Thick, healthy, well-groomed hair is a sign of health and beauty for women and one of the factors of self-confidence for men. But it is not always possible to maintain a magnificent healthy head of hair throughout life. What causes hair loss and how to prevent hair loss?
Why is hair falling out?
Periodic hair loss is a natural process, a necessary part of the renewal of the body. In the life of any hair follicle, there is a certain cycle, a sequential repetition of three phases:
Anagen – active growth. Cells of the hair follicle and melanocytes actively divide, forming hair that is constantly increasing in length. The duration of this phase is two to three years.
Catagen, or regression. Hair nutrition is reduced, the follicle begins to “dry out”, atrophy. Hair stops growing but remains in the thickness of the skin. The duration of this phase is two to three weeks.
Telogen, or rest. The hair bulb is separated from the papilla and the hair begins to gradually shift to the surface of the skin. This phase lasts about three months.
After a while, a new hair follicle forms, and the cycle repeats again. It is the duration of the phases of this cycle that determines the maximum length by which hair grows.
Every day a healthy person loses about a hundred hairs that are in the telogen stage. In people older than 50, the rate of daily hair loss increases to 200 pieces.
Typically, in healthy people, up to 90% of the hair is in the anagen stage, that is, active growth, up to 2% in the intermediate state of the catagen and up to 15% in the resting state or telogen phase.
If for some reason, the ratio between the amount of hair in a particular phase of the life cycle begins to change in favor of the “vacationer”, the hair begins to thin.
The most common causes of premature hair loss:
stress. It violates the normal hormonal balance of the body: stress hormones are actively produced – adrenaline and cortisol, regulatory neuropeptides and other biologically active substances, which, by the totality of the effects, transfer the hair to the telogen phase, that is, contribute to premature arrest of hair growth and their loss;
increased sensitivity of hair follicles to dihydrotestosterone – a derivative of the male sex hormone. This is the main cause of androgenetic alopecia, which, alas, happens not only in men but also in women. After all, both those and others in the body have both female and male sex hormones, the only difference is in their ratio;
malnutrition: deficiency of vitamins and minerals. To build hair, you need proteins, vitamins, and minerals that regulate all metabolic processes in the body. It is well known that the first sign of iron deficiency is dull and brittle hair. Similarly, the body can respond to a lack of other nutrients;
inflammatory processes on the scalp: seborrheic dermatitis, other fungal infections (ringworm), psoriasis, eczema;
hormonal changes: many women are scared by the abundant hair loss three months after giving birth, although, in fact, this is a normal reaction to a sharp change in hormone levels. In pathological situations, the cause of increased hair loss may be a lack of thyroid function.
Increased hair loss is most often a sign of a change in the general status of the body, and local remedies are not enough to correct it.
Is it possible to slow down or stop hair loss?
Whatever the advertisement says, no shampoos and masks are able to reduce hair loss. The shampoo is not too long on the scalp in order to have a beneficial effect. Its main purpose is to remove excess sebum, desquamated epidermal flakes, and dust.
Masks remain on the hair a little more, but they, as a rule, are also unable to penetrate the thickness of the skin by three to five millimeters, and it is at this depth that the hair follicles are located. After all, the skin is needed precisely in order not to let through foreign substances through itself.
The more or less noticeable effects can have special solutions that are applied to the scalp, after which they usually perform a massage.
Firstly, special substances are added to such products, allowing them to penetrate deep into intact skin. Secondly, the massage performed subsequently improves blood flow in the scalp area and, consequently, the flow of nutrients to the hair follicles.
External remedies can reduce hair loss even if it is caused by inflammation of the scalp. For example, with seborrheic dermatitis, or, more simply, dandruff, inflammation caused by a microscopic fungus that feeds on sebum.
Health starts from the inside out: remedies for hair loss
It is necessary to deal with hair loss from the inside. And therapy should begin with the use of specialized complexes that contain not only vitamins and minerals, but also special components that help prevent hair loss.
The fact is that modern nutritional stereotypes do not allow providing the body with all the necessary micronutrients in sufficient quantities. When examining women aged 20 to 30 years, it turned out that 42% of them do not consume enough vitamin B1, 48% – B6, 61% have zinc deficiency, 84% – selenium .
Meanwhile, these substances affect hair growth both directly and indirectly. For example, a lack of vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) can lead to impaired hair growth and premature graying. A similar deficiency is caused by copper deficiency.
Hair loss and peeling of the skin occurs with a lack of vitamin A, biotin, zinc. A classic sign of iron deficiency is brittleness and hair loss, thinning and brittleness of nails. Moreover, hypovitaminosis is rarely due to a lack of only one vitamin, since metabolism is interconnected. Vitamin A needs vitamins C and E for protection against oxidation, and zinc for the transition to the active form.
In turn, vitamin E requires ascorbic acid to recover. Vitamin B1 needs magnesium to go into the active form. Vitamins B2 and B6 mutually improve each other’s activity. Folic acid is absorbed by the body only in the presence of vitamin B12 and so on.
In addition, it is quite difficult to independently choose the optimal ratio and dosage. Therefore, the ideal option is to choose a balanced vitamin-mineral complex to prevent hair loss and improve hair growth.