What is Hair Loss?
Believe it or not, the average head holds about 100,000 to 150,000 strands of hair. Science says each person can lose up to 100 strands a day. It’s quite surprising but it’s normal. So, when you see some streaks of hair left on your tub, pillow or hairbrush, don’t panic! Ask yourself how extremely heavy the hair fall is. Be alarmed if the amount of hair you are losing causes bald patches in your head. It’s a clear sign that you are experiencing hair loss.
Hair loss is a condition where hair falls off the scalp, either temporarily or permanently. It is affected by many factors and may occur in several patterns. A receding hairline is the number one sign of this condition, especially among men.
Why is It More Prevalent in Men?
Most men are genetically programmed to eventually experience hair loss. It typically starts at the temples, gradually receding to form an M-pattern. It’s commonly known as “male-pattern baldness” due to the male hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT gives men their male characteristics. It is responsible for the armpit hair, chest hair, and beards that are distinguishing male features.
Men with this condition experience shrinking of hair follicles. The hair strands become finer, thinner, and shorter each cycle of hair growth. It continues until no hair grows back. About twenty-five percent (25%) of men begin to bald when they reach thirty. By the age of sixty, about two-thirds are either bald or have a balding pattern. Although this is common among men, this is not the sole reason why men experience hair loss.
Other Common Causes of Hair Loss
Frequently eating less desirable food with negative effects on the body could destroy your appearance. Too much of fatty, sweet, or salty food could be harmful to you. Hair loss is often a symptom of nutritional deficiency. Lack of iron, or having too much vitamin A intake can be a cause of hair loss.
People with anemia or a thyroid problem may experience temporary falling out of hair. There are also certain scalp infections that cause shedding of hair on affected areas, including:
- Fungal infections (such as tinea capitis)
- Demodex folliculorum
- Secondary syphilis
- Dissecting cellulitis
A temporary or permanent hair loss can occur when taking certain drugs such as medications for heart diseases. These health conditions need blood thinners, which affects the nourishment and growth of new hair. High doses of vitamin A and anabolic steroids used to build muscles have similar effects.
The radiation used to treat cancer patients during chemotherapy causes hair loss as well. It affects the normal hair growth and results to 90% of hair falling off during the process.
Stress or Trauma
Severe stress and trauma could result in a type of hair loss called telogen effluvium. It causes the premature resting state of hair follicles. Acute shock can result to as much as 70% of hair loss in two months after the shock.
Poor Hair Care Practices
Men typically have stronger arms and forceful moves than the opposite sex. But, you need to be more gentle when it comes to your hair. The following hair care practices may cause hair to uproot:
- Aggressive combing
- Rapid and aggressive rubbing (e.g. when using shampoo)
- Forceful towel drying
How to Combat Hair Loss (and Even Grow Some Back) Naturally
Unless your case of hair loss is part of a medical procedure, there are still ways for you to prevent balding. Even with genetically imprinted cases, certain methods can be done to help (if not stop) slow it down. Healthy Hair Lifestyles gives you the best practical ways to do it the natural way.
Begin with personal lifestyle changes. This is the cheapest method that mostly depends on you – your willingness and discipline to go about it.
If under too much stress lately, try meditation or do your favorite exercise routine. If you are predisposed to balding, stress can speed up the process. Either a high level of fitness regimen or traditional yoga can help control your stress.
When it comes to your diet, include more high-protein and iron-rich dishes. Eat lean meats, fish, soy, and other nutritious foods. Although food rich vitamin A is generally good, try to eat less of them when experiencing hair loss.
Practice proper hair care as well. Avoid harsh chemical-based cleansers that damage the hair follicles. Make it a habit to massage your hair and scalp gently when washing. This helps stimulate blood flow and hair growth without uprooting some strands.
Effective Home Remedies
Look for weapons to fight hair loss right at the comfort of your home. There are many kitchen items out there you didn’t know you could use against hair loss. Here are a few examples:
- Juices of garlic, onion or ginger: Apply any of these herbal juices on the scalp. Leave it overnight and rinse the following day.
- Egg and olive oil: Blend well 1 egg and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Apply the mixture to the scalp and hair. Leave for 30 minutes and rinse well using shampoo and water.
- Basil and fenugreek spices: Combine 1 teaspoon basil powder, 2 teaspoons fenugreek powder, ½ cup aloe vera gel and 1 tablespoon castor oil. Mix them well until paste. Apply it to scalp and hair thoroughly then cover with a shower cap. Leave for 2 to 3 hours before finally rinsing.
Natural Hair Treatments
Many topical solutions for hair loss are available in most leading drugstores or online today. You can go for the natural options that contain natural ingredients. Using pure essential oils are also powerful natural hair treatments for hair loss. They are rich in nutrients, moisture, and antioxidants that promote healthy scalp and hair growth. Some of the best and popular ones you should try are:
- Castor Oil
- Argan Oil
- Coconut Oil
- Jojoba Oil
- Rosemary Oil
- Safflower Oil
How to Use Essential Oils: Gently massage essential oils to the scalp. The combined action of massage and the nourishment from the oil activate hair follicles. They stimulate blood flow that triggers hair growth. The oils are also naturally rich in moisture that helps keep hair vibrantly healthy.