Category Archives: Hair Loss General

Losing hair can prove distressing, but it’s important to remember that it is perfectly normal to lose a certain amount. We generally lose around 100-150 strands a day so a little bit on your pillow or in your hair brush is no cause for alarm.

Beyond that, there may be a problem and there are many possible reasons why a person might lose hair. One common reason is pattern hair loss. This is where hair becomes thinner after puberty and it results from hair roots narrowing.

Environmental factors can play a part too, such as diet, stress and treatments such as rebonding and hair colouring, as can deficiencies in certain vitamins and minerals. A lack of vitamin B, zinc or iron could potentially result in hair loss.

Many who suffer hair loss have a genetic predisposition towards doing so and this may be linked to hormonal changes at certain stages of life, such as following childbirth. Illnesses can also bring about a spell of hair loss, as can certain medications.

If you are concerned about the amount of hair which you are losing, the first thing to do is to go and see your doctor. If they cannot diagnose the cause themselves, they will refer you to a dermatologist who should be able to do so. Determining the cause is the first step towards finding a potential cure.

Hair loss has many different causes and while many are simply unavoidable, others can be addressed with simple measures. You may not even be aware that certain things could eventually result in loss of hair. Here are a few tips that could help ensure you retain your hair.

1. Using hair conditioner can help protect hair shafts.
2. Eating a balanced diet is always advisable as lack of nutrients can affect hair growth, as can dieting.
3. Avoiding chemical procedures or leaving a suitable rest period between them is advisable. Leave six months between hair rebondings and a month between colourings.
4. Vitamin B, zinc and iron supplements could help preserve your hair as deficiencies of these can result in loss of hair.
5. Head massages can promote blood circulation which aids hair growth, soothing nerves and relaxing muscles.
6. Excessive blow drying can damage hair.
7. Try and combat stress wherever possible as this is often a cause for hair loss.

If you do find that you are losing hair, consult your GP. With so many possible causes, correct diagnosis is vital in order to properly treat the problem.

A large number of medications have unwanted side effects, however effective they may be at treating and curing medical conditions. One of the most unwelcome of these side effects, particularly in women, is hair loss.

What medications can cause hair loss?

If you take any of the following medications, you may experience hair loss or thinning hair.

• Antibiotics
• Antifungal medications
• Interferons
• Chemotherapy medication
• Anticoagulants (blood thinners)
• Antidepressants
• Anticonvulsants (for epilepsy)
• Medication for lowering cholesterol or blood pressure
• Steroids
• Acne medication
• Hormone replacement therapy
• Thyroid medications
• Oral contraceptives
• Immunosuppressant medications
• Mood stabilisers
• NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication)
• Medications for Parkinson’s disease

Remember though – medication affects different people in different ways, often depending on the dosage and type of medication taken and the person’s sensitivity to it.

What can I do about drug-induced hair loss?

The good news for people experiencing hair loss caused by medication is that it tends to be temporary and will hopefully improve once you stop taking the medication. You should see your doctor as soon as you notice any problems with hair loss, whether you have started a new course of medical treatment or not.

Seeing your hair fall out every day without being able to do a thing to stop it can be terrifying, making you feel like you have no control over your own body. This why female hair loss sufferers are often desperate to find a solution, convinced that there is something they can do to make their hair grow back again.

What to do

The first place to turn is to your family doctor, who will help to see hair loss specialists and get a formal diagnosis of your condition. Once you know what is causing your hair loss, you will then be able to find out if there is anything you can do about it.

You may be recommended to try:

• Medication such as minoxidil (also known as Regaine or Rogaine)
• Changing your diet, if the cause of your condition is a nutritional deficiency or an eating disorder
• Therapy to help alleviate stress and anxiety. Emotional trauma can be a triggering factor for hair loss
• Treatment for thyroid disorders, if this is what is causing your hair loss

What will not work

Although it all depends on what hair loss condition you have, the following methods will not make your hair grow back:

• Standing on your head
• Washing hair in freezing cold water
• Any of the thousands of hair loss ‘miracle cures’ available from disreputable websites

The first and most crucial thing to do if you notice your hair has been thinning or falling out is to get it checked out by a doctor. Once you’ve been formally diagnosed and you know what the medical cause for your hair loss is, you can start to learn about how to cope with the condition.

Hair loss in women has psychological and emotional effects as well as just altering physical appearance. Losing your hair and having no power over what’s happening to you can be frightening and worrying, and it can negatively affect your confidence and self-esteem too.

This is why you need to learn to accept your hair loss condition, do something about it if you can but overall, find ways to live life as normal and feel good about yourself. You have a few options:

• You can try cosmetic treatments and hair replacement techniques such as human hair wigs and super-fine hair extensions

• There are medications for hair loss available such as minoxidil, which is known to be effective in a reasonable number of cases

• The final option is a surgical procedure such as hair transplantation

People often assume that female hair loss is caused by a hereditary condition or as a side-effect of medication, but there are actually many other causes. One of the most overlooked is the thyroid gland, which can play all sorts of havoc with different parts of the body should it under or over perform.

Hair loss can often by a symptom of a thyroid problem, but diagnosing which one can be tricky. This is why you should visit your GP for a formal diagnosis as soon as you notice any problems with hair loss or hair thinning.

What is the thyroid?

The thyroid is an endocrine gland found in the neck. It is responsible for regulating how quickly the body uses energy and makes proteins, and it also controls how sensitive the body is to other hormones.

Hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism

Two of the most common thyroid disorders that can cause hair loss are hyperthyroidism, where the gland is overactive, and hypothyroidism, which means that the thyroid is underactive. It is possible for a person to experience one of these conditions followed by the other, depending on whether they are over or under treated.