What to do when you lose more hair than usually?

We all lose our hair – on average between fifty and hundred strands a day are lost when we brush it or simply change our hairstyle. Excessive hair loss is different, it’s a medical condition and can affect both men and women.

Hair loss is normal and natural. This is our hair working through its growth cycle. and another one will soon replace it. However excessive hair loss is  a medical condition, affecting both men and women, and can be extremely difficult to come to terms with. “40% of all women and 50% of all men will experience some form of hair loss in their lives,” says Chris Keeble, C.E.O. of Pharma Medico. “There are many reasons for hair loss including genetics, hormonal changes, diet, stress, pregnancy and childbirth, health issues, reactions to certain medication and over-styling hair techniques.” Using harmful chemicals on hair, such as those found in certain dyes, also contributes towards hair loss. Natural products are much kinder to the hair. If you dye your hair regularly, it is much safer to use hair colour products containing natural ingredients to help keep hair as healthy as possible. 

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Pattern Baldness affects both sexes

Both male- and-female-pattern baldness is due to genetics, inherited from either the mother or father’s side of the family. According to NHS choices, the condition manifests itself in different ways: “Male-pattern baldness begins with a deceding hairline, followed by thinning of the hair on the crown and temples. Whereas female-pattern baldness can start as early as the late teens and the earlier it starts, the more severe the hair loss tends to be. The hair usually thins only on the top of the head and the first signs are a wider parting or a smaller ponytail.” Treating male-pattern baldness is usually not necessary as it is a natural part of aging and poses no risk to your health. However baldness can be a distressing experience, for both sexes, and those who suffer from it and may choose to take the topical medication minoxidil to treat it. Minoxidil works by prolonging the growth phase of hair , and is very effective, however for noticable results you will have to wait for up to three or four months.

How can you avoid hair loss?

Alopecia – what is it?

Alopecia is the general medical term for hair loss, and the most common types are called alopecia areata and scarring alopecia. Alopecia areata manifests itself as patches of baldness usually affecting teenagers and young adults, with six out of ten sufferers developing their first bald patch before they are 20 years old. The most likely cause of this type of hair loss is an underlying problem with the immune system. Like male-and-female-pattern baldness, it could be hereditary. The good news is that although it may be emotionally upsetting, in many cases the hair grows back after about a year. The most popular treatment for this type of alopecia is a course of steroid injections, although it is also possible to use a steroid cream, gel or ointment. Hair growth can also be encouraged by a treatment such as immunotherapy, which involves stimulating hair growth through an intentionl allergic reaction. Scarring alopecia, on the other hand, is hair loss that results from another condition such as discoid lupus (chronic inflammation and scarring) or lichen planus (an itchy skin rash). With this type of alopecia the hair follicle is completely distroyed, and the hair will not grow back. The most common causes for other types of hair loss include cancer treatment (chemotherapy), other types of medication and stress. These types of hair loss are temporary and should improve when medical treatment is finished, or on its own accord after some time has passed. 

Emotional issues

There are various treatments for the physical symptoms of hair loss – minoxidil, steroid injections, immunotherapy and hair transplants to name a few. However in many cases the emotional symptoms of hair loss also need to be adressed. Sufferers of the condition may feel that in losing their hair. they have also lost an important or defining part of their identity, and this can be extremely distressing and difficult to deal with. “Hair loss and hair thinning, especially in women, can be extremely traumatic. Hair is a great part of who you are,” says Chris. “It impacts on your femininity and sexuality, your confidence and self-esteem.” If this mind-set is left untreated, these feelings could ultimately manifest as conditions of stress, anxiety or even depression. A recent study revealed that 46% of women suffering from hair loss did not know where to turn for help. If you are finding hair loss difficult to deal with, it is best to speak to your GP first, who can best advise you. They may suggest counselling, where you can discuss your fears and feelings with a trained therapist. You may also benefit from joining a support group, and spending time talking to others who are suffering from the same condition. A number of charities, such as Alopecia UK, have support groups and online forums where you can talk to others who are experiencing hair loss. 

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