Does thinking about losing your hair stress you out? Actually, stress may be causing you to lose your hair. There are a number of factors that contribute to both hair and scalp health and visible hair loss.
Hair loss in women vs. men
Hair loss can affect both men and women. While most treatments have historically targeted men, Harklinikken treats both men and women. Women typically notice hair loss sooner and seek treatment sooner, perhaps because receding hairlines, bald spots and baldness are more expected and accepted in men. We are sensitive to the effects of hair loss on our clients’ lives. Whether you suspect that your receding hair line is hereditary or are wondering why you’re shedding at an increasing rate, the question is, can it be reversed?
Why is my hair falling out?
Harklinikken categorizes hair loss into four basic types:
Physiological hair loss
Our environment and lifestyle play a significant role in hair thinning and hair loss. These can include:
- Overuse of styling products
- Long-term or extensive use of hair coloring dyes or salon treatments (perms)
- Hair extensions
- Use of straightening irons and blow-dryers
In fact, many of the products and techniques we use to cover our thinning hair can actually exacerbate hair loss. Extensions, for example, which are often used to quickly add volume and fullness, can cause scalp scarring over time.
Hair loss caused by illness
If you are noticing significant hair loss, it may be a sign of a behavioral, health or medical condition that needs to be addressed. Anyone experiencing hair thinning or hair loss should first see their doctor to rule out any medical issues. Some conditions that impact hair quality and quantity include:
- Autoimmune diseases, which can cause the body to form antibodies against its own hair. This rejection from the inside out can result in bare spots (alopecia areata) or even total baldness (alopecia Totalis).
- Metabolic disorders or eating disorders.
- Substance abuse, which can wreak havoc on internal organs and organ systems.
Hair loss as a drug side effect
Chemotherapy for cancer treatment is not the only pharmaceutical cause of hair loss. The use of other medications can also cause hair to fall out. Be aware of whether or not a medication you're taking lists hair loss as a potential side effect. It's also important to talk to your doctor or pharmacist before starting a drug treatment regimen or if you notice any changes during your treatment.
Hereditary causes of hair loss
The most common cause of hair loss is in your genes. If you’re wondering how your scalp will age, look no further than your own family tree. Heredity hair loss is often called male/female pattern baldness or androgenetic alopecia. Almost as many women as men develop hereditary hair loss, but their hair loss patterns are often different. There are two types of heredity hair loss:
Mild androgenic alopecia
In one of the more typical patterns of androgenic alopecia, some of the hair follicles actually shrink. As the follicles shrink, the quality of the hair strands growing from the follicles is reduced. This type of hair loss is most often associated with men; however, women also suffer from mild androgenic alopecia. In women, the pattern is usually sporadic rather than concentrated in one spot.
Advanced androgenic alopecia
This is a more serious stage of hereditary hair loss. In the advanced stage the hair follicles shrink so significantly that they can no longer sustain hair growth. Advanced androgenic alopecia is very common in men, who experience it to different degrees. Men who are less severely afflicted typically experience hair loss in particular areas, such as receding temples and/or the crown of their head. In severe cases of advanced androgenic alopecia, large areas of the scalp are affected by shrunken follicles. Men experiencing this type of androgenetic alopecia lose all (or most of) the hair on top of their head, but retain full, healthy hair around the sides. Before seeking treatment for hair loss, it is important to visit your doctor or dermatologist to determine the underlying cause of your condition.
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