7 CAUSES of HAIR LOSS...WHAT'S NORMAL, WHAT'S NOT, WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT
Hey all you Babes, Bosses, and Beauties...
We wanted to take a moment to chat about something that's very close to our hearts here at Monica Nicole Hair.
Many of you may not know that the month of August, is a National Hair Loss Awareness month. That being said, we wanted to take a little bit of time, to share some information with you beauties on the topic of hair growth as well as hair loss, and how it is affecting so many women.
Hair loss is normal. I’m sure you have heard that you should lose a certain amount of hairs every day but what does normal hair loss look like? What about abnormal hair loss? What are some causes for premature or excessive hair loss? What can be done to manage it?
Before we can discuss how hair is lost, we first need to fully understand how it grows.
THE HAIR GROWTH CYCLE
Ladies, did you know that your hair has a natural life cycle? In a since each strand of hair on your head is born, it lives for the predetermined time frame set by your own DNA, and then it dies or in this case falls out.
Knowing that the hair has this life cycle will help to understand why some people can grow hair no longer than their shoulders, while very few can grow hair all the way to their knees. “Bra strap length”, what’s that!
The hair growth cycle is broken down into 4 stages, which include the anagen (growing phase), catagen (transition phase), telogen (resting phase), and exogen (shedding phase). Each one of these phases last for a different amount of time and occur simultaneously. If it happened all at once we would all be walking around bald every 2-5 years! 🥴
I don’t want to get too technical but I do want to share a little information about each one of the hair lifecycle phases.
-Anagen phase -The anlagen phase is the longest phase and can last anywhere from 2 to 5 years or up to 7 years, if you are extremely fortunate. While in this phase your follicles are pushing hair out, until you cut it or it reaches the end of its life span and falls out. In general about 90% of your hair is in the anagen phase at the same time.
-Catagen phase- This phase begins when the anagen phase ends and last a little less than two weeks. While this is happening the hair growth slows as the follicle shrinks, with the strand separating from the actual follicle itself but remaining in place! This would account for about 5% of the hair on your scalp.
-Telogen phase- The telogen phase is called the resting phase for a reason. The hair is literally resting. It isn’t growing anymore but it isn’t falling out. It’s simply at rest and remains here for around 90 days. This can be happening on 10 to 15 percent of your scalp at one time. We definitely hope for the lesser of the two!
-Exogen phase- The exogen phase means that it’s time for that hair to exit the follicle. This is often seen in the hair we lose when we are maintaining and styling our hair as it hits the floor or is stuck in our brushes and combs. This is where we get those 50-100 hairs a day that all us should lose, which represents normal shedding. This can last from 2-5 months but the exciting news is on a healthy head those follicles have new hairs already growing in the place of the old ones that we lost!
What we just discussed was the natural normal growth cycle of the hair. But what if you are seeing a noticeable difference in the the amount of hair you are losing? Why might cause this to happen? What are some solutions to overcome or adapt to this problem?
CAUSES OF EXCESSIVE OR PREMATURE HAIR LOSS
As discussed above we should naturally loose a certain amount of hair in a day. But what if you brush, comb, and pull out hair by the handfuls. Yes it happens, but why?
Surprisingly there are an overwhelming amount of reasons as to why this can happen. Here we listed a few of the main causes for hair loss in men, women, and children.
- Genetics- Your genes play a major role in whether or not you experience premature hair loss. Anyone heard of hereditary-pattern baldness?
- Stress- Stress impacts the hair and scalp more than you know. Hair loss conditions like Telogen Effluvium, Trichotillomania, and the most well know Alopecia Areata, are all conditions that can be stress induced and cause premature hair loss.
- Diet- What you eat or don’t eat plays a major role in hair health. Deficiencies of certain vitamins and well as iron and protein deficiencies can lead to shedding and thinning of the hair.
- Medications- There are many medications, not limited to but including, high blood pressure medicines, blood thinners, anesthesia and antidepressants just to name a few can do a number on your hair as well.
- Medical treatments/illness/injury- Along with medication, medical treatments for certain illnesses such as cancer, illnesses such as lupus and injuries can all affect the hair and scalp. Chemotherapy is a well known treatment option for cancer patients that is known to cause hair loss.
- Hormones- Throughout a women’s life hormones can go from one extreme to the next. This usually starts in the early teen years when the menstrual cycle begins and is often followed by the use of birth control, the affects of pregnancy, post pregnancy issues, and then right on over into menopause. The hormones play a vital role in having gorgeous hair or the lack thereof, and can have an extreme affect the quality of the hair.
- Aging- Ok, well none of us can escape this one but we can make the choice to age as gracefully as possible based on our circumstances. Either way it goes, as we age the hair follicles do as well and may not produce as much of or the same quality of hair as we had during our youth.
THE SILVER LINING
It is always our hope that you have a beautiful healthy head of your own hair, but we realize that sometimes this may not be the case. Some types of hair loss are only temporary and the hair is able to grow back on its own or with help from your medical professional. However in some cases there is permanent damage to the follicles. This can lead to permanent hair loss.
Managing stress can really help to keep a lot of things at bay. Not only for the health of your hair and scalp but for the overall health and well-being of your body.
Stress free styling of the hair is another way to keep hair strong. Traction Alopecia is a form of hair loss that affects a lot of women especially in the black community. A lot of the styling options such as tight braiding, ponytails, improperly installed wig and hair extensions can create this problem among other things.
It is always important to be mindful of your level of nutrition, eating a variety of foods with the vitamins and minerals necessary for your hair, skin, and nails, or even potentially adding some type of supplementation where necessary to maintain your overall health.
Whenever transitioning on or off of medications or health treatments always keep yourself informed on expected side effects and communicate any of them with you doctor. Sometimes medications can be adjusted if reactions are severe.
OTC (over—the-counter) products are available for those who may be suffering from hair loss but we do encourage you to speak to a dermatologist or medical provider, to find out the cause of your condition so that you can treat it effectively.
If all else fails, and you need some help due to long term or permanent hair loss or thinning, La Chic Lace Wigs & Extensions would love to support you through your hair journey, by providing you with natural or extremely fabulous wigs and hair extensions.