Hair loss is a natural phenomenon because hair are subject to a constant replacement. Generally, a hair falls when the follicle has already produced a new hair ready to replace it. All of us can lose from 10 to 50 hair a day, but this phenomenon should not last for a long time.
The detachment of the falling hair is facilitated by automatic traumas, for which most of the hair fall during the brushing and washing phases. People who generally wash their hair every day can count fewer hair in the sink compared to those who wash their hair less frequently. People who do not brush daily will lose all their hair “at rest” during the washing as well.
Of course, to contrast baldness phenomenon, it’s necessary that all the falling hair need to be replaced by the new ones. In fact, even if only 10 hair per day fall, the threat of baldness can materialize itself in thinning if just 9 or less hair are replaced with new ones.
In the transitional seasons (autumn-spring) the fall often increases, because human beings keep an ancestral manifestation that is typical of other furry mammals: the molt. In the periods from April to May and from September to November some hormones, mainly influenced by the hours of light, activate a synchronized process of fall with an increase in the number of hair falling out.
It is a physiological fact, that is not the cause of definitive baldness, nor of possible thinning, on condition that a correct replacement with new hair maintains the balance of the normal hair formula, and that the fall does not last too long, turning into a serious hair loss. The causes of this seasonal nature are not yet well known; recent data indicate that the sun during summer time can be an important cause of hair loss in autumn.
– when the daily loss affects many hair;
– if this increased fall lasts for several weeks;
– if there is a thinning ongoing and the scalp is visible.
The Telogen effluvium, literally hair loss “in the resting phase”, is a frequent problem, and generally of short duration: 3-6 months. Sometimes, though, the problem recurs periodically and in some cases the fall can have a chronic trend and last for many years. Hair falling out have a little white bloat, visible to naked eye, which corresponds to the root in the rest phase.
The Telogen effluvium can have many causes and it becomes evident about 3 months after the triggering event. Scientifically, it consists in the widespread hair loss due to the passage of a high number of follicles from the Anagen “growth phase” to the Telogen “resting phase”.
The most frequent causes of Telogen effluvium are:
– high fever;
– weight loss diets;
– serious illness;
Hair loss can also be caused by sun and tanning lamps, in particular, the sun is one of the most frequent causes of serious falls in autumn time. During the summer, the scalp needs always to be protected from the sun, especially if your hair are already a bit thinned out. Solar products for hair are useful to protect the hair shaft from the sun and therefore they prevent its discoloration and the creations of split ends. However, they do not protect the follicle and thus they are not adequate to prevent the its fall.
Smoking can also damage the hair. Some studies reveal that even passive smoking can cause an increase of hair loss. Stress is one of the most frequent causes of chronic Telogen effluvium. The problem is worsened by the fact that many anxiolytics and antidepressant drugs cause an increased hair fall as a side effect.
Every diet, even the most balanced, can originate, along with weight loss, an increase of hair loss. Diets “do it yourself”, or unbalanced, may cause massive and prolonged falls. Anemia and iron deficiency are common causes of hair loss, increase especially in women. For people with a predisposition, it’s important to check regularly the levels of iron in the blood and iron sediment (ferritin dosage) in order to prevent the fall.
During pregnancy hair fall less than normal, in fact the estrogen hormones prolong the growth phase of the follicle and they retard the hair loss. As regard to the post-partum, after two or three months all those hair who had not fallen during pregnancy will fall. If there is also an iron deficiency, a common event in the post-partum period, especially if the mother breastfeeds, the hair loss can be impressive and alarming.
Also many drugs cause hair loss as side effect. Among these: anticoagulants, antidepressants, drugs used to lower cholesterol levels, antiviral drugs and beta-blockers. In addition, a prolonged use of supplements containing vitamin A and beta-carotene may result in an increase of hair loss.
The interruption of birth control pills may be followed by a hair loss similar to that observed in the post-partum. In this case, the fall is due to the fact that the hormones contained in the pill slow down the normal replacement of the follicle and prevent the physiological fall.
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