According to the experts losing up to 100 to 150 hairs per day is normal. However, some people may experience excessive hair loss due to variety of reasons.
An article "Diffuse hair loss: Its triggers and management " published in Cleveland Clinical Journal of Medicine, points out that stressful conditions, medical diseases, nutritional deficiencies, and certain medicines are important causesfor hair loss. Apart from them, there are other causes that increase the risk of hair loss.
Causes for excessive hair loss
- Stressful conditions
Stress associated with long duration illness, high fever, haemorrhage (excessive bleeding due to various causes), or major surgery can lead to temporary hair loss for 2-3 months after an incident.
- Underlying medical diseases
Hair fall may be secondary to internal diseases such as liver failure, kidney failure, inflammatory bowel disease, lupus, psoriasis, and diabetes.
- Nutritional deficiency
Dietary deficiency of zinc, iron, proteins, fatty acid and vitamin D raises chances of hair fall. Vitamin D is essential for normal cell growth and hence its deficiency leads to hair damage.
Person doing caloric restriction and severe dieting may have nutritional deficiency of these important nutrients. They are at high risk of hair fall.
Drugs used in treatment of gout, heart diseases such as anticoagulants (blood thinners), antihypertensive (for high blood pressure), oral contraceptive pills and antidepressant can cause hair loss.
- Hormonal problems
Overactive or underactive thyroid can cause hair loss. Androgen and estrogens imbalance, especially during puberty, pregnancy or after delivering baby can lead to hair loss.
Dandruff is a reversible cause for hair loss. Dandruff may be due to fungal infection, oily skin, stress, and dry and cold weather. Seborrheic dermatitis- an inflammatory process affecting scalp can lead to dandruff and hair fall. The condition develops due to over active oil producing (-sebaceous) glands of the scalp.
- Hair treatment and excessive use of hair accessories
Trying various hairstyles put pressure on hair root resulting in hair fall. Wearing pigtails, cornrows or tight hair rollers lead to traction alopecia. Various chemicals used for hair perming causes inflammation of hair follicles, scarring and hair fall. Most chemical hair treatment damages hair shaft, making them weak and fragile.
- Other causes
Too much brushing or using the blow dryer frequently increases hair fall.
Prevention of hair loss
- Maintain hair hygiene
First step in prevention of hair loss is maintenance of hair hygiene, which mainly includes regular shampooing and brushing. Don't use hot water for hair wash as it can strip off sebum from the scalp, which imparts shine to the hair. Always use lukewarm water for good and shiny hair.
- Eat nutritious
Eat food enriched with iron, vitamin and minerals to prevent deficiency induced hair
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