It is normal to lose at least 100 hairs a day and even more while washing the hair. An average adult will normally have at least 100,000 to 150,000 hairs and the amount of hair that you lose a day may be normal and must not be a source of concern. Hair loss can be said to be a normal process by which the hair is replaced by new hair cells through the follicles. As we lose some hairs every day, new sets of hair cells replace them. As you see people getting bald, you may wonder whether this occurrence is a normal process or may be caused by a certain disease or condition. It helps to understand when a hair loss should be a serious concern and when it is not.
When a hair loss is a cause of concern
There are different types of hair loss with different causes. Some of them are normal, while others may be a cause of concern. The following are conditions that are associated with hair loss that need attention and medical intervention:
A hair loss condition called Trichotillomania is caused by a psychological behavior that is common in children. The loss of hair is not a result of a disease or natural process of losing hairs. The hairs are lost because the person has the uncontrolled and impulsive behavior of pulling his own hair.
- Thyroid disease
A thyroid disease can result in hair loss. Whether the thyroid gland is active (hyperthyroidism) or less active (hypothyroidism) in performing its physiological functions, it has an adverse effect on the hair resulting in shedding of the hairs. Once this underlying condition is treated, the hair will regain its normal growth rate.
- Iron deficiency
The lack of iron supply in the body has been associated by several medical researches to hair loss. The risk of hair loss due to iron deficiency need not necessarily make one anemic. While this is completely unclear and need further research, it has been established that having a little iron in the body can actually make hair loss worse.
- Alopecia areata
This condition involves losing hair in round patches. In the long term, it may lead to baldness, but the good news is that the condition is less likely to be permanent since about 90% of those with the condition experience hair regrowth after a few years.
- Hair loss as a side effect
Hair loss occurs as a side effect of medications, especially those used for cancer treatment and chemotherapy. Your doctor will discuss about the potential side effects of your medications and its risks and benefits are weighed when prescribing them.
- Other medical and health conditions causing hair loss
Other factors, although some are not serious enough, can contribute to hair loss. Among them are stress, pregnancy, intensive weight loss, too much intake of vitamin A, dermatitis, and psoriasis.
Preventing hair loss
The most common causes of hair loss are due to psychological and physical factors. By correcting the common triggers of hair loss, such as obtaining treatment for a disease and freeing the mind and body from stress, can help restore the normal process of hair growth. Proper hair care may also be necessary to ensure that your hair is healthy and doing the following can help prevent hair loss naturally:
- Avoid exposing the hair to chemical treatments
- Brush the hair properly with the right strokes from the scalp down the end of the hair strand to distribute the hair's natural oil.
- Massage the scalp regularly to help the follicles produce more new hair cells
- Eat healthy foods that will provide the necessary nutrients for growing a healthy hair, such as rich with omega 3 fatty acid, protein, and zinc.