Are you suffering from hair loss as you age? Whether you are male or female - hair loss can be a real kick to the confidence. It can be caused by a number of factors from genetics, to hormones, to stress or illness. Browse our selection of hairloss sprays and shampoos to support hair growth or help conceal hair loss.
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Page updated 06/04/18 12:47:36 p.m.
Some common facts about hair loss
Daily shedding of hair is normal but shedding in larger quantities after combing or brushing could be a concern. Many conditions and illnesses, as well as improper hair care, can result in hair loss. The most common cause of hair loss is hereditary thinning or baldness. Male pattern baldness usually begins in later life. It starts with a receding hairline, then the crown hair gets thinner and eventually leaves a horseshoe shape. Pattern baldness in women tends to affect post-menopausal women. It is characterised by thinning hair on top of the head. It is estimated that around half of all men will experience some kind of hair loss by the time they reach the age of 50.
What are the common causes of hair loss?
Hair loss causes can be categorised in the following way:
- Family history or hereditary - medically known as male-pattern baldness or female- pattern baldness.
- Hormonal changes - as well as hormonal imbalances can cause temporary hair loss. This can be due to pregnancy, childbirth or onset of menopause.
- Patchy hair loss - a non-scarring hair loss, this is also called alopecia areata. It happens when the body's immune system attacks hair follicles, which eventually causes sudden hair loss. This results in smooth, round shaped bald patches on the scalp.
- Scalp infections - examples of these are ringworm, which infiltrates the hair and skin of the scalp. It again leads to scaly patches and hair loss. The good thing about this is once the infection is treated, the hair generally grows back.
- Other types of skin disorders - other skin conditions that cause scarring alopecia can eventually lead to permanent loss of hair in the spot that has been scarred. Examples of these are lichen planus, some types of lupus and sarcoidosis.
- Hair pulling disorder - also known as trichotillomania, is the irresistible urge to pull out hair, whether from the scalp, eyebrows or other areas of the body.
- Medication - certain drugs used for cancer, arthritis, depression, heart problems, high blood pressure and birth control can cause hair loss.
- Medical treatments - most common are radiation therapy to the head and chemotherapy. Hair re-growth may be different from what it used to be.
- Trigger event - this can happen several months after experiencing physical or emotional trauma. The most common are sudden or excessive weight loss, high fever, surgery, or even death in the family.
- Excessive hair styling and pulling the hair too tight can cause traction alopecia. Hot oil hair treatments and permanent hair colour can cause inflammation of the hair follicles that can eventually lead to permanent hair loss.
What are the psycho-social impacts of hair loss?
Hair loss has the potential to cause a big emotional impact in both men and women. Media depictions of beauty often involve thick and healthy hair as a beauty standard, which can exacerbate the effects of this. People who experience hair loss may experience social and psychological impacts, including
- Perception that it is the end of youth.
- Negative self-image and low self-esteem.
- Embarrassment and loss of confidence.
- Depression and anxiety.
- Social teasing and humiliation.
How to cope with the psycho-social impacts of hair loss Here is a quick list of positive ideas:
Remember that losing hair is not a life threatening condition. It may be unpleasant but you can definitely live with it. Put your baldness in perspective. True friends and family will accept you for who you are and not for how much hair you have. Remind yourself that you have many other positive attributes to offer. Be proactive and work with a beauty expert to find a hairstyle that will suit you. If the emotional impact of losing hair has already got in the way of your daily life, it might be the perfect time to seek professional help. If losing hair is temporary and is related to a medical treatment, remember that it will grow back. Perhaps you could have some fun experimenting with wigs, or hair extensions and add-ons in the meantime.
What are the treatment options? Depending on the cause and condition of the hair loss, here are some of the options:
For pattern baldness treatment, there are only 2 drugs that were approved as effective by the FDA. Regro
(Regain or Rogaine) (topical minoxidil) and Propecia (finasteride). For permanent baldness, hair transplant is a popular option. Another option is scalp reduction. It is a surgery that involves removing the part of the scalp that does not grow hair anymore in order to stretch the part that still grows hair.
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Page updated 06/04/18 12:47:36 p.m.