Understanding Hair Loss and How To Prevent It As We Age

  • Everyone will experience hair loss at some point in their lives and it can affect self-esteem.
  • There are a lot of factors that contribute to balding or thinning hair of an individual including heredity, health conditions and certain medications.
  • The good news is, hair loss can be slowed down, treated and prevented.

    Understanding Hair Loss

    Our body is covered with hair, except on the palms of our hands, soles of the feet and our lips. The hair on top of our heads is our crowning glory.

    But what if they start to fall and leave your head?

    According to Dr. Michael Freeman, a dermatologist at Bond University in Queensland, Australia, the pattern of hair loss is different for men and women.

    “Often in females, it will affect 50 percent of their hair, so many women will not go truly bald, but their hair can get so perilously thin that it can become a big problem for them,” Dr. Freeman said.

    Freeman also added that more than 50 percent of women will experience mild hair loss as they age, and about 20 percent of them will suffer from moderate or severe hair loss.

    After puberty, people may begin losing their hair. Balding patterns in men that start after the age of 40, is often hereditary. A decrease in the growth of hair is experienced as an individual age. In elderly women, it drastically decreases after menopause. But, they do not lose significant amounts of hair compared to men.

    Health Conditions Associated with Hair Loss

    Hair loss in aging is linked to a disease or other health conditions. Sometimes, medications we take to treat some health conditions can cause hair loss.

    Hair loss happens rapidly for someone with a hormonal condition called Hypothyroidism. Diabetes can also cause hair loss due to hormonal imbalances. Iron deficiency can also be a culprit why people are losing hair, as well as a diet that is lacking in nutrients.

    Saving Hair

    Experts say that age-related hair loss is hard to reverse especially if it’s hereditary. But there are a number of ways, natural and some with the help of modern science, that can help slow down and treat hair loss.

    “Either you try and block the [androgen] hormone action in the scalp, or you try and stimulate the hair,” Dr. Freeman said.

    Natural methods include having a proper diet. Nutrients needed for proper hair growth include Vitamins A, B and C, Biotin, Zinc, Iron, and Omega 3. Applying vitamin C, biotin and silica to the hair follicles can slow down hair loss. Acupuncture can stimulate circulation to the scalp.  A daily scalp massage also helps.

    Medications to treat hair loss include rogaine and anti-androgens. Hair transplant surgery is also recommended to renew hair growth. Some people prefer wearing a wig than taking medications or undergo a procedure.

    Source: ABC

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