Do you know what causes hair loss? Learn the answer to this question and many others you have about hair loss. Check out tips on keeping your hair healthy.
Question Nº1: What are the causes of hair loss?
Answer: Hair loss has the most diverse causes. Among the most common are nutritional deficiencies (anemia) and thyroid changes (hypothyroidism). Another common reason is androgenetic alopecia, which is hereditary-pattern baldness, affecting most men. What you may not know is that it reaches one in five women, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. In female baldness, the forehead strands are usually preserved, and the hair on the back and top of the head becomes thinner.
Question Nº2: How to differentiate normal hair loss from the one that needs to be treated?
Answer: The scalp has about 100 000 hair strands. Their growth is around 10 mm per month. We all have growing hair, which accounts for 85 to 90% of our hair. Hair falling out corresponds to the remaining 10 to 15%. If the percentage of hair in the shedding phase exceeds this value, we can consider that the fall is above normal. How to verify this? Check to see if the volume of loose threads on your pillow, comb, or in the shower has increased. If this is the case, seek treatment from a specialist.
Question Nº3: Can women go bald?
Answer: Female hair loss is often different from male hair loss, and entirely bald women are rare. What happens is a progressive thinning of the hair, usually after menopause. There are, however, more severe cases where baldness appears in younger women. It is, therefore, essential to be aware of signs such as an increased visible area of the scalp and progressive thinning of the hair. Early diagnosis and treatment are the keys to slowing the progression of the problem.
Question Nº4: I already have baldness, can I reverse it?
Answer: Yes, there is the possibility of reversing part of the process, but it depends on the stage where baldness is. Treatment with oral and topical medications prevents the progression of the problem. What will decide if it is possible to reverse the process is the atrophy of the roots of the hair bulb and replacement of them with scars. If the specialist identifies the presence of many scars, the treatment will aim to prevent the progression. On the other hand, in the absence of scarring, these follicles may again produce thicker and darker strands, reflecting healthier hair.
Question Nº5: Do anti hair loss shampoos on the market really have any effect?
Answer: The contact time of these products with the scalp is usually very short (only a few minutes). This is not enough time to allow the active ingredients to penetrate the hair follicle and take action at the root. Shampoos are most likely to result in scalp skin changes such as dandruff, oiliness, scalp psoriasis, fungal or bacterial infections, and also treat hair shaft problems such as lack of shine and softness. The most suitable for treating hair loss is hair lotions prescribed by doctors, such as minoxidil lotions, which has a proven action by acting on the scalp longer.
Question Nº6: Is it true that good shampoo is the one that makes a lot of foam?
Answer: No, this is a myth. It is not the foam that washes the hair. It is the detergents and other cleaning agents present in shampoos that are responsible for cleaning the hair and scalp. The formation of foam generates more a psychological effect for those who use it than actually cleaning and treating the hair. So don’t worry if the shampoo your doctor recommends you, doesn’t foam so much.
Question Nº7: Does washing your hair every day damage the root?
Answer: No. Water does not penetrate the hair root. The major challenge for the cosmetic industry is to get products to penetrate through the skin, which is not easy since the organ has a natural barrier against penetration. It is this barrier that protects us from microorganisms and possible toxic agents.
Question Nº8: What is the optimal frequency of hair washing?
Answer: The scalp has an abundant amount of sebaceous glands. Thus, those who have greasy hair, not washing it every day, may cause excess sebum that clogs the pores of the scalp, damaging the hair health. It also worsens seborrheic dermatitis (dandruff) and leaves the hair with an ugly look. The right frequency is different for each person. It depends on the oiliness of the scalp and the use of external agents that deposit on the scalp and hair shaft.
Question Nº9: Does washing your hair every day cause hair loss?
Answer: No. Washing is not the cause of hair loss. The hair continuously undergoes a cycle of growth, rest, and fall. If you pull the growing strands, which are the majority, it is not normal for them to come out easily. If this occurs, seek expert advice.
Question Nº10: If I get a treatment with lotions, oral medications, laser, and vitamins, will my hair grow faster?
Answer: Yes. Some lotions and lasers can increase the speed and prolong the time that the hair stays in the growth phase during its use.
Question Nº11: Does hair coloring increase hair loss?
Answer: Not in general. The dye acts on the hair and not on the hair root. What may occur is the weakening of the hair shaft resulting in weaker, dry, split-ended, prone-to-break strands. However, hair loss can occur if there is an allergy to the scalp from contact with the dye or the use of improper techniques and products.
