Hair fall is a household problem, literally. And I am sure that everybody who suffers from it will agree. If I have to list down the number of people who have hair loss issues, it’s quite extensive. I suffer from it too. Every time I wash my hair there’s so much hair fall that it’s alarming and yet there’s nothing that I seem to be able to do about it. I have tried to watch my diet, follow various beauty remedies, change hair products, and every other piece of advice provided by experts, yet I have had no luck.
So the question that arises is why does one suffer from hair fall? Is it only about the lack of nourishment to your hair or are your lifestyle and food habits to be blamed?
Hair is made up of a type of protein called keratin that is produced in the hair follicles inside the scalp. As the follicles produce new hair cells, old cells are pushed out through the surface of the skin. Every strand that you see is actually composed of dead keratin cells. Several factors can shock the normal hair cycle and cause hair loss that is more than normal. According to Web MD, “the average adult head has about 100,000 to 150,000 hairs and loses up to 100 of them a day.”
According to the American Hair Loss Association, normal hair fall is approximately 100-125 hairs per day. However, these hairs are replaced. True hair loss occurs when lost hairs are not regrown or when the daily hair shed exceeds 125 hairs.
Here are some common causes of hair loss:
1. PHYSICAL TRAUMA
Any kind of physical trauma like surgery, a car accident or a severe illness can cause temporary hair loss called telogen effluvium. According to a study done at the American Academy of Dermatology, hair has three different phases: a growth phase, rest phase and shedding phase. When you have a really stressful event, it can shock the hair cycle, pushing more hair into the shedding phase. Hair loss often becomes noticeable three-to-six months after the trauma.
According to Dr. Soni Nanda, Consultant Dermatologist, Shine and Smile Skin Clinic, New Delhi, the most common period of hair loss for women occurs approximately three months after delivery. The rise in hormones during pregnancy keeps you from losing your hair. After delivery, the hormones return to normal levels, which allow the hair to fall out and return to the normal cycle. The normal hair loss that was delayed during pregnancy may occur all at once.
According to Dr. Amal Ghosh, Clinical Tutor (Rtd), N.R.S. Hospial, Kolkata, “the most common cause of hair loss is a hereditary condition called male-pattern baldness or female-pattern baldness. It usually occurs gradually and in predictable patterns like a receding hairline and bald spots in men and thinning of hair in women. Heredity also affects the age at which you begin to lose hair, the rate of hair loss and the extent of baldness. Pattern baldness is most common in men and can begin as early as puberty. This type of hair loss may involve both hair thinning and hair becoming soft, fine and short.”
4. LACK OF PROTEIN
If you don’t get enough protein in your diet, your might slow down your hair growth, according to a research done at the American Academy of Dermatology. Hair is primarily made of protein, so one needs to eat protein-rich foods to maintain a healthy growth. Without adequate protein intake, the body cannot efficiently make new hair to replace the hair that has shed. One can take proteins such as fish, chicken, soy products, low-fat cheese, eggs, almonds, beans and yoghurt.
5. HAIR STYLING PRODUCTS
“Hair loss is an extremely common health problem. It can range from a slight reduction in the overall density to a completely bald scalp. Hair loss was earlier more commonly seen in people above the age of 30. However, it is now being reported at a much younger age including late teens,” says Dr. Rahul Nagar, Consultant Dermatologist, Max Hospital, New Delhi. He says that improper use of hair gels, wax and pomades can lead to hair thinning. Excessive use of curling irons, hair pressing, chemical rebonding and blow drying causes hair loss. Incorrect hairstyles with tight braiding can induce hair thinning.
So, to sum it up, you need to be watchful of not just your diet and what hair products you use, but also dedicate time from your busy schedule to nourish your hair externally as well using natural and chemical free ingredients. There is no overnight miracle. You need to make it a daily effort to take care of your hair and see the results in the years to come.