Our hair is often part of our identity. It is unique to our culture and style, and we each style and accessorize our hair in different ways. Suddenly suffering from hair loss can be devastating. There are many reasons why hair loss occurs, and it is important to understand the causes before beginning any type of treatment.
Whether you have alopecia or another disorder causing hair loss, there are some important things to consider as you contemplate diagnosis and treatment.
9 Interesting Facts About Hair Loss
Here are some interesting facts you may not know about hair loss:
1. Hair Loss Affects Men and Women
Hair loss is much more common among men than women, but it can affect either gender. There are different types of hair loss that affect sufferers in different ways:
- Male-Pattern Baldness can occur in young men with thinning of the hair occurring more frequently as men age. This usually begins as a receding hairline and eventually spreads out across the sides and back of the head.
- Female-pattern hair loss is similar to that of males, but is usually less pronounced. Most often, thinning begins at the top of the head. Women generally do not experience this until menopause (around 40% of women do experience this).
- Alopecia is a type of hair loss that affects men and women. It is an autoimmune disorder that causes patchy hair loss or complete hair loss on certain parts of the body. Alopecia is rarely permanent and hair typically begins to re-grow on its own.
2. Everyone Loses Hair Everyday
Some level of hair loss is normal. Most people lose, on average 50-100 hairs per day. This hair loss is generally not noticeable unless you have very long hair.
3. Hair Loss Can be Caused by Bad Habits
One of the most common non-medical reasons for hair loss is use of hair products that contain chemicals. Hair dye and many types of relaxers can be harmful to your hair follicles. Using heat on a regular basis can also damage the proteins in your hair, which can cause hair loss or thinning.
4. Hair Has a Lifespan
Each strand of hair on your body has an individual lifespan. The continuous growth cycle of hair can last from two to six years. Under normal, healthy circumstances, the hair re-growth cycle starts before hair is lost.
5. Common Causes of Hair Loss that are Myths
There are many myths about hair loss. Many people believe that there are certain activities and behaviors that can cause hair loss. Some of the most common myths that are not true include:
- Wearing Hats
- Frequent Shampooing
- Clogged Pores
- Decreased Blood Flow
6. Medications Can Cause Hair Loss
When our doctor prescribes a medication, we hope that the benefits outweigh any side effects. Unfortunately, there are some medications that can cause or contribute to hair loss. These medications are often the ones used to treat:
- Heart Problems
- High Blood Pressure
7. How Much Hair You Really Have
The Average person has 100,000 strands of hair on their head at any given time. Some experts believe that you would have to lose 50% of your scalp hair in order for hair thinning or loss to be apparent.
8. Many Medical Conditions Can Cause Hair Loss
In addition to alopecia – which is the most commonly associated medical condition – there are many medical conditions that can cause hair loss. Telogen effluvium is a condition where the number of hair follicles producing hair actively is reduced for a period of time.
There are also skin conditions that can cause hair loss, such as ringworm infection, seborrheic dermatitis, and other autoimmune disorders.
9. Hair Loss is a Stressful Event
Hair loss in Black women can cause stress and anxiety. It can harm self confidence and cause feelings of embarrassment. It’s important for women to realize that some hair loss is a natural part of aging, and can also be a consequence of certain hair products. Often, hair loss is temporary, and there are things you can do to initiate re-growth.
No matter what type of hair loss you have, it is important to talk to your doctor about what is causing the loss and what you can do to initiate re-growth. Remember that most hair loss is temporary, and there are things you can do to cover patchy hair loss. Wear a fun hat, scarf, headband, or wig to boost your confidence and add an unusual touch to your style.