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Hairloss- Causes & Conditions
Hair loss is a natural part of ageing with the average person losing between 50 to 150 strands of hair per day. Even though hair loss is perfectly normal it is important to be able to recognise what is normal and what isn’t. Hair loss is an upsetting concern for millions of men and women and isn’t just an issue of vanity. Sudden changes in the rate of hair loss, more noticeable thinning or patchiness should always be brought to your own physician as this can show up the early warning signs of an underlying condition such as a mineral or vitamin deficiency or hormone imbalance.
It is important to keep a close eye on the condition of your hair as any sudden changes may be associated with current or future hair loss, below is a list of conditions to watch out for:
- Unusually Dry Hair- This is usually a sign that the hair is not being given the right nutrients. A diet rich in vitamin A, Sulphur, Silicon, Zinc, Protein and essential fatty acids could correct it. If the hair becomes very dry and brittle it can also be an imbalance involving the thyroid hormones.
- Unusually Coarse Hair- This can be a change in your thyroid hormone level but it can also be a sign of Vitamin A or Protein deficiency.
- Unusually Oily Hair- This can be caused by an overuse of product or from over-washing but if you have ruled out these two issues then it could pinpoint a deficiency of Zinc, Vitamin B6, folic acid, riboflavin or Essential Fatty Acids.
- Sudden Split Ends/ Un-tameable hair- Split ends affect us all but if you are finding them getting out of control even with regular trips to the salon then this can indicate and underlying deficiency in Iron, Vitamin B6, Magnesium or Zinc.
- Loss of Brilliance, Texture or Shine- If your usually luscious locks are looking listless or limp that can be an indication of diet deficiencies similar to those listed above. It can also show an imbalance in your growth hormone.
- Premature Greying- The dreaded grey hairs that seem to sprout over night! Stress is a big factor here but also hormone imbalances caused by diet, lifestyle or stress. Deficiencies in B vitamins (again due to stress) sulphur, copper or folic acid can also affect grey hair growth.
- Excessive hair loss- Very noticeable thinning of hair and excessive hair loss can be due to a number of factors including poor circulation to the scalp, deficiencies in protein, essential fatty acids, vitamins or minerals or again a hormone imbalance in your body. The main hormone issues associated with sudden excessive hair loss are thyroid hormone, growth hormone and Adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH).
- Patchy Hair loss- This is where hair comes out in noticeable patchy clumps and can be a sign of metal poisoning, deficiencies in folic acid and zinc or an imbalance involving ACTH or cortisol.
- Body hair loss- Hair loss from areas other than the head are generally related to hormones. The area in question usually gives a good indication to which hormone is causing it, for example loss of hair from the pubic area or armpit can be an imbalance of Dehydroepiandorosterone (DHEA).
Other factors that may affect hair loss include prescription drugs, parasites such as ringworm and auto-immune diseases like Lupus. Most hair loss can be corrected if identified correctly so if you do notice any sudden changes in the condition of your hair, please speak to your physician as soon as possible as treatment is generally easier the earlier it is dealt with.