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10 reasons why you might be losing hair

By Jagadeesh P
October 24, 2018 08:50 IST
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Did you know that losing weight can also cause hair loss?
At the age of 40, our body begins to lose the ability to regenerate new cells which results in thinning, hairfall and graying of hair, says Jagadeesh P.


Photograph*: Carlo Allegri/Reuters

Everyone experiences hairfall.

An individual generally experiences hair fall during shower, while blow drying or brushing your hair.

On an average, females lose 80 to 100 strands a day.

But if the hair loss is greater than that or if you notice bald spots, there is a high chance your scalp isn't healthy.

Here are 10 lesser known reasons of hair loss and how you can overcome them:

1. Physical or mental stress

Mental stress causes scalp problems like generating dandruff, eating disorders and digestive problems.

It is important to take certain measures to cope with stress like yoga, talk therapy, meditation, going on a short trip or spending a little time alone.

Going through a really stressful event physically can impact the hair cycle leading to hair loss.

To overcome this, you need to take good care of your diet and health as well as oiling your hair on a regular basis can improve the conditions of the scalp.

2. Hormonal imbalance

Hormones play an important role in monitoring hair growth cycle.

Females hormones (Oestrogens) are hair friendly keeping the hair growth intact whereas male hormones (Androgens) aren’t hair friendly which is why they have a short hair growth cycle.

Several different types of hormonal imbalances can lead to shedding of hair.

This can be treated if we understand the importance of adopting healthy lifestyle, adding nutrition and supplements for the growth of hair.

The best way to prevent your hair from excessive thinning due to hormonal changes is oiling your scalp on a daily basis or applying aloe vera gel as well as including natural supplements in your diet.

3. Hereditary

Hereditary is another reason why one tends to lose hair.

If the problem runs within the family, there is a high cause that the same can happen to you as well.

It’s a natural condition that can be diagnosed by the history of the same disease there is a high chance that it has happened in the family.

It is advised to visit the dermatologist to improve the scalp conditions and get a hold of the hairfall problems.

4. Ageing

As we age, the hair becomes less dense and the scalp is easily visible. Also it is not as bouncy as it used to be.

At the age of 40, our body begins to lose the ability to regenerate new cells which results in thinning, hairfall and graying of hair.

The scalp tightens and inhibits new strands. It is a part of the normal ageing process.

To stop this issue, it is essential to increase the intake of balanced diet with proteins, minerals and vitamins to reduce the thinning of the hair.

You can even opt for products that contain hazelnut oil or tea tree oil to nourish your scalp and hair.

5. Nutritional problems

The diet has a lot to do with the hair loss problems as it depends on what we eat or we don't eat that leads to hair growth.

Without the intake of minerals and vitamins, there are high chances of damage in your hair cycle.

Some of the most common nutritional imbalances that cause hair loss include the following.

Lack of protein

Hair is made of protein.

The body blocks hair growth if the diet doesn’t have enough protein.

Thus involving protein in your diet can enhance your hair growth.

A protein-rich diet with eggs, fish and meat is a must to combat your body's lack of protein. Vegetarians can opt for soy and cheese.

Anemia or lack of iron

On an average, 10 per cent women suffers from anemia due to iron deficiency which is another cause of hair loss.

Iron deficiency leads to headaches, shortness of breath or dizziness.

Adding iron supplement in your diet can fix the problem and therefore intake of rich iron fruits like beetroot, carrot or leafy vegetables is necessary.

To prevent your hair from starving out through minerals and vitamins and protecting yourself from nutrients deficiency, start eating food that contains the vital nutrients important for your cells.

Oranges, mangoes, cauliflower and tomatoes contain Vitamin C, whilst protein can be found in meats, eggs, fish, yogurt and beans.

Whole-grain cereals and dark green leafy vegetables are great for providing you with iron, plus you will need zinc-rich foods like nuts, chickpeas and sweet potatoes.

6. Overstyling

One of the causes of rigorous hairfall is extensive over styling and hair treatments.

Tight braids, hair weaves or corn rows is examples of extreme styling that causes traction alopecia, or gradual hair loss.

The chemical relaxers like hot oil treatments, straightening your hair or use of harsh chemical can actually affect the hair root making your hair weak to be able to regrow.

To protect your hair from the damage caused due to overstyling, scalp massages are great for effective hair regrowth whereas olive oil, castor oil and unrefined coconut oil make for fabulous massage agents.

7. Weight loss

A sudden weight loss also affects your hair growth and results in hair thinning.

This could happen even if the weight loss is ultimately good for you.

There is a possibility that the weight loss itself is stressing your body and not eating right results in vitamin and mineral deficiencies.

Anorexia or bulimia is an eating disorder caused due to loss of hair along with noticeable weight loss.

Usually you start losing hair after three to six months of your weight loss.

To prevent hair loss when losing weight, make sure to include meats, whole grains, fruits and vegetables into your diet as they are rich in protein, iron, vitamin A, vitamin C and zinc, all of which are essential components for hair growth.

8. Trichotillomania (hair-pulling)

Trichotillomania is a mental disorder, classified as an impulse control disorder that causes people to compulsively pull their hair from the scalp, eyebrows or other areas of their bodies.

In general, trichotillomania is a chronic condition that will come and go throughout an individual’s life if the disorder is not treated on time.

For some individuals, the disorder may come and go for weeks, months, or years at a time.

It occurs more frequently in women, and it’s estimated that 1 to 2 per cent of adults and adolescents suffer from it.

The repeated pulling of your hair can damage your hair follicles, resulting in bald patches and near permanent hair loss.

It can also be highly distressing, as it can interfere with your social and work functioning.

The treatment for this disease is limited and hence advised to seek a therapy or medication from the dermatologist.

Although medications clearly help some people temporarily, symptoms are likely to return when the medication is stopped unless therapy is incorporated into treatment.

9. Environmental changes

The stress of heat, humidity, change in weather conditions thin your hair.

This is perfectly normal. But if the shedding increases or ceases to stop after the change of season, one should definitely visit the doctor.

Another reason of hairfall due to seasonal changes is air pollution.

Smoking causes discolouration specifically on bleached blonde hair and a poor diet can weaken the hair, cause it to fall prematurely and lead to hair loss.

It is said that regular smokers suffer excessive hair loss that those who do not smoke.

10. Hypothyroidism

It's a medical term for thyroid disease.

The body's metabolism is regulated by controlling the production of proteins and tissue use of oxygen.

Thyroid imbalance can therefore affect hair follicles.

If not treated on time, it results in anemia which is another cause of hair loss.

 Lead image published only for representational purposes.

The author Jagadeesh P is trainer, Paul Mitchell India, a haircare solutions company.


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