Hair loss is a major affliction for Americans these days. It's more common in men than it is in women, but still a widespread issue: 35 million men and 21 million women in America deal with it every day!
Millions of people are afflicted by it but few seek treatment, and even fewer are aware of the causes. It's estimated that, of the 36 million people who suffer from hair loss, only 811,363 are currently seeking treatment. But what causes hair loss? For some, it's a genetic predisposition; for others, external factors are to blame.
Here are four key factors that contribute to hair loss for men and women alike.
1. Nutritional deficiencies
Vitamin D deficiency can cause hair loss. This is evident among a large percentage of Americans who don't get enough this nutrient regularly. While there are some nutritional sources of Vitamin D, lack of exposure to the sun can almost guarantee a deficiency. Since it's such a key factor that contributes to hair loss, it can also point to other conditions caused or worsened by a lack of this nutrient.
Image by Flickr via Martin Cathrae
These conditions include depression, high blood pressure, stroke, multiple sclerosis, gum disease, tuberculosis, and seasonal influenza.
It actually has been determined by researchers that the farther North a person lives, the more likely they are to be deficient in vitamin D. When soaking up the sun isn't an option, you can supplement it with cod liver oil, or D3 capsules.
Hair loss can also be caused by deficiencies of the amino acid lysine, copper, and zinc.
2. Hormonal Imbalance
Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) is a derivative or byproduct of testosterone. As women age, their bodies begin developing a tendency to convert their estrogen hormones to DHT, and subsequently experience effects of this imbalance. The most notable side effect is the appearance of dark hair on the upper lip, coarsening of body hair, and thinning of hair on the head.
Male pattern baldness is caused by hair follicles with a genetic sensitivity to DHT that causes the lifespan of each hair follicle to shorten, causing them to stop producing hair at an early age.
A sudden onset of severe physical or emotional stress can cause notable hair loss in both men and women. Those who experience this phenomenon will note hair falling out in clumps a few weeks or months after the onset of the stressful event, and will last for 6 to 8 months. This type of hair loss is called Telogen effluvium, and is also caused by:
- Severe fever or infection
- Major surgery
- Loss of a loved one
- Crash diets lacking protein
- Certain medications
4. Toxic Chemicals in Hair Products
Sodium lauryl sulfate is a key ingredient in most shampoos that are sold in drugstores and supermarkets. Not only does it have toxic impacts on your immune system, this chemical is also responsible for corroding hair follicles and subsequently hindering healthy hair growth, and is blamed for many kinds of hair loss.
[box type=”note”]If hair loss is a concern to you, be mindful of these four key factors. Maintain a healthy diet, manage stress effectively, take care of your body in general, and read the labels on your hair products.
Do these things, and you may be able to prolong the health of your frock.[/box]