Hair Loss – What can you do when you lose your hair?
Hair loss is a widespread problem affecting both men and women. While not dangerous, it is cosmetically bothersome. Hair loss affects a vast number of people, but fortunately new and improved means are constantly emerging – for example, three new products from Australian Bodycare that effectively counteract the risk of hair loss.
Read more about it and discover why you are losing your hair.
This article has been reviewed by
Pharmacist, Varde Pharmacy
Anne has a MSc in Pharmacy from the University of Southern Denmark and has worked as a pharmacist at the Varde pharmacy for several years. Here she advises both costumers and doctors about the correct use of medical products. Here you can see Anne’s profile »
What is Hair Loss?
Hair loss is a condition where the hair begins to thin out and eventually completely disappear. It can cause the thickness and lustrousness of hair to diminish – often around the middle parting in the centre of the head on the upper part of the skull. But it can also cause patchy baldness in several places over the scalp. Baldness often affects men, while women tend to experience hair loss as thinning of the hair to a large or small degree.
Hair loss is actually a disease. It can be both a transient and a permanent condition depending on the cause of the problem. Hair loss can be either telogen effluvium, which is a condition where hair thins throughout the scalp, or androgenetic alopecia, a genetically inherited hair loss condition.
Your scalp is equipped with up to 100,000 hairs on average. Each strand of hair goes through phases starting with anagen. More than 90% of your current hairs growing are in this. The anagen hairs are so firmly attached to the scalp that they are difficult to tear off. Each strand of hair grows for several years before falling out and being replaced by a new, fresh strand of hair.
The next phase is called the catagenic phase – where cells die. This phase lasts for about two weeks, after which the strand moves into the telogenic phase. This phase lasts about three months. The telogenic phase is a resting phase after which the hair is shed. It also means that these hairs can be pulled out more easily. You lose up to 100 telogenic hairs daily, but this rate is not considered hair loss. However, if the number increases significantly beyond 100, it will be considered as hair loss, because the hair is therefore thinning out a lot faster.
What causes hair loss?
If you experience hair loss, you are definitely not alone. It’s a problem that many people share. However, the causes can be different. In fact, there is a sea of different factors that affect your hair and scalp, and they could all be the cause of your hair loss. However, the symptoms may be different.
Genetic and hereditary factors
The most common cause of hair loss is genetic and hereditary. It is called androgenetic alopecia and is common in both men and women.
Mild androgenetic alopecia is where hair follicles shrink as you get older. This means that the quality of the hair strands also decreases – and it causes the hair to fall out.
In severe androgenetic alopecia cases, it is caused by hereditary hair loss. Here the hair follicles shrink to such an extent that they can no longer provide new hair growth. This more often happens to men and leads to the well-known “moon” shape baldness and receding hairline.
The hair follicles that form the hair strands are slowly disappearing, so they are unable to regrow new hair. At puberty, young men begin to produce testosterone, which can cause hair follicles to shrink. If they become too small, the hair will not grow out again. If you are prone to hair loss, the follicles will be extra sensitive to hormones and thus you will lose your hair to a greater extent.
Vitamin deficiency and malnutrition
Are you consuming the right diet and appropriate vitamins? If not, your hair loss may be due to telogen effluvium which thins the hair out. In this condition, the hair follicles stop producing new hairs and eject the existing hair strands.
For example, if you lack biotin and niacin – both B vitamins – it can go effect more than just the lustre of your hair. B vitamins are important for hair growth and if you do not get enough through your diet, it can cause the hair to become thin all or fall out of your scalp. Therefore it is advantageous to use products containing biotin to strengthen the hair.
Most of us have been stressed for a while at some point. That in itself should not cause hair loss. However, if you suffer from chronic stress – stress for a prolonged period – it can affect your hair. Chronic stress is a frequent cause of thinning hair.
When the body is stressed, a hormonal imbalance occurs. The imbalance causes the hair to stop growing and then fall out.
Excessive use of hair products
The health of your hair is closely linked to the physiological conditions. Therefore, both lifestyle and environmental factors can play a role in hair loss.
This applies, for example, to excessive use of hair products, hair dyeing, straightening irons and curling irons, all of which can be tough on your hair. These various influences can irritate the scalp and create imbalance in the natural hair structure. It wears down the roots, dries the hair and causes an imbalance that reduces hair growth. It can therefore lead to minor or major widespread hair loss.
Illness and hair loss
Hair loss can also be caused by an underlying disease. Some diseases cause the body to start forming antibodies that attack the hair follicles, causing the hair to thin out and even baldness.
Metabolic disorders, eating disorders, substance abuse and similar problems can cause skin changes that are bad growth conditions for your hair, causing it to begin to fall out.
Medical side effect
Medicine may be causing you to experience hair loss. Particularly chemotherapy, as a treatment for cancer, can cause your hair to fall out. However, birth control pills and other more “harmless” medications can also cause the hair to thin.
Therefore, before taking any medicine, it is always a good idea to read the package leaflet thoroughly or consult your doctor so that you are aware of the side effects of the medicine.
Who is most affected by hair loss?
If you are affected by hair loss, you are far from the only one. Hair loss affects both men and women. Up to 25% of Danes are affected by hair loss to a greater or lesser extent from the age of 25. Hair loss can affect everyone, as there can be both physiological and psychological causes.
For men, hair thinning and baldness is more the rule than the exception. The question is therefore not so much about if they will lose their hair, but rather when they will lose their hair. It can be widely different from man to man, and it can range from the young teens to the senior years. It is estimated that approximately 20% of men in their 20s experience hair loss, approximately 40% of men in their 40s and approximately 60% of men in the 60s.
