We probably notice someone’s hair as soon as we meet them. Hairs are part of us that show our self-expression.
Not only on our head, but hairs are also present on almost every body’s part, excluding the palms of the hands, soles of the feet, and lips. But, most concerns about hair are related to the hair on the head. The hair on the head keeps our head warm and protects the skull by providing a cushioning effect.
Keratin (a type of protein) is a chief component of hairs. Hair grows at the root inside a small tubular hair follicle. Except for the hair root inside the follicle, all the hair structure is a dead keratinized cell. Every condition or disease mainly affects these hair follicles.
Common hair problems
Mostly, everyone suffers from hair problems once in a while. The most common hair problems are:
- Hair loss
- Disorders causing itchy and scaly scalp
- Grey hair
- Infections of the scalp, including folliculitis (bacterial infection of a hair follicle)
- Lice infestation
Hair loss is the most common hair problem nowadays. Let’s find out more about hair loss.
What is hair loss?
Hair loss (alopecia) is a prime concern for males and females. It can occur anywhere in our body, but hair loss on the scalp is more common. Shedding some hair (between 50 to 100 strands) every day is common, but if you experience hair shedding more than these, it comes under hair loss problem. Hair loss can be a temporary or permanent condition. Sudden and acute loss of enormous hair strands can be due to stress, side effects of a disease, after delivery of a baby, or sudden change of locality. Permanent hair loss or baldness can be hereditary or disease-induced.
Most men suffer from the male pattern baldness, a hair-deficit patch on the top of the head with a receding hairline. Women can also suffer from female pattern baldness in which hair becomes thin all over the scalp with the receding of the hairline.
There are many types of hair loss (alopecia), such as:
- Involutional alopecia: It is a natural age-related hair thinning
- Alopecia areata: Patchy hair loss in both children and adults. It can turn into alopecia totalis (complete baldness).
- Androgenic alopecia: A genetic hair loss condition affecting both men (male pattern baldness) and women (female pattern baldness).
- Alopecia Universalis: All body hair, including eyelashes, eyebrows, and pubic hair, falls out.
- Telogen effluvium: This temporary hair thinning occurs due to disruption in the normal growth cycle of hair. Mostly, it is due to stress after childbirth, surgery, or post-illness.
- Trichotillomania: A psychological disorder in children in which a person pulls out their hair.
- Scarring alopecia: This results in permanent hair loss due to various inflammatory conditions (folliculitis, cellulitis, or acne), skin disorders (lichen planus or lupus variety), too tightly hair woven in bands (traction alopecia)
- Anagen effluvium: Rapid hair loss after medical treatment, such as chemotherapy
Treatment of hair loss
Treatment depends on the type and severity of the hair loss. It includes:
- Diet: It plays a crucial role in hair loss prevention. A balanced food rich in vitamin biotin, riboflavin, B12, D, and minerals like iron promotes hair growth.
- Haircare: Hair requires special treatment and care, just like other body organs. The hair care routine includes oiling, regular washing, and conditioning.
- Keep the scalp clean: It is a crucial step for hair loss prevention. When we don’t clean our scalp, many impurities, dirt, and sweat accumulate in hair follicles, which block nutritional and blood supply to follicles, leading to hair fall and other hair conditions. So, keep your scalp clean and healthy for better hair growth.
- Reduce hair styling and coloring: constant heat styling or coloring chemicals weakens hair protein and damage hair follicles. Excessive use of these things can cause permanent hair loss conditions.
- Chose the right hair care products: Continuously changing hair products and using many products can directly impact our hair health. So, choose hair care products according to your scalp and hair type.
- Medication: If the cause of hair loss is an illness or skin disorder, your doctor may recommend some medications after a thorough diagnosis of the route cause. Medicines are also available for hereditary baldness.
- Hair transplant surgery: A doctor can recommend a hair transplant for permanent hair loss or baldness.
- Laser therapy: Low-level laser therapy can be a treatment of choice for pattern baldness in both men and women.
A change in lifestyle and eating habits may improve hair loss issues. But, if the condition is not improving, consult your doctor for needed advice.