Why am I losing my hair?
Alopecia refers to the medical term for hair loss or baldness. It is a condition characterized by the partial or complete loss of hair on the scalp or other areas of the body where hair typically grows. Alopecia can affect people of all ages, genders, and backgrounds and can be caused by various factors. There are different types of alopecia, each with its own underlying causes and patterns of hair loss.
• Telogen Effluvium: This often occurs during/after pregnancy, major surgery, puberty, menopause, or extreme weight loss. Hair might come out in clumps as you are shampooing, styling, or combing your hair. It can also be a side effect of certain medications, including antidepressants, beta-blockers, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
• Hereditary Hair Loss: Some of us inherited genes that make us lose hair, called androgenetic alopecia. You're more likely to experience hair loss if both parents also had hair loss.
• Excessive Styling: Too much shampooing, washing, heating, styling, and dyeing can hurt your hair and result in hair loss.
• Skin Conditions of the Scalp: An unhealthy scalp can lead to hair loss, along with dandruff, psoriasis, and fungal infections.
• Hypothyroidism: An overactive thyroid might result in hair loss, along with a host of other symptoms.
• Iron Deficiency Anemia: Women who have heavy menstrual cycles or those who don't eat enough iron-rich foods might be prone to an iron deficiency. This can result in hair loss, along with other symptoms.
• Lupus: Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease which affects about 1.5 million people. Hair loss is one of the potential symptoms.
• Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS): PCOS is a menstrual problem caused by a hormonal imbalance. One of the symptoms is hair loss on the head while growing hair in other areas of the body (like the face).
• Alopecia Areata: This is an autoimmune disorder that affects about 4.7 million people in the United States. It often causes bald spots to form.
What can I do to prevent hair loss?
Preventing hair loss can be tricky, but here are some helpful pointers to get you going in the right direction.
• Be Patient: Especially in cases of extremes (stress, pregnancy, surgery) the best thing to do is to wait it out.
• Talk to your Doctor: If you are concerned that your hair loss might be related to one of your medications, talk with your doctor to see about switching medications or lowering the dosage. Additionally, some medications might help with hair regrowth.
• Eat More Iron: Eating iron can help increase the number of red blood cells (which transport oxygen around the body). Eating foods like beef, pork, fish, leafy greens, and beans can increase the amount of iron in your body. Taking a vitamin C supplement as well can help the body with iron absorption.
• Avoid Excessive Heat or Styling: Put down that blow dryer! As we mentioned earlier, excessive heat on your hair can cause hair damage which results in hair loss. Additionally, dyeing your hair can cause damage to your hair.
Using herbs as a natural hair rinse.
Choosing the right herb is the first step in making a hair rinse.
|Normal Hair||Dry Hair / Scalp||Oily Hair / Scalp||Hair Loss|
|Horsetail||Chamomile||Burdock Root||Nettle Root|
|Nettles Leaf||Thyme (Red or White)||Witch Hazel Bark||Rubbed Sage Leaf|
|Sage leaf||Peppermint leaf||Yarrow Flower||Horsetail|
Once the proper herb has been chosen for the hair issue, an infusion is made. Use up to 5 teaspoons of the herb to 1 cup of water. Place the herb into a heat resistant bowl and pour the hot water over the herb and cover. Steep the herb up to 5 minutes. Once the brewed tea has cooled, slightly so you won't get burned, usually cooled to room temperature, strain the brew. Once the hair has been washed, pour the strained herbal rinse over the hair and scalp. The herbal hair treatment does not need to be rinse out with water, but if you prefer you may. The herbal hair rinse may be used up to three times a week.
Cole, Gary MD W., and Nili N. Alai MD. "Hair Loss: Find Facts about Causes and Treatment Options." MedicineNet. 24 Mar. 2014. <http://www.medicinenet.com/hair_loss/article.htm>.
Yu, Winnie. "Why The Heck Is My Hair Falling Out?" Prevention, 23 July 2014. <http://www.prevention.com/beauty/beauty/9-causes-hair-loss-and-thinning-hair?s=2>.