By Margarita Nahapetyan
The normal and natural cycle of hair growth lasts for two to six years. Each hair grows approximately one centimeter, which is less than half an inch per month during this period of time. Nearly 90 per cent of the hair on your head is growing at any one time, and about 10 per cent of the hair - at any one time - is in a resting phase. Two or three months later, the hair in the resting phase starts falling out and new hair starts to grow and replaces it. It is quite normal to lose some hair on a daily basis as part of this natural cycle. However, some individuals may suffer from an excessive hair loss, which is much more than normal and affects equally men, women and kids.
There are many reasons that could be causing excessive hair loss. For instance, approximately three or four months after a certain illness or a surgical operation, you may suddenly shed a large amount of hair. In this case there are no reasons to worry as this kind of hair loss is due to the stress associated with the illness and is temporary.
Another reason for hair loss could be hormonal problems. To be more specific, individuals whose thyroid gland is overactive or under-active, may be experiencing this unpleasant condition. Hair loss in this case typically can be addressed by treatment thyroid disease. Also, hair loss may occur if male or female hormones, known as androgens and estrogens, are not in a proper balance. Taking appropriate medication and bringing the hormones back no normal balance may stop your problem of hair loss.
Another cause of the problem that is also related to hormones is losing hair by women approximately three months after having a child. Throughout pregnancy, high levels of certain hormones cause the body to keep hair that would normally fall out. When the hormones return to their normal levels, that previouslu held hair is being shed and the normal cycle of growth and loss starts all over again.
Some drugs can contribute to hair loss. You should not be concerned much as this type of hair loss improves when there is no more need for taking that medication. Medicines that are making your hair fall out are usually blood thinners, also known as anticoagulants, medicines used for gout, medicines used in chemotherapy to treat cancer, vitamin A, if taken in excessive amounts, contraceptive pills and antidepressant drugs.
Hair loss can be caused by certain infections. For example, fungal infections of the scalp can result lead to loss in children. The infection is easily treated with anti-fungal drugs and ointments. Finally, the problem may occur as part of an underlying disease, such as lupus or diabetes. Since hair loss may be one of the earliest signs of a disease, it is critical to find the cause in order to start an appropriate treatment.
If you wear ponytails or use tight hair clips, the pull on your hair can cause a type of hair loss called traction alopecia. In rare cases it can lead to the development of scarring of the scalp which can lead to permanent hair loss. Hot oil hair treatments or chemicals that are used in permanents may cause inflammation of the hair follicle, which can also result in scarring and hair loss. If scarring is not developed and you start wearing your hair loose, it will grow back normally.
There are medicines that may help slow down the process or prevent the development of hair loss or baldness. One drug, minoxidil (brand name: Rogaine), is available over the counter. Both men and women can use the medicine by applying it to the scalp. Another medicine, finasteride (brand name: Propecia) is available only by a prescription. It comes in pills and is only for men. Do not rush with your conclusions and expectations and remember that it may take up to half a year before you can tell if one of these medicines works for you. If no adequate medication or another treatment is found for your type of hair loss, you may want to consider trying different hairstyles or wigs, hairpieces, hair weaves or replacement with artificial hair.