Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Causes of Hair Loss

Causes of Hair Loss

Hair Loss Today

Hair loss has been a common happenstance throughout human history.

So widespread and complex that it confounds human medical research even today, with hair loss often regarded as a minor problem at worst.

Male pattern baldness and age-related hair loss seem to be endemic to the human condition and many people who suffer from these problems frankly don't care overmuch. On the other hand, many people suffering from hair loss experience a profound loss of self-image and self-esteem.

Hair loss can even point to other, deeper physical problems such as hypothyroidism.

The most common cause of hair loss is, of course, genetic.

Male pattern baldness is an evolutionary trait shared even among our close primate cousins, and in those primates serves as a visual marker of greater maturity and survival, garnering both female attention and overall respect. While many men welcome receding hairlines as marks of maturity, because of Western culture many try to halt it in order to keep a sense of youth and vitality.

When women start losing hair, instead of suffering from a receding hairline they instead lose it all over in a hair-thinning pattern. Women also usually experience hair loss much later in life, after menopause has started putting greater stress on their bodies.

Research is currently underway to address these genetic issues, but no concrete results have been found yet.

Next most common on the list of hair loss causes is a combination of stress, poor nutrition and insufficient scalp cleansing.

All three of these factors interrelate to contribute to varying degrees of hair loss, dependent on situation.

Any physically stressed mammal will generally shed hair, so undue stress will almost always cause hair thinning. Stress can be anything from extreme emotional upset to extremes in temperature. Even pulling hair into tight braids or cornrows places stress on the hair itself and can lead to eventual hair loss.

While hair itself is not living, hair follicles are and as such, require sufficient blood flow, nutrition, and a clear path to grow hair from in order to function. Daily shampooing is a frequent feature of Western cultures, but shampooing alone may not be enough to fully cleanse and stimulate the scalp. Shampoo contributes to build-up over time just like anything else. Switching shampoos, finding the best technique to clean the scalp, and occasional vinegar hair rinses are all viable techniques for keeping hair follicles unblocked and stimulating blood flow. In addition, a nutritious diet and possibly even a multivitamin can do wonders for helping your hair.

The last category of hair loss causes are medical in nature, either health disorders or medication regimens.

Chemotherapy, radiation theraphy, major surgery, bodily trauma, and poisoning can all cause hair loss.

Pregnancy and childbirth can also seem to cause hair loss, but this is somewhat illusory. Pregnancy actually causes hair gain throughout the entire term, and after childbirth the extra hair falls out as the body returns to normal.

In addition to these, fungal infections, hypo- and hyperthyroidism, and various skin disorders can also cause or contribute to hair loss. These causes normally don't appear as a receding hair line or top of the head baldness, but rather in irregular patches or overall thinning. If you're experiencing unexplained, abnormal hair loss, it may be a good idea to talk to a doctor in case one of these conditions is affecting you without your knowledge.

Hair is quite important to us culturally, but it's one of the first things the body sacrifices when something is going wrong.

The causes behind hair loss are quite complicated and only now is a clear picture beginning to emerge.

However, if you're determined to keep your hair, there's quite a lot you can do.

Maintain a healthy diet, investigate scalp cleansing, and start looking into the various hair treatments to find the right one for you.

If you are suffering from one of the aforementioned health conditions, once the underlying disorder is treated you'll probably get your hair back as it was before.

While some hair loss is genetically determined, there's always quite a lot you can do, so happy reading and good luck!

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