A small amount of hair loss, from 40 to 100 hairs a day, is perfectly normal. Your hair follicles cycle through various stages, ideally growing new hairs at the same rate as they are shed. At any given time, about ten percent of follicles in a healthy scalp will be resting and shedding hair. The remainder of the follicles is in the active growth phase, creating, or lengthening hairs. When the growth cycle of your hair follicles becomes too short, or there are too many in the resting phase this balance is upset, causing you to lose hair faster than it can regrow.
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There are many possible causes of hair loss, including:
- Hereditary – This type of hair loss includes male-pattern baldness, androgenetic alopecia, or female-pattern baldness.
- Alopecia areata – This is believed to be an autoimmune disease.
- Cicatricial (scarring) alopecia – Scar tissue blocks the follicles from growing new hairs in otherwise healthy individuals.
- Central centrifugal cicatricial (scarring) alopecia – Hair loss beginning in the center of the scalp, most common in African American women.
- Disease – Dozens of different medical conditions have hair loss as a symptom.
- Certain medications – Hair growth may be stopped or diminished by chemotherapy, birth control pills, blood thinners, or several other medicines.
- Stress – A traumatic event may trigger (usually temporary) hair loss
- Hormones – Menopause, childbirth, hormone medications, and other factors that cause dramatic hormonal changes
- Health – Hair loss can be a sign of malnutrition, vitamin deficiency, or generally poor health
- Hair styling or products – Barrettes and pins can damage hairs; heat or harsh chemicals can make them brittle; pulling hair too tight when styling can cause a type of hair loss known as traction alopecia
The best therapy for hair loss depends on the underlying cause, and how advanced the problem is. Your dermatologist may recommend topical medication, oral medication, laser therapy, hair transplants or other treatments.
In any case, the earlier you seek treatment, the better. If you have concerns about balding or thinning hair, call us at 571-431-6175 and schedule an appointment today. We have offices conveniently located in Arlington, VA and in Stafford, VA.