Causes of Hairfall & It’s Management

 

causes of hairfall


Hair fall is one of the most common issues that affect people of all genders and ages. The reasons for hair fall may be multifactorial, ranging from genetic predisposition to environmental and lifestyle factors. Understanding the various hair fall reasons is crucial for implementing effective prevention and management strategies. To get the best insights on hair fall, refer to DocTube.


Primary Causes of Hairfall


i) Genetic Factors

One of the primary causes of hairfall is genetic predisposition. If your parents or close family members have a history of hair loss, you may be genetically inclined to experience it as well (Sajid, U., Jaffar, N., Khan, M.A.A., Abbas, K., Ghafoor, R., Khan, A., Khan, H.H. and Akhtar, M., 2022. Frequency of hair fall, its awareness and hair care practices among adult population. Journal of Pakistan Association of Dermatologists, 32(2), pp.388-395). Androgenetic alopecia, commonly known as male-pattern baldness or female-pattern baldness, is influenced by genetic factors and hormonal changes.

ii) Hormonal Changes and Medical Conditions

Hormonal fluctuations can contribute significantly to hair fall. Conditions such as pregnancy, childbirth, menopause and hormonal disorders like polycystic ovary syndrome can impact the hair growth cycle. On the other hand, thyroid disorders, diabetes and autoimmune diseases may also contribute to hair loss.

iii) Poor Nutrition

Inadequate nutrition is a significant factor in hair fall. Hair follicles require a balanced supply of nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, and proteins for optimal growth (Rajendrasingh, J.R., 2017. Role of non-androgenic factors in hair loss and hair regrowth. J Cosmo Trichol, 3(2), p.118). Deficiencies in vitamins like Biotin, Iron, Zinc and Vitamin D can lead to weakened hair shafts and increased hair shedding.


iv) Stress and Emotional Factors

Psychological stress and emotional trauma can trigger hair fall. Stress induces hormonal changes that affect the hair growth cycle, leading to increased shedding. Chronic stress can contribute to conditions like telogen effluvium, where a significant number of hair follicles prematurely enter the resting phase.


v) Environmental Factors

Exposure to environmental pollutants, harsh chemicals and toxins can damage hair and contribute to hair fall (Rajput, R., 2015. Understanding hair loss due to air pollution and the approach to management. Hair Ther Transplant, 5(133), p.2). Excessive use of styling products, frequent heat styling and chemical treatments can weaken the hair shaft and lead to breakage.

vi) Medical Treatments and Medications

In many cases, several medical treatments and medications may lead to hair loss as a common side effect. Chemotherapy, radiation therapy and medications for conditions like arthritis, depression and high blood pressure are known to contribute to hair fall. It is important to consult with a healthcare professional if you suspect that a medication is affecting your hair.

vii) Age and Hormonal Changes

Aging is a natural factor that can contribute to hair fall. As individuals age, the rate of hair growth slows down and hair follicles may become finer and produce shorter strands. Hormonal changes during aging, especially in postmenopausal women, can influence hair density.

viii) Tight Hairstyles and Traction Alopecia

Constantly wearing tight hairstyles, such as ponytails or braids, can lead to a type of hair loss called traction alopecia (Billero, V. and Miteva, M., 2018. Traction alopecia: the root of the problem. Clinical, cosmetic and investigational dermatology, pp.149-159). The constant pulling on the hair shafts can damage the hair follicles and result in hair fall.

ix) Infections and Skin Conditions

Scalp infections, such as fungal infections like ringworm and skin conditions like psoriasis and dermatitis, can cause hair loss. These conditions affect the health of the scalp and disrupt the normal hair growth cycle.

ix) Autoimmune Diseases

Autoimmune diseases like alopecia areata occur when the immune system mistakenly attacks the hair follicles, leading to hair loss (Janani, B., Rajeshwari, B. and Nivetha, S., 2017. Prevalence of hair fall behaviour among school and college students in chengalpattu. Journal of Management and Science, 7(1), pp.150-154). This type of hair loss can result in patches of baldness on the scalp or other parts of the body.

Hair fall is thus a complex issue influenced by a combination of genetic, hormonal, nutritional, environmental and lifestyle factors. Identifying the specific cause of hair fall is crucial for implementing effective treatment and prevention strategies.


Management of Excessive Hair Fall


i) Nutritional Support

Ensuring a well-balanced diet rich in essential nutrients is crucial for maintaining healthy hair. Include foods high in Vitamins like Biotin, minerals like Iron and Zinc, and proteins. Healthcare professionals may often recommend supplements if an individual is found to have deficiencies.

ii) Scalp Care

In order to prevent hair fall, it is important to maintain a healthy and clean scalp. Choose a shampoo and conditioner that is mild and sulfate free and is suitable for your particular hair type (Sajid, U., Jaffar, N., Khan, M.A.A., Abbas, K., Ghafoor, R., Khan, A., Khan, H.H. and Akhtar, M., 2022. Frequency of hair fall, its awareness and hair care practices among adult population. Journal of Pakistan Association of Dermatologists, 32(2), pp.388-395). Avoid excessive washing, as it can strip the scalp of natural oils. On the other hand, regular scalp massages are also important for stimulating blood circulation and promoting hair growth. 


iii) Avoid Harsh Styling Practices


Minimize the use of heat styling tools, harsh chemicals and tight hairstyles that can cause damage to the hair shaft. Allow your hair to air-dry whenever possible, and use protective measures, such as heat protectant sprays when styling.

iv) Stress Management

Since stress is a significant contributor to hair fall, adopting stress-management techniques can be beneficial (Walli, H., Ghazal, H., German, S., Ali, M. and Zuberi, B.F., 2013. Prevalence of stress and its relation to hair fall in female medical students. JPMS, 3, pp.205-207). Practices like yoga, meditation, deep breathing exercises and regular physical activity can help alleviate stress and promote overall well-being.

v) Medical Evaluation


If hair fall is persistent or severe, a medical evaluation is essential to identify and address any underlying health conditions. Consult with a healthcare professional, preferably a dermatologist, to determine if hormonal imbalances, thyroid disorders or other medical issues are contributing to the hair loss.

vi) Medications and Topical Treatments

In some cases, medications may be prescribed to address hormonal imbalances or promote hair growth (Kaushik, R., Gupta, D. and Yadav, R., 2011. Alopecia: herbal remedies. International Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Research, 2(7), p.1631). Topical treatments as recommended by the doctor can also be effective in stimulating hair follicles. 

vii) Lifestyle Modifications

It is crucial to adopt a healthy lifestyle as it can affect hair health positively. Get an adequate amount of sleep, stay hydrated and avoid smoking and excessive alcohol consumption. These lifestyle changes contribute to overall well-being and can indirectly support hair health.

viii) Hair Care Products

Choose hair care products that are gentle and suitable for your hair type. It is important to use products that are free from sulfates and harsh chemicals. Conditioners and masks containing nourishing ingredients can help improve the texture and strength of the hair.

ix) Regular Trims

It is always a good idea to go for regular trimming of hair as it helps to prevent hair breakage and split ends while also promoting healthy hair growth. Trimming every 6-8 weeks can maintain the overall health and appearance of your hair.


FAQ

  What are the initial signs of serious hair loss?  
   

Some of the initial signs of serious hair loss are gradual thinning on the top of head, patchy bald spots, sudden loosening of hair, severe hair loss and patches of scaling that spreads over the scalp.

 
  What are the most effective ways to manage hair loss?  
   

The most effective ways to manage hair loss are adding a lot of protein-rich foods to diet, staying hydrated, using mild shampoo, massaging scalp with hot oils and following a healthy lifestyle.

 

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