A Guide to Hair Loss

Posted by Walid Ibraheem on

Overview

Hair loss can affect a person's life in many ways. Some can be superficial, others are more dramatic, even traumatic. Hair loss can be limited to a person's scalp or can affect the entire body depending on the cause. Nobody is immune to being plagued by hair loss, while it is more common in men, women are affected as well. 

The main culprits of hair loss are Medications, Hormonal Changes, Medical Conditions, and Heredity.

Male pattern baldness is the leading cause of hair loss in men. While women also experience the loss of hair in the scalp it is more commonly attributed to alopecia

The term "baldness" is used very loosely more and more frequently. Baldness or balding typically refers to an inordinate amount of hair loss of the scalp due to aging and heredity.  

The various ways people deal with hair loss are as varied as the types of hair loss itself. The only FDA approved topical treatment for hair loss is Minoxidil. These Minoxidil treatments tend to yield an average 40% success rate, with hair starting to regrow after 3-6 months of use.

Medical procedures such as hair transplantation and scalp reductions are also viable options when attempting to treat hair loss. 

It is advised to speak with your doctor before pursuing any type of medical treatment for hair loss. 

Symptoms

Hair loss can come on gradually or very rapidly depending on the underlying cause. There are many other factors as well. While many causes of hair loss lead to permanent loss of the affected hair, some others, are only temporary. As mentioned previously the affected area can be limited to the scalp or it can affect the entire body. 

Symptoms of hair loss may include:

  • Incremental Thinning on the Scalp. This is the most common type of hair loss and differs visually between men and women. Men tend to lose hair receding from the forehead back towards the crown, while women tend to see a uniform thinning across the entire scalp. 

  • Full Body Hair Loss. The most common cause of hair loss across the entire body is chemotherapy or the treatment of cancer. The hair lost from this treatment usually begins to grow back after chemotherapy regiments cease.

  • Bald Patches Over the Scalp. This is usually caused by ringworm when the scalp is affected. This hair will most certainly grow back after treatment, assuming no scarring takes place as the irritated areas are also extremely itchy. 

 

Should I see a doctor?

While hair loss is common and a part of everyday life, it does not always contribute to thinning hair. On average the human body loses about one hundred hairs per day. While the body does lose hair on a daily basis, new hair is regrown at approximately the same rate.

Hair loss can be attributed to a number of factors including:

Heredity. This is the most common of all types of hair loss. It's common in both men and women But seen more so in men. Male pattern baldness and female pattern baldness are usually observed in a common type of pattern for men It is usually attributed to thinning hair receding from the hairline to the the the back of the head or starting In a circular bald spot at the Crowne. For women, hair loss is usually gradual, spreading out over the entire scalp.

Treated Hair or Hairstyles. Excessively tight hairstyles can cause a type of hair loss called traction alopecia. Perms or the use of hot oil can also cause hair loss. This type of hair loss can be permanent if scarring occurs.

Stress. Stress can play a large role in hair loss. Someone experiencing any type of substantial physical or emotional shock can expect to experience hair loss over the months following the event, which will usually be temporary.

Medications. There are many drugs in which hair loss is a side effect of the treatment. While the hair may grow back, it may not go back the same as it was prior to the use of this medication. 

Radiation. Usually a side effect of the treatment of cancer. While hair does usually grows back, is usually of different thickness.

Medical Conditions. There're a number of medical conditions that can attribute to hair loss. This hair loss can be either permanent or temporary. Scalp infections, alopecia, Childbirth, menopause, thyroid problems, and pregnancy are the most common.

 

 


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