Hair Loss Facts and Treatments

Hair loss affects over 80 million men and women in the US alone. Once the process starts, many folks are inclined to try anything to get their tresses back, including transplant! And although a number of different factors cause the condition, getting to the root of the problem is sometimes easier said than done.

Contributors include but are not confined to: poor diet, medications, vitamin deficiencies, genetics, recent illnesses, chemotherapy, stress, and daily hair care habits.

Britney Spears shaved head image Of course, Britney chose to get rid of her luscious locks, (whether PR stunt? or melt down?) but it still goes to show what a shock it can be when someone loses their hair!

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Alopecia is the general medical terminology for the loss of hair which sometimes results in baldness. It can also be caused by a psychological compulsion to pull out one's own hair, which is called Trichotillomania. Traction Alopecia is caused by excessively tight ponytails or braids, or burns to the scalp from hair relaxer’s or excessive use of hot irons. In some cases, Alopecia can be an indication of an underlying medical deficiency, such as iron deficiency.

When the loss only occurs in one area, it is known as Alopecia Areata. This typically occurs as a result of a highly stressful event or lifestyle change. Once the stressful situation has passed or improved, the loss of hair diminishes then resolves itself. Alopecia areata is more often however, caused by an autoimmune disorder.

Many years ago, when I was in Massage Therapy School, one of the students in my class developed a bald spot in the crown of her head. She had beautiful blonde hair and unfortunately, the absence of hair was very obvious. In her defense, massage school was very stressful as many of us were taking over 30 credit hours a semester. Once the hard semesters were over, her hair started growing back.

Your body is amazing, isn't it? It's obvious the cause of her balding was stress, but sometimes it isn't so clear!

There is a cultural and social importance associated with hair, especially the health of your hair, it’s length and it’s thickness. Think about the vast amount of money you spend on hair services and hair products. Once someone starts noticing they're losing hair, a hot pursuit to find a solution and remedy ensues. There are many factors like diseases, hormonal imbalances, heavy amounts of stress, and improper hair care that contribute to sudden hair loss.

Before you think about finding the right treatment for your lack of hair, read these interesting and informative facts:

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Hair Loss Facts

  • At all times, about 10 percent of your hair is in the resting stage and 90 percent is in the growing stage.

  • Noticeable loss of hair becomes visible only when you lose more than 50 percent of your hair.

  • Europeans and Africans have more problems with losing hair than Asians.

  • More than 50 percent of men, over the age of 50, suffer from a lack of hair.

  • There are more than 100,000 hairs over an average person’s head. People with natural blond hair have about 120,000; people with natural red hair will have about 80,000 hairs.

  • The thickness of one single strand of hair measures from .02" - .04".

  • Hair growth happens between 10 AM to 11 AM and also between 4 PM to 6 PM.

  • One hair fiber is able to support a weight of 100 grams. (or .22 pounds)

  • Various drugs, pharmaceutical and non-pharmaceutical, are linked to Female Pattern Baldness or Male Pattern Baldness.

  • Keratin is the main component of your hair, which gives it strength. Elastin, found in keratin, gives elasticity to your skin, hair, and fingernails.

  • Every person loses around 40 percent of hair in a their lifetime. That equals to about 100 hairs per day.

  • Approximately 40 percent percent of middle aged women suffer from female pattern baldness.

  • Hair grows at a rate of about a half inch per month.

  • Hair is the fastest growing tissue in the human body.

  • Research studies show that Asian hair grows the fastest and has the most resilient elasticity.

  • Hair grows the best between the ages of 15 to 30.

  • 40 million men and 20 million women suffer from baldness.

  • 40 percent of men have noticeable loss of hair by age 35 and 65 percent by age 60.

  • Your hair cannot reveal your gender.

  • Androgenetic Alopecia, commonly referred to as 'genetic balding', is the main cause of male and female hair loss. This genetic 'programming' accounts for 95 percent of male hair loss.

  • Hair grows naturally in cycles of approximately 3 to 8 years. At the end of the growth cycle, the hair shaft is shed from the follicle and a new hair grows.

    With thinning hair or balding, each successive growth cycle is shorter and the hair produced is thinner and finer. This is called 'miniturization'.

  • Neither men nor women go bald overnight. Instead, it is a slow progression of thinning hair and loss of hair that eventually leads to baldness. In many cases, balding has progressed far enough that hair treatments aren't enough to reverse the balding process.

  • Female Pattern Baldness affects 1 out of every 4 women in the U.S. Recent findings have found that the incidence of FPB has been reported to be as low as 8 percent and as high as 87 percent. Most often, menopause is the main time period for women to experience a loss of hair.

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    Hair Loss Treatments

  • Men and women react differently to various treatments. In men, hair loss may be halted or even reversed by Propecia. However, Propecia is not safe for women or children. Minoxidil (Rogaine) can be effective for both men and women in treating the problem.

  • If you want to promote hair growth and prevent hair loss, take more of this potent vitamin.

  • One major reason for hair loss in women especially, is a low thyroid function. It can also be caused by an iodine deficiency. You can increase your thyroid function just by supplementing with Lugol's. Most people need around 12 milligrams a day.

  • Hair loss in men however, can be caused by a deficiency in omega 3 fatty acids. If you're not eating fish at least twice a week, take a fish oil supplement daily, to get more omega's.

  • Bald spots and general loss over the entire scalp can also be caused by a yeast infection on the scalp. Most of the time, the culprit is seborrheic dermatitis, also called Cradle Cap. In seborrhea, greasy scales on the scalp are usually visible. When you remove the thick scales, hair will come off with the scales. The yeast infection can be resolved quickly and easily using some of the medications outlined on this page.

  • Steroid shots are sometimes used to promote hair growth on balding areas. You will have to get them regularly and they can be expensive over time, and painful.

  • There are many laser combs, (as pictured above), infrared heat or lights, and laser light treatments on the market that all promise to help regrow hair. They only work for some people, some of the time, so it's up to you to decide which treatments you want to try, if any.

  • If your hair loss is sudden, you should suspect that something is wrong with you physically. It can sometimes be the result of a highly stressful situation in your life, the development of an autoimmune disorder, or a thyroid malfunction. In all situations, sudden hair loss is not normal and you may need to have some blood tests run.

    Hair loss can be emotionally debilitating. If you are losing your hair but don't know why, talk to your family physician or health care provider. The answer may be as simple as a vitamin deficiency, but you'll never know for sure until you get checked out!

    Always consult your physician before using natural remedies, especially for anyone with preexisting conditions or anyone currently taking prescription medications. Although many efforts are made to ensure that the advice given on this site is professionally sound, the advice is not intended to replace a mutual relationship with a medical provider.

    Related Pages on This Site

    Tips for Hair Growth After Losing Hair

    Bald Spots on Head, Thinning Hair, and Hair Loss

    Superfoods to Grow Thicker Hair and Longer Hair

    Virtual Hair Styles – Create Your Own Everyday Style!

    Soft Shiny Hair - Best Methods to Create Glossy Hair

    Best Hair Color Shades that Compliment!

    Straight Hair Tips for Sleek Straight Styles

    Curly Hair Tips for Novel Curly Girls

    Your Haircut and Your Face Shape

    Protein Treatment for Hair Damage


    Loss of Hair in Men and Women (Alopecia)

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