Autumn and spring are periods when hair fall is increased. Normally people lose up to 100 hairs a day. The problem occurs when intense hair loss lasts longer. Excessive hair loss can occur as a reaction to stress, poor diet, taking certain medications or due to certain medical conditions. If intense hair loss lasts three months or more it is necessary to contact a dermatologist.
The most common form of hair loss in both women and men is called telogen effluvium and it is a response to stress which the body has been exposed to, the effect of hormones and may be a result of taking certain medications. This problem can affect people of any age. It occurs suddenly after a stressful event that acts as a trigger. It manifests itself more as a thinning of the hair and not so much as baldness in the true sense of the word. The problem is transient. Over time the situation improves, which is understandable since the telogen effluvium is associated with the natural cycle of hair growth.
The life cycle of hair consists of three phases: anagen phase or growth phase which lasts 2-6 years, catagen or transitional phase which lasts two weeks, and telogen phase or resting phase that lasts 3-4 months.
At any time, about 90% of our hair is in the growth phase. Monthly hair grow is about 1cm. As people get older hair changes the quality, color and appearance. Until the beginning of change of the color and structure, there are on average 10 cycles of hair growth. When the hair is in the telogen phase, the hair remains in the follicle until it is displaced by the growth of new hair that is in the anagen phase. Old hair falls and is replaced with young, new hair. Typically, only 10-15% of hairs are in the telogen phase but a sudden stressful event can cause a much higher percentage of hairs to enter the telogen phase, which means that after three months all that hair will fall off. There is no reason to worry, because at the same time new ones will begin to grow and will eventually replace the old ones.
Most people in a life time experience telogen effluvium period due to illness or some other stressful and traumatic events.
Androgenic alopecia is a common form of hair loss and is associated with the level of hormones in the body. This type of alopecia affects nearly 50% of men; this is the most common form of baldness in male population. It develops gradually with age. It is interesting that this type of baldness occurs in almost the same percentage of women over 40 years. The basis of this type of baldness is level of a substance dihydrotestosterone (DHT) which is formed in the body of man and woman under the influence of the enzyme 5-alpha reductase inhibitor. When the level of this enzyme increases the levels of DHT also increase, which acts on the hair follicle, the hair becomes thinner and eventually disappears completely. In men, the hair line gradually withdraws or the hair is lost at the top of the scalp. In women, androgenetic alopecia causes thinning of the entire hair and the hair is lost at the top of the scalp and at the sides of the head.
Minoxidil lotion is used in the treatment of androgenic alopecia (at concentrations of 2% for women and 5% for men), as well as tretinoin in addition to minoxidil solution. In systemic therapy, oestrogens are administered only in women, finasteride are rarely administered in men because of side effects (impotence, decreased libido, breast enlargement, etc.), surgery (hair transplantation), and various cosmetic corrections (hair dyeing, permanent waves, wigs...).
Alopecia areata is a common hair loss in women and it is autoimmune in nature. The immune system for some reason attacks the hair follicles, which are getting smaller, hair growth slows down and it happens that for months there is no sign of the young, new hair on the scalp. After some time the hair can continue to grow normally, it may happen that the growth continues only in certain areas of the scalp and is not excluded the possibility that the hair will never grow back. The good news is that the follicles remain alive and at some point may activate, and the bad news is that ways of their activation have not been found yet.
Hair loss can also occur due to the presence of an inflammatory process in the body, thyroid disease, anemia, gynecological disorders (polycystic ovaries), medication (pills, drugs called beta-blockers as well as those used to thin the blood, depression, pain. .), inadequate nutrition (dieting and insufficient intake of minerals and vitamins), obesity.