If you’ve begun to notice that you’re losing more hair than usual, you’ve probably already asked yourself: How many hairs normally fall out a day? The answer is simple. We normally lose from 100 to 150 hairs a day. But why do we lose more or less hair? How can we tip the balance in our favor?
Influential factors in hair normally falling out
In a recently published post that we recommend you read called Stages of Hair Growth we explained how hair’s growth cycle can last from months to years, depending on the part of the body. People’s hair can be long or short, in which case it needs to be cut regularly. The stages of hair growth allowing for constant renewal can be divided into active growth in the Anagen stage, and expected fall in the Telogen stage. But other factors are decisive for determining the number of hairs we find in the morning on our pillow or in the shower. I’ll address the three most important.
Hair is made up of keratin which consists of 18 aminoacids. Its development depends on adequate cell work from proteins and cofactors like vitamins. I’ll give you an example to illustrate the point.
Have you ever been on a strict diet to lose weight quickly, maybe for a wedding, reunion or the New Year? But since you sense it isn’t healthy to lose a lot of weight quickly you don’t seek professional help and in three weeks BOOM! you haven’t lost much weight and on top of that your hair begins to fall out in tufts. Let me say when you’re undernourished or vitamin-deficient your hair thins and weakens and you jeopardize its replacement, color and condition.
Vitamins A, B, D, F and the minerals Iron, Zinc and Copper are the main missing ingredients associated with hair loss. Without them you’ll soon see you hair fall out.
Are you considering taking vitamin supplements? Be consistent about it. Remember food and vitamin supplements are only useful if any are missing from your diet. If you already have a balanced diet but continue taking supplements you may be throwing money down the drain or risking an overdose. It’s always best to consult a specialist first.
Stress is the body’s reaction when it adapts to unusual circumstances which once surpassed should allow for a normal state of equilibrium. But has it ever occurred to you that the world has never before had such high levels of stress? It’s true! Even after thousands of years of development we’ve never had to endure so many stress factors, including light and sound, demands on us and bills to pay as well as complex family and work issues.
It turns out sustained stress leads to premature wear and tear on us and aging from free radical production. These irregular forms of oxygen suffer changes that make them aberrant and useless. To illustrate the point you can try adding water to a fresh raw steak and you’ll see how the meat cooks just from the oxidation process.
We can conclude that continual stress generates free radicals in the scalp and diminishes hair’s lifespan since its growth stages are lessened. Constant stress makes more hair fall out and even worse it makes you lose the hair-bearing follicles which produce them.
It’s a well-known fact that people with hormonal issues experience significant hair loss. Why is this the case? Because our skin plays an essential role in regulating chemicals in different ways throughout our body. Let me explain.
Androgenetic alopecia is in part caused by testosterone, a sexual hormone in men, which inhibits hair structures development because of the effects of the enzyme five-alpha-reductase on it. The resultant dihydrotestosterone (DHT) is what hinders new hair from reaching its prior size or thickness. Therefore one of the drug therapy targets for hair loss is to prevent testosterone’s transformation into dihydrotestosterone. Have you noticed that gym members who take testosterone supplements without medical supervision to form muscle, lose their hair more quickly? Now you know why.
The hormone thyroid generates changes that are easily detected during a physical examination including hair loss. For example, hypothyroidism causes weight gain, hair loss and intolerance to cold. On the other hand, hyperthyroidism makes hair brittle and causes trembling and weight loss. It’s therefore important to treat these conditions as soon as possible because of such secondary effects.
Finally, to close we have the account of a fall prevention shampoo which contained female hormones. A genuine scandal ensued when it did allow men to grow hair but also made their breasts swell so as a result it was taken off the market. Can you imagine?
The sum total of risk factors
Nutrition, stress, genes, pollution, hours of sleep and drug abuse can be contributing factors for hair loss. But quite honestly, how many successful people are free from all of them?
A professional who lives in a polluted part of the city, gives no thought to a balanced diet, habitually works overtime, commutes long hours, barely sleeps six, has inherited hair loss, takes medical stimulants and fails to manage stress has a high probability of suffering from hair loss. Sound familiar?