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What causes excessive hair loss?

21.12.2009 in HAIR LOSS FACTS

Hair LossHair LossHair LossHair Loss

A number of things can cause excessive hair loss. For example, about 3 or 4 months after an illness or a major surgery, you may suddenly lose a large amount of hair. This hair loss is related to the stress of the illness and is temporary.

Hormonal problems may cause hair loss. If your thyroid gland is overactive or underactive, your hair may fall out. This hair loss usually can be helped by treatment thyroid disease. Hair loss may occur if male or female hormones, known as androgens and estrogens, are out of balance. Correcting the hormone imbalance may stop your hair loss.

Many women notice hair loss about 3 months after they’ve had a baby. This loss is also related to hormones. During pregnancy, high levels of certain hormones cause the body to keep hair that would normally fall out. When the hormones return to pre-pregnancy levels, that hair falls out and the normal cycle of growth and loss starts again.

Some medicines can cause hair loss. This type of hair loss improves when you stop taking the medicine. Medicines that can cause hair loss include blood thinners (also called anticoagulants), medicines used for gout, high blood pressure or heart problems, vitamin A (if too much is taken), birth control pills and antidepressants.

Certain infections can cause hair loss. Fungal infections of the scalp can cause hair loss in children. The infection is easily treated with antifungal medicines.

Finally, hair loss may occur as part of an underlying disease, such as lupus or diabetes. Since hair loss may be an early sign of a disease, it is important to find the cause so that it can be treated.

Do you have Hair Loss Problems, read our Hair Loss Help

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What is the normal cycle of hair growth and loss?

21.12.2009 in HAIR LOSS FACTS

Hair Chart

DHT cause Male Hair Loss

The normal cycle of hair growth lasts for 2 to 3 years. Each hair grows approximately 1 centimeter per month during this phase. About 90 percent of the hair on your scalp is growing at any one time. About 10 percent of the hair on your scalp, at any one time, is in a resting phase. After 3 to 4 months, the resting hair falls out and new hair starts to grow in its place.

It is normal to shed some hair each day as part of this cycle. However, some people may experience excessive (more than normal) hair loss. Hair loss of this type can affect men, women and children.

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New Survey Results Reveal That the Effects of Thinning Hair Causes Women to Significantly Alter Their Lifestyle


New Survey Results Reveal That the Effects of Thinning Hair Causes Women to
Significantly Alter Their Lifestyle

54 percent of women surveyed who suffer from thinning hair are
changing their lifestyle to fend off hair loss; almost twice as many women say
they would turn to their hairstylist versus a doctor for advice

LOS ANGELES, Nov. 2 /PRNewswire/ — According to a TheImpact of Thinning Hair,
a new survey of 1000 consumers, women are dramatically changing their
lifestyle due to thin or thinning hair. Other statistics culled from TheImpact
of Thinning Hair, sponsored by Peter Lamas Products, a leading natural
personal care company, include:

34 percent of women are starting to notice thinning or wish their hair could be fuller or thicker.
Results also show that this issue plays a major role in the lifestyle choices women make; with an astounding 54 percent of women who said
that thinning hair has lead them to:
Wash their hair less frequently
Wear hats
Wear their hair in a ponytail or bun
Or use several products daily to give the appearance of fuller, thicker hair
When it comes to seeking professional advice, The Impact of Thinning Hair findings show that almost twice as many women said they would
consult their hairstylist versus a doctor to determine the best way to address their thinning hair.

43 percent of women currently using mainstream or chemical-based products said they would be somewhat to extremely interested in trying a natural alternative.

“The results of this survey clearly show that not only does thinning hair have
a profound impact on the daily lives of women; but these women are looking to
their stylists for advice and product alternatives,” says Peter Lamas, stylist
and founder of Peter Lamas Products. “Thinning hair can cause some women to
feel self conscious, leading them to hide behind hats or wear their hair in
ponytails,” Lamas explains. “But the irony is, repeatedly pulling hair back
causes the hair shaft to weaken, causing even more damage. It’s a vicious

As a stylist for over 30 years Lamas has helped women not only face, but find
solutions to sensitive issue such as hair loss. “My clients confide in me
because I understand how much hair can impact a woman’s appearance and even
her overall confidence,” Lamas says.

Other Key Survey Findings Include:

   Nearly the same amount of men and women say they are starting to notice
        thinning in their hair or wish it could be fuller or thicker (38 percent vs. 34 percent, respectively)

Men also see the value of a relationship with their stylist. 15 percent
        said they would consult their hairstylist to determine the best way to
        address their thinning hair compared to only 11 percent who would consult a doctor

  32 percent of men currently using mainstream or chemical-based products
        said they would be somewhat to extremely interested in trying a natural alternative

Survey Methodology
These findings are from a telephone survey conducted among 1,000 adults (500
men and 500 women). Interviewing for this survey was completed during the
period October 15-18, 2009. Opinion Research Corporation of Princeton, NJ,
conducted the fieldwork.

