Tuesday, March 11, 2014

How to Control Hair Loss and Get Beautiful Hair

Types Of Hair Loss That Are Uncontrollable

In  the U.S alone, the number of people(male and female)desperately looking for a miracle drug to treat or control hair loss has risen dramatically over the years. To date, the few medications that have been manufactured to treat hair loss in general have all proven to be somewhat ineffective.

Although not all types of hair loss can  be controlled, some can be controlled or avoided if a few simple recommendations are followed.  It’s also important that people who have experienced hair loss know the underlying causes before spending their hard earned money on products that can be considered useless.

Alopecia (hair loss) may be a localized condition or may be associated with underlying systemic disorders.  In nonscarring  alopecia, which is known to be the most common cause of hair loss, the follicular orifice is preserved. On the contrary, in scarring alopecia, the follicle is destroyed.

Nonscarring Alopecia or Androgenic alopecia (male-pattern balding) is an inherited condition that can affect both women and men. It is also as a result of hormonal changes in body, mainly higher levels of male hormones androgens. Since both sexes have androgens, they both  can experience this type of baldness.

It is recommended that women with significant androgenic alopecia should be evaluated to rule out an underlying endocrine disorder.  Fungal infections of the scalp are also other causes of  non scarring alopecia. Diffuse, nonscarring alopecia can accompany systemic illnesses such as secondary syphilis, hypothyroidism, and systemic lupus erythematosus.

Scarring Alopecia
This type of hair loss is caused by inflammation severe enough to destroy the hair follicle. A common cause is chronic cutaneous (discoid) lupus erythematosus, which generally also produces scalp atrophy, erythematic, scale, and pigment alteration. Scarring Alopecia can also develop due to localized forms of scleroderma(morphea). Other causes include severe bacterial or fungal infections, and less common inflammatory disorders such as folliculitis decal vans and lichen planopilaris.

Alopecia Areata - More Sever Cases of Alopecia
Alopecia Areata presents as loss of hair from one or more discrete patches on the scalp.  It’s an immune-mediated process; Immune system often times mistaken hair follicles for  foreign substances and attacks them. Affected patients should be evaluated for autoimmune thyroid disease. Although this kind of alopecia usually runs a definite limited course without treatment, it can progress until the patient has no hair on the scalp(alopecia totalis)

Telogen Effluvium
Any major physiologic stress, including illness and pregnancy can lead to the simultaneous conversion of multiple hair follicles into the telogen (resting ) phase. Individuals with this type of hair loss will experience relatively sudden onset of widely spread scalp hair loss. However, since the loss is transient the hair will re-grow.

Medications/Supplements Causing Hair Loss
Certain types of medications may cause hair loss, such as chemotherapy agents, and drugs used to treat: gout, arthritis, depression, HTN, and heart conditions.

High doses of Vitamin A, can also lead to hair loss, so does birth control pills and pregnancy.  However, after a discontinuation of the pills for at leas 6 months, or after delivery, there is usually a  re-growth of hair with no long-term issues.

Other Drugs Causing Thinness Of The Hair
Catatonic agents -- can cause complete alopecia because of their ability to stop the cell division process on rapid proliferation hair follicle cells.

Other Conditions Could Lead To Reversible Hair Loss Include The Following:

  • Low-protein diet
  • Low levels of iron in blood(common in women with heavy menstrual cycles)
  • Diabetes
  • Major surgery
  • Chronic illness
  • Chemicals and heat treatments such as coloring and perms can weaken hair resulting in hair loss
  • Tightly braided hair
  • Tightly fitted wigs

Present Treatments And Recommendations To Control Hair Loss
Although current treatments for(alopecia) common baldness are not very effective, however, below are some of the approaches and recommendations to treat or control hair loss:

  • Minoxidil lotion improves blood circulation/supply to follicles and papillae to treat baldness slightly.
  • A pill known as  finasteride is also used to treat common baldness. It is designed to block the effect of Androgens on hair follicles. However, it can lead to birth defects in pregnant women. It may sometimes take months before lotions or pills produce any benefits. Most Specialist suggest using baby shampoos 
  • People with hair loss should not use blow drier and should only comb hair after it dries, because wet hair will break easier than dry hair.
  • Adding protein or iron to diet could control hair loss or re-grow hair.
  • Avoid getting your hair too tightly braided
  • Avoid regular wearing of tightly fitted wigs
  • Avoid chemicals and heat treatments such as coloring and perms as they can weaken hair and cause hair loss
  • Try to consume the daily recommended intake of protein

Present Alopecia Areatea Treatments
Steroids pills/(oral)/injection/topical cream may be used on affected areas. A lotion or a substance called anthralin cream may help.  Other commonly used treatments are local and systemic steroids and also ultraviolet light.

Conclusion
For anyone who has been experiencing significant hair loss, you should consult your health care provider or a hair specialist as soon as possible as this could be the result of a serious health issue. Your health care provider should be able to inform you also whether your hair loss is genetically related or not.

Sources: 1.Medline 2.The Principles and Practice of Medicine 23rd Edition