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      September 22, 2018

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Can Hair Loss Be Stopped?

We’ve all heard the old adage about someone getting so frustrated, they pulled their own hair out. But for some people, that old expression is based in reality every time they wash, brush or style their hair.

Over 56 million men and women in the United States suffer from some form of hair loss. Whether hair loss can be stopped depends on the kind of hair loss from which a person suffers. There are numerous kinds:

  • Androgenetic Alopecia: This is the most common type of hair loss, often referred to as “male pattern baldness.” While it mainly affects men, women also can suffer from this kind of hair loss. Androgenetic Alopecia is caused by a combination of genetics and hormones.
  • Telogen Effluvium: This type of hair loss is the second-most common experienced by both men and women. It is characterized by hair shedding in several areas that does not follow a specific pattern. It also tends to start suddenly and without any prior warning. This kind of hair loss often is the result of a metabolic dysfunction, hormonal stress or from using certain medications.
  • Anagen Effluvium: This kind of hair loss is very similar to telogen effluvium, except that it generally results in the loss of all hair, not just patches here or there. Anagen effluvium is most commonly suffered by those who are receiving relief for various forms of cancer, including chemotherapy and certain kinds of drug cocktails designed to kill cancer cells. Another reason for this kind of hair loss would be the ingestion of a toxic substance.
  • Alopecia Areata: It is believed that alopecia areata is an autoimmune disorder in which a person’s own immune system attacks hair follicles, causing existing hair to fall out and no new hair to grow.
  • Scarring Alopecia: A person suffering from this kind of hair loss has his own hair follicles destroyed and replaced by scar tissue, which prevents the growth of new hair.
  • Congenital Hypotrichosis: This type of hair loss generally affects a person at birth and usually stays with them for the length of their lives. The majority of cases of this kind of hair loss are caused by genetic defects.
  • Infection: Sometimes hair loss can be caused by an infection, such as ringworm. It also can be caused by various fungi and viruses, which often are easily dealt with.
  • Defective Hair Shafts: A final cause of hair loss can be a defect with a person’s hair shaft. This damage can be caused by genetics, something in the environment, or inappropriate hair care. This kind of hair loss can’t always be reversed.

While there is no guarantee that a person genetically-predisposed to hair loss can prevent that from happening, there are some basic things everyone can do to help improve the health of their hair. Improving hair health can prevent hair loss in some situations.

First and foremost, do not repeatedly subject your hair to extreme heating or drying sources. Using high levels of heat to “blow dry” hair can lead to damage of the hair shaft and follicle, which can result in hair loss or a damaged follicle.

For women, it is imperative that frequent hair dying be eliminated. Hair dye should only be applied every six to eight weeks to avoid over-damaging your hair. Women also should not style their hair in the same way every day, especially if that styling includes the addition of a tight hair clip. For both men and women, keeping your scalp clean is the best way to prevent some forms of hair loss. Be sure to use a mild shampoo, and never vigorously comb or brush wet hair.

Stress and diet also play important roles in the health and longevity of our hair. A proper diet, combined with stress-reducing techniques, can help prevent some of the kinds of hair loss mentioned above. Supplements, such as Omega-3 fatty acids, can go a long way in helping to keep your hair healthy.

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