Hair loss affects both men and women and there are many factors can contribute to thinning hair. Hair cells reproduce quicker than any other cell in our bodies, which leaves them more susceptible to being affected by changes in health and age. However, most people with hair loss have a genetic predisposition to do so.
Facets that can contribute to hair loss or thinning include (but not limited to)
Genetics – This involves natural age related hormonal changes caused by testosterone converting into Dihydro-testosterone, which is inherited from either parent.
Diet – The lack of necessary nutrition can contribute hair loss. Therefore, high consumption of animal lipids and the lack of amino acids, biotin, iron, protein, and zinc can cause hair to thin out.
Environmental Factors – Pollutants from our water such as chlorine, minerals and metals can remain on our hair and scalp due to frequent washing. Also, pollutants in the air, like pseudo-estrogens as well as toxins within our own bodies can all contribute to the hair loss issue.
Stress or Trauma – “Stress can produce increased levels of testosterone, which converts to DHT and interrupts the hair’s growth cycle. Stress also constricts blood supply through the capillaries, restricting oxygen and nutrient uptake and vitamins to the hair follicle.”
Health – there are numerous health issues that can contribute to hair loss or thinning. Some of these include over or under active thyroid gland as well as hormonal changes that occur in women during menopause or after a pregnancy.
Medication – The hair follicle is extremely sensitive to any changes in our bodies. Therefore, chemo therapy is not the only medication that causes hair loss. Steroids, as well as medication for blood pressure, acne, heart disease, diabetes and even hormone replacements can also produce equivalent symptoms.
Hair goes through three cycles of growth. Around 90% of the hair on your head is in the anagen phase, which usually lasts between 2-8 years. On average, your hair grows around 6 inches a year. In the catagen phase, which lasts 2-3 weeks, is the phase when the hair follicle shrinks. In the telogen phase, which lasts 2-4 months, the follicle rests and eventually falls out.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, most people lose 50-100 hairs each day. If you are noticing that your hair loss is more rapid, it may be time to speak to a professional.