Have you ever brushed your hair and gasped at the number of hair follicles on your brush? This is not unusual since hair is one of the most noticeable features of your body, and if anything happens to it, you’re bound to notice. Apart from hair fall, other possible concerns include immense hair thinning, balding, and visible hair loss in patches. But why do these conditions happen?
Numerous factors contribute to your hair’s health. To know why you’re experiencing a particular condition, identify the symptoms and work your way from there. However, there is hope, as hair loss is treatable, and the proper regimen can help you restore your volume and length. In countries like Singapore, according to a beauty survey conducted in 2022, hair loss was the biggest concern in 44% of respondents, both men and women. So, let’s explore what causes this problem and find possible solutions:
1. Hormonal Issues
Your hormones play a significant role in your hair growth and loss. An influx of androgens like testosterone or a decrease in estrogen can cause your hair to fall. There are many reasons why your hormones may fluctuate. For example, if you are a woman, after a certain age, you may experience menopause. In Singapore, the average age for menopause among women is about 49, but some studies report that more than 90% of Singaporean women hit menopause at 53. While menopause cannot be stopped, its effect on your hair can be controlled. If you have a hormonal imbalance, you can look up hair growth treatment Singapore and choose a credible and well-reputed hair treatment facility. These companies have chemicals and customized hair formulas that act as hair food and decrease your hair loss problem.
Apart from menopause, if you have conditions like PCOS (Polycystic ovaries) or recently stopped using birth control, you may undergo hair fall. Hormonal imbalance also extends to men. If you are a man, an increase in your androgen levels, such as dihydrotestosterone (DHT), can stop hair growth and cause your existing hair to become brittle and fall. This is known as Androgenetic Alopecia, and according to the Health Promotion Board of Singapore, roughly 40% of men experience some form of androgenetic alopecia by 35. By the time they turn 60, their chances of incurring this condition shoot up by 80%.
There is no solution for these situations other than visiting hair specialists, so they can examine your scalp, order a blood test and prepare a formula that can seep into your skin and help stabilize your hormones.
2. Alopecia Areata
Alopecia Areata is an autoimmune condition that causes hair to fall in patches. As a result, your scalp may get exposed, followed by symptoms like itching, redness, and slight inflammation. You can develop this type of alopecia anytime. It doesn’t matter how old you are, what gender you identify with, or what ethnicity you belong from. According to the Alopecia Areata Foundation, this condition impacts about 0.1 to 0.2% of the global population and, despite being a small number, is painful to deal with. Alopecia can start anywhere in your body; in men, it is most commonly around their beard, eyebrows, and eyelashes. Your hair may also be too thin when it regrows.
Over time, as your hair follicles try to redevelop, they may look gray or white, and you may have bald patches sporadically over your head. Treatment for alopecia depends on how extensive your condition is and where it occurs. But there’s a chance you may get injections of corticosteroids into your bald areas. These are administered every four to eight weeks as needed. Injections are considered the most effective remedy against alopecia. But other options include a medication called Minoxidil, used directly on the scalp.
3. Stress and Trauma
Stress and trauma can deeply affect your hair. When your body is under severe distress, it can often exhibit itself through extensive hair fall and thinning. Your hair can also fall out in clumps under immense anxiety. At the same time, if you have been through a severe accident or underwent surgery, it may also impact your hair. This temporary hair loss is known as Telogen effluvium, which is a condition that causes your hair to remain in the natural shedding phase.
Consequently, your hair may fall out more than it should. Infections can also cause tremendous hair fall. If you have a bacterial infection like syphilis, a doctor will put you on antibiotics to clear the illness. Your doctor may also prescribe other medication, such as over-the-counter (OTC) ointments like Minoxidil which promotes hair growth. You may also be instructed to use vitamins and iron supplements to boost hair growth. If you are healing from surgery, until the scars fade, your hair may not come back.
4. Nutrition Deficiencies
What you consume impacts your hair. If you don’t have a good diet, you may experience frequent hair loss. For instance, if you don’t have enough iron in your diet, you can end up experiencing telogen effluvium. Iron produces hemoglobin which is a protein found in your red blood cells. Low iron levels deprive your body of oxygen which can prevent your hair follicles from growing. Hence, fix the amount of iron you consume by increasing your uptake of red meat, legumes, nuts, and dried fruits.
Additionally, lacking zinc in your meals can trigger androgenic alopecia, impacting your hair growth pattern. Zinc is a trace element that your body cannot generate on its own, and you need to supplement through pills or ointments. Zinc helps regenerate healthy cells, facilitates the absorption of nutrients, and regulates the flow of hormones through your blood. As a result, you can counter hormonal imbalance and remedy your hair loss problem. Moreover, the lack of Vitamin D also causes hair loss. Like the lack of zinc, vitamin D also contributes to androgenic alopecia. Keratin cells need Vitamin D. This is a type of protein that is found in your hair and scalp. This is why your hair growth is heavily impacted when you don’t get enough Vitamin D. Try adding more sources of Vitamin D into your diet by going out in the sun more and eating food items like tuna, salmon, and eggs.
Hair loss can be embarrassing and upsetting to deal with, but you shouldn’t worry much. Hair loss is more common than you think. It can happen due to a poor diet, trauma, or hormonal imbalance. The only way to beat this problem is by consulting a reputable doctor, getting regions of your body experiencing hair loss tested, and using medications as prescribed. Until you address the cause of your hair loss, you cannot remedy your problem. Therefore, be vigilant about your health, adopt a better lifestyle, and ensure you get timely help anytime you notice anything unusual, like frequent hair fall.