General Practice 2022

8 main causes of hair loss (and what to do)

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8 main causes of hair loss (and what to do)
8 main causes of hair loss (and what to do)

Hair loss is not usually a warning sign as it can happen completely naturally, with 60 to 100 hairs per day being lost, especially during the coldest times of the year such as autumn it's winter. At these times, hair falls out with more hair because the hair root is less irrigated by nutrients and blood and this can increase hair loss. However, this drop should decrease during warmer times of the year, such as spring and summer.

In addition, people who frequently use hair straightening products, often apply flat irons or do hairstyles that can break their hair, may also experience more severe hair loss.

Hair loss after he alth treatments, such as chemotherapy for cancer, for example, is relatively normal but should always be referred to by the doctor before starting treatment, so that it is not a cause for concern when it arises.

The main causes of hair loss are:

1. Excessive Stress

One of the main causes of hair loss is excess stress, both physical and mental. This is because the shock of stress, after a traffic accident or after the diagnosis of a serious illness, for example, can change the cycle of hair strands, causing them to fall out.

In other cases, stress may not be the main cause of hair loss, but it can worsen hair loss that already exists for another reason. Know the main consequences of stress.

What to do: It is advised to try to reduce the stress load by participating in leisure activities, not only to treat hair loss, but also to ensure better quality of life and avoid other more serious problems that can arise over time, such as irritable bowel or depression.

2. Too much vitamin A or B

Although it is relatively rare, the excessive presence of vitamins A or B complex in the body can contribute to hair loss. This situation is more common in people who have been taking supplements with one of these types of vitamins for a long time.

What to do: dietary supplements should only be used under the guidance of a doctor or nutritionist, to avoid reaching the maximum recommended doses. If there is a suspicion of excess of these vitamins, you should stop the supplement and consult a doctor.

3. Pregnancy

Hair loss is relatively common in women after childbirth, not only because of the hormonal changes that continue to occur in the body, but also because of the stress of childbirth. This hair loss usually appears in the first 3 months after giving birth and can last up to 2 months.

Although it is rarer, hair loss can also occur during pregnancy, appearing to be related to the increase in the hormone progesterone that can dry out the hair, leaving it weaker and brittle.

What to do: the ideal is to avoid being stressed by hair loss, as it is a natural process, which will improve over time. See 5 strategies to combat postpartum hair loss.

4. Hormonal changes

As during or after pregnancy, hormonal changes are a major cause of hair loss and can happen at various times in life, especially during adolescence. In addition, women who change pills or start a new hormonal contraceptive method may also experience temporary hair loss.

What to do: if you are experiencing severe hair loss, consult a dermatologist or, if you are taking contraceptives, speak with your gynecologist to evaluate the possibility of changing the method.

5. Use of antidepressants and other medications

Some classes of medication, such as antidepressants, anticoagulants or high blood pressure medication, can have the side effect of contributing to hair loss, especially at the beginning of treatment or when they have been used for a long time.Other drugs that can have this kind of effect include methotrexate, lithium and ibuprofen, for example.

What to do: if there is any suspicion that hair loss is being harmed by the use of any medication, inform the doctor who prescribed it, evaluating the possibility to switch to another medication.

6. Anemia

In addition to excessive tiredness and pallor, anemia can also cause hair loss, as the strands receive less blood, nutrients and oxygen, becoming weaker and brittle. Anemia is usually caused by a lack of iron, but it can also arise from other factors, such as a decrease in vitamin B12 in the body.

What to do: in most cases, anemia arises from a lack of iron and, therefore, the first form of treatment is the use of iron supplements like this. such as increasing the intake of foods with iron, such as red meat, mussels, parsley or white beans.See the main types of anemia and how to treat each one.

7. Hypothyroidism

Hypothyroidism happens when the thyroid is not working properly and, therefore, there are several types of hormones that are not produced correctly or in sufficient quantity. Some of these hormones are very important for the metabolism and growth of hair strands and, therefore, when they are lacking, they can be the cause of hair loss.

What to do: if a change in thyroid function is suspected, an endocrinologist should be consulted to confirm the diagnosis and initiate appropriate treatment, which is usually done with iodine supplementation.

8. COVID-19

Hair loss can also be related to COVID-19. In these cases, hair loss is usually noticed on the front line of the head, when you run your hand through your hair or comb, and it happens a few weeks to 3 months after infection, and can last up to 9 months, in some cases.

The hair loss associated with COVID-19 is known as telogen effluvium and appears to be due to the accumulation of inflammatory substances in the body, resulting in changes in the hair cycle. Despite this, it is even more likely that hair loss is also related to stress, anxiety and/or high fever, which are common in the case of COVID-19. Learn more about telogen effluvium.

What to do: Telogen effluvium is a self-limiting condition, that is, it can be resolved in a few months without the need for treatment. It is possible to notice the presence of some smaller strands of hair as more strands fall out, which indicates that the hair cycle is still happening normally.

However, in cases where hair loss is very pronounced, with hairless regions on the head being noticed, it is recommended that a dermatologist be consulted, as this is how it is possible to carry out an evaluation of the scalp and exams that may indicate the cause of hair loss and thus some measures that can accelerate hair growth or delay hair loss.

What to do to treat hair loss

To treat hair loss, you can use specific products, medicines or supplements such as:

  • Hair lotion with Minoxidil at 5%: It should be applied 2 times a day on the scalp. It helps to revitalize the scalp, increasing blood supply and strengthening existing wires, reducing their fall;
  • Shampoos and lotions specifically for hair loss;
  • Nutritional supplements for hair loss, such as Pill Food or organic silicon, which contain nutrients involved in hair growth and he alth. Pill Food price, on average 30 reais, and organic silicon.
  • Remedies for hair loss, guided by the dermatologist, such as Finasteride, Propecia or infiltration with corticosteroids in the hair root.

Furthermore, it is also important that the diet contains all the nutrients necessary for the body, as hair loss can be caused by very restrictive diets, low in calories and low in animal proteins. Check out a list of foods that help fight hair loss.

Check out the following video for a vitamin recipe to help your hair grow stronger and he althier and reduce hair loss:

Medical treatments for hair loss

Some treatments that may be recommended by the dermatologist to treat hair loss are:

  • Low power laser, which must be applied once a week for a minimum of 10 weeks. It stimulates the regeneration of the matrix that has lost hair and prevents he althy hair from falling out, progressively improving hair loss. Price: each session costs an average of 50 reais;
  • Carboxitherapy, as it increases the blood supply to the scalp and facilitates the penetration of chemical substances for hair loss. Price: each session costs an average of 70 reais;
  • Hair implant is a surgical technique in which hairs are implanted directly into the scalp. Despite the immediate result, after about 6 months, these strands tend to fall out and can cause scalp damage. The price varies between 10 and 25 thousand reais;
  • Hair transplantation is a surgery where a strip of hair is removed from the back of the hair and implanted in the front, close to the forehead region or where there is greater need. It is an option for those who are balding or bald.

The choice for the best treatment should be made by the dermatologist, after evaluation and diagnosis of hair loss.

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