15 Jul Help! My Hair is Falling Out!
Do you find hair EVERYWHERE?
Do you need a lint roller for rogue hair strands on your clothes?
Are you clogging the shower drain with hair?
Is your hairline receding or thinning at the temples?
You are not alone! It may be easy to look around and think everyone has more hair than you do but hair loss is incredibly common!
Hair Loss is Common
Hair loss is one of the most disappointing cosmetic issues that can happen to both men and women. According to a 2014 survey by the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery (available at http://www.statisticbrain.com/hair-loss-statistics/), approximately 35 million men in the United States suffer some type of hair loss, and while approximately 21 million women are affected by hair loss.
With approximately 320 million people in the U.S., and at least 20% of them under the age of 30 in 2014, that means that over 1 in 5 Americans are losing their hair, with men representing a higher percentage of hair loss victims.
You have about 100,000 follicles on your scalp and you lose about 100 strands/day under “normal” conditions. There are 3 stages in a hair cycle, At any given time, a random number of hairs will be in one of three stages of growth and shedding: anagen, catagen, and telogen.
After Telogen, it falls out, It doesn’t flip back to growing.
This means that hair follicle starts all over growing a new single hair strand.
So what is causing my hair loss?
The common causes are:
1. Telogen effluvium
Telegen effluvium is excessive diffuse shedding from all over the scalp, it’s generally not patchy. This is the type of general hair loss where you just find hair EVERYWHERE!
- The most common reasons for excessive all over hair loss are:
- Pregnancy and postpartum
- Acute or chronic illness or infection
- Lack of protein
- Other nutrient deficiencies (caused by lack of intake or malabsorption in the stomach/intestines)
- High prolactin
- Scalp inflammation
- New medication
- Eating disorder/ disordered eating
- Sudden or extreme dietary changes
- Post surgery
2. Alopecia areata or totalis
Alopecia areata/totalis are due to autoimmune.
Alopecia areata is a common autoimmune disorder that often results in unpredictable hair loss.It affects roughly 6.8 million people in the United States.In the majority of cases, hair falls out in small patches around the size of a quarter. For most people, the hair loss is nothing more than a few patches, though in some cases it can be more extreme. People with alopecia areata who have only a few patches of hair loss often experience a spontaneous, full recovery, without the need for treatment.
3. Androgenic alopecia
Androgenic Alopecia is due to elevated androgens like testosterone or DHT at the hair follicule. This is the classic female or male baldness where there is loss at the temples, crown, and/or receding hairline.
When excess androgens bind to receptors in the hair follicle , your hair strand tends to move into resting (no grow) phase or fall out completely!
Common causes for high androgens:
- Inflammation especially in your scalp
- High insulin
- High triglycerides
4. Tinea Capitus
Tinea Capitus is due to a fungus you likely picked up from sharing a hat, towel, or brush from someone affected.
5. Trichorrexhis Nodosa
Trichorrexhis Nodosa is the breakage you get in the strands and can be due to using harsh products or over styling.
Trichotillomania is when you pull or pluck out your own hair.
So, Where do you even start?
This is where naturopathic medicine can really help you out! Naturopaths are ingrained to find the root cause and this principle definitely applies to finding out why you are losing hair. Obviously the treatment for hair loss due to hypothyroidism is going to be vastly different than a fungal infection. We have all the tools to uncover the reason behind your hair loss!
Treating hair loss is a game of patience. Keep in mind that hair loss may not occur for a few months after the initial trigger and you may not see changes in your hair for 3-6 months after treatment begins! I know…it’s a bummer! Hang in there, Rome wasn’t built in a day 😉
Call Winter Wellness at 928-440-3279, if you are ready to stop the loss!
Dr. Erin Winter
Naturopathic Doctor Flagstaff
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