Hair loss, also known as alopecia and more commonly, balding refers
to loss of hair not only on one’s head but also on one’s body. It is the head
that is mostly involved and hence we will be focussing on that in this segment.
100 hair a day are lost in a regular hair renewal
and replenishing cycle, but if your hair fall exceeds the normal range, it
should be something you are taking note of.
Hair loss generally starts by noticeable
loss of hair atone spot or in one region on the head. It may then gradually spread
all across the head. It may happen due to various reasons ranging from age to
stress and from hormonal imbalance to overuse of hair products. Men and women
go through hair loss in starkly varying patterns. Although both see bald spots
at the start of the fateful process, the regions and forms of hair loss are
Another point to be noted is that hair loss is different from shedding hair.
When one sheds hair, they grow back. But in case of hair loss, hair do not grow
back in the original capacity.
Speaking of it generally, without
segregating it gender wise, these are the primary causes of hair fall:
1. Pattern hair loss:
Male pattern hair
loss is believed to be due to a combination of genetics and the male hormone dihydrotestosterone. The cause in
female pattern hair remains unclear. It is quite common among men and it is
said to affect two-thirds of all men around the world in their lifetime.
Although often discounted to age, this kind of hair loss can begin as early as
18 years of age. It is also hereditary, that is it may be passed on from one
generation to another.
2. Medicines and drugs:
medicines we take have side-effects and hair fall is one of the most common
side-effects of long-term medication which are strong doses. Medication
prescribed for blood pressure problems, diabetes, heart
disease and cholesterol may be categorised as example.The
side-effects show because of hormonal alterations that these medicines bring
about. Hence, among women, contraceptive pills are the most common causes of
medication-induced hair loss.Some treatments used to cure mycotic infections
can also cause massive hair loss.
When talking of
traumas, we don’t mean psychological or physical trauma but the trauma that the
hair has to bear when they are pulled too hard or tied too tightly. This trauma
is called traction alopecia and is most common among people who tie ponytails
too often and too tight. Brushing the hair roughly or using excessive heat
while styling hair can also damage hair and lead to hair fall. Massages given
to the scalp, if given roughly can also result in the same as they damage the
cuticle as well as the hard-outer coating of the hair. This causes individual
strands to become weak and break off, reducing overall hair volume.
Now let’s see how we can
identify baldness or hair loss in men and women based on a few early sings:
1. RECEDING HAIRLINE:
A receding hairline is the most common sign of hair loss in
men. While it can start at almost any age, it is mostly around the early 30’s
that men start developing it. This is subject to lifestyle, weather, genetics
and hair care. The process generally starts just above the temples and slowly
creeps its way to the back of the head. This results in a ring of thin hair in
the middle of the head. The back of the hair and the sides tend to get bare
over time while the hair on the crown remain.
Although genetics are
the most popular cause of a receding hairline, it may also be caused due to
hormonal changes that either come about naturally or show up as side effects of
medicines and drugs.
If you notice
yourself going though a change as such, see a dermatologist immediately, who
may use a “pull test” – wherein s/he will pull a couple of your hair to check
if they come out easily – to check if it is the beginning of a receding
2. THINNING OF THE
The second common sign of hair loss in men is a thinning
crown. For a lot of men, this is how pattern baldness starts. The process
starts with them experiencing thinning on the top and at the back of the head.
The top is known as the crown or the vertex. Though often confused with a
receding hairline, the two are very distinct. Thinning can be seen when hair
become so scarce that the scalp starts to become visible. The two – receding
hairline and thinning of the crown – may combine must most men tend to have
either one of the two.
3. CURLY HAIR:
Unlike the 2 signs
listed on top, this is not a common sig of hair loss. It is very rare, in fact.
Under this condition, the hair on the hairline on the neck and just above the
ears begin to curl. Given its nature, it is quite difficult to spot and point specifically
as a sign of hair fall. Most men just disregard it as a bad air setting or a
“bad hair day”. Hence, if you see that your hair is curling up around the aid
areas repeatedly even after every wash, we suggest that you see a dermatologist
and contain the hazard while it still can be contained!
4. LOSS OF HAIR ON THE
TOP OF THE HEAD:
This is probably the most common and widespread sign of male
pattern baldness. This is said to happen when the man starts losing on the back
of and on the top of his head. If the man loses hair in patches or loses them
on the sides of his head alone, the hair loss may not be associated with
pattern baldness. If detected early on, this – like all other signs on the list
– can be very well treated to either stop the hair loss all together or to
delay it onset, at the very least.
