Hair decline and hair loss
Loosing between sixty and a hundred hairs a day is considered normal and is individual. Everything above this number is considered to be increased hair loss and points to a problem that needs to be solved.
Hair follicle constantly regenerates and has numerous functions and the most important ones are protection and sensation. In people of all races hair is one of the most important sociological and psychological characteristics.
Hair grows in its cycles: anagen 2 – 6 years, telogen 2 – 3 months, catagen (hair loss phase). In anagen phase or the growth phase there should be 80 to 90% of hair root and in catagen cycle (period of hair loss) around 1%.
There is a number of conditions associated with hair loss. Firs of all comes a completely natural process of hair loss after child delivery. When a woman is pregnant she has a high level of progesterone and hair that would usually fall out stops in the so called telogen phase for all the nine months of the pregnancy. After the delivery there is a sudden drop in female hormones in the organism and therefore a massive hair loss. In some women even baldness can occur in some areas of the scalp. This process is completely reversible. Around 20% of the population experiences seasonal hair loss, commonly in September and October. In people with a lack of iron, the hair grows very thin and separated. After substitution the hair volume returns completely.
Unfortunately, rigorous diets are popular today, even in very young girls, and they represent great stress for the organism. Most often there is a deficit of protein, and hair loss that occurs for that reason is usually irreversible.
Also, lack of vitamins of type B and Zinc can lead to similar hardships. During significant weight loss, a disorder in menstrual cycle can occur. After that, hair loss and increased facial hair growth occurs. Also, in women that have a polycystic syndrome and an excess of androgynous hormones, a so called alopecia appears – hair loss of male type. Hair is weaker and the top of the head is visible in the frontal area. If the patient contacts the physician promptly and starts the therapy, the process can be stopped and partially improved. If there is a complete atrophy of the root, the process is irreversible. Diseases of the thyroid gland, followed by the lack or excess of hormones causes dry, brittle and thinned hair. Great stress, no matter if it is emotional stress or a serious illness followed by high fewer will make the hair growth phase stop and hair fall out after three months.
Also, there is a spectrum of medication, including cytostatics, which lead to temporary baldness.
Chemical substances that treat the hair shouldn’t significantly influence hair loss. The exceptions are allergies or irregular use of acids. If the hair is washed every day, and only mild shampoos are used then this won’t contribute to hair loss. Tight binding of the hair and rough long-term combing can contribute to hair loss. In very serious illnesses such as carcinoma or systemic autoimmune diseases, hair loss can be one of the first signs of the disease. In the course of a lifetime, the number of hair follicles we have on our scalp decreases. In women that are genetically predisposed to it, menopause leads to hair loss.
It is necessary to contact your dermatologist if hair loss is noticed on the scalp. With right therapy the process can be stoped, and the remaining hair roots made stronger. In therapy, hormones, vitamins, minerals and iron can be used. Sometimes it is necessary to treat the primary disease. There is a spectrum of shampoos and lotions that are used. Unfortunately, shampoos are less efficient and are not a part of official medical therapy. Minoxidil 2& and 5% lotion is a medical substance which can be used to treat androgenic alopecia. If it comes to areata alopecia, corticosteroids and immunomodulators are used.
Based on the examination, the doctor can determine which type of hair loss it is and what has caused it.
Spec. Dr. Svetlana Djurisic, dermatologist
Dermatological clinic DERMATIM, Belgrade, Serbia