What is thinning hair & hair loss?

What is thinning hair & hair loss?

Everyone loses a little hair every day. It is normal to lose anywhere from fifty (50) to one-hundred (100) hairs a day, but unfortunately for some the amount of hair loss is higher than this. About half of all people have some form of hair loss by the age of 50. If hair loss runs in your family you could be one of the unlucky few who could lose a lot more than the average amount of hair.

Hair loss is called Alopecia. This generally shows itself as bald spots on men, and women can see thinning hair on the top of their heads. There are many variations of Alopecia and they all have different causes and symptoms, but for this article we will briefly touch on basics of thinning hair and hair loss.

What causes hair loss?

Some of the common causes of hair loss include:

Heredity. As mentioned above, if you have a family history of hair loss there is a good chance you may encounter it yourself. This is normally called male-pattern baldness or female-pattern baldness.

Age.  As you age your hair naturally slows down its growth cycle and you tend to grow less hair. Hair can also become thinner and easier to break with age.

Diet. Having a poor diet can cause thinning hair or balding. Lack of protein and lack of iron can be large factors.

Stress. Living a stressful lifestyle can cause numerous health problems including baldness, but things such as physical stress from fever, illness, or surgery can also have an impact.

Hair pulling. Chronic pulling at the hair or wearing certain hairstyles, such as a tight ponytail, braids, even pulling your hair back too tightly. Using products like curling irons, straitening irons, or dyes can also have a damaging effect on the hair.

Thyroid diseases. Hypothyroidism as well as Hyperthyroidism can both cause hair loss.

Chemotherapy. This cancer killing medication is very likely to cause hair loss.

What are the symptoms?

The symptoms will be slightly different depending on the type of hair loss you have.

For hereditary baldness, men will generally develop bald spots on the top of the head as well as the forehead. Women generally will notice thinning hair all over the scalp, but mainly at the top of the head.

Thinning hair may be more difficult to notice as it happens over a much longer period of time.

If you notice any of these symptoms it is a good idea to speak with your doctor and they will help diagnose the type of baldness you may be encountering, and steps to prevent it from continuing to fall out.

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