Common Causes of Hair Loss

Women of all ages, all over the world seem to be complaining about hair loss. Female Hair loss seems to be the 21st century disease, it may to some extent be due to our stressful, fast rate lifestyle or the crash diets that many women undertake to maintain the fashionable skin and bones figure.  It may be due to hormonal imbalance but it also may be temporary and hair regrowth will soon re-emerge.

To understand and asses the seriousness of hair loss, one must first get a firm grasp on the hair growth cycle.  The hair growth and regrowth mechanism is a fascinating and very hard working part of our system, it is constantly exposed to pollution, chemical, the sun and the wind yet it grows on average 1.27 cm per month, since birth, but it does so in a cycle that keeps on repeating itself usually until death. The hair growth cycle has three phases: The Anagen Phase, the Catagen Phase and the Telogen Phase.

Causes of hair loss

The Anagen Phase is the growing phase of your hair cycle.  It is where the hair is being supplied blood and nutrients from the vessels and it is growing at about half an inch per month.  In a healthy hair growth cycle, about 80 to 90% of the hair is in this Anagen phase and it will last 3 to 7 years depending on the individual before going to the Catagen Phase. The Anagen phase can also get shorter in length, 3 years for example is shoulder length hair and that is why some people seem to feel that their hair never gets passed a certain length. The Catagen Phase is like a transitional phase in the Hair growth cycle in which the hair will get detached from the blood supply, the hair follicle will shrink in size and the hair will be pushed upward.  Normally, about 3% of the total hair should be in the Catagen phase which lasts 2 to 4 weeks before going to the Telogen Phase.

The Telogen phase is the last phase of the Hair Growth cycle, in which the hair is resting and the hair follicle is getting weaker and shrinking in size until it finally falls off.  This is the phase in which hair can be easily pulled off, and it can last up to 3 months.  Normally, 10 to 15%, not more, of the hair is in this phase.  Therefore, if you consider that on average a full and healthy set of hair has 100,000 follicles, it is normal to lose 100 to 150 hairs per day. After the hair falls out, a new follicle should emerge and the hair regrowth cycle starts all over again.

It is when a woman has quite a bit more than 15% of the hair in the Telogen phase than she will notice excessive hair falling out and the body will not be able to regenerate new follicles at the same it is losing them, it is called Telogen Effluvium.  Eventually, the hair will start thinning and will it become noticeable after several months.

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