We all know losing a couple strands of hair, for us ladies, is a normal thing. But ‘hair loss’ after hitting the 20s is probably a shocker. And what we mean, girls, is shedding way more hair than usual like after taking a shower or brushing out your hair. You can even go far as to think, do you actually lose more hair as you enter your 20s, or are you just more ‘aware’ of your body as you get further and further away from your teen years? So, with further research, bringing the issue to trichologist Dominic Burg, chief scientist at Evolis Professional, here are 5 common reasons as to how and why someone may experience hair loss.
1. Extreme Dieting
Although eating a balanced diet is important in keeping us healthy, diets can also directly affect hair growth too. Burg says, ‘If you’re restricting your body of nutrients, it will shift energy away from your hair and divert it to your vital organs, like your heart, lungs, or brain. Hair isn’t essential for survival, but it’s very energy intensive.’ In other words, hair needs a lot of energy to grow, therefore if you aren’t taking in enough protein, iron, vitamins and fatty acids, chances are you’re guaranteeing some hair loss or thinning. The scary fact is, you won’t notice these changes or results for about three months after your hair has already taken damage.
Talk about stress being the reason for many problems we deal with. But in this case, stress can slow down the hair cycle according to Burg. When you’re stressed, your body produces a hormone called cortisol, which can prematurely push your hair into its resting phase (when the hair isn’t growing).
3. Hormonal Changes
No surprise hormones also play a role in the hair cycle. Although hormonal changes are more sensitive to others, changing or starting a new birth control can definitely impact your hair growth and hair loss says Burg. The same goes for pregnancy too. ‘The high levels of estrogen and progesterone during pregnancy can make your hair grow faster and feel silkier,’ he says. ‘But when the baby is born, these levels drop dramatically, and you’ll typically see some hair fall three months later.’
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4. Medical Conditions and Genetics
Medical reasons that contribute to hair loss is so general and vast. For a more specific reasoning or answer, seeing a doctor or a trichologist would be the best solution. If you associate with all the factors above and still experience hair loss, we advise you to schedule an appointment with your doctor. And unfortunately, early-onset hair loss can also be hereditary. Burg says it’s more of a myth that hair loss can be passed down from either your mother or father – but there’s always a maybe so.
Shedding or Thinning?
So how do you figure out if your hair is actually thinning or just shedding a little more than usual? Well, Burg says, ‘You lose about 50 to 100 hairs every day, which is about 0.001 percent of your hair. Now, when you notice that amount doubling or tripling, that’s an indication that your hair cycle is too short.’
Some tips to monitor of how much hair you’re losing besides in the shower or hairbrush is to check your ponytail, to see if it feels thinner or less loose in volume, your part (if it’s widening or not) and your scalp (if it’s reflecting under bright lights). If you are noticing any of the above here’s what you can do next:
When Your Hair Is Actually Thinning…
In order to get a sense of when your hair started to thin, it’s wise to turn back time to about three months and analyze if anything significant happened within that time frame. If you’ve experienced a huge amount of stress or had a significant change in diet, there’s a good chance it’ll line up with your hair loss. But lucky for us, diet and stress-related hair loss are both relatively easy to correct if you catch them early enough.
After identifying the source of the problem, Burg recommends seeing a professional. Usually, patients are prescribed topical solutions and medications (the most common being Rogaine). Burg also warns that viral hair-growth vitamins all over social media are not the solution to hair loss at all. ‘Don’t buy into the hype of these miracle pills that promise a change overnight. Hair growth takes time – think: half an inch a month. Even hair-loss treatments that work take time, so you usually won’t see results for three to four months.’
‘Hair loss is a lot more common than most women realize,’ says Burg. ‘There are really good solutions out there and they are getting better all the time.’
Some hair-growth treatments that actually work.