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Hair fall is a very common condition and affects most people at some time in their lives. Hair follows a specific growth cycle due to which one can shed 50-100 hairs per day which is normal but when your comb starts getting clogged with hair or you start to notice a receding hairline and bald patches, there might be a problem.
Hair loss isn’t just a cosmetic problem. Although it can be genetic, hair loss can also indicate some form of imbalance in the body.
Hair is made up of a protein called ‘keratin’ that is produced in hair follicles in the outermost layer of the skin. As a person grows old, the rate of hair growth drops.
Hairfall, otherwise known as Alopecia, has many types. Some of these are:
Involutional alopecia: It is a natural condition in which the hairline gradually recedes with age.
Androgenic alopecia: It is a genetic condition which causes male pattern baldness.
Alopecia Areata: This condition usually has a sudden onset resulting in patchy hair loss in children and young adults. This condition may result in complete baldness. However, in a majority of people with the condition, the hair returns within a few years.
Alopecia Universalis: This condition causes all body hair to fall out, including the eyebrows, eyelashes, and pubic hair.
Female pattern baldness: This is a distinctive type of hair loss that occurs in women. Androgenic alopecia in women causes baldness, resulting in hairfall and reduction of hair volume at the scalp.
Common causes of hair loss
Hormones: Abnormal levels of androgens can cause hair loss. It is recommended to check for underlying health conditions to treat the problem of hairfall.
Genes: Genes from both male and female parents influence predisposition to male or female pattern baldness.
Fungal infection: Fungal infections that have a negative impact on the scalp can potentially cause hair loss.
Drugs: Chemotherapy drugs, blood thinners, blood pressure medication, and oral contraceptives have their set of side effects. One of these side effects include
Autoimmune disease: Sometimes, the immune system, for unknown reasons affects the hair follicles resulting in complete baldness. Usually, in such cases, the hair grows back with time.
Cosmetic procedures: Using hair products like shampoo and other hair products like dyes can cause overall hair thinning. Excess blow drying can also cause hairfall.
Medical conditions: Disorders like thyroid disease, diabetes, iron deficiency, and anorexia can cause hair loss. The treatment of the underlying condition can prevent hairfall.
Diet: A low-protein diet or severely calorie-restricted diet restricts nutrition to the hair which can temporarily cause hairfall.
Psychological stress: Psychological or emotional stress can lead to hair loss. In some cases, hair fall can result from physical stress also.
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