Do you have hair loss problems? Find further information on help with hair loss with links to hair loss case studies.

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Diffuse Hair Loss.

20.10.2009 in HAIR LOSS FACTS


Diffuse hair loss is the gradual thinning of hair from all parts of the scalp. The thinning is usually fairly even and without definite bald patches. In nearly every case it is shown to be a disturbance of the normal growth cycle of the hair with a large number of hairs entering the telogen phase (cessation of growth) at the same time. The replacement of old hairs by new ones (anagen) may be delayed so tha t the hair becomes sparse all over the scalp sometimes to the degree in which the scalp can be seen through the hair.

Unlike male balding the hair around the ears and at the nape of the neck are equally affected. The problem is more common among women than men and usually follows the event which caused the disturbance in the growth cycle often occurring about three months after the causative event.


In most cases the hair may be expected to re-grow unless the hair fall is being affected by a continuing cause.

Whilst there are many causes, and these must be carefully examined and eliminated, the most common factors are:-
Following pregnancy
Hormone imbalance
Drugs and radiation
Nutritional disorders
Physical stresses
A number of other factors may be held responsible…

Emotional stress
Accident or surgery
Sepsis and septic foci
Iron deficiency anaemia
Traumatic hair loss

Emotional Stress
Whether acute or chronic can cause diffuse hair fall. Treatment lies in treating or coming to terms with the causes of the stress whilst at the same time using local measures to stimulate the growth of new anagen hairs by massage and regular treatment.

Accident or Surgery
Any form of traumatic injury to the body will also cause a temporary interruption of the normal growth cycle, giving variable degrees of hair loss not necessarily related to the degree of injury. Surgery and the accompanying anaesthetics, possible loss of blood and the medications including antibiotics which may be needed to assist and promote healing may cause similar effects. Following complete healing of wounds, treatment is advised.

Although far less common than they used to be any form of fever, and this may include the more severe forms of influenza or pneumonia which are capable of causing a degree of hair loss. A rise in body temperature above 39° C will cause telogen hair loss within two and a half months of the onset of fever. The hair loss is only partial and is related to the maximum temperature and the length of time the temperature stays above 39° C. Re-growth of hair follows recovery from the illness and can usually be seen within two months from the onset of hair fall. As all of the hair does not always recover by itself, Treatment needs to be given following the illness.

Sepsis and Septic Foci
Occasionally chronic localised inflammation or infection may also cause diffuse hair loss. Bladder or urinary infections, impacted or infected wisdom teeth, gum inflammation or tooth abscess may be to blame as can chronic eye disorders such as blepharitis or conjunctivitis. Abscess occurring in any other part of the body will have the same effect.

Treatment involves finding the cause and having the appropriate treatment required. Once the focus of inflammation or infection has been found and treated, the hair will gradually try to improve within a few months. Local treatment is recommended to help speed up the instigation of new growth.

Iron Deficiency Anaemia
Occurs mostly in women. If diagnosed by a Doctor after a simple serum or blood test, iron supplementation will normally improve the hair growth within a few months.

In anaemia the hair also becomes dry and brittle and breaks off more easily, the fingernails may flake off in layers and usually there is a general feeling of tiredness and weakness often accompanied by low blood pressure.

Treatment of the anaemia solves all of these problems especially from the point of view of the poor hair growth and weakness of the fingernails.

Depression and Depressive Illness
For those unfortunate individuals who suffer from chronic depression, hair fall is a common occurrence. Some Psychiatrists look for this as evidence of a depressive state. Whilst depression can to some degree be controlled but rarely cured.

Traumatic Hair Loss
Although not a true form of diffuse hair loss, this problem may be the result of over enthusiastic hairdressing particularly colouring, straightening or perming. This may easily be confused with diffuse hair loss and has been mentioned for this reason.

Another form of apparent diffuse hair loss is that which is self inflicted and this is covered under Hair Oulling or Trichotillomania.

Diffuse hair loss without obvious scalp disease requires painstaking examination and questioning. A general medical examination by a Doctor to eliminate many of the possible causes may be advisable. Trichological Treatment is normally essential.

Do you have Hair Loss Problems, read our Hair Loss Help

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Hair Shaft Disorders.

13.10.2009 in HAIR LOSS FACTS


Split ends
Hair fracturing
Genetic hair shaft disorders
Pseudo monilethrix
Twsited hair
Menkes kinky hair syndrome
Bamboo hair
Ringed hair
Wooly hair syndrome
Uncombable hair syndrome
Pohl-pinkus constriction
Split Ends – Trichoptilosis

The most common of all hair shaft problems. Hair proteins are arranged in bundles called Macro-fibrils, due to general wear and tear these separate at the free end of the hair which becomes frayed giving rise to ‘split ends’.

