Millions of people around the world go to great lengths to keep their hair lush and shiny. There’s no better way to prove it than the hair care industry’s market size, which is projected to grow to almost $112 billion in 2026.
Unfortunately, some are not as lucky as others, and they couldn’t share the enthusiasm of buying new products that promise salon gorgeous or stylishly tousled hair. In the US, 50 million males and 30 million females suffer from hair loss, according to the National Institutes of Health.
If you’re curious to know more about hair loss, read on as we walk you through ways on how you can manage it and eight common reasons why you might be losing your hair.
How to Manage Hair Loss
- Take some hair loss medications: Other than topical drug, minoxidil, you can take oral medications to treat hair loss. According to goodrx, finasteride is one of the inexpensive and effective medications for excessive hair shedding and an enlarged prostate. But is it safe?
Finasteride is generally safe and effective for men, but with information coming from Mayo Clinic, it’s found out that finasteride may cause fetal abnormalities when taken by pregnant women. Children are advised to refrain from taking it, too.
- Wear a wig or headscarf: Whether you have full or thinning hair, a wig and a scarf can serve as your crowning glory.
- Eat healthily: A well-nourished body can help you fight off diseases and boost hair growth. So, load up on protein, our cells building-blocks, and other nutrients such as iron, zinc, niacin, selenium, and vitamins A to E to keep your hair as healthy as your body.
10 Reasons Why You Might Be Losing Your Hair
This condition affects both men and women. In men, genetics play a huge role–men who have bald fathers or uncles are highly at risk. In women, androgenetic alopecia occurs typically during menopause, and hormones are likely to be blamed.
This type of baldness manifests differently in men and women. Males usually lose hair in the front of the head, while women lose hair all over, but typically at the line where they part their hair. In both genders, however, there’s only one hormone responsible for hair loss: dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which is a hormone that our body produces as a testosterone byproduct.
Ever wonder how we become less agile and more forgetful as we age? It’s because our cells become less active, reproducing at a far lower rate than in our childhood. This overall slowdown manifests physically–thinning hair.
Up to two-thirds of menopausal women experience hair loss. In men, baldness affects more than half of those over 50 years. On the other hand, women aged over 80 have more than a 60% chance of experiencing hormonal hair loss.
Ever notice how your hair texture changes when you’re not in the pink of health? It’s because your hair, to some extent, reflects how well-nourished your body is. Lack of nutrients most often leads to dry, coarse, and brittle hair. In some cases, it may even trigger hair loss.
Under normal circumstances, our immune system can recognize viruses, bacteria, and other foreign bodies to produce antibodies. For people with autoimmune diseases, the immune system becomes confused and attacks the healthy cells, inadvertently identifying them as foreign objects.
Hair shedding happens when these diseases either attack the scalp and hair follicles or as a side effect of immunosuppressant drugs, such as the following:
- Alopecia areata
- Hashimoto’s disease
- Grave’s disease
- Crohn’s disease
Besides autoimmune disorders, diabetes can cause hair loss, too. That’s because too much sugar can damage our internal organs and blood vessels, which transport oxygen around our body. Once the blood vessels are damaged, it may not be able to efficiently deliver oxygen to our hair follicles, which negatively impacts the hair growth cycle.
Most cases of hormonal imbalance can show up in the form of dry skin, weight gain or loss, sleep problems, and hair problems that eventually lead to hair loss. Key hormones that impact hair shedding include thyroid hormones, testosterone, estrogen, and insulin. Hence, any condition that triggers hormonal changes, such as pregnancy and menopause, will likely result in hair fallouts.
Do you often tie your hair in a tight ponytail or style it in cornrows? If so, you might be susceptible to traction alopecia, which is a type of hair loss caused by constantly pulling on your hair.
Major life changes can cause emotional shock and other psychological issues, leading to increased hair shedding. There are three types of hair loss associated with stress:
- Telogen effluvium forces hair follicles to rest.
- Alopecia areata is typically an autoimmune disease but can be triggered by severe stress, too.
- Trichotillomania refers to hair pulling as a form of dealing with stress and other negative feelings to some people.
Hair loss is a prevalent issue caused by a confluence of several factors–hormonal changes, genes, diseases, aging, among others. Addressing the root cause of a specific hair loss trigger is the most effective solution. In some cases, medications and a nutritious diet may encourage hair growth.