What Causes Hair Loss and How to Prevent It

What Causes Hair Loss and How to Prevent It

1. What causes hair loss in women?

a. Childbirth

b. Genetics

c. Stress

d. Medication

e. Diet

2. How much hair loss is normal in the shower?

3. How to prevent hair loss

 

Hair shedding is a totally normal part of everyday life, for both men and women. In fact, the Canadian Dermatology Association says that we lose between 50 and 100 strands a day. However, if you’ve noticed that you have to do extra vacuuming, unclog your sink more often or clean your brush every other day, you might be experiencing hair loss. When you start to shed significantly more—and hair isn’t growing back at the same rate—that’s when you may notice that your hair is thinning out and, worse, you’ve got a bald spot! This, of course, can be traumatic—especially so if you’re a woman. From an early age, women are taught that long, thick hair is our crowning glory and that it defines our womanhood. So, when we’re at risk of losing our hair, it can be a huge hit to our confidence.

Have you noticed that your hair is falling out more than usual, looks thinner or seems to be growing more slowly? Here are some of the most common reasons for hair loss in women—and how to prevent hair loss.

1. What causes hair loss in women?


Hair loss in women is more common than you might think—it’s just not talked about because it’s a “taboo” subject. According to the Canadian Hair Loss Foundation, at least 50% of women will be affected by female pattern hair loss. But figuring out why you’re suddenly losing more hair than usual can be tricky because there are many different causes. As with any type of change to your health, if you’re concerned about hair loss, the best thing to do is speak with your doctor. But as a starting point, here are the most common hair loss causes.

a. Childbirth


Pregnancy brings with it a lot of changes—including hair growth, which kicks into high gear. Post-delivery, estrogen levels start to even out and then all that excess luscious hair begins to shed; this can last for several months. This type of hair loss is called telogen effluvium and, luckily, it’s temporary.

b. Genetics


We’re all aware of male pattern baldness, but all genders can be affected by hereditary hair loss, which is a condition that can be passed on by either parent. In women, this kind of hair loss typically shows up after menopause and looks different from a receding hairline, which is common for men. Instead, it shows up as a widening of the centre or side part or an overall thinning that reveals more scalp on the crown.

c. Stress


Stress can bring many negative attributes to our health, but can stress cause hair loss? In short, yes. It’s another kind of telogen effluvium hair loss—it’s linked to temporary, non-genetic thinning. If you get your stress under control, your hair will likely grow back.

d. Medication


Some medications can cause chronic shedding or drug-induced alopecia—the most obvious one, of course, being chemotherapy. The Mayo Clinic says that certain drugs used to treat arthritis, depression and high blood pressure have also been linked to temporary hair loss. And anesthesia is related to telogen effluvium hair loss. However, the jury is still out on Botox. There have been no conclusive studies linking it to hair loss.

e. Diet


Other causes of female hair loss may be nutritional deficiencies—usually a lack of protein or complex carbohydrates or a deficiency in iron, vitamin B3 or zinc. Severe dehydration can also cause hair to become brittle and dry and break off easily, leading to the appearance of thinning hair.

2. How much hair loss is normal in the shower?


Finding clumps of hair in your shower drain is alarming, but it’s actually totally normal since we lose between 50 and 100 strands a day. That number can increase if you colour your hair with bleach (breakage), have longer hair, rough it up with shampoo or wear it pulled back in elastic bands frequently.

That may seem like a lot of hair loss, but research shows that the human head has 80,000 to 120,000 hairs on it. Each strand of hair goes through three major life stages: a growth phase, a transitional phase (when the growing stops) and a resting phase. After the resting phase, the hair falls out.

3. How to prevent hair loss


Once you identify what’s causing your hair loss and change your behaviours, the increased shedding should gradually resolve itself. However, there are hair loss treatments and supplements (like zinc, iron and B vitamins) that can help kick-start the process. But can birth control pills help with hair loss? Yes and no. For people with female pattern hair loss, birth control is sometimes prescribed to treat progressive hair loss. For others, however, it can actually trigger a different kind of hair loss: telogen effluvium.

It’s important to remember that healthy, strong, thick hair can only come from a healthy scalp, which is why it’s a good move to opt for a hair loss shampoo that’s made for thinning hair to give it some extra TLC. Enter Vichy Dercos Densi-Solutions Thickening Shampoo. It’s formulated for damaged and weakened hair and contains proven hair loss prevention ingredients such as rhamnose (for elasticity), filoxane (for strength) and vitamin E (for protection), all of which leave hair stronger, thicker and denser.

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