Why does hair fall out?
Periodic hair loss is a natural process and a necessary part of the body’s renewal. In the life of any hair follicle, there is a certain cycle, the sequential repetition of three phases:
Anagena – active growth. Hair follicle cells and melanocytes are actively dividing, forming hair that constantly increases in length. The duration of this phase is two to three years.
Catagena, or regression. Hair nutrition decreases, the follicle begins to “dry out”, atrophy. Hair stops growing, but remains in the thickness of the skin. The duration of this phase is two to three weeks.
Telogen , or rest. The hair follicle is separated from the papilla and, together with the hair, begins to gradually move to the surface of the skin. This phase lasts about three months.
After a while, a new hair follicle forms and the cycle repeats again. It is the duration of the phases of this cycle that determines the maximum length at which the hair grows. Every day a healthy person loses about a hundred hairs in the telogen stage. In people over 50, the daily hair loss rate increases to 200 pieces.
Typically, in healthy people, up to 90% of hair is in the anagen stage, that is, active growth, up to 2% in the intermediate catagen state, and up to 15% in rest, or telogen phase. If, for some reason, the ratio between the number of hairs in one or another phase of the life cycle begins to change in favor of the “resting”, the hair begins to thin.
It disrupts the normal hormonal balance of the body: stress hormones are actively produced – adrenaline and cortisol, regulatory neuropeptides and other biologically active substances, which, according to the combination of effects, transfer the hair into the telogen phase, that is, contribute to the premature stop of hair growth and hair loss;
hypersensitivity of hair follicles to dihydrotestosterone – a derivative of the male sex hormone. This is the main cause of androgenic alopecia, which, alas, occurs not only in men, but also in women. After all, both of them have both female and male sex hormones in the body, the only difference is in their ratio;
Malnutrition: deficiency of vitamins and minerals. To build hair, proteins, vitamins and minerals are needed, which regulate all metabolic processes in the body. It is commonly known that the first sign of iron deficiency is dull and brittle hair. Likewise, the body can react to the lack of other nutrients; inflammatory processes on the scalp: seborrheic dermatitis, other fungal infections (ringworm), psoriasis, eczema;
Hormonal changes: many women are afraid of profuse hair loss three months after giving birth, although this is actually a normal reaction to a sharp change in hormone levels. In pathological situations, the cause of increased hair loss may be insufficient thyroid function.
Can hair loss be slowed down or stopped?
No matter what the advertisement says, no amount of shampoos and masks can reduce hair loss. The shampoo stays on the scalp too briefly to be beneficial. Its main purpose is to remove excess sebum, flakes of the epidermis and dust. Masks remain on the hair a little more, but they, as a rule, are unable to penetrate into the thickness of the skin by three to five millimeters, and it is at this depth that the hair follicles are located. After all, the skin is needed precisely in order not to pass foreign substances through itself.
A more or less noticeable effect can be produced by special solutions that are applied to the scalp, after which a massage is usually performed. Firstly, special substances are added to such products that allow them to penetrate deep into intact skin.
Secondly, the massage performed subsequently improves the blood flow in the scalp area, and, consequently, the supply of nutrients to the hair follicles.
Topical treatments can also reduce hair loss when scalp inflammation is the cause. For example, with seborrheic dermatitis, or, more simply, dandruff, an inflammation caused by a microscopic fungus that feeds on sebum.
Health starts from the inside out: hair loss remedies
Therapy should begin with the use of specialized complexes that contain not only vitamins and minerals, but also special components that help prevent hair loss. The fact is that modern nutritional stereotypes do not allow providing the body with all the necessary micronutrients in sufficient quantities.
When examining women aged 20 to 30, it was found that 42% of them do not consume enough vitamin B1, 48% – B6, 61% have a zinc deficiency, 84% – selenium. Meanwhile, these substances affect hair growth both directly and indirectly.
For example, a lack of vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) can lead to impaired hair growth and premature graying. Copper deficiency causes similar disorders. Hair loss and flaking of the skin occurs with a lack of vitamin A, biotin, zinc. The classic sign of a lack of iron in the body is fragility and hair loss, thinning and fragility of nails. Moreover, hypovitaminosis is rarely due to a lack of only one vitamin, since the metabolism is interconnected.
Vitamin A needs vitamins C and E to protect against oxidation, and zinc is needed to switch to the active form. In turn, vitamin E needs ascorbic acid for recovery. Vitamin B1 needs magnesium to become active. Vitamins B2 and B6 mutually improve each other’s activity. Folic acid is absorbed by the body only in the presence of vitamin B12, and so on. In addition, it is rather difficult to independently choose the optimal ratios and dosages. Therefore, the ideal option is to choose a balanced vitamin and mineral complex to prevent hair loss and improve hair growth. For a greater effect, special ingredients are used, such as inositol and dwarf palm extract.