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Hair Care 101: 3 Things That Might Be Causing Your Hair Loss
by Matthew Dello Russo
Each day, the average person sheds 50 to 100 hairs. Generally, this doesn’t cause any noticeable thinning across the scalp since new hairs are constantly growing in. Temporary and permanent hair loss occurs when the cycle of hair growth and shedding is disrupted, leading to a damaged or destroyed hair follicles filled with scar tissue.
The exact cause of your hair loss may not be fully understood, but it can usually be traced to one of the reasons on this list.
The number one cause of hair loss is our genes. The hereditary condition - called male pattern baldness or female pattern baldness - is passed down through the family, and generally occurs in gradual and predictable patterns. The most common signs for men are receding hairlines and bald spots, while women suffer from thinning hair or uneven regrowth cycles.
Heredity also determines the age at which most individuals start to lose hair, the rate that hair is lost, and the extent of baldness. While most hair loss doesn’t begin until later in life, pattern baldness may start as early as puberty for many men and women. Miniaturization of the follicle, or the process of the hair becoming softer, finer, and shorter, is also quite common.
Changes in hormone levels are often responsible for temporary hair loss. These changes or imbalances can be caused by pregnancy, the onset of menopause, or childbirth. In fact, according to WhatToExpect.com, many women experience postpartum hair loss — a "sudden shedding (sometimes in clumps) that many new mothers experience between three and six months after they give birth."
These changes in hormone levels can also be credited to certain birth control pills. For some women, birth control will cause hair to grow at a faster rate; for others, certain hormonal birth controls can contribute to thinner hair.
According to the American Hair Loss Association, "Women who are predisposed to hormonal related hair loss or who are hypersensitive to the hormonal changes taking place in their bodies can experience hair loss to varying degrees while on the pill or more commonly, several weeks or months after stopping the pill."
Hair loss that occurs temporarily as a result of some trauma, stress, or shock to your body is referred to as Telogen Effluvium. While some hair loss is normal, Telogen Effluvium results in excessive hair loss that can be attributed to a disruption in the natural growth and rest cycle of your hair follicles.
At any given time, between 80 and 90 percent of the hair follicles on your head are actively growing. The other 10-20 percent are in the ‘resting’ phase, ensuring healthy and natural regeneration for scalp cells. Extreme emotional or physical trauma often disrupts this cycle, causing hair to fall out in clumps when styled, brushed, or washed. Don’t worry though – this type of hair loss is temporary, and hair decreases as stress levels decrease.
If you or someone you know would like more information about hair loss and how to treat it, please feel free to schedule a consultation or contact one of our representatives today!