss are blood thinners (also known as anti-coagulants); meds for gout; meds for chemotherapy; birth control pills; anti-depressants; and vitamin A.
· Infections: Fungal infections of the scalp can cause hair loss, but this is easily treated with anti-fungal medications.
· Underlying disease: Hair loss may also occur as part of an underlying disease such as diabetes or lupus. Because some of the reasons for hair loss can be serious such as having an underlying disease, it is very important to find out the cause of your hair loss as soon as possible.
· Cornrows/pigtails: The pull on your hair with these styles can cause a type of hair loss called traction alopecia. If the pulling is stopped before scarring of the scalp develops, your hair will grow back normally. However, scarring can cause permanent hair loss.
· Chemicals/hot oil treatments: Chemicals used in permanents (perms) may cause inflammation of the hair follicle, which can result in scarring and hair loss.
Depending on the cause of your hair loss, treatments are available. If medicine is causing your hair loss, your doctor may be able to prescribe a different medicine for your ailment. Recognizing and treating an infection properly may stop your hair loss; hormone imbalances can also be corrected to stop hair loss.
There are also medications that are designed to slow or stop hair loss altogether. Rogaine is one medication that is available without a prescription and is applied directly to the scalp. Another drug, Propecia, is available with a prescription but is only available to men. It comes in pill form and may take up to six months before you can even tell if is working.
If your hair loss cannot be treated, you may have to consider wigs, hairpieces, hair weaves or artificial hair replacement.