Emotional stress, and any kind of physical trauma, be it from an accident, severe illness, even dramatic weight loss, can cause your hair to fall. This type of hair loss is called telogen effluvium.
The great news is, as your body recovers from stress, your hair should start growing back again.
Imbalance of Vitamins and Nutrients
Too much or too little of certain vitamins and nutrients in our body can lead to hair loss. For instance, too much vitamin A, a vitamin B deficiency, iron deficiency anemia even the lack of protein in our diet can trigger hair loss.
Supplementing your diet with much needed vitamins and nutrients, or in the case of vitamin A, halting its use, will allow your hair to grow back in time. Of course, eating a balanced diet will not only be good for your hair, but for your body as well.
If you have been taking medication for an existing illness, your medicine may be the culprit. Chemotherapy drugs (for cancer) are known to cause hair loss, but blood thinners and the blood-pressure drugs known as beta-blockers, as well as methotrexate (for rheumatic conditions and some skin conditions), anabolic steroids, lithium (for bipolar disorder), nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen, even anti-depressants are known to trigger hair fall as well.
If you suspect that your medicine is causing your hair to fall, talk to your doctor to check if she can lower the dosage, or prescribe a different medicine.
Male pattern baldness and androgenetic alopecia, or female-pattern hair loss, are genetic predispositions to hair loss. If there is a history of early hair loss in your family, then there is a greater chance that you may be a candidate for such a condition.
While there is still no visible cure to regain lost hair, an over the counter drug such as minoxidil can be applied to the scalp to halt hair loss or at least keep the hair that you have. Natural remedies include applying aloe vera, extra virgin coconut oil or washing hair with gugo.
We all know that hormones can wreak havoc on our bodies. More than just PMS (premenstrual syndrome), it may also cause infertility, weight gain, and hair loss. Hormonal situations like pregnancy, switching or going off birth control pills, changes in hormonal balance during menopause, hypothyroidism and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) can lead to hair thinning.
While hair loss triggered by pregnancy, or from oral contraceptives, are temporary and reversible, you must consult a doctor to correct hormonal imbalance from PCOS and hypothyroidism. Your physician may commit you to a stringent regimen of diet, exercise and medication.
Disease & Aging
Auto-immune diseases such as alopecia areata and lupus, where immune cells attack the hair, and an impulse control disorder called trichotillomania, which causes people to compulsively pull their hair out, are known to cause extreme hair fall. Of course, thinning hair is common among women in their 50s and 60s, and are taken as a normal symptom of aging.
Unfortunately, hair loss from lupus is irreversible. Steroid injections are known to reverse the effects of alopecia areata, while medication or behavioral modification therapy can address trichotillomania.
Sometimes, hair loss is caused by something so typical as washing, combing, and styling our hair. Of course, this is more prevalent and more pronounced amongst those of us who are overzealous with the use of products, hair color and treatments.
As with everything in life, moderation is key. Limit your exposure to chemical treatments and heat-styling tools, and try to air dry your hair whenever possible. Be conscious about using hair care and moisturizing products to protect your hair if you absoutely have to use a blow dryer, or straightening/curling irons.
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