A healthy, thick hair head makes you look beautiful and smart. The same may not be the case with a person who has a premature hair loss issue.
As we grow older, we typically have less hair. Also, the hair we have tends to be thinner, and more brittle.
Premature hair loss can be devastating, causing us to lose our self-esteem. A person with excess loss of hair even experiences depression and anxiety.
The good news is, your hair loss is inevitable. It may not be possible with alopecia Universalis but it’s rare. In most cases, hair regrowth is possible if early steps are taken.
We are going to explore seven all time tips so you can prevent hair fall. These steps help you, regrow lost hair and feel younger with your appearance. Let’s start with some detail about hair.
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How Does Hair Grow?
Our hair strands start growing from a follicle. The follicles are tiny capsules naturally embedded in our skin. They receive nutrients, hormones, and oxygen from blood vessels. It creates more protein cells and makes the hair grow.
About 90 % of our hair follicles are in an active growth state when our scalp is healthy. The active phase normally lasts from two to six years.
About 2 to 3 % of follicles are in a transitional phase, quickly moving from active growth to a resting state.
The remaining 7 or 8 percent are at rest. Hair remains at rest for three to four months and eventually falls out, to be replaced when the follicle becomes active again.
On average, hair grows about six inches per year. Men’s hair tends to grow a little faster than women’s hair. It’s strange but true. 50 to 100 hair strands fall out each day which is normal.
Why Does Hair Fall Out?
We lose hair for a variety of reasons. Sometimes hair loss started due to prolonged stress or trauma. This is temporary, and our hair will grow back again.
Unfortunately, sometimes hair loss is permanent. The reason for your hair loss may be different types of alopecia. This is auto-immune disease people experiencing worldwide.
The other reason for hair fall is hereditary. If your parent has androgenetic alopecia (AGA), you’re much more likely to experience similar hair loss.
Childbirth and starting or ending birth control pills also cause hair loss. The hormone fluctuations that occur in these situations can cause temporary hair loss. This type of hair fall does not require medical treatment.
Below are additional reasons for hair fall
- Illnesses and chronic medical conditions such as heart disease, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), some cancers, and iron-deficiency
- Chronic stress
- Physical or emotional trauma
- Fungal infections such as ringworm
- Chemotherapy & Radiation
- Unhealthy diets & poor nutrition
- Certain hairstyles such as tight cornrows and ponytails
- Chemical treatments such as perms and relaxers
Fortunately, some of these hair loss situations and conditions are temporary. Hair regrowth is possible after an illness or ending a problematic medication.
Now let’s explore what you can do to overcome your hair fall.
Check Your Diet First for Hair Loss
Your diet plays a significant role in your hair’s health and appearance. Our bodies end up with a deficiency of nutrition because of poor diet, some food restrictive diets.
Some weight loss procedures are also the reason for lack of nutrition. It’s a famous quote, you are what you eat. All nutrients and minerals especially Zinc and Iron are necessary for healthy scalps and hair.
Junk and fast food aren’t healthy so they may not be our primary source of calories. Also, these foods can cause our hair to fall out or be brittle.
If we consume a lot of low-nutrient foods our diet is lacking nutrients that hair and scalp need.
Instead try adding fresh fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, and lean protein. So our hair gets the required nutrition for healthy growth.
Vegan / Low Protein Diets
Diets very low in protein, especially vegan and vegetarian that eliminate meat, can lead to iron deficiencies.
A direct correlation exists between thinning hair and a lack of iron. Iron deficiencies are more common in women. Medical conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease can lead to insufficient iron absorption.
You may need vitamin C supplements if you’re iron-deficient. Our intestines need vitamin C to absorb iron properly.
Hair Loss due to Vitamin Deficiency
Popular diets that eliminate some food groups like low-carb plans can result in vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Hair follicles need vitamin D, especially during the growth phase.
The best way to get Vitamin D is sun exposure. Sunlight synthesizes vitamin D, so there are fewer chances of hair loss. If you live in overcast areas or in the far north or south, you may be vitamin D deficient.
Vitamin A helps our scalp, to make sebum that moisturizes our scalp and hair. Vitamin A deficiency can cause our hair to be dry and brittle, and prone to breakage.
If you suffer from an eating disorder like bulimia, your body is likely lacking nutrients. Be careful about crash dieting. Yes, you can lose weight, but extreme eating plans cause temporary hair loss.
Weight Loss Surgeries and Drugs
Many weight-loss surgery and drugs contribute to nutritional deficiencies. Multiple studies have found patients who underwent surgical procedures were deficient in nutrients.
Weight-loss medication can also inhibit nutrient absorption, especially the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, and E.
Some prescription drugs, for example, cholesterol-lowering are linked to fat-soluble vitamin deficiencies. For healthy hair, we all need to take due care of medication.
Combating Dietary Nutritional Deficiencies
If you have a medical condition or following any of the eating plans, reconsider it. This makes your hair-thin. Consider dietary changes or supplements to combat your hair loss.
Fat-soluble vitamins such as A and D need fat to dissolve, and our body stores them in our tissues. Once stored, these vitamins tend to stay.
So consuming too much of a fat-soluble vitamin supplement can lead to hair loss. Avoid consuming fat-soluble vitamin supplements without consulting a doctor.
If you’re concerned about hair loss apply topical treatments under the supervision of a doctor.
