Shedding of hair between the range of 50-100 a day is normal, but excessive shedding of hair turns into an alarming problem medical term for which is known as telogen effluvium. Though there can be many underlying or environmental conditions, some of the reasons may include thyroid problems, scalp infections, stress, poor diet, a combination of genetics, and lots more.
Whatever the reason may be, hair fall causes psychological stress and a lack of confidence in an individual. There are many misconceptions about hair loss. Though the internet is full of several reasons, there are a lot of old wives’ tales that are being accepted blindly. It is very important to reveal the truth behind hair loss.
It is very important to discover what kind of hair fall an individual is facing. There are different types of hair fall patterns through which men and women may go through, which include:
Hair loss pattern in women
Abnormal hair fall, which means loss of more than 50-100 stands of hair loss per day for stretched periods, can be considered alopecia. The reason behind this can be hormone imbalance, disease, or any other condition. Genetic hair loss can be complex, and there is no cure for genetic hair loss. Hair loss caused due to stress, instant weight gain or loss, medication, disease, and pregnancy can be treated, as hair grows back normally after some time.
But there are some major problems as well. Androgenetic Alopecia and Telogen Effluvium are associated with dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a derivative of testosterone, a male hormone. In Androgenic Alopecia, thinning of hair on the whole scalp is witnessed. This type of hair fall can occur due to the action of male hormones and other factors such as PCOD/PCOS, taking high androgen pills, and more. Genetic makeup plays an important role in this type of hair fall.
This type of hair fall occurs mainly 6 months after witnessing a traumatic incident which may include childbirth or extreme stress and more. During this phase, 90% or so of hairs in the growing (anagen) or transitional (catagen) phases shift all at once into the resting (telogen) phase. It may cause a handful of hair and can stretch for months or even years due to any factor or stressor.
This type of hair fall can be witnessed after the use of drugs or chemotherapy for cancer treatment or certain harmful chemicals. Treating hair with several harmful chemicals or drugs leads to impairment of its cellular-level mitotic or metabolic activity. This is considered an abnormal shedding of hair, approximately 90% or more during the anagen phase of the hair cycle.
When the immune system of an individual starts attacking hair follicles, it leads to patchy shedding of hair. This type of hair fall can be caused due to severe stress as well.
Tightly pulled hairstyles or a habit of pulling hair can be considered the root cause of this type of hair loss. If the habit of hair pulling hair is stopped at the earliest then, this type of hair fall can be cured.
Male pattern baldness
According to Norwood Hamilton, hair fall in men occurs in stages. It defines two major patterns and several less common types, which include recession at the temples and thinning in the crown, which later stretches to the entire front, top, and crown (vertex) of the scalp are bald.
There are 8 classes in which hair fall in men can be classified which include:
Class I, A hairline at the frontoparietal region.
Class II, Triangular areas of the recession on the frontoparietal region approximately 1.5 to 3 cm and loss of hair at mid-frontal and borders of the scalp.
Class III, This class includes deepening temporal recession. This type is very rare to find and classified due to asymmetry, scars, etc.
Class IV: In this stage, hair fall from the crown can be witnessed, and the frontoparietal region recessions can be witnessed to extend up to 3 cms.
Class V: The worst type of frontoparietal recession can be witnessed at this stage. It involves enlargement of baldness in the front area and the crown leading to the formation of a bridge between the frontoparietal area and the crown
Class VI: At this stage, the bridge between the frontoparietal area and the crown disappears, and the hair on either side remains high in volume.
Class VII: Extensive hair fall in the remaining back and sides of the scalp is witnessed in this phase.
Mentioned above are the types of hair fall patterns in men and women. In both cases, the causes and the treatments vary. However, there are several myths revolving around hair fall which are highly believed.
Five myths about hair loss that you need to know are:
Myth 1: Excessive shampooing causes hair to fall
Fact: This is the most famous and accepted myth. Washing of hair and scalp is necessary. If we do not take good care of our scalp and hair, problems like fungal infection, alopecia, etc., may occur. Washing your hair frequently with a mild sulfate-free shampoo is necessary to avoid such problems.
Myth 2: Bald men have more testosterone
Fact: Hair fall is caused due to several reasons like weakening of follicles, stress, and more, but high levels of testosterone do not add to the list. Higher levels of testosterone are linked with an increase in the level of DHT, and thus, there is no link between hair loss and testosterone levels.
Myth 3: All hair fall types are permanent
Hair loss caused due to stress, pregnancy, disease, or instant weight gain or loss, and medication can be treated. In these cases, hair can grow back normally.
Myth 4: Only men suffer from hair loss
Fact: This myth has been accepted by people for ages. But it is high time we shed some light on cases of women losing hair and going bald. More than 50% of women are facing hair loss. The reason behind hair loss can be genetic makeup, PCOD/PCOS, and several others.
Myth 5: Taking supplements will completely terminate hair fall
Fact: Hair supplements only work when the root cause of the hair fall is a lack of any Vitamin. Not every medicine will work for every kind of hair fall. Genetic baldness has no effective medicine. So, before depending on supplements, it is very important for an individual to consult a dermatologist or trichologist and then get the prescribed medicine.