Hair fall is a very common condition and affects most people at some point in their lives. The hair follows a specific growth cycle due to which one can shed 50-100 hairs per day and it is considered normal. Some of the types of hair fall are involutional alopecia, androgenic alopecia, alopecia areata, alopecia universalis and male/female pattern baldness. Alopecia is a condition where a person undergoes various forms of hair damage, hair thinning or hair loss in any part of the body. Ageing is the most natural cause of hair loss. The human scalp has about 120000-140000 hair strands and loss of more than 100 strands per day calls for medical attention. Stress, pregnancy, exposure to sunlight, chemotherapy, can cause sudden/acute hair loss. Even obesity or hypothyroidism can contribute to acute hair loss. It is advised to consult a trichologist, who is a hair expert for appropriate measures.
Hair Growth Cycle
A protein known as keratin, is generated in the hair follicles. Follicles also produce new hair cells and remove the old ones. The hair is made up of these dead keratinized cells. At any given point in time, the hair on the scalp keeps growing at a different pace. Each follicle has its own process of growth and covers it at its own pace depending on factors like age, nutrition, illness, and ethnicity. Due to this cycle, only some hairs are shed in a day
There are 3 stages in the hair growth cycle-
The Anagen Phase-
This phase is known as the hair growth phase which ranges from 2 to 7 years. Most of the time the hair is in the growth phase and increase about 1 cm to 0.5 inches in 28 days. The span of this stage is mainly determined by the lifestyle and genes of the person.
The Catagen Phase-
It indicates the end of the existing growth phase and stays for 10-14 days. At any point, at least 1% of hair stands in this phase.
The Telogen Phase -
When the hair breaks, it is known as the resting phase. The hair stays in the follicle till then and releases. At least 10-15% of the hair is in this stage. Post that, the follicle continues to be dormant for 3 months and then the process starts all over again.
Causes of hair fall
-Lack of proper nutrition
-excessive hair styling and colouring
-Consuming huge amounts of Vitamin A supplements
-Due to male hormones
-Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
-lack of Vitamin B
-sudden weight loss
-burns and X-rays too can cause sudden temporary hair loss
Symptoms of hair fall
-Thinning of hair
-Clumps of hair in the comb
-unexplained hair lossshredding and tearing out hair
-partial hair loss on the scalp and/or eyebrows
If the hair growth cycle is disrupted, hair starts falling & thinning. Excessive shedding and thinning of the hair starts when the hair enters the 2nd phase early. Reasons for such interruption may be caused due to the following reasons
There can be a number of reasons which lead to the disruption of the hair growth cycle, and result in different types of alopecia, such as:
-Regularly wash your hair with a mild shampoo
-Vitamin supplement for hair loss
-Enrich diet with protein
-Scalp massage with essential oils
-Avoid brushing wet hair
-Keep yourself hydrated
-Reduce Alcoholic Beverages
-Avoid Constant heating & drying
In order to treat hair fall, it is imperative to strengthen the hair cells. This can be done by following a balanced and nutritious diet, exercising regularly, sleeping well and choosing the right hair products. Minimizing sources of stress and giving up habits like smoking can help in controlling hair fall. In severe cases, it is best to see a hair expert for a proper diagnosis and an effective treatment plan.