Even if the term refers to something negative, causing chills in many people, hair loss is not necessarily a problem. “Hair loss is the detachment of the hair from the scalp,” explains Dr. Nilton de Ávila Reis, a dermatologist at Clínica Doppio , specialized in hair treatment. “It is part of the normal hair cycle, as just like other animals, we also constantly change our hair / hair”, he adds.
The big problem and cause for concern is when this hair loss is out of the ordinary. “When the amount of hair that falls out is greater than expected, we have pathological hair loss, with several causes that need to be investigated. One of them is baldness ”, says Nilton.
Are you worried about the hair falling in the shower or around the house? Continue reading this guide on the subject and put an end to your doubts.
Main causes for hair loss
When it comes to hair loss, it is common to think about baldness right away, but they are two different things. According to Nilton, the confusion occurs because of the feeling that many people have that, when the hair falls, it does not come back, as occurs in baldness. However, although baldness can affect up to 40% of women after menopause, according to the expert, there are other common causes for female hair loss. He lists the main ones below:
Deficiency of vitamins, proteins and minerals: even if we don’t remember it all the time, hair is part of our body and, like the rest of it, depends on adequate nutrients to stay healthy. Among them, the specialist cites iron deficiency as one of the main reasons for hair loss.
Oral medications: several remedies have hair loss as a side effect, including antidepressants, appetite suppressants, anabolics, anticonvulsants, antihypertensives, anticoagulants, anti-inflammatories, among others.
Contraceptives: are linked to hair loss in women with sensitivity to hormonal variations, which may occur during use or months after stopping.
Postpartum: the fault, again, is the hormonal variation, which starts in pregnancy and changes the so-called hair cycle. The sharp drop can occur for up to 6 months after delivery.
Hormonal disorders: thyroid diseases, Polycystic Ovary Syndrome , in addition to diseases involving hormones such as cortisol are also linked to hair loss.
Systemic diseases and chronic diseases: systemic lupus erythematosus, hepatitis, syphilis, celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, among others, may have hair loss as one of the symptoms.
Life habits: the hair reflects a lot the balance or not of our organism, therefore, habits that cause hormonal changes or that hinder the absorption of nutrients such as stress, physical inactivity, smoking and malnutrition may reflect the problem.
Inadequate hair care: incorrect coloring practices, straightening and stretching lead to wire breakage, followed by hair loss. The same goes for an inappropriate frequency of washing and the use of products that contribute to the excessive production of tallow.
Scalp problems: for different reasons, diseases such as dermatitis, psoriasis, ringworm and others on the scalp weaken the strands and can result in hair loss.
Female androgenetic alopecia: also called female baldness, is an inherited condition characterized by loss and not just hair loss. It is considered the main cause of hair loss in men and women.
As you may have noticed, it is not always easy to identify the reason for hair loss in women, as many times, several factors contribute to the problem. “Hair loss in women is often multifactorial. Generally, there is a participation of genetic factors, lifestyle and even hair care ”, explains Nilton. Therefore, it is essential to make a correct assessment in order to find an appropriate treatment.
How many threads is normal to lose per day?
According to Nilton, “it is expected that up to 100 to 150 strands fall out every day”. However, the expert recognizes that this may not be the best answer to the question. “Although it is classically used as a reference, the amount of hair that falls per day is not a good parameter in practice, since it is impracticable to keep counting the hairs”, he adds.
Therefore, he draws attention to other indications that serve as a warning for a pathological hair loss. Among them, the specialist mentions, for example, noting a greater amount of hair strands on the bathroom floor, comb brush or after using a hairdryer, and the appearance of hair strands in unusual places, such as on the desk and in public places.
In addition to the loose threads, Nilton says that some changes felt when touched or when we look in the mirror also reveal the problem. For example, when perceiving a greater difficulty in adjusting the locks, a decrease in capillary volume and even changes in the shape and length of the strands, such as the loss of curls and waves. In more severe cases, it is possible to notice, including the exposure of the scalp.
It is worth mentioning that there are times when hair may fall more, such as after delivery, during breastfeeding or in the period between late summer and autumn. “These are temporary drops that improve without the need for intervention. In people without baldness or other reasons for falling, the wires return normally ”, he says.
How to prevent hair loss
Although some causes of hair loss are more difficult to control, small everyday attitudes can contribute to delay or decrease the risk of developing the problem. See some of them:
Taking care of the scalp: shine, restoration, definition of curls … You can see how we always go after hair care only. Identifying the need for the scalp and seeking appropriate solutions is essential to prevent hair loss.
Having a balanced diet: as stated earlier, the health of the hair depends on having adequate nutrients, with sufficient amounts of vitamins, proteins and minerals.
Maintain healthy habits: like the skin and nails, the hair is a reflection of the good or bad functioning of the body, so exercise regularly and avoid cigarettes and the consumption of alcoholic beverages.
Have a good night’s sleep: a few hours of sleep or sleepless nights are responsible for hormonal imbalances in the body that, in turn, can cause hair loss.
Invest in leisure time: since stress is one of the factors that cause hair loss, relaxing is essential to avoid the problem.
Avoid home remedies or self-medication: even multivitamins, apparently harmless, can cause hair loss.
Reduce the use of chemistry or hair procedures: dyes, straightening, flat iron and babyliss alter the structure of the hair, providing breakage. In cases of procedures that reach the scalp, they can stimulate the fall by causing irritations.
What about washing frequency? Contrary to common sense, there is no rule. Nor is it true that it is best to wash your hair as few times as possible during the week, as the oiliness only worsens the condition. The recommendation, therefore, is, in case of suspicion of any problem in the locks, always seek guidance from a dermatologist.
Attention to these vitamins
A balanced diet is essential to maintain the health and balance of the body and, consequently, of the locks. In the case of vitamins, it is important to know them and know where to find them, since our body is not able to synthesize these substances essential for capillary balance. “Both the deficiency and the excess of some vitamins can cause hair loss”, warns Nilton. Find out what these vitamins are:
- Vitamin A: also known as retinol, is found mainly in colorful fruits and vegetables, such as carrots, squash, broccoli and spinach. It helps in the capillary reproduction process, it is antioxidant and helps in maintaining the scalp oiliness. But be careful! Its excess is also associated with the fall.
- Vitamin D: other names for it are ergocalciferol and cholecalciferol. It is the vitamin that the body produces when exposed to the sun, but it is also possible to find it in salmon, sardines and tuna, mainly. According to Nilton, she participates in the differentiation of follicular cells, which regulates the hair cycle.
- Vitamin B3: also called niacin, can be found in beef liver, fish, cereals and oilseeds, such as peanuts and sesame. It improves blood circulation, which ends up nourishing the hair. In addition, niacin also helps in anti-inflammatory processes.
- Vitamin B7: another vitamin of the B complex, biotin has been shown to be effective in strengthening the hair, as well as in combating dryness and breakage. Its main sources are oilseeds.
Remembering that these are just the main vitamins whose deficiency is linked to hair loss. In addition to them, there are others like almost all B vitamins, and vitamins C and E.
What are the treatments for hair loss?
If you identified with what was said or suspected that you may have abnormal hair loss, the best solution is to seek a specialist in the subject, be it a dermatologist or a trichologist. This is because the sooner you seek help, the more chances you will have to reverse the condition, which also depends on finding the ideal treatment for each case. Below you will find the main treatment options currently available:
Used in both male and female hair loss and baldness treatments, minoxidil should be applied only to the affected areas. Its use has been shown to be quite effective, with improvement of the condition between 6 to 8 weeks of use.