As we age our hair becomes thinner and can fall out. This doesn’t happen to everyone and it is completely normal. However, some people experience hair loss before they hit their golden years. There are many factors that can cause our hair to become brittle or thin, stop growing or fall out, besides the usual culprits like male pattern baldness, hormones (especially during pregnancy) and heredity. Here are the most common:
Stress: Whether it’s physical or emotional, stress can trigger hair loss. The body and the mind being under duress, can cause our hair to shed excessively. Life-altering events like divorce, car accidents and the illness of a loved one can make us lose our hair, but it will generally resolve itself once the stress subsides.
Lack of protein: A diet that isn’t rich in protein can promote hair loss. When you don’t get enough protein your body responds by ceasing hair growth. This is a common occurrence for vegetarians and vegans. If you do not eat animal protein you can visit a nutritionist to discover vegan and vegetarian protein alternatives.
Anemia: An iron deficiency like anemia affects one in 10 women between the ages of 20 and 49. Anemia can lead to hair loss when left untreated. However, iron supplements can help correct this issue.
Chemotherapy: It is often assumed that cancer causes hair loss, but this isn’t the case; it is the treatment that can lead to hair loss. Chemotherapy is powerful enough to destroy rapidly dividing cancerous cells and hair loss is a side effect.
Certain medications: Medications like those used to treat depression, blood pressure issues, skin conditions, and even ibuprofen and birth control can contribute to hair loss.
Overstyling: When we straighten, curl or over-style our hair, it can lead to hair loss. For example, certain chemicals found in hot-oil treatments and relaxers can damage the hair at the root which makes it easier for it to fall out. Tight braids, ponytails and other styles that pull the hair back away from the root can also be very damaging if worn daily. If you can, use conditioner after every shampoo and limit the amount you use heat to treat your hair (blow dryers, straighteners and curling irons).
Not all hair loss is permanent. If you notice that you are losing your hair, contact your doctor to figure out the cause and solutions together.
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