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Are you losing hair?

Posted Sep 18 2010 12:00am

Hair loss is distressing for most people.  Hair goes through continuous cycles of growth, rest, and shedding. If the hair lost is not replaced, or if hair follicles rest longer than usual, you notice hair loss. Knowing why it happens can help take action. 

Sebum buildup: Sebum buildup in the follicles attacks the hair bulb rooted in the follicle causing it to shrink and loosen the hair. When this hair falls, the new hair that grows is weak and thin. Gradually, the hair follicle dies through repeated cycles.

Heredity:  Although there is a dominant tendency for male pattern baldness, female members of a family can be transmitters as well.

Ageing: One usually loses hair between 20 and 50 years of age. This happens sooner for some people and becomes more obvious.

Stress and nervous disorders:  Stress makes  a large number of hair follicles to rest longer and fall simultaneously. 

Drugs and radiation: This includes anticoagulants, antidepressants, contraceptive pills, amphetamines,   arthritis medications,  antibiotics, some blood thinners, medicines for gout, drugs derived from vitamin-A, certain drugs for ulcers, beta blocker drugs for high blood pressure.

Chemotherapy and radiation can stop hair follicle growth resulting in sudden hair loss.

Cosmetic chemicals: This includes bleaching, permanents, coloring.

Immune System Disorder: Alopecia areata, an immune system disorder stops the production of hair from hair follicles. Sometimes, this can result in total hair loss. 

Poor Blood Circulation: This includes poor blood flow to the scalp and insufficient nutrients in the blood, or poor drainage of waste products through the lymphatic systems

Hormonal Imbalance: An imbalance in the male and female hormones, androgens and estrogens, or hyper/hypothyroidism can cause hair loss.

Illness and severe infections: These can cause fungal infections, Thyroid disorders, Hyperthyroidism, Hypothyroidism, Diabetes, Lupus.

Menopause:  Hormonal changes after menopause can thin hair.  Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) can also cause hair loss.

Pregnancy: Three to six months after baby is born, mothers experience hair loss. 

Pulling: Tightly braided hairstyles, constant hair pulling, tight pony tails, curling tongs, rollers - can all cause hair loss.  
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