Understanding and treating Diffuse hair loss
Diffuse hair loss: Hair loss is becoming an increasing cause of concern for many people, especially since the start of the twentieth century. Hair loss is becoming more and more common day – by – day. This is largely linked to two major concepts: the role of genetics and the role of lifestyle choices. The internet is filled with search queries on ‘how to treat hair loss ’.
People are seeking to understand the causes of hair loss; that is a laudable attempt by today’s people as it demonstrates the development of insight to understand the cause and not only ways to treat hair loss.
This development of insight ensures that people take greater responsibility in the near future in protecting and maintaining their hair, and perhaps also in sharing their knowledge with many others.
It is important to understand that hair has come to mean much more than threadlike extensions from the hair, now hair has come to assume a greater role; for many individuals, hair has come to be an essential part of their psyche, particularly in correspondence with their self-esteem.
So to have more hair is characterizes by a greater level of self-esteem, whereas to have less hair can affect one’s self-esteem, particularly among the youth population and in females. This is because hair is associated with physical beauty such that, for many, to have less hair ( in males and females ) is liked with decreased physical beauty.
Hair has gradually, across the timeline of man’s evolution, come to be influenced by culture and religion. But all of these are socio-cultural factors and hence vary across the globe.
This article seeks to explain diffuse hair loss, how it occurs, what causes it, and how to prevent and treat it.
What is diffuse hair loss and how it occurs?
Diffuse hair loss refers to increased thinning of hair. In diffuse hair loss, hair follicles remain unaffected. The medical term used forDiffuse hair loss is Chronic Telogen effluvium . But what is Telogen effluvium? Generally, 10-15 percent of our hair is always in a rest phase, also known as ‘ Telogen ’ phase, while the remaining hair is in an active state of growth.
Telogen phase lasts for 2 to 3 months and is followed by the ‘ exogen ’ phase, during which the hair in telogen phase falls off and new hair begins to grow in its place. But in the case of Telogen effluvium, a large portion of hair quickly enters the telogen phase and then falls off at an increased rate.
While this form of hair fall is temporary, if untreated it may become chronic and may develop into Chronic Telogen effluvium. Acute Telogen effluvium lasts less than 6 months whereas Chronic Telogen effluvium lasts more than 6 months, i.e. it is more prolonged. In Chronic Telogen effluvium hair loss and thinning across the scalp occurs at a heightened pace. Diffuse hair loss can affect both male and female at any age. It does not affect the hair follicles and makes hair loss permanent, but it rather prevents or delays hair growth whilst increasing hair loss.
What causes or worsens diffuse hair loss?
Diffuse hair loss can be caused by a variety of factors. The causative factors are:
1. A family history of hair loss
2. Medical condition
3. Emotional stress
4. Physiologic stress
6. Poor nutrition
7. Radiotherapy and chemotherapy
A family history of hair loss states the role of genetics and transmissions of traits via genotype in causing diffuse hair loss.
The medical condition can largely cause diffuse hair loss. Conditions such as endocrine imbalance, thyroid dysfunction ( hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism ), anemia, cancer, disorders affecting the immune system ( such as AIDS ), systemic disorders ( such as renal failure and irritable bowel syndrome ), disorders of inflammation ( such as psoriasis and seborrheic dermatitis ) can cause diffuse hair loss…
Emotional stress particularly oriented with occupational difficulties or trauma can cause and worsen Telogen effluvium.
Physiologic stress, referring to scenarios of high fever, childbirth, surgical trauma, and hemorrhage, can cause Telogen effluvium.
While dandruff itself does not cause hair loss, the itchy sensation over the scalp (caused by dandruff) makes us scratch and hence cause hair to fall off.
Poor nutrition is a prominent cause of diffuse hair loss. Diets lacking in vitamins, minerals, and proteins weaken hair follicles and thus stimulate hair fall.
Radiotherapy and chemotherapy to the head generally cause hair loss.
How to prevent and treat diffuse hair loss?
Diffuse hair loss can be prevented by adopting the following practices:
1. Avoid excessive hair styling or strain on hair, especially by tying tight braids or ponytails
2. Avoid using hair dryers at increased heat level
3. Avoid using head gears such as caps, hats, and helmets
4. Take time to relax and practice relaxation techniques such as meditation, mindfulness, breathing exercises, aerobic exercises (such as running and jogging) or simply pursue a hobby
5. Consume a diet rich in vitamins, zinc and iron, protein and biotin.
6. Do not comb hair while it is wet; wet hair is fragile and more susceptible to breakage.
7. Avoid increased exposure of the head to sunlight, particularly during summer.
Diffuse hair loss can be treated by:
1. Oil treatment:
Apply coconut, olive or jojoba oil to hair every night and wash hair every morning. Oil promotes hair growth and nourishes hair and scalp.
2. Apple cider vinegar solution:
Applying Apple cider vinegar solution to hair, thrice a week, promotes hair growth and gives hair a gleam.
3. Milk or egg treatment:
Applying milk or egg or a mixture of both to hair and scalp nourishes both hair follicles and scalp cells. It also strengthens hair.
4. Aloe vera gel:
Aloe vera gel helps to promote hair growth and prevent dandruff.
5. Dying hair with henna:
Henna, apart from being a natural dye, also promotes hair growth.
6. Proper diet: It is essential to consume food rich in protein (such as egg and meat), vitamins (which are found in citric fruits) and minerals (as found in gre