Hair loss, also called alopecia, can occur anywhere on your body though it is more common on your head. Anyone can experience hair loss, including men, women and children, and at any age. There are a variety of reasons why someone might experience hair loss ranging from chemotherapy to being part of the natural aging process. There are also treatments and procedures you can do to restore hair growth or even implant hair follicles in the areas of your head that are scarce.
Signs and Symptoms of Hair Loss
There are different ways that someone loses their hair, in four main types. The first is the gradual thinning on top of your head which can occur in men and women. This is when over a long period of time, hair begins thinning which can go unnoticed for several years, depending on the thickness of your hair. You can also get patchy or circular bald spots, which are also on your scalp. These are usually about an inch across and can accompany itchy or painful scalp skin. The third type is the sudden loosening of hair which causes your hair to come out easily when washing or combing your hair, or even with a slight tug. This will cause thinning rather than full on bald patches. Lastly, there is full body hair loss which is often from medical conditions or treatments like chemotherapy.
When you should see a Doctor
For the most part, hair loss isn’t an issue, especially if it is slow and gradual thinning. However if it is sudden or patchy hair loss, it might be signaling another medical condition as you should talk to your doctor about it. It is normal to shed about 50-100 individual hair a day which isn’t usually noticeable.
Causes of Hair Loss
There are many different things that can lead to hair loss including hormonal factors, aging, genetics, and medical conditions including thyroid problems, alopecia acreata, scalp infections, and other skin disorders like lupus or lichen planus. Some medications can also cause hair loss such as those to treat cancer, arthritis, depression, heart problems, and high blood pressure. Hair loss can also be caused by a physical or emotional shock, hair-pulling disorder, some hairstyles that pull the hair taught, hair treatments, and poor nutrition.
Treating Hair Loss
If you can treat the underlying cause of the hair loss, it may be reversed such as stopping certain medications or eating a healthier diet. For other types of hair loss, there are different surgeries like hair transplant and scalp reduction. The last result for hair loss is to wear a wig or hairpiece.