Examine Your Scalp for Hair Loss
A variety of scalp conditions can develop that lead to hair thinning and loss. Examine your scalp for lesions, scaly patches, blisters, red tender areas, itchy patches, and hairless sections.
Scalp sores, pimples, and bumps can be the result of bacterial infection, ringworm, Folliculitis. These common fungal infections must be treated to avoid permanent hair loss.
Cicatricial alopecia, group of rare disorders that destroy hair follicles resulting in permanent hair loss.
Conditions that cause scaly or itchy patches on the scalp include:
- Psoriasis, a chronic inflammatory condition that causes dry, itchy, red areas with white scales also is examined.
- Alopecia areata (an autoimmune disorder that causes smooth bald patches)
- Lichen planopilaris, rare inflammatory condition that affects young women and can lead to permanent hair loss.
Scalp conditions beyond these can also cause temporary or permanent hair loss. Many conditions observed differently in different people or have multiple symptoms. Such as, psoriasis can cause sores and scabs in addition to dry, red areas.
Most of these scalp conditions require treatment to eliminate or manage.
Review Your Medications for Hair Loss
It’s now proved that chemotherapy and radiation to treat cancer cause significant hair loss, but those are not the only ones. Dozens of medications can cause hair loss.
If you’re taking medications for blood thinning or cholesterol-lowering, those can also a reason for hair loss. Antidepressants to treat depression causes to start hair fall.
The medication is taken for high blood pressure, thyroid disorders, Parkinson’s, or antacids, which are also the reason for hair loss. Hormones including birth control might be causing your hair to fall out.
Usually, once the medication is completed and stopped, your hair will start to grow back in about three to six months. Your hair can take 12 to 18 months for it to return to its previous state.
If you’re taking a drug that causes hair loss for an indefinite period, consult your doctor. They may suggest an equally effective substitute that doesn’t cause this unwanted side effect.
You can take the help of some hair care products from reputed manufacturers. Make sure the products are FDA approved. These types of products help deliver nutrients directly to hair follicles, so they will help you grow hair back.
Change Your Hairstyle or Treatments
If you frequently wear tight buns, cornrows, weaves, braids, hair extensions, ponytails, or tight headwear, it creates tension to hair follicles. The constant tension on your hair follicles can cause a type of hair loss called traction alopecia.
Traction alopecia is not a medical condition and is 100% reversible. This is only possible when your hair follicles are not permanently damaged.
When you experience itching, redness, small pimples, or patches of broken hair and bare scalp around the areas your hair has endured repeated strain. Those are the symptoms that you may have developed traction alopecia.
Your hair relaxers and other chemical treatments can change the hair shaft and cause traction alopecia.
You are suggested to change your hairstyle frequently. Also, avoid tight hairstyles and headwear to prevent permanent damage to follicles. This will help you combat premature hair loss.
Assess Your Hair Care Products and Routine
In quest of healthy hair, we sometimes use more products and styling tools. Relaxers, perms, and some hairstyles damage our hair, but even hair care products and routines can too.
Use a mild shampoo that doesn’t strip your hair and scalp of moisture. Always use the best conditioner. You need to use a conditioner on your hair, especially if your hair is long. Also try to minimize the use of hairsprays, gels, and styling formulas that contain drying agents.
You should also wash your hair regularly, but not necessarily daily. If you regularly work in the dirt, dust, or polluted area, you’ll probably need to wash your hair more often.
How you wash makes a difference too! Use the least amount of shampoo you can and only gently massage it into your scalp. Your hair strands don’t usually require washing. If so you will only end up with more tangles and breakage of hair.
Use your fingers to distribute conditioner throughout your hair. Rinse thoroughly and gently squeeze water out of your hair before you get out of the shower.
Avoid using conditioner directly on your scalp, or it can lead to build-ups. Consider using a cleanser designed specifically for detoxing and removing buildup.
Best Practices to Avoid Hair Loss After Cleansing
If you’ve been reaching for a towel and rubbing it everywhere your head, stop!
Wrap your hair within the towel or use it to wipe and squeeze the water out of your hair carefully.
Gently comb or brush your hair while it’s still damp, starting at the ends. Slowly work out any tangles. If your hair is at risk of tangles, you’ll use a mild, non-drying de-tangler.
You should always dry your hair with natural air. If you use a dryer, use the lowest heat setting and use a protective heat spray. Avoid using curling or straightening irons, especially if your hair remains damp.
As much as, avoid hair thickening products. They can make your hair appear thicker temporarily. Always use products that promote and stimulate growth. Make sure product content includes such as amino acids, caffeine, biotin, zinc, and plant extracts.
Visit Your Doctor
It is usual to experience some hair loss and thinning hair as we age. Especially if you’re younger than 40 or your hair loss is sudden, consult your doctor immediately.
Don’t just assume hair loss is a normal part of aging. Hair loss is often one of the first signs of a serious medical condition. If you’re already taking medication, be sure to let your doctor know.
Premature Hair Loss Is Often Reversible
Thin hair and hair loss can make us miserable, but many of the causes are treatable, especially if caught early.
Your hair health is the mirror of your overall health. Take due care of any premature or sudden hair loss. Let your hair be healthy and you live a pleasurable life.
If you like the steps shared here, do share them with your loved ones. So, they will also get benefited. Put your thoughts about hair loss in the comment section. Or correct us, if we are mistaken anywhere.