Why am I losing my hair? Hair loss can be painful. Not necessarily in a physical way, but mentally and emotionally hair loss can be quite excruciating. Our hair is our identity and makes us who we are. When we lose it, it can feel as though a part of ourselves is going with it, which can lead to depression, anxiety, and stress.
There are many products on the market that promote healthy hair and hair loss recovery. However, there are many reasons for hair loss, some differing greatly from the next. It’s important to be aware of these different reasons to fully understand why you’re losing your hair, as it can be something quite simple to treat. Below is a small guide to help you in bettering your understanding of hair loss so that you might have a better direction in where to go and what steps to take.
What is Hair Loss?
Alopecia affects many people, men and women alike, and can affect those due to age, disease, or other factors.
The hair on your head has a life of its own, and each follicle goes through its very own life cycle. There are three phases to this cycle; anagen, catagen, and telogen.
- Anagen Phase: is active hair growth that lasts between two to six years, depending on genetics and other factors. This is where your hair grows 1cm per month, and the longer it stays in this phase, the longer it will grow.
- Catagen Phase: is transitional hair growth lasting between two to three weeks. This cycle allows the follicle to “renew itself”. The hair follicle shrinks and is cut off from a nourishing blood supply.
- Telogen Phase: is known as the resting phase where the follicle remains dormant for one to four months. Ten to fifteen percent of the hairs are in this phase at any given time. This is when a person’s hair will “shed”. Excessive hair loss is when too many hair follicles go into the telogen phase at once.
The 5 Big Reasons
There are many types of hair loss that affect men, women, and children, but below are the biggest 5 reasons one will see change.
This is a natural process many will go through. It is a gradual thinning of hair as one ages. More follicles go into the resting stage, and the remaining hairs become shorter and fewer in number.
Also known as male/female pattern baldness. For men, this is characterized by a receding hairline where hair falls out from the crown and frontal scalp. For women, they will experience thinning over the entire scalp, with the most at the crown. Men can suffer through this as early as their teens to 20s, where women who suffer from this normally don’t see thinning until their 40s.
This is temporary hair thinning throughout the scalp and occurs because too many hair follicles go into the telogen phase at once. This can be caused by environmental factors like stress or anxiety, and normally corrects itself.
This type of hair loss is normally seen in children and young adults. It often starts suddenly and causes patchy hair loss. It can result in baldness, but most will see hair return within a few years.
This results in permanent loss of hair. It can be caused by inflammatory skin conditions such as cellulitis, folliculitis, and acne, as well as other disorders like lupus and lichen planus. These conditions result in scars that permanently destroy the ability of hair to regenerate. Other factors such as hot combs and hair woven or pulled too tightly can also result in permanent hair loss.
For some, hair remedies might not work for you. When your hair loses the ability to regenerate, nothing can reverse that. But for others who don’t have a serious hair loss condition, there are many over the counter and at home remedies you can do to help in your situation.
Understanding what kind of hair loss you have will allow you to know what you can do to reverse the process as well as what will work best for you and your scalp. If you are suffering from hair loss, be sure to speak to your doctor to know what type you have, that way you can start your recovery to stronger, longer, more beautiful hair.