If the hair is naturally dry or brittle or has been subjected to the action of hairdressing chemicals, particularly perming, straightening and colouring whether tint or bleach, the hair is far more likely to split.

Rough treatment of the hair, too much brushing particularly with hard brushes, combing with nylon and metal combs, the over enthusiastic use of heated rollers, brush rollers, curling tongs will also greatly encourage the hair to split. Unfortunately if left, the split ends break off leaving a new split higher up the hair shaft. Therefore, if you think that your hair never grows any longer it could be its because the hair is splitting and breaking off as fast as it grows.

There is no cure for split ends. These should be cut off using hairdressers very sharp scissors. Ordinary household scissors are not sharp enough and crush the hair causing further splitting. Once the split hairs are removed, it is vital to improve the condition of the hair by always using a special conditioner on the mid lengths and ends and ideally leaving a little in. Never use heat or heated rollers on dry hair. Treat the hair very gently. Human hair may be the strongest natural fibre in the world but even hair will wear out. Regular trimming and gentle treatment is the golden rule.

Hair Fracturing
Although hair may split on the ends, it frequently also splits and fractures higher up rather like splitting a dry twig. Although this may be common among some of the rarer hair shaft problems listed below, it is virtually always caused by mechanical damage i.e. rough treatment, back combing, brushing or combing too violently, heated rollers and all of the causes of hair splitting. The fractured hair has no elasticity at all at the point of fracture. This breaks off to leave one end of the fracture as a split end. Fracturing and splitting usually go together and the cause and treatment are the same.

Genetic Hair Shaft Disorders
Regrettably some people are born with naturally weak hair due to inherited hair shaft disorders. Although incurable, very gentle treatment and the regular use of good conditioners and very mild shampoos will help. All hairdressing chemicals must be completely avoided as they are certain to be destructive.

This varies widely in degree and in very mild cases may not be noticed.

The hair is beaded having nodes 1 millimetre apart with very thin internodes, the hair has no medulla and contains less alpha keratin which is normally essential in making the hair elastic. The inherited weakness is from a dominant gene and becomes visible soon after birth, particularly around the area from the crown to the nape of the neck. There is often a build up of dead skin around the neck of the hair follicle. The hair is very brittle and breaks very easily. It is important that diagnosis of this problem involves microscopic examination and measurement of the nodules. There is no cure and the hair must always be treated very gently.

Pseudo Monilethrix
Often caused by hairdressing damage, the nodes occur at varying distances so microscopical examination is vital to distinguish between the two problems. If due to hairdressing technique or chemicals, avoidance of these and the treatment of hair as for split ends is the solution to the problem.

Twisted Hair – Pili Torti
The hair is flattened in cross section and the hair rotates through 180° on its axis. The disorder is more common in females and is a dominant genetic disease.

Occasionally the hair will be normal unless a localised infection or inflammation of the scalp precipitates the problem. The hair is brittle, non-elastic and breaks off easily. It is possible that the problem may disappear at puberty or may only occur after that time. Problems with nail growth, corneal eye disorders and mental retardation may also be present. The hair commonly has a sparkling appearance due to the light reflecting off of it at different angles.

No treatment is effective except regular conditioning and very gentle care.

Menkes Kinky Hair Syndrome
Also called Trichopoliodystrophy is a recessive genetic trait affecting only about one person in every thirty thousand. The hair becomes frizzy and unmanageable, the arteries and brain may also be affected. It is believed to be due to the inability of the body to absorb copper from the intestine. Research is still being tested using copper either as injections or as a dietary additive.

Bamboo Hair – Nethertons Syndrome
Genetically recessive usually affects girls and is a fault in the local keratinisation or hardening of hair, sometimes connected with Ichthiosis which is the congenital absence of hair, sweat glands, elastic tissue or oil glands from a particular area. Under the microscope the brittle hairs look just like bamboo canes in shape.

Very gentle cosmetic care is needed. There is no cure.

Brittle hair due to abnormally low levels of sulphur. If pulled the hair breaks cleanly, clean breakage is called Trichoschisis.

Ringed Hair – Tricho Leuco Annularis
The hair appears to shimmer due to light and dark rings of pigment along its length, may be genetically dominant or recessive. The hair has a low level of the amino acid cystine. The hair grows normally but is slightly fragile and needs to be treated gently. return to top of page

Wooly Hair Syndrome
Negroid type hair growth in patches affecting non-Negroes, genetically dominant factor. The hair becomes finer and lighter, also increasingly brittle. Not curable, treat the hair gently.

Uncombable Hair Syndome
Very rare silvery blond hair triangular in cross section. No cure or solution at present.

Knotting of hair usually affects Negroes, often associated with scratching or rubbing of scalp.

Pohl-Pinkus Constriction
Thinning of hair shaft diameter due to ill heath, surgery or debilitating illness. This also causes lateral lines on the fingernails called beau’s lines and is due to the disturbances in the synthesis of protein into keratin.

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