Hair Loss: Why It Occurs and How to Treat It
The first step to solving any kind of hair loss problem is to determine the cause. Whether it’s a fungal infection, an autoimmune issue, a genetic inclination, the side effect of a medication, or any other issue, if you can pinpoint the source, there’s a list of potential solutions for you to explore.
Here are some of the most common reasons why hair loss can occur, along with some suggested solutions to help you get your full, healthy head of hair back:
Androgenetic alopecia is the technical way of saying hereditary, or pattern, hair loss. The effects of this condition vary based on sex. In men, it most often occurs in the form of a receding hairline, or as hair loss on the scalp. In women, thinning of the hair is the most common symptom.
The cause of androgenetic alopecia in males is thought to be a combination of genetic predisposition and the presence of the androgen DHT, while the cause in females is as of yet unknown.
There are a number of topical solutions used in the treatment of hair loss. Hair growth creams can promote scalp health while providing nutrients to hair follicles in order to stimulate growth.
If you have any of the following autoimmune diseases:
- Crohn’s Disease
- Hashimoto’s Disease
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
They may be contributing to hair loss. Treating these diseases obviously requires the help of medical professionals, but the hair loss resulting from them can oftentimes be treated separately with the help of a number of different products that provide necessary vitamins and block DHT.
A lack of proper nutrients can lead to hair loss. If the body doesn’t receive enough calories, proteins, certain vitamins such as A, C, D, E, and biotin, or if you’re low on iron, you may start shedding follicles at an excessive rate.
The simple solution to this is to adjust your diet accordingly, but there are also numerous supplements available to help strike the proper balance in your body. There are also certain vitamins that can be used to block DHT, which is the main source of most hair loss.
Side Effects of Certain Medications
If you’re attempting to pinpoint the source of your suddenly thinning hair, you may want to look inside your medicine cabinet.
There are several different medications that can cause hair loss including:
- Blood pressure medication
- Birth control
- Acne medications
- Epilepsy drugs
- Weight loss drugs
The reasons why these drugs can lead to hair loss vary widely; some restrict blood flow, some cause the immune system to attack hair follicles, some deplete the body’s nutrients. The solution, therefore, may be best left to your physician. Consult with a physician about your hair loss and they will help you to better assess the situation.
If you’ve noticed small quarter-sized patches of hair missing from your head, you may have alopecia areata.
Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disorder in which the white blood cells attack hair follicles which leads to hair loss. While there is no cure, there are a number of known treatments, such as steroids and other medications. Topical creams and vitamins can also help stimulate hair growth in alopecia areata sufferers.
Some fungal infections are known to cause hair loss. For example, if ringworm develops in an area where hair grows, the hair in that area may fall out. Folliculitis, or inflammation of the hair follicles, can also cause patches of hair loss in the infected area, and can eventually cause permanent balding if left untreated. The skin condition known as seborrheic dermatitis can affect the scalp and in some cases it can cause infections that inhibit hair growth, as well.
All of these conditions require medical attention, therefore hair loss solutions are not going to be useful until the infection is treated.
Hair Loss Solutions
Some of the best remedies for hair loss have already been suggested above; vitamins, supplements, and topical creams can all help to slow down hair loss and promote regrowth. However, they are not the only options at your disposal if you’re looking to get your full and healthy head of hair back. Certain shampoos and conditioners have been formulated to block enzymes that turn testosterone into DHT.
Low-level laser therapy is another viable solution for hair loss. Irradiating the scalp with photons can help promote circulation, slow the progression of follicle damage, and stimulate hair growth. The therapy is administered by simply wearing a laser cap, making it one of the more unobtrusive hair loss solutions available.