Hair loss is a physiological or pathological process. Pathological hair loss leads to their uniform thinning, partial or complete absence in limited areas or total baldness. The causes can be a lack of vitamins and trace elements, side effects of medications, hormonal and infectious diseases, stress, heredity, improper hair care. Often, the elimination of these causes leads to the restoration of the hairline.
Hair loss is a natural process. Every day a person loses from sixty to a hundred hairs. Normally, the number of newly grown and fallen hair is at the same level, but in some conditions, the number of fallen hair increases. If disease takes on a total character, then it can lead to baldness.
The average lifespan of a hair is about seven years, at the first stage it is fluffy, then it goes into a phase of active growth, which lasts from 2 to 7 years. After that, the catagen phase begins, that is, the phase of preparation for precipitation lasting 2-4 weeks. And finally, the phase is 3-4 months, depending on the depth of the follicle. Therefore, if there is hair loss exceeding the natural loss, then the cause should be sought three months earlier.
Causes and clinical manifestations of hair loss
The causes of baldness and hair loss are different, although as a result of both conditions, a person loses a significant amount of hair. One of the most common causes is a lack of iron in the body. Women, due to natural monthly blood loss during menstruation, often suffer from iron deficiency anemia, the first clinical manifestations of which are observed just from the skin, nails and hair. Intense physical activity, unbalanced nutrition and strict diets can also lead to the development of anemia. At the same time, the hair becomes dull, dry and brittle, in the absence of antianemic therapy, the process only intensifies.
Stressful situations and disorders of the autonomic nervous system lead to vasoconstriction on the scalp. With incessant stress, the vessels no longer return to normal, which causes as the nutrition of the hair follicle worsens.
Chronic diseases of the body, especially those that occur with endocrine disorders, are often accompanied. Thyroid diseases, polycystic ovaries, pneumonia and syphilis can trigger hair loss. Therefore, despite the fact that the problem is rather aesthetic in nature, all patients with similar symptoms should undergo a comprehensive examination.
Taking some medications causes a side effect in the form. There are about a hundred drugs with such a side effect, these are mainly oral contraceptives, antidepressants, hypotensive and steroid drugs. Aspirin, with its seeming inoffensiveness, with constant intake quite often leads to hair loss.
Figure correction products that contain heavy metal salts and selenium do not favor a good condition of the hair, and given that the main effect when applied is achieved due to a laxative result, the absorption of vitamins and trace elements is impaired. Therefore, this disease in this case is caused by both chronic poisoning with heavy metal salts and anemia.
Hair coloring, perming, blow-drying with abuse can cause. Frequent wearing of wigs, hairpieces, false strands, as well as hair and scalp care products when used incorrectly lead to various hair problems.
Neglect of hats in the cold season and abuse of caffeinated beverages lead to a constant spasm of the vessels of the scalp, which can cause the loss of part of the hair. Often, patients after hair transplantation note that the transplanted hair begins to fall out. This is a normal reaction of the body, since the follicles transplanted to a new place experience stress and after a short rest, hair growth will resume.
Diagnosis of hair loss
Hair loss does not go unnoticed. And, if alopecia is observed mainly in men, then problems with hair loss are more often observed in women. An important difference between alopecia and simple hair loss is that in the latter case, there is no pathology of the hair follicle. Therefore, the process of hair loss is always reversible, regardless of the stage. Upon careful examination, a dark pouch can be noticed at the tip of the hair – this is an unfavorable sign. If more than five hairs remain in the hands when pulling a strand, then this indicates that hair loss is much higher than normal.
In some cases, hair loss in larger than usual amounts is not associated with any diseases or external causes. During periods of hormonal restructuring of the body, hair loss may increase, after which their condition returns to normal. Such periods include the postnatal state from the 3rd to the 6th month of a child’s life, the period of puberty, the postpartum period, termination of pregnancy and the pre-menopausal period.
To determine the cause a trichologist’s consultation is necessary. A comprehensive examination is carried out, which includes a blood test, a study of the hormonal background, a spectral analysis of hair and examinations to exclude alopecia.
Correction of hair loss
The condition of the skin, nails and hair reflects the internal state of the body, and therefore, in case of hair loss, it is necessary to eliminate the cause. For the period of treatment, any aggressive procedures, such as coloring, curling, blow-drying, are canceled. The use of hair sprays, mousses and gels is also not desirable.
After the process of hair loss is completed, the follicles need some time to recover so that the hair begins to grow again. At the stage of hair loss, the correction is aimed at eliminating the underlying cause, after which various types of hair growth stimulation are used. If the hair falls out due to taking medications, then if it is impossible to cancel them, it is necessary to replace the medicinal substances with similar, but not having similar side effects.
Correction of iron deficiency anemia, treatment of concomitant diseases along with improvement of microcirculation of the scalp give a good result. Effective methods of correcting hair loss, which are used in modern trichology, include scalp massage and hardware treatment procedures. Their effect is based on stimulating hair growth and reducing. Microcurrent therapy allows you to act on the follicles with electricity and drive active substances under the skin. The current strength during therapeutic physiotherapy is extremely low, and therefore they do not cause harm to health and do not cause unpleasant sensations.
During vacuum massage, small cups are applied to the scalp, which create a pulsating vacuum. This results in improved blood supply, accelerated awakening of dormant follicles and improved nutrition of hair that is in the growth phase. Mesotherapy with the introduction of hair growth-stimulating drugs and therapeutic cocktails under the scalp that improve tissue microcirculation, reduce and improve metabolic processes in the hair follicle.
With the normalization of the internal organs and proper care of the scalp and hair, their loss stops. Most often, newly grown hair becomes stronger and stronger than those that have fallen out. If the hair loss is total in nature, as a consequence of radiation therapy, then the hair after it grows back can change its structure and color.
- Williamson D., Gonzalez,M., & Finlay A. The effect of hair loss on quality of life // Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology. — 2001; 15(2): 137-139. link
- Vañó-Galván S., Camacho F. (2017). Novedades terapéuticas en tricología // Actas Dermo-Sifiliográficas. — 2017; 108(3): 221-228. link
- Wolff H., Fischer T. W., Blume-Peytavi U. The Diagnosis and Treatment of Hair and Scalp Diseases // Deutsches Aerzteblatt Online. — 2016; 113 (21): 377-386.link
- Hair Loss. What Is It? // Harvard Health Publishing. — 2018.
- Mediterranean diet: fresh herbs and fresh vegetables decrease the risk of Androgenetic Alopecia in males / Cristina Fortes, S. Mastroeni, T. Mannooranparampil, D. Abeni, A. Panebianco // Archives of Dermatological Research. — 2018; 310: 71-76
- Standardized Scalp Massage Results in Increased Hair Thickness by Inducing Stretching Forces to Dermal Papilla Cells in the Subcutaneous Tissue / Taro Koyama, Kazuhiro Kobayashi, Takanori Hama, Kasumi Murakami, Rei Ogawa. Eplasty. — 2016; 16: e8.link