On an average you lose 50 strands of hair a day. This natural shedding of hair occurs during the course of the day as you do your natural activities. This is part of the hair renewal process. Scalp hair grows about one-half inch a month. As people age, the rate of their hair growth slows down. Natural blondes typically have more hair than brunettes or redheads. However most people suffer from excessive hair loss at some point in their life. But things get dangerous when this period lasts for a long time. Sometimes this hair loss is irreversible. The loss of hair may not be a physical health problem but it definitely affects the individual mentally. If he cannot reconcile with his changed appearance, he/she could find it extremely difficult to emotionally cope with hair loss.
The reasons for hair loss are stress, hereditary, radiation, chemotherapy, hormonal changes, nutritional factors, exposure to chemicals, thyroid disease, medication, and skin diseases. Hormones are the biggest culprits when it comes to hair loss. Male pattern balding and female thinning of hair is primarily caused by hormonal changes. It is caused by the androgen DHT, or Di-hydrotestosterone. However, everyone produces DHT and not everyone suffers from balding. This leads us to the conclusion that those who suffer from hair loss have a greater number of Androgen receptors for the DHT to respond to. The number of follicles that a person has is determined by his genes, this also plays a role in the production of DHT. Cosmetics also play a role in hair loss. Many men and women use shampoos that contain ingredients that are not compatible with the composition of their hair. People also use colors, dyes, tints and bleaches on their hair. A hairstyle that is very tight on the scalp could cause loss of hair on the sides. Excessive combing with a fine-toothed comb could also create a problem. Hairdryers should be avoided as far as possible and wearing a tight fitting cap or hat could cause uneven bald patches because it cuts into the scalp.
Improper nutrition could either exacerbate an existing problem or create a new one. The protein and calcium content in the food must be adequate and one needs to take proper rest. It you are ill the chances of hair loss are high. Post pregnancy a woman loses hair because of the hormonal changes that occur. But within six months the situation is back to normal. High fever and thyroid problems can cause hair loss. Cancer patients who are undergoing chemotherapy lose up to 90 percent of their scalp hair. This occurs one to three weeks after the treatment. But the hair will re-grow after treatment ends. When women use birth control pills as contraceptives they could lose hair because these pills cause hormonal imbalances. If the pills are discontinued then the hair shedding will stop after a few months. Women who have heavy menstrual periods may develop iron deficiency which occasionally produces hair loss.
Stress can cause hair loss in some people. Usually it occurs 3 months after the stressful event has occurred and may take about 3 months after the stress period has ended for the hair to start growing normally. It is temporary if the individual does not have a family history of hair loss. Many African-American men and women braid their hair or wear hair weaves. Under normal conditions these cause no problems. However if the attachment of weaves or wrapping of the braids is too tight, they put a constant strain on the hair follicle. This could lead to hair loss. This kind of hair loss is known as Traction Alopecia.
When confronted with thinning hair or baldness, men and some women consider hair transplantation, which is a permanent form of hair replacement. Hair transplantation is also more popularly known as hair weaving. Anyone who has suffered permanent hair loss may opt for hair transplantation. Hair transplantation involves moving some hair from hair-bearing portions (donor sites) of the head to bald or thinning portions (recipient sites) and/or removing bald skin. Hair weaving is a surgical procedure that involves a considerable amount of time and money.
A wig is a time-tested and old-fashioned option. But the best option is accorded to those fortunate individuals who are completely at ease with themselves and do not consider their hair as an object to define their personality. These people do nothing about their hair loss and are extremely comfortable going bald.