There are many causes behind
hair loss. Sometimes hereditary factors are involved, as well as hormonal
imbalances, diseases, medications, and other external factors like stress,
chemo, and radiation therapy. If you want a more
detailed explanation of the causes of hair loss, click here.
The most common hereditary cause in men is a condition called male pattern baldness and in women is named, female pattern baldness. As is stated in the U.S. National Library of Medicine, there are other names for this condition, as androgenic alopecia, male pattern alopecia, and pattern baldness.
In some men occurs
gradually, as we are getting older. The signs are bald spots and a receding hairline.
While in women it becomes visible as thinning hair.
What are hair loss hormones? These are the hormones or hormonal imbalances that are among the causes behind hair loss. Changes in a woman like pregnancy, childbirth, perimenopause, menopause, polycystic ovary syndrome, or PCOS, and an imbalance of the thyroid gland, all are causes for hair loss.
Another hormonal problem is when testosterone converts to DHT or 5a-dihydrotestosterone. Testosterone is an androgen male hormone. In men, DHT causes the hair follicles to shrink, regress, and die, resulting in premature balding.
But women are not immune to that problem, because they also have testosterone levels in their own bodies, although in lower levels than men, and experience the conversion of testosterone into DHT. Unfortunately for women, even a small part of this process causes them to suffer hair loss.
If women change contraception method, from pill to another thing, it activates an induced shedding hair stage,
because the body reacts to the changes which affect hormones.
There are also many diseases that are as well causes behind hair loss. Here is a list of some of them that provoke it, in one way or the other:
· Acute Stress Disorder
· Alopecia Areata
· Lupus, especially Discoid Lupus
· Polycystic Ovary Syndrome or PCOS
· Scalp Diseases
· Trichotillomania or Hair Pulling Disorder
There are several drugs that cause hair to fall out. In fact more than you can imagine! That's why drugs are one of the causes behind hair loss. Maybe you were not aware of all the risks involved, when the doctor prescribed that medication for the first time.
The scalp hair growth have four phases, anagen, catagen, telogen, and exogen.
The first one is the growing phase called anagen, in which the hair follicles are active with hair growth. During that phase the hair grows at the pace of six inches per year, and the duration last from two to eight years.
The second is the catagen phase, or transition phase, in which a kind of mysterious signal is sent to the scalp, causing the stage of hair growth to come to an end. It can last from 10 days to four weeks.
The third one is the telogen phase, in which the 10 to 15 percent of the old hair rests. That phase last about three months. While that happens, new hair is starting to grow.
The last but not least is the exogen phase. It's like an exodus of hair instead of people, since this one goes into detachment mode. It usually lasts from two to four months. The duration of this phase doesn't take that long, but it does occur in rare cases.
The problem with some medications is that they interfere with the natural cycles of scalp hair growth. In which stages of hair growth do the medications intervene?
First, the anagen phase, which is the hair growth stage. Some drugs prevent stem cells, or the cells that produce new hair to divide correctly. That shortens the growth phase from some days through weeks of taking the medication.
The most prone people are the ones that are taking cancer medications, like chemo drugs. Not only cause hair loss in the head, but also in the eyebrows, eyelashes and throughout the body.
The magnitude of hair loss depends on what type of drug is used, as well as the dose, and how sensitive that person is to the medication.
Telogen is the other phase of hair growth in which drugs are involved. This is the most common, and it occurs two to four months after taking the medication.
This disorder causes the hair follicles to enter the resting phase prematurely. That causes the exogen phase, which is the detachment phase, to happen too early.
People with this condition lose 30 to 70 percent more than they would lose in one day, which is about 100 to 150 hairs.
Have you seen those ads on TV for certain drugs? First, comes the advantages of taking the medication. Then at the end of the ad, they say all the side effects as fast as possible. Don't get caught in that trap!
The more we take the drug, the more hair we will lose. Therefore, we will see medications for different conditions, in which hair loss is among their side effects.
Here is a list of some of them, which will alter any of the hair cycles, the anagen effluvium or the telogen stage of the telogen effluvium.
· Acne medications with vitamin A or retinoids
· Anabolic steroids for building muscles
· Anticoagulants or blood thinners
· Antidepressants and mood stabilizers
· Antifungal drugs
· Beta blockers
· Birth control pills
· Chemotherapy drugs
· Cholesterol lowering medications
· Epilepsy drugs or anticonvulsants
· Gout medications
· High blood pressure or anti-hypertensive drugs
· Hormone replacement therapy
· Immunosuppressant drugs
· Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
· Parkinson's disease drugs
· Testosterone replacement therapy
· Thyroid medications
· Vitamin A in large doses
· Weight loss drugs
As I said before, the causes behind hair loss are many, as
well as the list of previous conditions. Now imagine if I mention all the
drugs, among which hair loss is part of their side effects.
Chemotherapy is the fifth of the causes behind hair loss. One of the most stressful and unpleasant side effects of chemo and radiation treatments is seeing before your eyes the hair falling. Besides, for many people, sudden hair loss is a sure sign of cancer.
Of course, no one would like to go through that experience. If you want nobody to know you have cancer, you may feel frightened just by thinking that other people notice you are losing your hair.
You may be wondering why hair loss happens when you are undergoing chemotherapy. Simply put, because chemotherapy medications are extremely potent drugs aiming to rapidly destroy the growth of cancer cells.
The problem is that they also attack good cells, including cells that make hair grow.
Chemo or radiotherapy treatments, as well as chemotherapy drugs can damage the cells that make hair grow.
This can lead to a certain type of hair loss that is known as alopecia. This causes you to lose hair not only on the head, but also on the eyebrows, eyelashes and other parts of your body. If you do not lose your hair completely, it could happen that it gets thinner.
After starting the chemotherapy, the hair begins to fall around two to four weeks.
Thankfully, usually most of the time, hair loss is temporary. The re-growth
of your hair begins three to six months after your last chemotherapy, although the texture and shade of your hair may vary.
According to Mayo Clinic, stress and hair loss are related. That's why we can say for sure that stress is one of the causes behind hair loss.
The loss of hair that comes from stress can occur, either due to a very stressful physical, or emotional event such as a divorce, the death of a loved one, injury, illness, surgery, or even serious financial problems.
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update this site, striving to inform you the latest and more effective ways to
treat the problem of hair loss. A problem that threatens not only our
appearance, but our self esteem as well.