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Stress and Hair Loss

Can Stress or Lifestyle Result in Hair Loss – Our Hair Specialist Explains

A One On One Conversation With A Professional Hair Loss Expert
1.      Who are considered as Hair loss Experts?

A person is considered a hair loss expert or specialist when they undergo extensive training in that particular industry. They are trained to analyse hair samples and identify cases such as hair thinning and hair loss. They are also capable of advising medical and non-medical treatments and solutions for the problem.

2.      What do hair loss experts work with?

A Hair loss expert deals with a variety of hair problems, which one can find below. Please note that these are just some of the many problems that these experts deal with on a day to day basis

  • Hair breakage, thinning and bald patches in the scalp
  • Dry and scale problems in the scalp area
  • Excessive greasiness or oiliness of the hair
  • Itching of the scalp

Hair loss experts are highly trained individuals and can give advice relating to hair and scalp problems. They can help clients who experience hair breakage, baldness, itchy scalp and other hair related problems. They also conduct hair analyses to determine the hair’s condition and recommend possible treatments to the client. Hair loss experts are not only trained to handle real human hair, they can also assist clients with wig fittings, hair weaving procedures, as well as hair colouring.

3.     When is the best time to talk with your hair loss expert?

Clients who experience the following signs and symptoms should consult a hair loss expert:

  •     Sudden appearance of bald patches on the scalp
  •     Extreme oiliness and dryness of the scalp
  •     Persistent itching of the scalp
  •     Noticeable hair loss or hair thinning
  •     Scalp area is exposed to the naked eye
  •     Excessive hair shedding
  •     Hair breakage due to hair treatment
  •     Poor quality of hair/stunted growth of hair

The hair loss expert will inspect and evaluate the client’s hair condition and would recommend treatments. In some cases, an analysis is conducted to determine the health of the hair and scalp. Recommendations for treatments will also be given.

4.     How can a person’s lifestyle affect their hair loss?

The way the person lives has a huge effect on the condition of their hair. The amount of sleep, physical activities, hairstyling method, sleeping patterns and other social and psychological happenings can play a big part in hair loss. On several occasions, it is noted that the underlying factor for hair loss is one of the factors mentioned above.

5.     How can a client’s diet affect their hair loss?

As hair needs nutrients to make it healthy, diet plays a major part in hair loss. Most individuals who go on crash diets or avoid certain food groups are depriving the body of the needed nutrients such as protein and iron. People who enjoy healthy and well-balanced meals also have healthy looking skin. It is important that one eats a healthy diet, coupled with ample sleep, whilst avoiding alcohol and/or smoking.

6.     Can washing one’s hair several times a day cause aggravated
hair loss?

Washing one’s hair several times a day is actually not the cause of hair loss but the shampoo and other hair care products that one uses can exacerbate an existing problem. Some hair products contain chemicals to make your hair look good but in reality they weaken the roots. Some strong products can cause hair to thin or turn brittle as well as stunt the growth of hair follicles.

7.     Is there any difference between a man and a woman’s hair
loss problems?

Hair loss in men in particular is often attributed to genes. Experts in hair loss estimate that about 99% of hair loss in males is caused by the condition “androgenetic alopecia”. This hair loss condition, which is also called “male pattern baldness”, occurs in males with the AR gene, which increases the androgen hormone – DHT. The DHT affects the hair follicles resulting to them thinning and eventually loss of hair strands.

Although androgenetic alopecia can also happen to women, other contributing factors can also cause baldness in women. These factors include poor physical and mental health, underlying medical conditions, thyroid problems and other problems that are caused by an imbalance of hormones in the body.

8.     Are there any other kinds of hair loss?

There are different kinds of hair loss problems, some temporary, some permanent.

9.     What is alopecia areata?

Alopecia areata is a systemic autoimmune disorder, which is characterized by patches of hair loss that form a distinct circle on the client’s scalp. Although the condition is treatable, this condition might lead to permanent baldness. It is believed that the body’s immune system destroys the hair follicles, which prevents it from growing new hair. Women who experience alopecia can recover without any medical intervention; however, the recovery time is long and arduous unlike those that avail of hair loss

10.     Are problems concerning hair loss common?

Hair loss is indeed one of the most common problems that individuals experience and half the population now experience hair loss before they reach the ripe old age of fifty. Although hair loss is quite common, it is hard to live with this condition. People who experience hair loss often become depressed especially those that consider their hair as their “crowning glory”. Having said that, there are now several hair loss treatments available and it is just a matter of finding the right treatment.

11.     How can hair loss affect an individual’s life?

Losing hair can have severe effects on a woman or man’s self esteem. Hair loss in fact can affect both genders in several ways such as :

  • Affecting one’s emotional and psychological well-being, often causing depression and anxiety
  • Social withdrawal, as many people feel insecure and worry as to what the public thinks of them. Individuals
    who suffer from hair loss often withdraw from the public and often become recluses.
  • People who are especially concerned about their hair may often lose control of their emotions and mental faculties. Obsessive behaviour often occurs – some individuals admitting to the storing of lost hairs as a keep sake.
12.     Is genetics the possible culprit for hair loss?

Research reveals that almost ninety-nine precent of men with AR genes lose their hair. This gene, which is inherited, causes the DHT androgen to attack the hair follicles causing stunted hair growth and potential permanent hair loss.

