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Causes of Hair Loss and Tips for Healthy Hair

Thinning & Balding

Experiencing hair loss at some point in life will be contingent on factors such as: overall health, genetics, vitamin deficiency, and even stress. According to MayoClinic, most people experience shedding of 50-100 hairs per day. However, the average person has 100,000 hairs in their scalp so this shedding does not cause noticeable thinning of the scalp.

Noticeable hair loss happens when thinning and shedding of the hair exceeds its growth. Hair grows in phases, including a rest phase. Due to hormonal changes, the hair can begin to grow thinner and shorter. While this is a normal part of the aging process, when regrowth is slower than shedding — baldness can occur. Hair loss is not gender-specific either, both men and women can lose hair gradually or in patches.

Medical Causes of Hair Loss:

  • Pattern baldness (androgenetic alopecia) – occurs in men and women, growth cycles shortens and hair is not as thick or sturdy in follicle.
  • Cicatricial (scarring) alopecia – permanent hair loss due to inflamed or scarred hair follicles
  • Alopecia areata – cause is not known exactly but good news is that hair loss is not permanent. Believed to be caused by auto-immune disease like Lupus or thyroid disease.
  • Telogen effluvium -temporary change in hair growth cycle due to physical or emotional trauma i.e. extreme diets, metabolic disturbances, psychological changes, or even a sudden death in the family.
  • Traction alopecia  – excessive pulling of the hair from hairstyles that can be fixed if permanent damage is not caused.
Another important factor in this discussion is that not all baldness is a result of a medical condition. Both men and women have a responsibility to take care of their hair in order to keep it growing. When hair is neglected, not conditioned, over-processed, or damaged from weaves, your hair will break! Wearing wigs is not an excuse to ignore your own hair. In fact, many African American women have successfully transitioned their hair from relaxers to natural with the use of wigs and half wigs.
Other Causes of Hair Loss:
  • Hair pulling disorder (Trichotillomania)
  • Scalp infections
  • Hair treatment
  • Hormonal changes
  • Medical treatments
  • Medications
  • Poor nutrition
Looking beautiful and feeling great should not cause damage to your hair or put you in a position where you have to wear wigs. I have experience hair loss from stress and recovered, as well as over-processing. Receding hair lines like the one pictured to the right can also be a result of lace front glue, tight braids, and excessive tightness when wearing weaves.
Here are a few tips I have learned:
  1. Do not neglect your own hair— continue to wash, condition, and protect it as you would if it was exposed.

    Haute Ness

  2. Do not apply glue to lace front wigs if you do not have to. Many styles come with the ability to be worn without glue or tape.
  3. Plait or braid the hair to the tips in corn rows, you don’t have to use rubber-bands at the end.
  4. Make sure to deep condition hair and comb through as hair does shed naturally and you will need to make sure it is hydrated to keep it from breaking.
  5. If you wear a wig that has combs but it fits secure without them, don’t wear the combs — especially if it causes your hair to be pulled back excessively.
  6. When attaching extensions, be aware of the hair you leave out. I would recommend leaving as little out as possible, especially if you plan to heat style.
  7. If you are wearing a 3/4 or half wig regularly, you do not need to relax or perm your entire head. Chemically treating the whole head without caring for it only leaves it more susceptible to break and split.
  8. Do not braid too tightly — permanent hair follicle damage will keep the hair from growing back.
  9. Be sure to trim split ends so hair does not grow and break at the same rate.
  10. Vitamin E is your hair, scalp, and nails best friend. Be sure to include this in your diet.
  11. Olive Oil is a cure for many things, use it as a conditioner, moisturizer, and you can even take a teaspoon daily for a great source of Vitamin E and massage in scalp to help treat hair loss. It has other great benefits for your health outside the scope of this post – Google it!
  12. Drink plenty of water and eat fresh fruits and vegetables. Remember that no matter what you do with your hair once it is in your scalp is little in comparison to what you do while it is growing.
  13. Don’t sweat the small stuff — eliminate as much stress as you can. Change things you can, and accept things you can’t!
Some people cannot avoid losing hair because of medical treatments that will save their lives. Losing hair is a small price to pay when you can save your life. This is why you can find tens of thousands of styles at our website.
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