The reasons for hair loss (clinically known as Alopecia) in men can vary greatly. The following can be the probable reasons, single or combined, behind your hair loss.
Hereditary: If you have anyone in your family, parents, grandparents or cousins, who is struggling with less hair or thinning of hair or balding, it’s likely that you’re carrying the V gene, responsible for depleting hair. This gene may get stimulated by changes in hormone levels.
Hormonal changes: This may be a cause in both males and females, particularly the latter. There are basically three phases in the life of a woman, where she goes through physiological changes and hormonal fluctuations, making her highly susceptible to hair loss: at the time of puberty, when menarche sets in; post-pregnancy, when the hormone levels drop down after delivery of the baby; and around the time of menopause. Hormonal fluctuations may also occur in pathological conditions, like fibroid, PCOS (polycystic ovaries syndrome), and non-gynaecological conditions like diabetes and thyroid disorders. Women suffering from these conditions should also consult their doctor on how best to maintain hair care in times of stress, besides seeking treatment to correct the underlying condition.
Telogen effluvium: It’s a condition in which sudden hair fall occurs, in times of stress. The stress can be physical or mental. Physiologic stress could occur in patients suffering from long term illness like typhoid, the stress of surgery, those on heavy antibiotics for long, improper sleep for months, etc; while mental stress persisting for more than 3-4 months could lead to hormonal imbalance and thereby, hair loss. Stress could also be seen due to nutritional insufficiency in teenagers who are on an ill-advised diet. The growth of hair is cyclic, including a growing phase and a falling phase. Telogen effluvium is where growing hair, triggered by stress, suddenly falls into the fall phase. This loss is temporary, and new growth appears within a year, provided you deal with the stressful condition and take additional nutritional supplements.
Nutritional deficiency: Hair is made up of a protein called keratin; hence a diet rich in protein would contribute to its healthy growth. Hair cells, being the second fastest growing cells in the body, also need a lot of energy; so a diet with recommended calorie allowance is essential. Vitamins and minerals are also required for growth of thick, shiny hair. A deficiency in B-complex vitamins, especially B5, B7, B12, vitamins C, D, zinc, iron and minerals would compromise with hair thickness, its quality and shine. It’s advised that you consult your doctor, get blood tests done for evaluation as per history, and take additional nutritional supplements to correct any deficiency, if detected.
Heavy Medications: Patients fighting cancer, may have another battle on their hands, albeit not life-threatening. Because the chemotherapy and radiation used in the management of cancer come with complications of severe hair loss. Also, patients who are on beta blockers for hypertension, blood thinners, oral contraceptives, long-term antibiotics may experience hair loss. This is temporary, and once the offending drug has been discontinued, normal hair growth resumes.Skin diseases: Skin diseases like psoriasis, ringworm infections, may also afflict the scalp skin, leading to dry scaling skin and dense dandruff that can’t be treated by home remedies like curd or aloe vera juice. These conditions may turn serious if not treated early and could cause permanent hair loss.
Alopecia Areata: It’s an autoimmune condition, where you have an overactive immune system, that attacks hair follicles of your own body. Hair loss can occur in patches or in whole; from the scalp, as well as from other places on the body. It’s usually reversible, and regrowth appears within a year. But if not treated, it could turn into a serious condition, recurring at intervals, causing hair loss from all over the body. Plus, it also leads to emotional disturbances and psychological stress, due to self-image issues.
So having learnt about the common causes of hair loss, you can be better equipped to combat it. Gear up, and win back your precious hair!
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