Forty-five percent, out of the sixty-five percent of all women who experience hair loss lose their hair due to genetics. The remaining women lose their hair due to medical and non-medical circumstances such an environmental factors, stress, medication, hormones, age and nutrition.

13.     Do young people also experience hair loss?

Hair loss is often associated with old age, which is in fact true as the body slows down as one ages. However, hair loss can and does happen no matter what age the person is.

One type of condition is the “Male Pattern Baldness”. This type of hair loss is quite common among young men and some research indicates that almost half of men experience this type of hair loss before they reach the age 50. By the age of 35, two thirds of American men will experience some degree of balding and by the age of 50 approximately 85% of men will have significantly thinning hair. For some men, balding can start as young as 20 but the most common age that male pattern balding starts is between the ages of 25 and 35. Other common hair loss conditions include alopecia areata, tricotillamania (condition that is characterized by individuals pulling their own hair due to stress and anxiety) and hair loss due to ringworm.

14.     Why does one experience frequent hair loss when one gets old?

Aging affects our ability to absorb nutrients that are essential for the formation of hair follicles. As the person ages, the body’s digestive system is no longer able to efficiently absorb nutrients and protein. Proteins such as amino acids are essential for healthy hair. The lack of protein and amino acids results in hair growing thin and as it no longer has the ability to hold pigments; it loses colour and turns lighter eventually.

15.     Are there any possible causes for unexpected excessive hair loss?

Excessive and unexpected hair loss depends upon the individual’s lifestyle and is usually divided into two:

  • Psychological Causes such as stress and anxiety. This condition is only temporary and is often rectified after the stressors are dealt with.
  • Physical Causes. Changes in one’s physical well-being can cause hair loss. Changes include physical trauma, crash diets, extreme weight loss, infections, medicines and other states that may cause hormonal imbalances such as menopause and pregnancy.
16.     Is hair loss permanent?

Hair loss is temporary. However, one type of hair loss that is permanent is the Cicatricial alopecia. This hair loss condition destroys the hair follicles permanently preventing hair from growing. This condition is common among women who are over sixty years of age though it is also applicable to men. People who braid their hair too tightly can also suffer from this condition.

17.     Can stress contribute to hair problems?

People who are often on the go and live a stressful life can experience hair loss; this is because stress can increase the levels of cortisol in the body, which can then result in hormonal imbalances. The change in hormone levels can cause hair loss or hair thinning. It is important that one should have some downtime to avoid such stress.

18.     Can the use of “hair loss shampoo or conditioner” prevent hair loss?

Shampoos or conditioners do not really cause or prevent hair loss. For people with dry and damaged hair, shampoos with strong alkaline content can cause the hair loss condition to get worse. There are hair shampoos that do claim they can prevent hair loss. However, most of the time, the shampoo only coats the hair strands to make them look shinier and fuller without fixing the actual problem.

19.     How do I determine which hair loss treatment is the most effective?

There are several treatments available depending on the hair loss condition that one has. It is important to have one’s hair analysed to determine which hair treatment is the most effective one for the individual.

20.     Which hair loss treatment is the best one for me?

As mentioned above, it is imperative to talk about your individual case with a professional consultant.

21.     Do I have to combine treatments?

There are times when one has to undergo several treatments or combine treatments to solve hair loss problems. As such, it is imperative that one talk with a professional hair loss expert to get a personalized analysis of the problem.

Prescription drugs can treat some hair loss problems while severe cases may require surgery/hair transplants. Some individuals prefer to avoid procedures and instead wear wigs or other hairpieces. Other options include altering hairstyles as well as dyeing one’s hair. There are some instances when removing stressors can rid one of the problems.

When consulting a hair loss expert, here are some questions that you might want to ask:

  • What treatments would work best for me?
  • How long doe the treatment last?
  • Is the treatment permanent?
  • What side effects and risks does one have to take note of?
22.     What are the complications or risk of undergoing hair
loss treatments?

People who have allergic reactions to certain food or medication should consult a professional hair loss specialist to determine whether they are at risk or not. Although complications from hair loss treatments are rare, a detailed medical history can help you assess whether you are at risk or not.

23.     What type of test would one undergo?

Blood testing is the most common test to determine whether one is healthy or not. This test would help hair loss experts determine the health of the hair and what treatments are available.

24.     When will results show?

People who undergo hair loss treatments should see the results in 4 to 6 months after their treatment.

25.     How to prevent hair loss?
  • A healthy and well-balanced meal plan can prevent nutritional deficiencies, which can prevent hair loss. Remember to avoid food that is high in sugar. Another thing to note is that crash diets can often cause hair loss so try and retain a sense of balance.
  • Iron deficiency also causes hair loss. People who suspect that they have low iron levels should take multi-vitamins fortified with iron.
  • Physical activities such as yoga or running can relieve stress which can exacerbate hair loss
  • Limit the use of curling irons, straighteners, tight braiding, blow dryers, hot irons and chemicals, which can cause hair breakage and root damage.
  • Do not dye your hair too often as some colour products might contain ammonia and peroxide which can be damaging to the hair and cause hair loss.
  • Some oral contraceptives can cause hair loss, which is why it is important for women who are taking pills or oral contraceptives to talk to their doctor if they start experiencing any side effects
  • Check your family’s history. Chances are that people who have relatives or family members that experience hair loss also have the risk of experiencing it themselves.
  • It is important to have an annual check up to ensure that your body is healthy as nutritional deficiencies, hormone levels and other medical conditions can cause hair loss.

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