What is Hair Loss?
The hair loss is a common problem and affects millions of men and women around the world. First of all, it is essential to make a distinction between hair loss and baldness .
Men, in general, are the most affected by baldness or androgenetic alopecia, although many women also suffer from this problem. Baldness is the lack of hair on the head and numerous factors can cause hair loss. Depending on the cause, there are different ways to deal with the problem.
Male pattern baldness, the most common type, for example, has several types of treatment, however many people end up choosing not to undergo any type of treatment and “assume” their own baldness. Hair loss can be progressive in the case of male pattern baldness, but it can also happen suddenly, in the case of alopecia areata . It can affect only the scalp, but it can also affect the entire body. Some types of alopecia are only temporary, while others are permanent.
Losing hair is normal. About 50 to 100 hairs fall from everyone’s head every day – which is not much compared to the more than 100,000 hairs on our scalp.
As we get older, our hair strands become thinner and rarer. However, many people experience more severe hair loss, which can be a sign of a more serious health problem. But, even in very severe cases, those who suffer from hair loss have no reason to panic: this condition does not lead to baldness, as all hair that falls will be replaced by new hair!
Female hair loss
Hair loss is a more common complaint among women and, when pathological, has several causes, such as:
- Thyroid diseases
- Iron deficiency
- Infectious and autoimmune diseases
- Physical or emotional stress
The exact cause of hair loss will determine the amount of hair loss, the speed with which it will happen and which places on the body will suffer most from the loss of hair.
Medications can also cause the problem, such as those used in chemotherapy, in the case of cancer treatment , and medicines for arthritis , depression , heart problems and high blood pressure.
Postpartum hair loss
Hormonal and metabolism changes can lead to temporary hair loss, which justifies most cases of women who have the problem. These changes can occur during pregnancy or childbirth, due to irregular use of birth control pills and also during menopause .
In the postpartum period, hair loss is also common. To prevent problems, it is important to use specific shampoo for each type of hair, including normal, dry, mixed (oily root and normal or dry tip) or oily.
Use a conditioner with a rinse based on ceramides, lanolin or keratin. Then, apply a silicone-free rinse cream and sunscreen.
Causes of male hair loss
Among men, the most common cause of hair loss and baldness, as we said earlier, is heredity .
Both men and women can inherit this problem from their parents. This is because sex hormones are responsible for the miniaturization of hair in some people.
This problem, much more common in men, usually starts at puberty and worsens as the years go by.
Finally, trichotillomania, a disease in which the person plucks the strands with his hands uncontrollably, may be responsible for flaws in the scalp and beard.
Diagnosis and Exams
Seeking medical help
What to do
You should see a doctor if you notice that your hair is falling out. It can be a normal fall, but it can also mean a more serious health problem.
Running out of hair too young (before age 20) can also be cause for concern.
In the medical consultation
Describe to the doctor how often you notice hair loss and how much hair is lost per day, on average. Take all your doubts, answer the doctor’s questions and perform all the tests he or she requests. See examples of what the expert may ask you:
- Are you losing hair only from the scalp or from other parts of the body as well?
- Is there a pattern of hair loss, such as an entrance or areas with less hair or bald spots on top of the head, or is hair loss occurring all over the head?
- Have you had any illness or high fever recently?
- Do you dye your hair?
- Do you blow dry your hair? How often?
- How often do you wash your hair?
- What type of shampoo, fixing spray, gel or other product do you use on your hair?
- Have you experienced any unusual stress situations recently?
- Are you in the habit of pulling out strands of hair or scratching your scalp?
- Do you have other symptoms, such as itching, peeling or redness on the scalp?
- What medications do you take, including over-the-counter medications?
Hair Loss Treatment
How your hair loss will be treated will depend on the cause of the problem. If hair loss is caused by a factor that has an end date, your hair will likely grow back. For example, if your hair loss is caused by a malfunction of the thyroid, taking medications to regulate the gland may help. Likewise, a person who is deficient in vitamins can benefit from regulating the consumption of these substances in the body.
Hereditary hair loss can be treated with medication or a hair transplant. some people also choose to wear wigs or hairpieces.
If hair loss is caused by an agent that can be controlled, such as stress or medication, it will be possible to treat the problem by attacking the cause.
Treatment and Care
Hair Loss Medications
Hair loss can have several causes, so the treatment varies according to the diagnosis established by the doctor. Therefore, only a trained specialist can tell you which medicine is best for you, as well as the correct dosage and duration of treatment. The most common medications for treating hair loss are:
Always follow your doctor’s instructions strictly and NEVER self-medicate. Do not stop using the medicine without consulting a doctor first, and if you take it more than once or in much larger quantities than prescribed, follow the instructions on the package insert.
Vitamins for hair loss
Both the lack and excess of vitamins can lead to hair loss. Generally, a lack of magnesium, iron and vitamin B predisposes to hair loss. Excess can also cause hair loss. Excess copper in the body, for example, can cause hemolytic anemia, which results in the loss of hair.
Here are the vitamins that can help prevent the problem:
Biotin is a vitamin of the B complex. It is also known as vitamin B7 and vitamin H. It is a water-soluble vitamin produced in the intestine by bacteria and obtained through food. The absence of biotin can cause hair loss and also make the strands weaken. The relationship between the nutrient and the hair is not yet certain, but some experts believe that biotin is related to the production of keratin, the protein that makes up the hair.
Iron is a major component of hemoglobin, a pigment in red blood cells. The lack of the mineral causes the body to produce less red cells, which will characterize the condition of anemia, thus resulting in hair loss. Therefore, eating foods rich in iron can help prevent hair loss.
Foods rich in iron are: red meats, especially liver, chicken breast, seafood, oysters, legumes such as beans and lentils, dark green vegetables such as kale, watercress, arugula and spinach, whole grains such as rice and cereals , pistachio, cooked pumpkin, green beans, raisin and tofu.
Vitamin C is also very important for hair and nails. It helps in the production of collagen, which is one of the structures of the hair and nails, the main nutrients to form collagen are proline and vitamin C. The main sources of vitamin C: citrus fruits, green leafy vegetables dark, red pepper, peppers, guava, acerola, açaí, goji berry, strawberry, kiwi.
Home treatments for hair loss
Check out the home treatments for hair loss
Massaging the scalp is always a good choice when it comes to hair loss. “This stimulates the local circulation, increasing the supply of oxygen and nutrients in the cells of the region, reducing the fall”, considers the specialist. You can do this during the bath, while applying shampoo, for example.
2. Aloe vera
Aloe vera, or Aloe vera, is an excellent moisturizer, which is why it is used in so many products and in home treatments. This hydration occurs without occluding the hair follicle, so it can help with hair loss if there is a deficit in the hydration of the scalp. If the drop is due to other reasons, the action will be different.
Home treatments for hair loss without proof
Other home treatments for hair loss that involve application of products on the scalp have no scientific proof, and therefore there is no way to guarantee its effectiveness in a problem as serious as this.
Home treatments for hair loss without scientific proof are:
- Mulberry cream
- Garlic juice
- Coconut oil
- Almond oil