Why do we lose hairs ?
Normal hair grows in cycles and goes through 3 stages:
- A growing phase
- A resting phase
- A falling phase
At any time, it may be normal for a person to lose as many as 50 hairs a day and these usually show up on a comb or brush or at the bottom of the bathtub or sink especially after washing your hair Hair grows at 1 to 2 cm a month.
When does hair loss become abnormal ?
Your hair loss may be abnormal if you are losing more than 100 hairs a day. This may result in a general thinning of hair or in a patchy loss of hair over the scalp and other hair bearing areas such as the beard or eyebrows.
What are the different kinds of hair loss ?
Androgenetic Alopecia -this is the commonest cause of hair loss in both men and women. It is commonly known as male pattern baldness. It is caused by a combination of 3 factors – testoterone (the male hormone), age (after 20 years of age) and hereditary. It usually affects women later in life than men.
Alopecia Areata – this usually results in a patchy loss of hair. The exact cause is unknown.
Telogen Effluvium – diffuse loss of hair which may occur 2 to 4 months
following childbirth or from high fever, acute illness, physical and emotional
stress and crash dieting.
Chronic Illness – eg. iron and other dietary deficiencies. Thyroid diseases,
syphilis and connective tissue disease are examples which may cause hair
Scalp Diseases – fungal and bacterial infection, and other local scalp
Excessive traction on the hair – for example tight curling and hair styles
Drug Induced – anti-cancer drugs and anticoagulants are some of the drugs
which may cause hair loss.