5. SCRATCHY, FLAKY
This is not specific
to males but is a sign of hair fall worth noting. A scratchy, flaky scalp shows
an unhealthy environment for the hair to grow in. In an environment like that,
hair is bound to fall excessively because the roots of the hair become weak and
cannot hold the hair very firmly. The first thing you should do in this case is
oil your hair and try to moisturise your scalp as well as hair. It is likely
that given the state of your scalp, your hair have started to become dry too.
6. THINNING HAIR:
Unlike men, who develop bald spots and a receding hairline,
hair loss in women happens in a more uniform manner wherein their hair thin all
over the head. Some women do, however, also see a receding hairline. But very
few experience bald spots and loss of hair only in certain parts.
The moment you
realise your hair is thinning all over the head, you must see a dermatologist,
who will check if it is just your hair’s reaction to a change in weather, hair
products or hormone. If none of them come up to be true, it is advisable that
you start treating the thinning well before too much of the scalp becomes
7. WIDER PARTITION:
This is a very easy was of spotting hair fall. Women
generally tend to part their either on one side or in the middle. Due to the constant
partitions drawn by the comb and the constant exposure of that part of the
scalp, the gap starts getting wider in the event of hair fall. This is an
example of thinning showing more in one particular region of the head: the
partition gap. Most people ignore this sign by try to hide the increasing gap
by parting their hair on the other side. But this is extremely unhealth because
ignorance can cost a lot in case of hair fall or hair loss. Therefore, a
widening partition is a sign that you should be going and seeing a
dermatologist as soon as you can.
8. HAIR ON PILLOWS,
COMBS AND IN SHOWER DRAINS:
Another easily spottable sign of hair fall is increased
spotting of hair on pillows on waking up in the morning, or having too many
hairs stuck on the comb etc. It is possible that this hair fall be only a phase
due to high stress or because of physical changes, but it is best to go to a
dermatologist if it continues beyond the said period.
9. MORE VISIBLE SCALP:
visible sign of hair fall is the clear visibility of the scalp. Due to thinning
and wider partition, the scalp becomes more and more visible. Its visibility
keeps increasing with age if not treated in time, i.e., when it starts.
10. ROUND THE CLOCK HAIR
For most people with healthy hair, the most abundant hair
fall happens when they comb their hair in the morning. But if you find yourself
shedding hair all day long irrespective of whether you are combing your hair or
unknotting it with your hands, etc., it should become obvious that the falling
hair indicate a very high chance of likelihood of hair fall.
MYTHS ABOUT HAIR LOSS THAT WE NEED TO KNOW THE FACTS ABOUT:
1. MYTH: For men, it’
their mother’s father’s fault:
Most men look at old
pictures of their maternal grandfather to determining the odds of their hair
running scanty at an early age or at any age at all because it is believed that
the “hair” gene is inherited from the mother’s father. However, this is totally
untrue. Hair density is a polygenic trait, which means that genes of more than
one person determine the nature and thickness of your hair. Therefore,
FACT: It could be absolutely any one or many people from
either side of your family.
2. MYTH: Wearing a hat
or a cap suffocates the hair and causes it to fall.
While most people
will tell you that wearing a hat, or a cap will cause you to lose hair at a
faster rate, the truth is that hair loss has nothing to do with having your
hair covered. People say as they do because they believe covering hair with
caps and hats can cause them to suffocate and fall excessively, as a result.
But as long as you are not wearing any head cover too tight there is no reason
for it to cause hair fall or accentuate the rate of already falling hair.
Hence, as Joshua Zeichner says, “If you’re wearing a really tight hat, maybe
that can put pressure on areas where it contacts your head, which could
potentially lead to traction alopecia.” (hair fall caused due to pulling of
FACT: Only if the cap, or hat is worn too tight, the areas on
which is makes contact with the hair can begin to chafe and the hair in those
regions may become scanty. BUT NIT OTHERWISE.
3. MYTHY: Stress causes
a lot of hair to fall:
Stress is listed as
one of the most common and widespread causes of hair fall. And while it is true
that certain traumatic events and incidents like an illness, a really tough
week at work or something you may be dealing with personally, may result in
hair loss but most specialists say that such hair loss I only a “resting phase”
and is temporary.
FACT: Such hair fall is only a resting phase and is
The best way to treat hair
fall, or the signs of hair fall -no matter how small you think they are – is to
go to a dermatologist and consult with him/her on how to nip the issue in the
bud. Trying home remedies is also a good idea for starters but one must not
reply on them for too long. We hope these signs will help you spot hair fall
well in time!
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