We all dread seeing those locks of hair in a comb or hairbrush. Hair fall is something that a lot of people go through as they age. In the world of beauty, hair has always been like a personal crown, a symbol of charm that we wear every day. It’s not just about looking good; it’s about feeling good too – having shiny, healthy hair has always been seen as a symbol of beauty, reflecting cultural ideals and individual style. Taking care of your hair isn’t just about looks; it’s a way to show yourself some love.
This simple act of grooming isn’t superficial – it is a powerful boost for your confidence and happiness. When you feel good about your hair, you carry that positivity into your daily life, impacting how you see yourself and how others see you. In our connected world, where appearances matter, nurturing your hair becomes a meaningful ritual. Due to this, there is always a demand for an effective hair loss treatment. In order to understand what makes for a potent hair loss treatment, it is first essential to understand the structure of the hair. Knowing the basics serves as a guide when exploring ways to address hair loss. So, to begin the journey toward restoring both hair health and confidence, it’s essential to grasp your hair’s composition.
The basic formation of hair
The structure of hair comprises hair shaft and hair root. Hair shaft is the part of the hair visible to the eye. The root is in the skin and extends to the deeper layers of the skin. The root is surrounded by the hair follicle which is attached to a tiny muscle that can make the hair stand up. Hair nerves are very sensitive and sense every hair strand .
Image Courtesy: NCBI
At the base of the hair, the hair root widens to a round hair bulb. Here, new cells are constantly forming. When these cells stick together and harden, a full strand of hair develops from them. As long as new cells continue to grow in the hair bulb, the hair continues to grow longer.
Difference between hair fall and hair breakage
Before discussing the major causes of hair loss, it is important to understand the difference between two terms used in similar contexts: hair fall and hair breakage.
Hair breakage occurs when your hair breaks from the shaft leading to split ends and shorter hair strands. It occurs when the overlapping scales in your hair’s inner cuticle fall apart, leading to hair damage.
On the other end, hair fall occurs due to the root or follicle becoming weak and falling off.
Hair breakage occurs due to the brittleness of the strands of hair and hair fall occurs due to the weakening of the hair root. With proper care and help from products suitable for your hair, you can control the effects of both these kinds of hair loss. While hair breakage can be treated by adding moisture back to your hair, hair fall requires a more vigorous hair care routine and a relook at various other factors including your daily nutrition. Both kinds of hair loss: hair breakage and hair fall occur due to various reasons related to your lifestyle, surroundings and genetics.
Major causes of hair loss
Various causes of Hairloss are elaborated below:
Lack of protein: A reduced protein intake can cause adverse impact on hair growth and structure. This also includes conditions like acute telogen effluvium, a short-term hair shredding that can last for up to six months.
Pollution: Research shows that particulate matter (PM10) and diesel reduce the levels of a protein key for hair growth. They also lower the levels of other proteins required for hair growth and retention.
Lifestyle: Besides the reasons mentioned above, there are also common hair care habits that can lead to hair fall. This includes using too hot water for hair wash, bleaching, too much exposure to the sun, tying your hair too tight etc.
Various causes of Hairfall are elaborated below:
1. Heredity: One of the most common causes of hair loss is Androgenetic Alopecia or pattern hair loss. It is a genetically predetermined condition that affects 50% men and women. It is caused due to excessive response to the androgen hormone.
In men, the hairline recedes back to form an ‘M’ shape and hair becomes thin at the top of the head leading to partial or complete baldness. The natural growth cycle of hair weakens and the hair follicle shrinks, leading to shorter and finer strands of hair. It creates a U-shaped pattern of hair around the sides of the head and a bald area on the back of the head.
While in women, hereditary hair loss is caused by a genetically shorter hair growing period and a longer period between the shedding and growth phases. Parental genes can lead to smaller follicles and thinner strands. The hairline does not recede but hair becomes thinner at the top of the head while the middle part widens.
A study conducted in 2022 on 800 Indian people showed that 30 % males and 27 % females in the 18-30 age group reported hairfall issues that affected their social life and impacted their quality of life.
2. Hormonal changes & medical conditions: Hormonal changes due to pregnancy, childbirth, menopause or thyroid can lead to hair loss. Other medical conditions like Alopecia Areata and scalp infections can also cause hair loss.
Natural aging: As people age, the life cycle of their hair shortens leading to shorter, finer hair falling out. Also, with age, some of the hair follicles stop producing hair. Due to this hair fibers become thinner and never regenerate, resulting in hair loss.
Usage of unsuited hair care products: The use of hair products that include sulfates can cause significant damage to the scalp and lead to irritation for people with sensitive skin. Before opting for a hair care product, it is essential to know your hair type, texture and porosity (ability to absorb and hold moisture).
Stress: Research has shown that stress causes three types of hair loss: telogen effluvium, where stress pushes a large amount of hair follicles into a resting phase, trichotillomania, a condition that causes people to pull their hair from their scalp and other areas of the body due to negative feelings like stress, tension, loneliness or frustration. The third kind of hair loss is alopecia areata in which the body’s immune system attacks the hair follicles, leading to hair loss. However, hair loss caused by stress is not necessarily permanent. A reduction in stress levels can lead to a regrowth of hair.
Suggested solutions to control hair loss
The most common reason for hair loss is the weakening of hair strands. There are various kinds of treatment available to control hair loss. This includes hair transplant where strands of hair are removed from an area of your scalp where your hair is the thickest and embedding them to the parts of the scalp where the hair is thinnest.
Platelet-rich Plasma (PRP) is another popular treatment for hair loss. It involves drawing blood and separating plasma from it. This platelet-rich plasma is then injected into the scalp to encourage new hair growth and slow down hair loss. However, PRP can have some potential side-effects including nerve injury, blood vessel injury on the scalp, infection at the injection site, side effects from anesthesia like muscle ache, confusion or bladder control issues.
Besides these treatments, one can also use hair products aimed to control hair loss. Among these products, silica-based products have an advantage due to their natural origin. Orthosilicic acid, an amorphous form of silica, is a primary ingredient of a natural hair loss treatment. It improves hair elasticity and break load which leads to thicker, stronger hair.
How do silica based products work?
The weakening of hair strands occurs due to the weak links formed on the cuticle of the hair strands. This breakage of hair can be reduced to a considerable extent if these weak links are connected to each other. The hair care additives in silica-based hair products connect these weak links by cementing action on the surface of the hair strand at a molecular level. This aligns the cuticle of the hair strands uniformly and strengthens it to avoid breakage. This can reduce hair breakage. However, it cannot stop hair fall.
Hair loss is a serious problem and can be difficult to deal with if left untreated or treated unwisely. However, with the help of correct hair care products that use natural ingredients and adequate nutrition, one can control it and prevent further damage to hair.
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