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Hair Loss FAQs — an article on the Smart Living Network
December 1, 2007 at 4:21 AMComments: 0 Faves: 0

Hair Loss FAQs

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Many people experience hair loss. In fact, over 35 million American men are affected by male pattern baldness alone. If you or a loved one are experiencing hair loss, there are some frequently asked questions that you may need answered.

What is Causing my Hair Loss?

Multiple factors can cause hair loss.

  • Heredity. Many people carry a gene for hair loss, which can be inherited from either the mother or the father.
  • Poor nutrition. A diet deficient in protein or iron can cause significant hair loss.
  • Hormones. Hair loss, for many men, begins at puberty. A byproduct of testosterone, dihydrotestosterone, occurs when the body begins to break down testosterone. Hormones can also affect women's hair, too.
  • Pregnancy/childbirth. During pregnancy, more hair is retained, even if it has reached the end of its growing cycle. A few months after childbirth, the hormones that cause this dissipate, and the hair falls out. Not to worry, this is 100% normal and will not result in baldness.
  • Disease. Many types of disease will cause hair loss, from colds and the flu (due to increased stress), to diabetes or lupus. Skin infections from bacteria or fungus will also cause hair loss. In most of these instances, once the disease is cleared by the body, cured, or controlled, hair will regrow.
  • Medical treatments. Certain medical treatments like chemotherapy and radiation can result in hair loss. Usually hair grows back after treatment is completed. Additionally, certain types of medication can cause hair loss.
  • Harsh cosmetic hair treatments. Treatments like dyes, perms, and bleaches can cause hair to become damaged and break off. Also, tight hairstyles can result in patches of baldness. Usually once the cause is removed, the hair grows back.
  • Infancy. If your infant is losing hair, do not be alarmed. It is quite common for infants to develop bald spots due to rubbing against crib mattresses or car seats. Stronger hair will grow back when the baby begins to spend more time sitting up.

When should I call my Health Practitioner?

Sometimes, hair loss can be a sign of a serious underlying condition. If you experience any of the following, you should contact your health practitioner:

  • Rapid hair loss or shedding
  • Hair loss in large patches
  • Hair becomes weak or brittle and breaks
  • In addition to hair loss, you also have itching, reddening or peeling of the scalp, irritation, or pain
  • Your hair loss seems to have started right after starting a new medication

Is Hair Loss Dangerous?

If you have seen your health practitioner and it has been determined that your hair loss is not the result of an underlying condition, your hair loss will not threaten your physical health. However, many people experience the following emotional symptoms because of hair loss:

  • Depression
  • Low self esteem
  • Relationships suffer
  • Emotional stress

These symptoms may be severe and cause a strong negative effect.

Is my hair loss treatable?

In many cases, yes! If your hair loss is due to disease, medication, or pregnancy, it will most likely naturally reverse itself.

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001177.htm

http://www.ishrs.org/hair-loss/hair-loss-male.htm

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/hair-loss/DS00278/DSECTION=3

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