Hair loss is a common concern for many people, especially as they age. Whether it’s due to genetics, stress, or a medical condition, losing hair can be a distressing experience that can affect a person’s self-esteem and confidence.
In this blog post, we will cover the early signs and symptoms of hair loss that you should look for, as well as the common causes of hair loss. We will also discuss how to assess your hair loss and what options are available to deal with it. Whether you’re experiencing hair loss yourself or simply want to be more informed about this topic, this blog post will provide valuable insights and information.
The Normal Hair Growth Cycle
To better understand hair loss, it’s important first to understand the normal hair growth cycle. The hair growth cycle consists of three phases: anagen, catagen, and telogen.
- The anagen phase is the active growth phase, during which the hair grows continuously for two to six years.
- The catagen phase is the transitional phase, during which the hair follicle shrinks and detaches from the blood supply. This phase lasts for two to three weeks.
- The telogen phase is the resting phase, during which the hair follicle is dormant and the hair is shed naturally. This phase lasts for about three months.
After the telogen phase, the hair growth cycle restarts with the anagen phase. On average, a person loses 50 to 100 hairs a day as part of the natural hair growth cycle.
Understanding the hair growth cycle can help you identify when hair loss is abnormal and when it’s a normal part of the growth cycle. It can also help you understand why certain hair loss treatments work, as they may target specific phases of the growth cycle.
Early Signs of Balding
Hair loss is a common condition that affects millions of people worldwide, regardless of gender or age. While hair loss can be caused by a variety of factors, such as genetics, stress, hormonal changes, and medical conditions, it’s important to be aware of the early signs of balding. Recognizing these signs can help you take action to prevent further hair loss and maintain a full, healthy head of hair.
Here are the common early signs of balding:
- Thinning temples and crown of the head
- Receding hairline with an “M” shape
- Thinning on the top of the head
- Widening part line
- Thinning across the whole head
- Hair falling out in clumps
- Losing hair all over your body
Note that these signs can vary between individuals, and not everyone with hair loss will experience all of them. It’s important to talk to a healthcare professional if you notice any significant changes in your hair.
Common Causes of Hair Loss
There are many common causes of hair loss, including:
- Male and female pattern baldness: This is the most common cause of hair loss and is related to genetics. Male pattern baldness typically begins with a receding hairline and thinning hair on the crown of the head, while female pattern baldness typically results in overall thinning of the hair.
- Telogen effluvium: This type of hair loss occurs when the hair follicles go resting, causing more hairs than normal to fall out. Telogen effluvium can be caused by stress, changes in hormones, medications, or illness.
- Alopecia areata: This is an autoimmune disorder that causes the body to attack hair follicles, resulting in hair loss. Alopecia areata can occur at any age and can cause hair loss on the scalp, face, and other parts of the body.
- Medications and medical treatments: Some medications and medical treatments can cause hair loss as a side effect. Chemotherapy is a well-known example of a medical treatment that causes hair loss, but other medications such as blood thinners, retinoids, and antidepressants can also contribute to hair loss.
- Nutritional deficiencies: A lack of certain nutrients, such as iron, vitamin D, and biotin, can contribute to hair loss. This is because these nutrients are important for healthy hair growth and maintenance. This can also lead to postpartum hair loss.
- Stress: Prolonged stress can cause hair loss by disrupting the normal hair growth cycle. Stress can cause more hair to enter the telogen (resting) phase, which can result in more hair falling out than usual.
Each of these causes can contribute to hair loss in different ways, and it’s important to identify the underlying cause of hair loss to determine the best course of action.
What to Do if You’re Balding?
If you’re balding, there are several options that will help restore your hair. These include:
Hair loss medications
There are two FDA-approved medications for hair loss: minoxidil and finasteride. Minoxidil is a topical solution applied to the scalp, while finasteride is an oral medication taken daily. These medications can slow down hair loss and, in some cases, promote hair regrowth, but they may not work for everyone and can have side effects.
Hair loss products
Many over-the-counter hair loss products claim to promote hair regrowth or reduce hair loss. These include shampoos, conditioners, and serums (see these vegan hair growth serums) that contain ingredients like biotin, caffeine, and ketoconazole. While these products may not work for everyone, they can be a low-risk option to try.
Hair transplant surgery
This is a surgical procedure in which hair follicles are taken from a donor area (usually the back of the head) and transplanted to the balding area. This can be expensive and may take more than one session, but it can give you hair that looks natural.
Other options for dealing with hair loss include low-level laser therapy (LLLT), platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections, and microneedling, which can be used alone or in combination with other treatments.
Hair loss is a common issue that can affect anyone, but there are many options available for dealing with it. By paying attention to the early signs of hair loss and seeking medical advice if necessary, you can take steps to address the issue and promote hair regrowth. Whether you choose to use medication, hair products, surgery, or simply embrace baldness, there is a solution that can work for you.
Remember that everyone’s hair is different, and there is no one “right” way to deal with hair loss. With patience, persistence, and a willingness to try different options, you can find a solution that works for you and feel confident and comfortable in your skin.