How Hair Loss Happens and its Prevention Techniques

How Hair Loss Happens and its Prevention Techniques

Hair loss, also known as baldness or alopecia, often leads to psychological distress and even low self-esteem. This is understandable considering that thick, shiny, and healthy hair has always been associated with youth, attractiveness, fertility, and health in adults. Unfortunately, hair loss catches up with some of us one way or another. If you are experiencing signs of baldness, please consult Dr. Ahmad of MINTS Medical Spa Chicago for assistance. In the meantime, let us find out about those signs and what’s fuelling them.

What are the Symptoms of Hair Loss?

Baldness can manifest in different manners depending on the underlying factors. It could be sudden, gradual, exclusive to the scalp, all over the body, temporary, or permanent. Here are the signs:

  • Gradual thinning of hair on top of the head: this type of alopecia affects both sexes and is the most common. It is associated with aging. In men, the hair often begins to recede on the forehead in a letter M pattern. As for women, the hairline mostly remains intact but the middle part in the hair broadens.

  • Patchy bald spots: This type is not so common but some people get smooth bald spots the size of a coin on the scalp. On rare occasions, it also affects beards and eyebrows. Your skin might get itchy before this hair loss kicks in.

  • Sudden Loosening: hair could suddenly become loose as a result of a physical or emotional shock. The hair might fall off when brushing or washing. Instead of bald patches, this type of hair loss results in overall thinning.
  • Patches of scaling spread across the scalp: this indicates the presence of ringworms and is associated with broken hair, swelling, redness, and oozing at times.

  • Full-body hair loss: Medical procedures like chemotherapy could result in hair falling off all over your body. The good news is that the hair will grow back.

What Causes Baldness?

The human hair undergoes constant growth cycles where each strand’s phase is independent of the other. These phases include:

  • anagen (growth phase)
  • catagen (regression phase)
  • telogen (resting phase)
  • exogen (shedding phase)

On average, we lose 100 hairs a day but this is not enough to cause any noticeable thinning because there is new hair growing at the same time. However, when this cycle is disrupted or the hair follicle is destroyed and scarring tissue grows in its place, baldness begins to manifest. Here are the typical factors influencing loss of hair:

Heredity: The most popular driver for hair loss is family history. It is referred to as male-pattern hair loss (MPHL) or female-pattern hair loss (FPHL). This form of alopecia occurs gradually and is easy to predict – the hairline recedes in men while women experience thinning of hair.

Hormonal imbalance: Hormonal changes as a result of pregnancy, childbirth, thyroid issues, or menopause could cause hair loss. Even switching or going off birth controls has been known to influence baldness.

Medicines and Supplements: some drugs such as those issued for cancer, depression, arthritis, gout, heart problems, and hypertension could have hair loss for a side effect. Chemotherapy, especially, is designed to destroy rapidly dividing cells and that includes hair.

Overstyling: vigorous hairstyling (like tight braids, pigtails or cornrows) and excessive use of treatments (chemical relaxers, hot-oil treatments, or any kind of harsh chemicals/ heat) could result in loss of hair. These practices can affect the root of the hair and cause it to never grow back.

How do I Prevent Hair Loss?

Unfortunately, most cases of baldness are as a result of genetics and this means that it cannot be prevented. For the rest, however, here’s what you can do to maintain your precious hair:

  • Avoid harsh treatments and tight hairstyles
  • Avoid medications or supplements that could result in hair loss.
  • If you are undergoing chemotherapy, ask about a cooling cap – it can minimize the risk of losing hair as a result of chemotherapy.
  • Brush/ wash your hair gently and protect your hair from UV light.

So, are you affected by hair loss? We have good news. Contact MINTS Medical Spa Chicago for a chance to explore our state-of-the-art hair rejuvenation techniques such as PRP and Microneedling.

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