The Truth About Hair Loss
Is your hair falling out? Do you know someone who is struggling with hair loss? It can be an emotionally draining experience, leaving the sufferer to wonder “why is this happening to me?"
It is common for women and men to notice the onset of thinning hair during their 30s or 40s.
Is disease, or a poor diet the main reason for hair loss? No, hair loss is usually is not associated with these things. It’s most often the result of one’s genes and overall aging. With that being said, however, there are definitely factors that contribute to overall balding, bald spots and the general loss of one’s hair.
These factors include: illness, emotional trauma, loss of job, protein deprivation (due to strict dieting); and hormonal changes (due to pregnancy, puberty, and menopause).
Specific health conditions, such as thyroid disease, may also result in hair loss. If you are experiencing sudden or severe hair loss, it is advisable to have a blood test done by your family doctor or dermatologist. They will be able to determine whether the cause of your hair loss is due to illness. They may also perform a scalp biopsy to help diagnose unexplained hair loss.
Sometimes medications list "hair loss" as a potential side effect; most drugs, however, are not likely to cause hair loss.
Cancer chemotherapy and immunosuppressive medications will often result in hair loss. Complete hair loss after chemotherapy is normal, but hair regrowth will occur after six to 12 months.
Understanding the Actual Reason of Hair LossThe doctor will examine your scalp to diagnose and classify your type of hair loss. There are many classifications of hair loss, including:
- Non-Scarring Hair Loss: The scalp appears normal with an abundance of empty hair follicles.
- Scarring Hair Loss: From small to large areas of the hair scalp are covered with hair follicles that are permanently destroyed. Hair shafts are also damaged which may result in breakage.
- Patchy Hair Loss: Seek the advice of an experienced medical professional to classify which condition is present. These conditions include:
- alopecia areata (small found patches of baldness that may grow back);
- traction alopecia (thinning of the scalp hair due to from tight ponytails or braids);
- trichotillomania (the habit of hair removal by twisting or pulling it out),
- tinea capitis (a result of fungal infection)