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Home / Hair

Why your hair is falling out

 If you shed excessive hair you could be suffering from Telogen effluvium (Image: Shutterstock)

Shedding hair is a normal process. On average, we shed 50 to 100 hairs every day as part of the body’s natural renewal cycle.

If you start shedding more hair than that, you might be suffering from excessive hair shedding, which is medically known as telogen effluvium.

Noticing too much hair in your hairbrush can be worrying. Unfortunately, there’s no one reason to explain excessive hair shedding.

There are many potential triggers for hair loss in both men and women, and as such, it might be difficult to pinpoint exactly why you’re losing hair and find a solution.

In this article, we will explore some of the most common causes of hair loss and how to treat them.

Traction Alopecia

One of the most common causes of hair loss in women is traction alopecia. This type of hair loss results from repetitive stress of tension on the hair follicle.

That kind of stress compromises the follicle’s ability to produce and sustain, long and healthy hair strands.

The more consistently the follicle is traumatised, the more likely it is to weaken and eventually stop growing hair. This results in thin and sparse hair.

The hairstyles and hair processing methods you choose are the biggest culprits for traction alopecia. Tight ponytails, braids, and glue-on hair pieces are especially linked to this type of hair loss.

Women of African descent are especially at risk as they are more likely to go for hairstyles such as plaiting, braiding, and installing weaves. African hair is also more fragile.

Solution: Luckily, traction alopecia is quite easy to prevent. All you need to do is avoid hairstyles that pull tightly pull your hair.

Insist that your hairdresser installs braids and weaves loosely – if you notice that your hair feels too tight, don’t hesitate to undo the style. Finally, change up your hairstyles.

Favouring one hairstyle is more likely to cause repetitive stress on certain follicles and result into traction alopecia.

 Overusing heating tools could leave your hair dry and prone to breakage (Image: Shutterstock)

Heating Tools

Do you like blow-drying your hair? That might explain why it’s falling out. Overusing hair heating tools such as blow-driers, flat irons, and curling wands can leave your hair dry and prone to breakage.

When you use too much heat, it destroys the keratin protein and strips your hair strands of moisture, making the hair look dull and lifeless. Eventually, the hair starts falling off.

Solution: Luckily, if the damage isn’t too severe, the damage from heating hair can be repaired through boosting moisture and proteins.

If you think that your hair loss is due to heat, start by ditching the damaging processes. Start using deeply moisturising oils such as olive, coconut, and avocado oils.

If you still have to use heating processes, go for tools that have a temperature gauge that you can use to control the heat.

Double the protection by using a heat defence spray. Towel dry your hair gently and thoroughly before using heating tools – this will minimise the time spend using such tools.

Hormonal Imbalances

Hormonal imbalances can wreak havoc all over your body. Some of the issues it can lead to include weight gain, acne, and hair loss.

Hormones play a big role in regulating hair growth cycles. For instance, oestrogen is “hair friendly” as it promotes optimal hair growth.

On the other hand, androgens can shorten the hair growth cycle. An excess of androgens, such as those caused by endocrine disorders such as Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, can result in hair loss.

The extent of such hair loss is often down to one’s genes. If you have a genetic predisposition to follicle sensitivity, hormonal imbalance is more likely to cause your hair to fall out.

Menopause and pregnancy cause hormonal changes that lead to hair loss in many women. After pregnancy and during menopause, women’s bodies have a drop in oestrogen and progesterone levels, which causes hair to grow slowly and thinner.

Solution: To keep your hormones in balance, avoid stress. You can do this through having a better work-life balance, practising yoga, and using breathing exercises. Eat a balanced, healthy diet and stay away from heating tools. In addition, talk to your doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment.

 To promote healthy hair growth, take a Vitamin B12 rich diet (Image: Shutterstock)

Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Having a vitamin B12 deficiency can leave you feeling tired and lethargic. Have you been experiencing those symptoms? The same deficiency can also lead to hair loss.

Vitamin B12 promotes healthy hair growth by aiding in production of oxygen-rich red blood cells, which feed the hair follicles. This deficiency is especially common in vegans as vitamin B12 is primarily derived from animal proteins.

Solution: If you are a vegetarian or vegan, make sure to include foods that are rich in vitamin B12 in your diet. These foods include almonds, coconut and soymilk. You should also consider taking vitamin B12 supplements.

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