Hair loss is also common for many women, and up to 50% of women in their 50s suffer from hair thinning to a greater or lesser extent.
Symptoms of hair loss – what should you watch out for?
If you suffer from hair loss, it will typically show up with a variety of symptoms. It can often start with thinning hair, which eventually gets worse. The symptoms are often different for women and men respectively.
Hair loss in men
In men’s hair loss, the hair starts to get thinner at the top of the skull – on the crest. The thinning also appears as a receding hairline with high temples that eventually fuse with the so-called “moon” at the back of the head.
It often creates a horseshoe-shaped hair ring around the back and sides. The pattern baldness often starts with a single bare patch that can subsequently lead to complete baldness.
Read more about hair loss in men.
Hair loss in women
Hair loss in women often appears as a thinning of the hair on the upper part of the scalp, along the parting. Here the hair is thinned out to a greater or lesser extent, while the hair thickness and lustre on the sides and back remains healthy.
Women do not usually experience complete baldness and patterns baldness to the same degree as men, in which all hairs disappear.
Read more about hair loss in women.
What is the hair loss treatment?
Is there a remedy for hair loss? And can you regrow the lost hair? There are several good options for a hair loss treatment – however, be aware that there is not a miracle cure and that effective treatment requires diligence and great patience.
Remedy for hair loss
When you lose your hair, whether as a man or a woman, it is due to the imbalance that occurs in the natural hair growth process. To remedy this, Australian Bodycare has developed a range of unique products that counteract the risk of hair loss.
The three products are a serum, a shampoo and a hair spray, all consisting of a variety of nourishing and rewarding ingredients such as Tea Tree Oil, Biotin and Capilia Longa that are effective against hair loss.
Tea Tree Oil, Biotin and Capilia Longa
All three products are formulated with Capilia Longa and 100% natural Tea Tree Oil. In addition, the serum contains Biotin. Together, they strengthen the strands and help to create healthier and thicker hair.
Tea Tree Oil is extracted from Australian trees and has antibacterial properties that cleanse the scalp free of impurities and dirt. It gives the hair the best conditions and a healthy scalp, which helps the hair to grow strong and full.
Biotin is a water-soluble B vitamin, which is essential for body and hair health. Biotin is included in the body’s metabolic reactions and in its regulation of sugar turnover. Biotin is used, for example, to convert carbohydrates and fat, and therefore the body’s cells are dependent on this vitamin. Cell growth plays a major role in the formation of new hair and skin, which is why biotin is an important source for hair growth.
Capilia Longa is a multi-active ingredient extracted from the natural tropical and subtropical plant Curcuma Longa. It helps to reactivate the latent cells, which otherwise create imbalances in the natural growth of the hair, so that they are re-balanced and provided with the best conditions for growing thick, full hair.
Use the products together
The serum, shampoo and hairspray for hair loss can be used individually, or can be used together for optimal results. The serum is massaged into the scalp to promote healthy hair and a healthy scalp environment for hair growth. The shampoo mildly cleanses the scalp free of impurities so that hair growth is not inhibited. You can use the hair spray after washing with the shampoo or when you want to skip the hair wash altogether. It helps strengthen each strand of hair to become more resistant to breakage.
The products work together to counteract hair loss by strengthening the hair and scalp which will promote hair growth and thicker hair. All 3 products can be used daily.
Stronger medical treatment
You can also get medical treatment for hair loss. It often consists of a hormone treatment with tablets. The tablet treatment should counteract the hormones that can inhibit hair growth, but the treatment can often have side effects, such as impotence in men.
Only your doctor can prescribe the tablets to you, and therefore you should talk to him or her first. Typically, your doctor will assess whether the treatment will be beneficial to you.
Transplantation of “healthy” hair
Hair transplantation is another form of treatment for hair loss. The transplant is carried out by finding donor areas with strong strands of hair and healthy follicles, typically at the back or side of the head, where there are still many hairs. The hair follicles are taken out individually and planted in the bald areas, such as the top of the scalp or the receding hairline.
After a few weeks, the transplanted hair will fall out and the new hair will gradually emerge from the healthy follicle planted in the scalp. The final outcome of the treatment can only be seen after 12-18 months.
How to prevent hair loss
There are several ways to prevent hair loss. Because while it may be difficult to pull the brake on the aging process, you do not have to give up completely beforehand.
Give your body the right nutrients
If your body lacks vitamins and nutrients, it can affect your hair strength. To give your hair the best conditions for staying healthy and strong, you can benefit from eating lots of fruits and vegetables. Both are packed with antioxidants and vitamins which can be beneficial for your hair.
Make sure you get enough B vitamins in your diet. They promote healthy hair follicles and help maintain the natural balance that is important for the hair to grow.
Reduce the use of hair products
If you use many different products in your hair, it may be a good idea to prevent future hair loss by limiting their use.
Let the hair air-dry rather than using the hair dryer and use a single styling product with multiple features instead of several different ones in your hair. Also, make sure your products contain mild ingredients that will not damage your hair.
You cannot avoid being stressed from time to time. However, be aware that it is not good to be stressed for long periods. That’s when stress can cause hair loss. Therefore, make sure you have good structures, work-life balances and routines created in your everyday life so that you have an overview of what you need to achieve.
This applies both at work and at home. Remember to pull the plug once in a while and pamper yourself as you recharge the batteries. That way, you can reduce the stress hormones in your body.