For many men and women, your head of hair may determine how comfortable you are with your appearance. Needless to say, thinning hair is, at the very least, unnerving, but it can also be confusing. Since shedding hair is normal, we may ignore the first signs of hair loss, also known as alopecia, or question whether it is really excessive or not.
For some, though, the scalp is becoming much more visible, a receding hairline more apparent, or bald spots are beginning to appear. Perhaps a noticeably larger ball of hair lies on the shower floor after shampooing.
Women may be more conscious of their hair loss when they see their hairbrush extra-full of shed follicles, or when that hair tie that they once struggled to wrap twice around their gathered bunch of hair now wraps easily three or more times.
So what are the steps to take if you begin to experience hair loss? How do you uncover the reasons behind it, how do you halt it, and most importantly, how do you restore your full head of hair?
1) Think about how you treat your hair.
Before looking any further, determine whether you are unconsciously contributing to it yourself with habit or hairstyle. Women who wear their hair in a tight bun or ponytail, or use hair extensions, could be putting pressure on their scalp, causing a form of gradual hair loss called traction alopecia.
Chemical treatments or dramatic hair color changes using harsh chemicals may be a contributing factor as well. Also, pulling excessively at your hair, a condition known as trichotillomania, may be a cause.
2) Think about how you treat your body.
Evaluate your nutrition and look at what you eat on a daily basis. A balanced diet is something many of us strive for but few achieve. Dietary deficiencies in iron and the amino acid lysine can create hair loss issues. Low lysine and low iron levels could be triggers that may cause the body to shed hair follicles.
Luckily, there are some simple ways you can get these nutrients back to nourish your body and hair. To combat an iron deficiency, incorporate iron-rich foods like poultry, pork, seafood, red meat, dark leafy greens like spinach, beans, dried fruit, and iron-rich cereals and breads in your diet. To add more lysine to your meals, try foods including fish, poultry and meat, and dairy products like low-fat yogurt and cheese.
Be mindful of how stress affects your body and female hair loss too. It is normal to lose about 100 hairs a day, but physiological stress can add to the tally. Physiological stress is chronic stress that upsets hormonal balances in the body.
While we all know that stress has a litany of negative health effects, significant long-term stress events can actually trigger a change to a body's routine physiological functions. More hairs may go into a “resting phase” and fall out at alarming numbers.
Identifying whether you are experiencing long-term stress and evaluating what other effects it is having on your health will not only do your hair good, but also benefit your entire body.
3) Talk to your doctor about female hair loss.
There are many causes of alopecia, so consulting a dermatologist or a hair specialist known as a trichologist may help you quickly diagnose the issue at hand. The specialist can determine whether it is a fungal infection, a result of heredity, or if there is another underlying medical condition that may be the culprit. In fact, about 30 diseases, including anemia and thyroid disease, can contribute to the problem, according to American Academy of Dermatology. Treating any disease that is present may help stop or reverse the loss.
During your appointment, also discuss what medications you are taking with your doctor. Some medications including certain antidepressants, some blood pressure medications or beta blockers, anticoagulants, male and female hormones, anti-seizure medications and even an excess of vitamin A (often found in acne medications), may cause hair loss.
With a specialist, you can also determine the best type of treatment for hair loss. NeoGraft is one minimally invasive hair restoration option to consider. With little-to-no discomfort and quick recovery time NeoGraft transplants individual hair follicles and implants them where hair loss has occurred.
At NeoGraft, you can schedule a consultation with your local Certified NeoGraft Physician to discuss potential causes of your hair loss as well as treatment options.
While hair loss is alarming, often it can be corrected or treated. Determining the underlying cause of your hair loss will require self-analysis, research, and sometimes lifestyle changes. But by beginning your detective work early, and patiently examining the possibilities, you can gain a head start in getting it under control.