Oh no! What's that on your hair brush?
If you took a look at your hair brush this morning, or at the bottom of the shower, you might have noticed a bit of residual hair there. Don't stress out yet: some daily loss is natural and healthy. But, if you've noticed your hair thinning more and more or have seen a big increase in the amount you're losing every day, you might have reason to worry. Here are 6 things that most contribute to loss and thinning of hair.
You can't pick your mom and dad, and for better or worse the main cause of lost hair was probably given to you by them. Alopecia, or pattern baldness, is an inherited trait that can affect both men and women. It usually starts at the back of the head and then slowly progresses until the forehead and bald patch connect. The typical treatment for pattern baldness is minoxidil, which treats the hormones that are attacking the hair follicles.
Unlike genetics, you can do something about your diet. A balanced diet high in protein, fruits, vegetables and whole grains is the most important thing you can do for your hair, not to mention the rest of your body. If you notice that your hair is dry, brittle or stringy, look at the food you eat and come up with a plan to improve it. Also, a daily multivitamin, plus other natural supplements like biotin (vitamin b-7) can also help. Vitamin b-6 is one of the most important and best vitamins for hair growth.
If you've been seriously ill, it's possible that your hair has been affected. Some illnesses or the treatments for them are known to cause significant hair loss. Chemotherapy treatment given to some cancer patients, for example, can often cause hair to fall out. If you've been sick or are taking medications for certain illnesses, ask your doctor if they may be contributing to your hair loss. If you haven't been diagnosed with any illness but suspect an illness might be causing your hair problems, don't wait to see your health care professional.
Some life changes come with a change in hormone levels. Many of these hormones, especially testosterone and estrogen, play a big part in your levels of hair growth. DHT, which the body synthesizes from testosterone, attacks the hair follicles. It makes the hair fall out and keeps new hair from growing. Hormone changes can occur with age, pregnancy or major life events. Some of those changes, especially pregnancy, can have temporary positive effects on the hair. Hair loss caused by DHT is usually treated effectively with minixidil.
Don't drop into the salon every other day for a new treatment. Many of the common hair products that stylists use contain harsh chemicals and additives. Perm solutions, dyes and other nasty stuff are great for short-term beautification, but the long-term effects on your hair is devastating. Most stylists are aware of the potential dangers, and they should educate you on them. However, you may need to insist that your salon only use gentle, natural products on your hair.
Stress & Anxiety
Stress and anxiety have been shown to cause hair loss, not to mention a host of other health problems. Most of us are able to deal with stress in a positive way, but sometimes major life changes or events outdo our ability to cope with them. Daily meditation and relaxation techniques can help, but might not be enough. If you are under more stress than usual, talk to your healthcare provider. Stress and anxiety are not signs of weakness, but refusing to deal with them is. Don't be afraid to ask for help.
Make a Plan & Relax
Don't let hair loss define you. Instead, find what's causing the problem and then decide how best to deal with it. Make a plan with your doctor and follow through. Then go out and have fun doing what you love, without worrying about the condition of your hair.