It’s normal to see a few hair strands everyday on your brush or comb, but how do you know if you’re losing too much hair and what’s causing the hair loss?
100 Strands a Day
Most individuals normally lose 100 hair strands each day regardless of how healthy the scalp is and the hairstyling practices. To understand why it’s okay to lose hair, you need to know what makes up the hair and the hair growth cycle. A person’s scalp density reduces as he/she grows, although the number of hair follicles will remain the same, because the scalp expands as well. Each strand is made up of two major features, the follicle and the shaft. Two sheaths surround the former, which protects and conditions the hair. The shaft on the other hand, is made up of a protein with three layers which give your hair its color. These will weaken as you age and cause hair fall.
Hair Growth Cycle
The shedding of your hair can be random, but it is based on the hair growth cycle, which is made up of three stages. Anagen is the formation of the hair and the time when your scalp is at its most active for a few years. The catagen phase is the transitional period when the growth stops and the formation of a club hair, when the outer root sheath will shrink and stick to the hair root. The telogen phase is the time when the follicle is at rest and you could lose up to 100 strands per day. If you’re losing more hair than usual, it could be an indication of a scalp or other medical condition.
Reasons for Hair Loss
The following are the causes for rapid hair loss or telogen effluvium:
- Excessive hairstyling
- Hereditary hair loss
- Alopecia areata (autoimmune hair loss)
- Physical stress or trauma (from an accident, surgery, or illness)
- Pregnancy or hormonal change and imbalance
- Scalp conditions (such as psoriasis, dandruff or seborrheic dermatitis, fungal infections, and more)
- Too much vitamin A
- Vitamin B or B12 deficiency
- Protein deficiency
- Iron deficiency or anemia
- Sudden weight loss or changes in the diet
- Hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism
- Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
- Side effect of medications such as antidepressants, blood thinners, NSAIDs, birth control, and more
How to Reduce Hair Loss
Sometimes it’s possible to grow back lost hair once the underlying cause is treated and changes are made in the diet and hairstyling habits. Here are some of the things you can do.
- Consult a dermatologist to determine the cause of the problem
- Change your diet by getting more protein and complex carbohydrates
- Take vitamin supplements as recommended by the doctor
- Exercise regularly and drink lots of water
- Reduce hairstyling and minimize the use of hairstyling products and heating tools
- Use mild shampoo and conditioner