Hair loss is a common and completely regular occurrence that happens to all people.
We shed hair at a rate of approximately 50-100 strands per day. However, anything in excess of this is considered as beyond-normal hair loss. Factors that may influence hair loss include heredity, illness, and ageing.
Hair loss can either be permanent or temporary. Most cases lean on the temporary side, with flare-ups that are triggered by factors such as illness, weight changes, excessive stress, and iron deficiency.
How can hair loss look?
There are several possible root causes of hair loss. These causes create various forms of hair loss which look different from each other:
What mental health support can I get if I develop hair loss?
Losing hair can become mentally devastating both to females and males alike. You may ask your doctor for a referral to a counsellor or a support group with people experiencing the same hair loss problems as you.
How can I avoid hair loss?
You can help avoid and stop hair loss by adhering to the following strategies:
You may consider limiting or stopping the use of the following hair products to ease your hair fall:
If you absolutely need to style hair using dryers or heated combs, make sure to thoroughly dry hair first before applying heat. Also, use the lowest heat settings in styling your hair.
How common is hair loss?
UK hair loss clinics report skyrocketing statistics about hair loss in the country. 1/3 of men over the age of 25 already struggle with hair loss problems. Around 40% of women face the same dilemma. And since hair loss increases as one age, the numbers rise to a prevalence rate of 70% of men aged 70 years old and above. And 39% of men lose hair altogether.
British surveys also revealed that men are more afraid of losing their hair than they fear losing their job. This reflects the seriousness of hair loss and the emotional blow that a person struggling with it have to experience.
What types of hair loss are there?
Here are the three common types of hair loss prevalent in the UK today:
Your hair loss questions answered
How is hair loss diagnosed?
A person needs to undergo physical examinations conducted by a physician and dermatologist. They can determine the root cause of hair loss through this. Lifestyle changes and medications may then be prescribed once the physicians point out the main cause of your hair loss.
Hair loss causes may take a bit of time to be determined fully. For instance, if the physician suspects an autoimmune disorder behind the hair loss, he may send the patient for biopsy – obtaining a small amount of skin from the patient and testing it in a lab to look for possible causation of hair loss. Biopsy is just among the many possible alternative diagnostic methods your doctor may perform if he suspects a medical condition underlying your hair loss problem.
How is hair loss treated?
Over-the-counter medications such as topical creams and gels are usually the treatment of choice for managing hair loss. These remedies are directly rubbed into the scalp to promote hair growth and stop excessive shedding. Prescription oral medications may also be an option if your hair loss is worse than usual. However, these oral medications may have unpleasant side effects that may not feel worthy of tolerating just to bring back lost hair.
Severe forms of hair loss may require hair transplant surgery. This procedure involves small plugs of skin with a few hair strands being moved to bald parts of the scalp. The surgery can be costly and runs the risk of having patchy hair growth and scarring in the future.
Another treatment option for severe hair loss is micro-pigmentation. It is a cosmetic technique involving a tattoo that closely resembles a shaved or clipped hairstyle. The tattoo is then carefully applied to the balding head.
What is the outlook for people with hair loss?
Proper treatment may reverse or completely resolve hair loss. However, inherited hair loss may be more challenging to treat and mplete success in reversing the condition may not be fully achieved.