Hair And Hair Loss

At any given time, approximately 10% of the hair in the scalp is in a resting phrase.

Two to three months later the resting hair will fall out and new hair will begin growing in its place.

This growing phase can last between two to six years. During this phrase, each hair strand grows on average one centimetre per month.

Ninety percent of the hair on the scalp is growing at any given time.  

It is quite normal for a person to shed some hair every day during this cycle. Some people however may lose hair at a higher than normal rate. This can affect men women and children at any stage in their life. 

There are a number of factors that can cause excessive hair loss. Some people may suddenly lose considerable amounts of their hair approximately three to four months following surgery.

This is usually due to the stress of their illness and is usually only temporary. However it can be upsetting and unsettling for the person involved.  

Problems relating to hormones may also cause hair loss. An overactive or under-active thyroid gland may cause hair to fall out.

This can usually be controlled by treating the thyroid disease with medication. Hair loss can also be caused by male or female hormones (androgens and estrogens) which become out of balance.

The hair loss can be controlled by treating the imbalance.

It is quite common for hair to be lost approximately three months after a woman has had a baby.

This loss is due to hormonal changes occurring in her body. When a woman is pregnant, she produces high levels of hormones that enable her body to keep the hair that would normally fall out.

Once the hormones have returned to the pre-pregnancy levels, the hair will begin falling out again and the body will resume the normal cycles of hair growth and loss. 

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Certain medicines can cause hair loss. People often find their hair loss slows down when they stop taking the medication.

Medications such as blood thinners (anticoagulants), medicines used to treat gout, chemotherapy medications, excessive amount of vitamin A, antidepressants and birth control pills can all cause hair loss. 

Certain bodily infections can also cause hair loss, such as fungal infections to the scalp in children. Infections such as these can easily be treated with antifungal medications and the growth soon reoccurs. 

Certain diseases such as diabetes or lupus can also cause hair loss. Hair loss is often regarded as a warning sign for disease so it is therefore important to find and treat the cause.   

Improper care to the hair can also cause hair loss. Hairstyles such as pigtails or cornrows, tight rollers all pull on the hair causing a condition known as traction alopecia.

However, this condition can be prevented if the pulling is stopped prior to the scalp scarring. It is important to note that scarring can cause permanent hair loss.

Hot oil treatment and chemicals that are used in permanents (perms) also cause the hair follicle to swell, resulting in scarring and loss of hair. 


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