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Health & Wellbeing
August 29, 2022
Hair loss can be an embarrassing issue for both males and females. Research has shown that hair loss can have more than a physical impact and affect people psychologically, resulting in low self-esteem, depression and feelings of unattractiveness.
While hair shedding is part of normal and natural process, hair loss where the hair being lost is not being replaced by new growth can indicate an underlying condition. This could be related to a nutrient deficiency, health conditions, medications, or lifestyle factors such as stress. Hair loss caused by these factors can often be remedied, by removing the cause. Hair loss can also be caused by genetic factors.
We look at the different types of hair loss, and treatments available.
There are several different types of hair loss, some of which include:
The most common of the three is Androgenetic Alopecia, a hereditary type of hair loss that affects up to 50% of people and most commonly occurs with aging. It is caused by a genetically determined sensitivity that effects dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which shortens the growth phase of the hair cycle from 3-6 years to just weeks or months. There are several genes involved which will affect the age of onset, pattern, and severity. The onset is usually gradual and affects both males and females and is unpreventable.
In males, the hair loss pattern is usually progressive affecting the temples and thinning at the crown of the head in an “M” shape. In females, the hair loss pattern typically results in thinning all over the scalp.
Anagen effluvium occurs during the anagen stage of the growth cycle, where there is disruption to the cell division in the hair matrix. This causes the hair to narrow at the base and makes it susceptible to breakage. The cause of anagen effluvium is usually due to infection, medication, or drugs (such as chemotherapy or radiation), or autoimmune disease. This type of hair loss can occur in individuals of any age or gender and is reversible once the cause of the hair loss is removed.
In contrast, Telogen effluvium is a temporary cause of hair loss where there is a change in the number of hair follicles growing hair. It typically occurs to telogen hairs after stress or shock to the system. Research suggests that it is the second most treated type of hair loss. This type of hair loss is reversible, and like Anagen effluvium will often resolve after the cause of the hair loss is identified and removed.
Other common reasons for hair loss can be due to aging, hair care, pregnancy, and hormonal imbalances.
Treatment for hair loss depends on the type of hair loss that the individual has, and it is important to speak with your healthcare professional first to ensure you understand the type of hair loss you are experiencing.
Genetic causes of hair loss can be harder to treat, however some prescription medications can slow down and prevent further loss. For hair loss related to disruptions to hair growth cycle, generally no treatment is required as the hair will re-grow on its own. There are however several different treatments available, ranging from medical procedures such as laser hair growth therapy, to hair restoring treatments such as serums and shampoo/conditioners which work to encourage follicles to grow.
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