You may be experiencing hair loss, and that may be causing you alarm or even anxiety. You may be wondering if you can get your hair back, or prevent hair loss in the first place. Let’s get straight to the facts.
Daily hair loss is normal
Many people are alarmed to see dozens of hairs stuck in their hairbrush or the shower drain. However, all adults shed approximately 80 – 100 hairs a day from their head, whether or not they are experiencing male pattern baldness or female pattern baldness. This is because hair grows in cycles, called the anagen, catagen and telogen phases. Each anagen cycle lasts between four and seven years. At the end of the cycle the hair falls out, to be replaced by a new hair that begins the phases all over again. In short, you cannot prevent this type of hair loss, nor should you be the least bit alarmed when it happens. You don’t need to worry about how to prevent hair loss of this type.
Thinning hair is common
By age 50 nearly 85% of men experience some thinning, a bald crown or receding temples, some to the point of complete baldness. In women, by age 60 approximately 50% will experience female pattern baldness. Millions more women struggle with mild to moderate hair thinning due to hormonal changes of pregnancy and menopause, and other health conditions. So if you are experiencing hair loss of this nature, you are not alone.
How to prevent hair loss?
Okay, now that you know what is normal and what is common, is it possible to actually prevent hair loss, the type that leads to permanent loss? The answer, in the vast majority of cases, is yes.
There are numerous techniques and medical therapies that can help to prevent loss. They include:
- Avoiding hairstyles that exert constant pressure on the hair, such as cornrows, tight weaves, extensions, and even the man bun. These can lead to traction alopecia or permanent loss of hair at the hairline.
- Go easy on any type of harsh chemical processing. Chemical relaxers, straighteners, and bleaching, if used extensively, can cause a weakening of the hair follicle, and eventual loss in extreme cases.
- Take finasteride pills (for men), sold under the brand names Propecia®and Proscar ®.This medication is a DHT II (dihydrotestosterone II) blocker and decreases the influence of DHT II on male pattern baldness. About 65% of men who take consistently take finasteride will experience a reduction in hair loss and even re-growth of miniaturized hair.
- Use minoxidil, sold under the brand name Rogaine®. This over-the-counter medication is applied topically and comes in formulas for both men and women. It has been used for decades with no reported side effects.
- Use Nizoral® Nizoral 2% shampoo is available by prescription for men only. Research shows that it promotes hair growth in 40% of men.
- Use low-level laser light therapy (LLLT). This treatment has no known side effects and can help improve hair quality and slow hair loss.
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