The sight of strands of hair on our pillow in the morning, in the hairbrush, or near the drain after a shower cause great concern. The health of our hair is an indicator of our general health. Hence, hair loss signals an underlying health problem. But the fact remains, that some amount of hair loss is normal and should not be a cause for worry. It is when hair loss is more than normal or starts causing bald patches that we need to worry about.
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Doctors say that the life of a strand of human hair is at the most 3 years. Each hair grows approximately 1 centimeter per month. About 90 percent of the hair on a human scalp is growing at any one time. About 10 % of Scalp hair is in a resting phase. After 3 to 4 months, the resting hair falls out and new hair starts to grow in its place.
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Hair loss is more than the average norm is worrisome and may affect men, women, and children. Common causes of hair loss are:
- Stress due to illness: Often if a person suffers from a major illness or surgery, there is hair loss after about 3 months after recovery. This is temporary and is set right with proper nutrition and rest.
- Iron deficiency: Iron deficiency is also a cause of hair fall. Leafy vegetables that are rich in iron and must be included in the regular diet prevent hair loss.
- Hormonal imbalances: If the thyroid gland is overactive or underactive, it causes hair loss. Menopause and andropause, with their underlying hormonal imbalances, also cause hair loss. Regulating hormonal balance will correct hair loss.
- Pregnancy and childbirth: Women often complain of abnormal hair falls about 3 months after childbirth. This is because during pregnancy, certain hormones produced in the body prevent hair fall or even the hair due to falling out. After pregnancy, it takes the body about 3 months to regulate hormone levels and for the hair to resume normal growth- the fall-out cycle.
- Drugs; High dosage of anti-coagulants prescribed for heart disease and high blood pressure cause excessive hair fall. Drugs prescribed for chemotherapy also cause hair falls. The hair fall stops on stopping the drug dosage.
- Fungal infections: Infections of the scalp cause hair fall. This condition can be treated with anti-fungal medication.
- Hair treatment: Excessive coloring of hair, constant use of hot rollers and poor quality perms used to damage hair and cause hair fall. Certain hairstyles like pulling back hair tight from the forehead or using very tight bands to tie the hair can cause hair fall.
- Harmful chemicals: The use of cosmetics that contain harmful chemicals is another reason for hair fall.
- Maintaining balanced nutrition and proper care of hair is necessary for healthy hair.