It is never a happy thing to see some extra strands of hair strewn over the floor, or lying on the bed, especially if it is your own hair. However, dropping 50 to 150 strands of hair a day is simply part of the body’s natural processes, and should not be of concern.
On the other hand, excessive hair loss is something that we hope to avoid, and in doing so, we tend to avoid all knowledge of it. When it does strike, we are at a loss as to what causes hair loss and whether it is here to stay.
Let’s take a closer look at some situations that can cause hair loss, and whether that loss is here to stay.
Acute Stress or Trauma
You’ve seen anecdotal evidence of highly stressed people losing hair by the handfuls. Science actually does support this notion of stress-induced hair loss.
Our hair follicles are in a constant cycle of growth and rest, with most of them in the growth phase at any given time. However, once the hair follicle is triggered to rest, that follical sheds the hair it was growing. However, during a period of significant stress, like a major negative life event or a series of serious work-related problems, the prolonged stress can actually shift an abnormal number of hairs into their rest phase all at one go. This results in an abrupt and rapid onset of hair shedding.
The good news is that this form of hair loss is temporary, and hair should return to pre-shedding density. However, it might take months before the abnormal shedding stops, and more months for the hair to grow back.
Postpartum Hair Loss
During pregnancy, many women develop healthy locks of hair as part of the hormonal changes. However, many of them also experience significant hair loss after the baby’s birth.
This form of hair loss is not true hair loss. Instead, this excessive hair shedding is caused by falling oestrogen levels. The changes in this hormone during and after pregnancy can cause postpartum hair loss as oestrogen levels increase in the final trimester of pregnancy. This prevents the standard hair shedding from occurring, and can result in thicker hair during the period. However, the steep drop after childbirth causes many hairs to enter the rest phase of the hair growth cycle, causing hair to start shedding a few months after childbirth.
This kind of hair loss is also not permanent. In fact, new hair will start growing after the old hair falls out. It will take a few months for hair to return to pre-pregnancy density, but most women regain their hair by the baby’s first birthday.
Strong Medications or Therapies
In the case of conditions like thyroid disease and diabetes, or if the person experiencing hair loss had undergone chemotherapy, the hair loss can be acute.
In instances of severe and prolonged hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism, hair loss can occur. However, the hair can return with the successful treatment of the thyroid disease. As for people who have undergone chemotherapy, their hair loss is caused by the chemotherapy drugs. These drugs attack the cancer cells, but also attack other rapidly growing cells, including those in the hair follicles. This is why people who undergo chemotherapy experience hair loss all over their bodies, and not just on their scalp. The hair usually returns after the chemotherapy.
Crash Dieting or Over Exercising
Crash diets tend to be very restrictive, both in the caloric and nutrient intake that is mandated by the diet. Entire food groups can be cut out, and this results in excessive stress and nutrient deficiencies. Both the sudden loss in weight, as well as the lack of nutrients, can trigger an acute episode of hair loss, similar to the one experienced by people who undergo acute stress and trauma. Prolonged deficiencies in essential fatty acids, zinc, protein and calories can all lead to acute hair loss.
Working out is not inherently bad for your hair, and generally does not trigger hair loss. However, when done in excess, exercise can lead to hair loss. The stress from pushing too hard physically can disrupt the body’s natural processes, and cause the hair’s growth and rest cycle to be interrupted early.
In both cases of hair loss from crash diets and over exercising, the body tends to pause production of less important things like hair, in a bid to keep nutrients and energy for the vital organs. Stopping the crash diet or over exercise in favour of regular baseline eating and physical activity tends to return the hair to its previous density.
Use of Harsh Haircare and Styling Products
We use styling waxes, hair sprays and other styling products to make our locks look luscious. However, almost all hair products have chemicals in them, and having too much of these chemicals in our treatments and products can induce hair loss.
The high concentration of chemicals in hair products tend to dehydrate the hair, and its follicles. These chemicals also tend to end up on the scalp, and can block the pores on scalp from breathing properly. Many hair styling products also use alcohol, which also dries the scalp and prevents it from taking in important nutrients. The use of heat in many styling instruments also make hair dry and more breakage prone.
In these cases, the hair loss is not permanent. Using less products for styling, and focusing on gentler forms of hair care and styling, will help to return hair to the head quite quickly.
We Can Help!
Dealing with hair loss requires technique and skills, tailored to each unique individual. If you want to find ways to help improve your hair loss condition, you can consider getting a detailed examination at SL Aesthetic Clinic. Our doctors can help customise a suitable treatment plan by understanding the root cause of your hair loss.
If you are trying to arrest the rapid falling of hair from your head, SL Aesthetic Clinic can provide you with the necessary diagnosis and treatment to work toward your ideal aesthetic look. Call us now at 6235 3246, or Whatsapp us at 9850 7112.