Hair is the pride and identity of a person. So when it starts receding or falling off, it is emotionally troubling for that person. Hairloss seems to be a universal problem. It’s not a respecter of persons. Ask Donald Trump and Wayne Rooney, or that lady slaying in her va-va-voom hair extensions, they’d tell you. It was believed that hairloss becomes evident from age 50 but it is alarming to see younger ones in their 20s falling prey to this hair grim reaper. Hair product companies have also capitalized on this problem and have swayed minds on their product being the answer to the problem. Most times, It’s just another gimmick. So what is really the solution to this? Before we go into that, let’s delve into hair’s nature and causes of hair loss.
Hair grows in three different cycles: anagen, catagen, and telogen. About 90% of the hair on the head is in the anagen, or growth phase, which lasts anywhere from two to eight years. The catagen, or transition phase, typically lasts 2-3 weeks, during which the hair follicle shrinks. During the telogen cycle, which lasts around two to four months, the hair rests.
Hairloss could be in form of hair thinning, Hair receding (I call it “The Mama Iyabo syndrome”, that gives you that awful rat-chop look, at the temple regions and forehead. Then Baldness is the final stage. Baldness involves the state of lacking hair where it often grows, especially on the head. The most common form of baldness is a progressive hair thinning condition called androgenic alopecia or “male pattern baldness” that occurs in adult male humans and other species.
The amount and patterns of baldness can vary greatly; it ranges from male and female pattern alopecia (androgenic alopecia, also called androgenetic alopecia or alopecia androgenetica), alopecia areata, which involves the loss of some of the hair from the head, and alopecia totalis, which involves the loss of all head hair, to the most extreme form, alopecia universalis, which involves the loss of all hair from the head and the body.
It’s normal for people to lose anywhere from 50 to 100 strands of hair. On the days when hair is washed, people can lose up to 250 strands. So that’s okay. But there’s trouble when you lose more than these numbers. Yeah, you won’t be counting those strands but you can tell when your hair falls off than usual. Here are the common causes of hairloss:
- Genetics: Hereditary hair loss affects millions of men and women. Male pattern and Female-pattern hair loss—a.k.a. androgenetic alopecia—is the most common form and causes the hair on top of the head to thin.
- Stress: Hair loss can occur after a significant physiological strain, such as a prolonged illness or crash dieting, which may leave you deficient in iron, B12, or protein—all vital to healthy hair growth. An emotionally trying event, like a divorce, death of a loved one, can also lead to allover thinning three to four months later. Usually the hair will grow back in a few months. If a nutrient deficiency is the cause, your doctor can help you supplement your diet.
- Medication: Some oral contraceptives, antidepressants, anticoagulants, and hypertension, acne, and cholesterol medications may cause temporary patchy hair loss. Again, talk to your doctor.
- Brushing or Pulling: Brushing hair too vigorously or wearing tight braids or ponytails can pull hair out in patches, a condition called traction alopecia. The hair will grow back when the tugging stops but if it is not stopped early enough, that bald spot becomes permanent.
- The Immune System: With alopecia areata, a woman’s immune system attacks her follicles, resulting in round patches or clumpy hair loss. Cortisone injections can be given in this case. Seek professional advice, first.
Like I said earlier, there are thousands of hair products marketed to be the answer to all hair problems. Most times, the feedback is disappointing. However, here are some handy solutions to help slow down or stop hair loss. Professional advice should be sought after before using any product.
- Coconut Oil: Coconut Oil seems to be the magic oil. It gives volume and shine to the hair. It is packed with antioxidants, Vitamin E and K to help revitalize hair and prevent the build of sebum on the hair that weighs each strand.
- Have a good diet: Foods rich in Omega-3 fatty acids promote growth in hair. B12, Iron and protein rich diets play a major part in promoting hair growth. Foods like fish especially Mackerel, eggs, soyabeans, Avocado and Greens are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids.
- Hair Medicine: The over-the-counter preparation Rogaine, which contains the active ingredient minoxidil, can help. Applied directly to the scalp twice a day, it “can slow or stop hair loss in most women. In some cases, it can even help regrow hair,” says Sonia Badreshia-Bansal, a clinical instructor of dermatology at the University of California, San Francisco.
- Give your hair a break: If you have the heart to cut it low, go ahead. But for a while, refrain from braids which would normally tug your strands. Wear variety of wigs instead. That way, you look stylish without stressing your natural hair.
- Hair Transplants: This a surgical procedure where viable hair follicles are implanted on the patient’s scalp. Before going through this, professional advice is very necessary.
So y’all. Before the Mama Iyabo syndrome starts creeping in, let’s make an effort to take care of the hair. If you’ve got tried and true hair rituals to make yours look lush, please share at the comments section.
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