From genetics to health conditions, there can be several possible reasons behind hair fall
There can be several possible reasons behind hair loss. Some medical treatments, overuse of chemical products or maybe even the weather can be some of the possible reasons. Normal hair fall is the shedding of your hair that has reached the telogen of the falling phase after completing its growth cycle. This ranges to about 100 strands in women and 50 to 70 strands in men. But if the hair fall is more than that or has persisted for a long time then it is a hair loss condition.
Let’s understand the 4 common types of hair loss conditions:
1. Androgenic Alopecia
Also commonly known as pattern hair loss. This condition is genetic and caused by the dihydrotestosterone (DHT) sensitivity of your hair follicles. The condition has 7 stages and progresses slowly as your follicles keep shrinking to the point of getting sealed shut which leads to balding. About 60% of the adult population in India suffers from this condition. While the main cause is genetic, it can be triggered by internal health issues such as poor digestive health, sleep pattern, lifestyle, stress and illnesses. Environmental factors such as hard water and pollution also play a role in the onset. It is manageable when treated early between stages 1 to 4. It presents as a receding hairline and thinning in the crown area in men and as widened partition and hair thinning in women.
2. Telogen Effluvium
This hair loss condition is triggered when your body experiences extreme mental and physical trauma after an illness or surgery. Predominantly seen in post-pregnancy, typhoid, tuberculosis, severe viral infections. And most recently, post-Covid. This hair loss condition occurs because your body pushes a lot of your healthy hair from the anagen phase (growth phase) to the telogen phase (falling phase). It presents as rapid hair loss, about 300-400 hair strands from all over the head in weeks.
3. Alopecia Areata
This is an auto-immune condition that causes coin-sized bald patches on the scalp and in extreme cases in other parts of the body like eyebrows and beard. This hair loss condition can only be treated with a prescription of corticosteroids which should be administered by a doctor. It is believed to be triggered by stress.
4. Alopecia Universalis
It is an advanced stage of alopecia areata that results in the complete loss of hair on the body. The treatment is often the same as that of alopecia areata.
Learning more about these hair loss conditions shows that hair loss is not an external or superficial problem as most people believe. But instead is an indication of internal health problems and needs to be resolved holistically. A lot of people are diagnosed with hair loss suffer from other health issues such as anaemia, thyroid, PCOS or vitamin deficiencies. Not only that it also allows them to draw a connection between their diet and lifestyle habits as a trigger for hair loss. Therefore, an ideal treatment for hair loss should take care of the triggers and symptoms simultaneously. And that is why it is so important to see a doctor when you start experiencing any of these hair loss conditions instead of waiting for it to get better on its own.
(Dr. Jaspreet Rajani, is a dermatologist at Traya. Traya helps people use a holistic approach to managing hair loss and is the only company in India that combines Ayurveda, allopathy and nutrition)
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