Question Nº12: What is the difference between hair loss from the root and hair loss caused by breakage?
Answer: When the hair falls spontaneously with the root, it means that it has already gone through all the growing, resting, and falling stages. This is the normal hair fall. When the fall is caused by the breakage, it is a sign that there was aggression in the hair shaft. It can be chemical aggression (dyes, straightening, and improper treatments) or physical aggression (brushing too hard or excessive heat of the hairdryer). There are also situations caused by genetic inheritance, where the person is already born with the weaker stem, known as stem dystrophy. In these cases, there is constant hair loss due to hair fracture since childhood.
Question Nº13: Do brushes, flat iron, and other tools make your hair fall out?
Answer: Yes! These devices increase the capillary temperature to 175 ° C, which promotes rapid evaporation of the water inside the capillary stem and the appearance of bubbles secondary to the formation of this vapor.
Question Nº14: Does the use of hair accessories, hair extensions, afro braids, and very strong ponytails make your hair fall out?
Answer: Yes. Continued traction of these hairstyles can cause hair to fall out. If the process is maintained for a long time, definitive hair loss known as traction alopecia can occur.
Question Nº15: I have used hair extensions for a long time, and my hair is getting thinner. Can this condition be treated?
Answer: Yes, there is a treatment for this condition. The best in these cases is to seek a dermatologist doctor who specializes in the subject, increasing your chances of regaining your beautiful and healthy hair.
Question Nº16: Do chemical straighteners make your hair fall out?
Answer: If the chemical is applied with improper technique, or it is of poor quality, it can cause hair loss! These chemicals open the hair cuticle so that they can act on the central part of it, the cortex. Often the cuticle remains very fragile, and the hair is more prone to external aggression and fall.
Question Nº17: Is it true that the hair falls out more during pregnancy?
Answer: Nope! During pregnancy, the hair stays growing longer and tends to fall out in a smaller percentage. Conclusion: During pregnancy, the hair grows longer and falls less.
Question Nº18: Is it true that if a woman breastfeeds, she will lose more hair in the postpartum period?
Answer: Nope again! There are even studies that show that the percentage of hair loss when a woman breastfeeds is lower than when she does not breastfeed. What happens is that because of hormones, the hair stays longer in the growth phase during pregnancy and therefore falls more in the first six months postpartum. The condition tends to normalize within one year after delivery.
Question Nº19: Do hot baths make hair greasy?
Answer: Yes! All situations that increase the temperature of sebaceous secretion make it more fluid, causing it to spread more to the scalp. Other cases that cause this condition are the use of a very hot hairdryer and long term sun exposure.
Question Nº20: Does cutting or shaving all hair make them stronger?
Answer: No. The haircut only hits the hair shaft. No root action can fortify it. When we cut our hair, it looks healthier simply because we remove the damaged part such as split ends, broken strands, sun-damaged strands, dye, and other chemical treatments.
Question Nº21: Is it essential to use the conditioner after shampoo?
Answer: Yes. The conditioner should be used by both women and men. Conditioners consist of vegetable and mineral oils, waxes, long-chain alcohols, positively charged cationic substances, triglycerides, esters, silicones, and fatty acids. These substances act on the hair structure by closing the cuticle. The results are much brighter and smoother hair.
Question Nº22: Is it true that there is a sunscreen for hair?
Answer: Yes. The sun acts on the hair changing its color and drying them out. So when it is exposed to the sun for long periods, it is recommended to use sunscreen for hair. But beware: it is different from that recommended for the skin, look for one with this specific purpose. Kérastase’s Soleil CC Crème, for example, is a classic beach product. This multifunctional triple action cream repair protects and gives intense shine. With active moisturizing, it restores the softness of the hair and fights the dryness. Its UV filters reduce the risk of photodegradation of the hair by the sun.
Question Nº23: Does wearing a cap or hat cause hair to fall out?
Answer: No. A person who has no genetic predisposition will not get bald by wearing a cap. The one who has this genetic predisposition, with or without the frequent use of a cap or hat, will be bald. But be warned: if the cap or hat is too tight, a fall may result from scalp traction. Problems may also occur if the patient has a scalp infection (fungal or bacterial) or if the cap is not properly cleaned.
Question Nº24: Does hair loss treatment work?
Answer: Yes, as long as oriented to the real cause of the fall. Of course, the results and types (oral, topical, intradermal) will vary with each patient, so it is essential to look for an expert on the subject.
Question Nº25: What doctor should I consult in case of hair loss?
Answer: A dermatologist specializing in hair care.