Hair Fall: What causes rapid hair fall, prevention and how it affects men and women differently

Hair is directly related to a person’s self-esteem and hair fall can seriously affect a person’s self-confidence. And it’s not just about aesthetics, hair plays an important role when it comes to our health. From protecting us from extreme temperatures to protecting our heads, hair plays many roles. Additionally, hair loss can also indicate some underlying health concerns. Sanath Dutta, Herbal Solutions Expert and Co-Founder, Elia Wellness, shares his insights on the causes of rapid hair fall, which gender is more prone to hair loss, ways to deal with it and much more.

causes of rapid hair fall

Rapid hair fall, also known as alopecia, can be caused by various factors, says Sanath Dutta. He lists some reasons below:

• Genetics: One of the most common causes of hair loss is genetics. Male pattern baldness (androgenetic alopecia) and female pattern baldness are hereditary conditions that can cause rapid hair loss.

• Hormonal changes: Hormonal imbalances, such as those experienced during adolescence, pregnancy, childbirth, menopause or thyroid disorders, can cause temporary or permanent hair loss.

• medical conditions: Some medical conditions can cause rapid hair loss, including autoimmune diseases such as alopecia areata, scalp infections such as ringworm, and conditions such as trichotillomania (hair-pulling disorder).

• Medicines: Some medications, especially those used in chemotherapy, as well as those used to treat depression, arthritis, heart problems, and high blood pressure, can cause hair loss as a side effect.

• Tension: Physical or emotional stress can lead to a condition called telogen effluvium, where large numbers of hairs suddenly enter the resting phase (telogen) of the hair growth cycle, resulting in rapid shedding.

• nutritional deficiencies: Inadequate intake of certain nutrients like iron, zinc, vitamin D and protein can contribute to hair loss.

• Hair care methods: Excessive use of harsh chemicals (e.g., hair dyes, relaxers), heat styling tools, or tight hairstyles (e.g., tight ponytails, braids) can damage hair follicles and cause hair loss.

• age: As people age, their hair naturally becomes thinner and more prone to breakage. This is a normal part of the aging process.

• environmental factors: Exposure to pollutants, toxins, and environmental stressors can damage hair follicles and contribute to hair loss.

Men vs. women: who is more likely to be affected

Rapid hair loss can affect both men and women, says Dutta, but the patterns and underlying causes may differ between the sexes. “For men, the most common form of rapid hair loss is male pattern baldness (androgenetic alopecia), which typically begins with a receding hairline and thinning at the top. This type of hair loss is primarily caused by genetics. and hormonal factors, particularly the hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT),” explains Dutta.

Dutta believes that women can also experience rapid hair loss, although it often manifests differently from male pattern baldness. He adds, “Female pattern hair loss typically involves an overall thinning of the hair, especially on the top of the head and the part line, not isolated bald patches. Hormonal changes, such as Pregnancy, menopause, or thyroid disorders, as well as those related to stress and nutritional deficiencies, can contribute to hair loss in women.”

The severity and pattern of hair loss can vary widely from individual to individual, regardless of gender.

General Tips to Prevent Hair Fall

Preventing rapid hair loss and maintaining healthy hair often involves good hair care practices, lifestyle adjustments, and addressing any underlying health issues. Sanath Dutta shares some tips to prevent rapid hair fall and promote hair health:

• Maintain a balanced diet: Eat a nutritious diet rich in vitamins, minerals and proteins essential for hair health. Include foods like fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains and healthy fats.

• stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water to keep your scalp and hair hydrated.

• Avoid harsh treatment: Minimize the use of chemical treatments like hair dyes, relaxers and perms, as well as heat styling tools like flat irons and curling irons, which can damage the hair roots and cause breakage.

• Be gentle with your hair: Use a wide-tooth comb to detangle wet hair and avoid tugging or pulling your hair. Be careful when towel-drying and avoid rubbing vigorously.

• Choose gentle hair care products: Use mild shampoos and conditioners formulated for your hair type. Avoid products with harsh chemicals like sulphates and parabens, which can strip the hair of its natural oils.

• Protect your hair from the sun: Wear a hat or use hair products containing UV filters to protect your hair from sun damage.

• Manage stress: Practice stress reduction techniques such as meditation, yoga, deep breathing exercises, or engaging in hobbies and activities you enjoy.

• Exercise regularly: Regular physical activity can help improve circulation, which promotes hair growth.

• Avoid tight hairstyles: Avoid hairstyles that pull on the hair, such as tight ponytails, braids, or buns, as they can cause traction alopecia (hair loss due to pulling on the hair follicles).

• Enough Sleep: Aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night to promote overall health, including healthy hair growth.

• Addressing underlying health problems: If you suspect that an underlying medical condition is causing your hair loss, consult a healthcare professional for proper diagnosis and treatment.

• Consider supplements: In some cases, dietary supplements such as biotin, vitamins D and E, iron, and omega-3 fatty acids may help promote hair growth, but consult a health care professional before starting any new supplements.

“By incorporating these tips into your hair care routine and adopting a healthy lifestyle, you can help prevent rapid hair loss and maintain strong, healthy hair,” says Dutta.

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