One of the most amazing privileges of working with The Wig Company has been getting to know so many of you and your stories - you have forever touched and inspired me. I feel like sharing my knowledge and research about hair loss will not only help those who feel alone in their struggles, but also educate those who want to support a loved one and even those who may be quick to pass judgement. Although we live in the age of unlimited knowledge and resources at our fingertips, so many people are uneducated about hair loss. How is this possible? First, let’s just talk about how common hair loss is. In fact, there are more people that will experience some type of thinning or hair loss than those who won’t. So why is it still not talked about? Why do those who choose to embrace a bald head continue to get stares? In a perfect (yet clearly imperfect) world we would all not only understand, but, accept the many types of conditions that can alter our physical appearance.
Did you know that 1 in 4 women experience hair loss? The numbers are staggering and millions of people all over the world are privately and publicly dealing with the signs of hair loss. Hair loss is impartial and affects men, women, and children no matter their age or ethnicity. Hair loss is not only a side effect of things like our environment, genetics, stress, diet, medications and other things, but it in itself has its own side effects. This could include a loss of confidence, added stress, uncomfortable situations – the list goes on and on. I listed the top 6 reasons someone may experience hair loss. And the goal is not only to know the most common causes, but also to grasp how all of us at one point or another will be affected by one or more of these factors.
TOP 6 CAUSES OF HAIR LOSS
A genetic predisposition of hormonal balances and imbalances, as well as the conversion of testosterone to DHT, can be inherited from either your mother's or your father's side of the family.
Stress and trauma-
Increased levels of stress might produce increased levels of testosterone which converts to DHT and interrupts the hair growth cycle. Stress of trauma can also constrict the blood supply to the capillaries, causing a lack of oxygen and nutrient uptake, as well as vitamin and nutrient assimilation for the hair follicle.
Nutrition and diet-
High consumption of animal fats (such as those found in fast food), vitamin A or rapid weight loss reduces the amino acids and vitamin assimilation needed for hair growth. Poor nutrition, limiting food intake, and liquid protein diets can cause hair loss. Deficiencies in biotin, iron, protein and zinc are particularly damaging to healthy hair growth. Toxicity of vitamins and minerals can also cause hair loss.
Malfunction of the hormone producing thyroid (hyper and hypo thyroid disease) is one of the only known health related causes to hair loss. The side effects of the medications used to treat thyroid disease can also cause hair loss problems. Pregnant women, generally considered healthy, can also experience hair loss that is generally associated with temporary hormonal changes in the body.
The side effects of drugs can cause hair loss, as the hair follicle is sensitive to changes. Birth control, for example is a hormone. Almost any hormonal therapy can potentially cause hair loss. Steroids, specific chemotherapies as well as many blood pressure, diabetic, heart disease and acne medications can cause temporary or permanent hair loss.
Air pollutants, chlorine, metals, minerals and water pollution. Pollutants from the environment, such as pseudo-estrogens (mimics estrogen) and toxins from within our body, can play a combined role in hair loss.
So which one has affected you personally?
COVID-19 and Hair Loss
Did you also know that COVID-19, with all its uncertainties, may certainly cause hair loss? Newsmax.com reported that 27% of COVID-19 patients recovering from the disease suffered prolonged hair loss as a result. They call it a lingering symptom that those who have been affected by COVID-19 will face long after the disease is over. According to USA Today, doctors are concluding that telogen effluvium, which is temporary hair loss that usually happens after stress, illness, high fever, or extreme weight loss, is to blame. Dr. Esther Freeman, director of Dermatology COVID-19 registry, keeps track of how cases are affected on a dermatological level, states that people start to experience hair loss 3 months after the illness. USA Today reports people can lose up to 50% of their hair. Those with a genetic predisposition are at risk but according to recent studies, the hair loss is temporary and sufferers should see regrowth in a few weeks.
STAGES OF HAIR LOSS AND SOLUTIONS
The chart below shows early to advanced forms of hair loss. Take a look at the images below and see which best matches the hair loss stage you’re in. Knowing the level of hair loss will help you shop for solutions best tailored to fit your needs.
My recommendations for Receding Hair Loss
My recommendations for Stages 1-3
My recommendations for Stages 4-6
My recommendation for Stage 7
September honored those with Alopecia by bringing awareness to the common autoimmune skin disease that affects as many as 6.8 million people in the U.S. The National Alopecia Areata Foundation is a great resource for those wanting to better understand alopecia and answers questions like Are there different types of Alopecia Areata? What causes alopecia areata? Will my child inherit alopecia areata from me? And, what kind of symptoms will I have with alopecia areata? Read more here.
INSPIRE AND BE INSPIRED
So many of our customers completely own their hair loss and are such a source of inspiration. If you’re looking for someone to inspire and encourage you to be you, check out these Instagram accounts:
With so many hair loss resources and ways to support online, I decided to include three worth checking out:
HAIR & HAPPINESS
We recently started a LIVE interview series where we take the women and clients that inspire us and get to know them better. We hear about their hair loss journey, see them try on their favorite styles, and we get to learn their tips and tricks. Hope you can join me and our guests, @atypical60, @fabricatingfringe among others. Follow us on Instagram to be alerted of our next airing, plus check out our feed to see our previous episodes. I can’t wait to get to know more of you and please know I truly appreciate how many of you have contacted me through my Instagram @thehairyoulove and by email email@example.com. Comment and share your story and feel free to follow me so we can connect through social media.
Until next time,