Why Does Hair Loss Happen?
The average scalp contains about 100,000 hairs and it is normal to lose around 100 of them every day.
However, due to genetics, as we grow older gradually the number of hairs we lose increases in both men and women. This is called inherited hair loss and about half of all people get it by the age of fifty. Those with inherited hair loss are genetically more sensitive to testosterone, which causes hair follicles to shrink.
Overall, men’s bodies create larger quantities of this hormone. Therefore, some of them begin to lose their hair at the age of 21 and a large percentage has developed bald patches by the age of 40.
Women tend to lose more hair due to testosterone following menopause, after the age of 45. Nevertheless, shifts in their hormone levels because of changes in their menstrual cycle, childbirth and birth control pills can lead to hair loss even before then, but it usually grows back.
What Can Affect Hair Loss
Although, balding tends to come with aging, even children can suffer from it. Ringworm of the scalp is quite common in infants. Teenagers and young adults tend to suffer from a more rare cause of hair loss: trichotillomania. This is a stress-related compulsive behavior, in which a person pulls hairs out from all over his body.
Another reason for hair loss regardless of age is malnutrition. Research has specifically linked it to lack of protein and iron. Furthermore, in some studies it has been connected to excessive smoking. When the individual develops a healthier lifestyle hair tends to grow back quite quickly.
It takes a long time (almost a year) for people that suffer from alopecia areata to grow their hair back. This disease specifically attacks hair follicles and results in round- shaped hairless patches on the scalp and the rest of the body or overall thinning hair.
Thyroid diseases (hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism) if not treated, sometimes lead to hair loss as well, as do more rare diseases such as lupus and syphilis. The hair in these cases tends to grow back again when the patient takes the appropriate medication.
Cancer, both when left untreated and when treated with chemotherapy leads to non-permanent hair loss. In addition, certain medicines or medical treatments, such as blood thinners may cause hair loss in some individuals, but not permanently.
Finally, certain hair grooming products, hair dyes, curling irons and hairstyles weaken our hair and sometimes causes hair loss. A lot of our clients use our Hair Transplant Edinburgh Clinic due to the aforementioned issues.
To conclude, hair loss is rarely a disease on its own, far from it. It is something that happens naturally to everyone. More excessive hair loss as we grow older is normal. However, because it might be an indicator of an underlying health problem if it persists for more than a couple of months you should inform your doctor about it or/and fill out the form provided for a FREE consultation with one of our hair transplant specialists.