Hello dear Reader,
With this week’s post we are starting a three-part series about the common causes of hair loss, researched and written by our HairChatter Blogger Donna Kim-Brand.
There are many reasons why our crown of glory can be waning and we hope the information will shed some light on this topic for you.
This is to good hair days only!
Your team at HairChatter

Donna Kim-Brand March 2014

Why Hair Loss Happens

To people who lose hair, it seems a unique and highly personal experience. And yet, there are a handful of common reasons why anyone could lose their hair, as many do. Men tend to lose their hair more often than women, though many causes are the same for each. The range of triggers for hair loss is varied, so let’s scan the spectrum of possible reasons for hair to thin out or be lost altogether.

And depending on the cause, hair loss can be treated and hair will either re-grow over time when the underlying issue is dealt with, or it won’t… In either case, it’s good to know what is going on in your body, as hair loss is only one aspect of taking care of your overall  health and well-being.

Stress- Physical and Emotional

‘Telogen effluvium’ is the name for hair loss caused by traumatic physical stressors such as severe illness, accidents or surgery. In this case, the normal hair growth and rest cycle is interrupted, shocking it early into the shedding phase. There may be a lag time of 3 to 6 months after the shock before the hair loss kicks in. The good news is that the hair tends to grow back over time as long as the stressors disappear.

This holds true for dramatic weight loss as well, where drastic changes to the body due to poor nutrition, an eating disorder or sheer drop in body mass can kick off hair loss. Eventually, once the weight loss process slows down, hair loss also slows down and regrowth begins again.

Emotional stress from events like a death, divorce or caring for an ill family member puts pressure on the physical body that cause hair loss. So seek ways to relieve your stress with therapy, peer support or exercise, and hair loss should slow down or stop. This holds for both males and females.

Male Pattern Baldness

Nearly 60% of men show signs of balding by age 60, depending on their genes and male hormones. You may have noticed that men tend to begin balding on the scalp, both at their hairline and above their temples, in an elongated pattern my son has always endearingly called ‘bunny ears’.  Then hair sparseness moves to the crown or front top portion of the scalp, inviting the ‘comb-over’ look.

You can apply topical creams like minoxidil (Rogaine) and oral medications that can halt hair loss or even cause some to regrow. More reliable, if extreme, measures include surgery to transplant or graft hair. When well performed, the look is natural. However, since male baldness has now become a popular fashion statement, often implying sexiness, there is less social pressure to rectify the hair loss.

Heredity

Androgenetic alopecia is the female version of male pattern baldness. If the females in your family lineage suffered from early hair loss, you may be prone to it based on heredity alone. Interestingly, while males start to lose hair at the temples and hairline, females tend to notice hair loss along the part line with eventual thinning over all their scalp. The same topical treatments mentioned for males (Rogaine) can treat hereditary female hair loss, as long as that’s the actual cause of the problem.
Stay tuned for next week’s part 2 of this series!

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