If you notice hair strands falling while washing or brushing your hair, you’re not alone.
Shedding around 100 hair strands a day is normal, but if your hair fall surpasses that number, then there is a problem. (1)
More than half of all men and women experience some type of hair fall, and if you do too, it is essential to find out why.
Why You Can’t Stop Hair Loss
Here are the top reasons behind your hair fall:
1. Hereditary factors
If you’ve been going through a lot of hair loss recently and have tried every treatment but nothing seems to help, then you should check your mother’s, father’s, and grandmother’s hair to see if they have a similar or more significant amount of hair loss. (2)
Hereditary hair loss may occur anytime, even in your teenage years. (3)
2. Hormonal changes
Hormonal changes have a big say in hair fall, and if you’ve experienced pregnancy, childbirth, menopause, or hypothyroidism recently, then it can be one of the reasons for your hair fall.
It is also common to see people with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) experience a higher rate of hair fall due to the high levels of the hormone androgen.
Women who stop taking birth control pills also experience hair loss. It can also occur in people who take medicines, but in most cases, it can be reversed with treatment. (4)
One of the reasons you are unable to control your hair loss could be alopecia. There are various types of alopecia, including alopecia areata, androgenetic alopecia, and traction alopecia.
It is important that you visit a physician to get it checked and take the medication prescribed. (5)
4. Iron deficiency anemia
A balanced diet is essential to combat deficiencies in the body. But when you don’t eat enough iron-rich foods, you may experience iron deficiency, which causes fatigue, weakness, pale skin, and hair fall.
Iron deficiency is a serious condition because the blood will not have enough red blood cells to transport oxygen to the cells in your body. (6)
To combat this problem, regularly consume iron-rich foods such as fish, leafy greens, fortified cereals, and beans. You may also take supplements such as biotin, silica, and L-cysteine upon your doctor’s recommendation.
5. Crash diets
Many people who want to slim down and control their weight follow a crash diet as the easiest route, but at a cost to their body and hair.
Crash diets do not provide sufficient nutrition to the body and can affect the body’s functioning, including that of the hair follicles, leading to hair loss.
For instance, low amounts of proteins in the diet can cause telogen effluvium, which is reversible with a balanced diet. (7)
A hectic and fast-paced life can leave you with high stress levels, which are responsible for various health problems, including excessive hair fall and a receding hairline.
If you’re constantly under stress and are noticing unusual hair loss, consult a physician to get a grip on it. (8)
7. Use of chemical-laden products and hot tools
Nowadays, it is becoming a trend for men and women to straighten their hair and color it pink, purple, red, or blonde. These treatments usually involve using many chemicals that damage the hair shaft and cause hair fall. (9)
When buying personal care products, always read the product labels to check if they contain sulfates, alcohol, parabens, mineral oil, etc., which are harmful to your hair.
Go natural and choose products with ingredients such as onion juice, coconut oil, aloe vera, curry leaves, and other herbal ingredients that help improve your hair quality and texture. (10)
8. Tight hairstyles
Another reason for hair fall is regularly tying or braiding the hair too tightly, as it constantly pulls the hair follicles and causes stress to the hair shaft. This practice leads to hair thinning and bald patches on the scalp known as traction alopecia. (11)
So, keep your hair down or tie a loose ponytail to avoid hair fall. (11)
9. Not using a good-quality shampoo and conditioner
The golden rule for a good hair wash is to use a good-quality shampoo and conditioner that do not contain harmful ingredients such as sulfates, parabens, and fragrances. (12)
Use a shampoo and conditioner that contains natural ingredients such as coconut oil, onion juice, aloe vera, and curry leaves, among others, as chemical-laden ones damage your hair.
In one study, damage caused to the hair by harmful ingredients in commercially available shampoos was visible under a scanning electron microscope, and completely natural shampoos were found to be better. (13)
Before buying a shampoo and conditioner, always read the ingredient label and avoid products that contain harmful ingredients. Make sure they do not contain sulfates, parabens, fragrances, and mineral oil. (14)
According to one study, frequently washing the hair with a well-formulated shampoo will not damage the hair if used alongside a good-quality conditioner. (15)
Another recent study revealed there’s no doubt washing the hair with a good-quality shampoo is good. The study also found there are no bad effects if Asian hair is washed frequently. (16)
When washing your hair, apply shampoo on the scalp and conditioner only on your hair strands. Also, never use hot water to wash your hair. (15) Instead, use cold or tepid water, which helps your hair to retain moisture.
Moreover, one report revealed that persistent use of a cold pillow compress could reduce hair fall. (17)
10. Excessively brushing your hair
Excessive brushing of the hair can damage the hair cuticle and, in turn, cause hair breakage and split ends.
If you have thin and weak hair, then brush it only twice a day. (18) Use a hair serum on your tresses to detangle them, and then brush your hair with a wide-tooth comb to combat hair fall.
11. Not trimming your hair
Your hair needs regular trimming to remove split ends and prevent excessive hair fall. Cutting your hair every 6–8 weeks is recommended. (19)
12. Smoking and drinking
Tobacco smoking is associated with adverse effects on the skin as well as the hair. Cigarette smoke affects the microvasculature of the dermal hair papilla, causing damage to the hair follicle DNA.
More awareness should be raised about the relationship between cigarette smoke and hair loss. (20)
Exposure to UV radiation has been proven to be detrimental to hair growth and decreases melanin in the hair. It also has a bad effect on some tissues in the body. (21)
How to Treat Hair Loss
You can treat hair loss in the following ways:
A physician may approve the use of hair loss treatments such as minoxidil (Rogaine®) that are to be applied to the scalp.
Males with male-pattern baldness may be prescribed the oral medication finasteride (Propecia®). (22)
2. Hair transplant
A hair transplant may be suggested by your health care provider. In this procedure, hair strands from an area of the scalp that has healthy hair are removed and embedded into the scalp where hair is thinning. (23)
3. Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) treatment
Platelet-rich plasma treatment involves drawing your blood and separating the plasma, which will be injected into your scalp to encourage new hair growth. (24)
General Queries Related to Hair Fall
Is it okay to comb or brush wet hair?
If you have straight hair, do not comb it when wet, but wait for it to dry. If you have curly hair, you can comb it when wet. (25)
Why do new mothers usually experience hair fall?
Giving birth may lead to postpartum hair loss, a severe condition new mothers face. Their hair starts thinning within 8–12 weeks of childbirth, and they will find hair on their pillow, clothing, and everywhere.
The good news is this phase is temporary; by the time the baby is one year old, they can expect their hair loss to be minimal.
The best tip for new mothers experiencing hair fall is to eat a well-balanced diet and use volumizing shampoos containing proteins to make their hair look fuller. (4)
What is the best vitamin for hair loss?
Excessive hair fall can affect your self-confidence and morale. Fortunately, small changes in your hair care routine and adding healthy foods to your diet can deliver impressive benefits.
Apart from that, oiling your hair with coconut oil and onion juice can reduce hair fall and stimulate the hair follicles to produce healthy strands.
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- Grymowicz M, Rudnicka E, Podfigurna A, et al. Hormonal effects on hair follicles. International journal of molecular sciences. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7432488/. Published July 28, 2020.
- Lin J, Saknite I, Valdebran M, et al. Feature characterization of scarring and non-scarring types of alopecia by multiphoton microscopy. Lasers in surgery and medicine. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6428213/. Published January 2019.
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