Hair loss is one of the most perturbing facets of growing old. But is all hair loss inevitable, caused by bad genetics? The answer is no. Hair loss can be caused by a wide variety of factors other than a genetic predisposition to it.
A normal scalp will grow hair from roughly 90 percent of its follicles and each follicle will grow hair for two to six years. After the hair’s growth period, the follicle will go dormant for a period of time only to be pushed out by a new follicle and the process to be repeated again.
Visible hair loss occurs when either the 90 percent of follicles that are in the growth phase shrinks and more follicles go dormant or when follicles die and are not replaced by new ones. Unfortunately, if your follicles are dying and not being replaced, there are few options other than expensive hair replacement surgery. However, if your scalp is just reducing the number of follicles that are in a growth cycle and increasing the number of dormant follicles, there are a variety of simple causes and solutions to your hair loss.
1. Stress. Our bodies react to stress in different ways. Some people will eat more and put on pounds when they are stressed. Others will loose sleep and become irritable. And some will loose hair from it. The scalp looses about 125 strands of hair per day. If you notice that you are loosing more during times of stress, then you may be suffering from stress-related hair loss. Relaxing more, taking up meditation or yoga, taking more vacation time or any other activity that relieves stress should help you keep more hair on your head.
2. Chemical reaction. Not all shampoos are good for your hair, and people react differently to different kinds of shampoos. The chemicals used to cause shampoo to lather are sometimes irritable to the scalp and may cause more damage to your hair than just simply make it clean. Try using all natural shampoos or shampoos that use less than 5 percent chemicals.
3. Fungi. Just like toes can grow fungus that cases athlete’s foot, the scalp is also susceptible to certain fungi that lead to hair loss. If you discover fungus on your scalp, treat it right away with proper medication.
4. Diet. A bad diet can also cause hair loss. Certain food contains essential minerals, vitamins and oils that are important for healthy hair. Foods rich in B vitamins, amino acids, biotin, beta-carotenes and folic acid promote healthy hair. Minerals such as magnesium, sulfur, silica and zinc also keep hair healthy.
5. Health issues. Hair loss is sometimes a symptom of a more serious health problem. Diseases such as Diabetes and Lupus can cause hair loss, as well as certain issues with the thyroid glands. If you suspect that you are loosing hair abnormally, consult a physician to make sure you are not suffering from a more serious condition.