It’s common knowledge that genetic hair loss affects the majority of men and more women today. It is commonly called male and female pattern baldness (MPB and FPB) and is medically known as the term androgenic alopecia. But there are many other hair loss conditions that aren’t necessarily genetic that still affect many people on a daily basis and are no less stressful for the sufferer. So, in this article, we will look at common hair loss conditions (not MPB or FPB) and how we can deal with them.
To recap on genetic hair loss for a moment. A hair loss condition is usually carried down through the genes on both sides of the family. The hair growth alters from minor to advanced hair loss patterns, largely dependent on hereditary factors. Once the hair loss is activated the hair follicles start to become smaller. The hair growth cycle reduces and the sleeping stage increases, along with the quality of hairs produced. Over time the affected hair follicles slowly reduce the hair reproduction cycle, until they stop.
Common hair loss conditions
The symptoms of hair loss are pretty much all the same; less hair growth, hair coverage and hair density over the scalp. How this occurs can differ depending on the cause. It may surprise you to know that during our life almost everyone will suffer from one of the common hair loss conditions at some point. Occasionally without even being aware hair loss has occurred or for what reason.
Hair loss is not always cosmetically noticeable until it greatly affects our hair density. Common hair loss conditions (not MPB or FPB) can occur for many reasons, some natural and some we cause ourselves. Some can be reversed even without treatment others are unfortunately permanent. Some useful hair tips can be found on the America Academy of Dermatology site.
A typical telogen effluvium sufferer will see an increase in their hair shedding on a daily basis. This can rise from around 100 to 300 hairs per day shedding. About 30% of the hair follicles go from the growth (anagen) to the resting phase. A hair is in the anagen phase for two to four years roughly, depending on genetic and hereditary factors. They then enter the telogen phase, and “rest” for about two to four months before the hairs fall out and are naturally replaced. If a person suffers from Telogen Effluvium, some changes in the body or shock may push more hairs into the telogen phase.
Telogen Effluvium is probably the most common hair loss cause that many people never realise they have had. There are so many causes for this change in the growth cycle to occur. They can range from psychological stress, high fever, severe infection or other illness to extreme weight loss, a dramatic change in diet, hormonal changes, iron deficiency and hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism.
Some cases of Telogen Effluvium can be caused by a poor diet. Although nothing can be done to prevent it, as there is no proven treatment to prevent the hairs from entering the telogen phase, maintaining a balanced diet can go a long way to helping.
Whatever the trigger, the effects are normally seen around two to four months later and can last for approximately six months. It may take a few months for the hair to fully improve again as the hair cycle returns to normal.
Repetitive pulling, pressure or tension put on the hair shaft can result in traction alopecia. A side effect of this condition can be bumps on your scalp that look like pimples. This hair loss condition is more associated with female hair loss although it can quite easily occur in men or women alike. Traction alopecia can occur due to wearing a hairstyle too tight, for example, a ponytail, braids or a man-bun.
The constant pressure applied to the hair shaft naturally effects the hair follicle below the skin. The first signs are often missing and broken hairs. This commonly occurs along the front and sides of your scalp, however, it can happen anywhere excessive pressure to the hair follicles is applied for long periods of time. Prolonged exposure to heavy tension can result in permanent damage; the hair follicles become so damaged and scarred that they can’t produce new hair.
Unlike many hair loss causes traction alopecia is man-made. As a result, we can control and prevent the problem with a few easy changes. Simply wearing your hair down, without traction, avoiding friction or pulling on the hair shaft can prevent it. If you have to wear your hair up or in a tighter style keep it loose and low on your head. Changing your hairstyle every few weeks also helps to avoid constant tension in one area. Treatments depend on the severity of the hair loss and range from a topical or therapy-based remedy to concealer or possibly a surgical technique.
Checking on any hair loss condition
Regardless of the overriding cause, for most hair loss is an unwanted experience. With the first signs of hair loss, the best action is to seek the advice of a specialist. An early diagnosis can save a great deal of time and hair loss, as well as money from trying different treatment options. With any hair loss condition, a different treatment programme may be required. Some conditions will simply not respond to treatments and a surgical option, such as an FUE hair transplant is not always the answer either. A good first approach to dealing with your hair loss can be an online assessment consultation.
Here at Hair Restoration Europe we offer free, personal and confidential advice. Get in touch today to find out more about your own hair loss condition and how to treat it. We’d love to hear from you.