Hair Loss – Interesting Facts
- 40 percent of all women and half of all men will experience hair loss in their lifetimes.
- The most common causes of hair loss are genetically related.
- Everyday shampooing, combing and blow-drying does not speed up hair loss.
- People with certain nutritional deficiencies can sometimes experience hair loss.
- We each have about 100 000 hairs on the scalp.
- It is normal to lose 50–100 hairs from the head each day.
- Each hair on the head grows for about 5 years before being shed.
- The thickness of each hair depends on the size of the follicle from which it is growing.
- Eyebrow hairs grow for only 10 weeks.
- Scalp hair grows at a rate of about 1 cm (just under half an inch) a month.
- A survey has shown that about 7.9 million men and 1.6 million women in the UK have hair loss problems.
- Each year, American men spend about $900 million on efforts to regrow hair.
- The number of hairs on the head varies with the color of hair: blond – 140,000, black – 108,000, brown – 110,000 and red – 90,000.
How hair grows
Hair growth has three stages.
The first is the growing stage when hair grows at about 1 cm each month. This stage lasts at least 2 years and can reach a maximum of 5 years.
The second stage is called resting or telogen. During telogen, there is no growth. The resting stage lasts about 5 months.
The third stage is final and then the hair is shed and the follicles start to grow a new one.
For your information, at any moment, about 90 % of our hair follicles of the scalp is growing hairs. This hair is in the first stage of growth. The other 10 % of our hair (10 %) is in the resting stage. After 2 to 3 months, the resting hair falls out and new hair starts to grow in its place.
How everything works?
The hair that we can see is called the shaft. Each shaft of hair protrudes from its follicle. The follicle is a tube-like pouch just below the surface of the skin. The hair is attached to the base of the follicle by the hair root. This is the place where hair is nourished by tiny blood vessels.
Hairs are made of cells and many parts of our body grow from its root. Gradually hairs are pushed further out of the follicle which makes nourishment difficult. As a result, our hair dies and transforms into a hard protein called keratin.
What causes hair loss?
A number of things can cause hair loss. It may be physical stress – surgery, major illness, rapid weight change, emotional stress – mental illness, death of a loved one, job layoff, medications – high dose of Vitamin A, blood pressure medications, gout medications, hormonal changes – pregnancy, birth control pills, menopause, chemotherapy and so on.
Hair loss can be provoked by illness or a major surgery but this hair loss is related to the stress of the illness and is temporary. Hormonal problems may cause hair loss too.
There are cases where the thyroid gland is overactive or underactive which makes hair fall out. Hair loss may occur if androgens and estrogens are out of balance.
This type of cause is reversible and after a good treatment with medicaments, the hair will grow.
Pregnancy sometimes stimulates hair loss. The effect is seen about 3 months after the baby is born. As examples above this hair loss are related to hormones and can be cured.
Specialists explain this hair loss as a result of the fact that during pregnancy, high levels of certain hormones cause the body to keep hair that would normally fall out. After childbirth hormones return to pre-pregnancy levels and in the natural course of things hair falls out.
Hair loss can be caused by some medicines, infections, diabetes, lupus, or diet. A concrete example is medicines which include blood thinners called anticoagulants, medicines used for gout or in chemotherapy to treat cancer, birth control pills, and antidepressants.
Chemotherapy agents are basically poisonous chemicals administered to kill cancer cells. Unfortunately, they kill more than just cancer cells. They hurt healthy cells as well, including hair cells.
Ages also influence the health of our hair. As a person ages, hair follicles gradually get shrunk. Hair loss and hair thinning due to age usually begins after 60 or 65.
Environmental factors are another source of causes that may harm your hair. Long exposure to sunlight and extremity of temperature damages your hair follicles and hair begins to fall gradually.
When we talk about excessive hair loss, there are other causes that can stimulate it. Such cause may occur when any of the stages of hair growth become disrupted.
For instance, if follicles shut down, there will be less hair on the head. In fact, instead of growing new hairs, follicles stay in the resting stage. Another reason for excessive hair loss might be interference with the formation of new hair cells at the root during the growing stage.
Don’t wear a hairstyle that pulls, such as ponytails or braids, because the constant pull can harm your hair, especially along the sides of the scalp.
If you shampoo, comb or brush too often, you risk breaking your hair.
If you use a cream or condition after you shampoo, it will make your hair easier to manage and easier to comb.
When your hair is wet, it is way more fragile, so don’t rub it with a towel for a long period of time or comb your hair too rough.
- It is healthier to use shampoo no more than once a day.
- It is good when you switch the shampoo every season.
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