Causes and Treatments For Thinning Hair

If your hair is starting to thin, there could be many causes forcing it to happen and even more options available to reverse, stop, or cover up this embarrassing condition. Depending on the severity and how quickly you begin to treat this condition, you can get results that last and keep your hair for as long as possible. Here is some information on different causes of hair loss and some treatment options that might be available to you ranging from shampoo for thinning hair to surgery.

Causes of Hair Loss

Man with thinning hairOne of the most common forms of hair thinning in men is what is called male pattern baldness. This type of baldness can be attributed to the 4 in 7 chance that you will receive the baldness gene. Your hair will begin to recede from the sides of the forehead and, as time goes on, the whole top of the head can end up completely bald leaving a ring of hair around your head. A chemical trigger for this in your body is DHT. This chemical prohibits any growth of hair and weakens what hair you have.

Although this type of baldness makes up 95% of all the baldness in men, there are many other things that can cause it. People who excessively pull their hair can damage the cuticle, or the outer shell of the hair. Individual strands become weak and break off. Compulsive pulling or bending of the hair can result in permanent hair loss. Chemotherapy is another cause of hair loss that affects the lives of many people.

Things that you put into your body can affect hair growth as well. Poor nutrition, not eating enough, and the lack of certain nutrients can help cause thinning. Even some medications can make you lose some of your hair. Pollution in air and water, minerals in drinking water, and the effects of the sunlight can affect this condition as well. If you do not take care of your scalp, you hair will pay the price. Thats’s why there are a variety of vitamins for thinning hair available.

Stress is another cause of baldness associated with the restriction of your blood to certain capalaries. This stops oxygen and nutrients from getting to the hair follicles. Without those two things, the hair can not grow correctly.

Treatment Options Available

There are many different techniques used to prevent and reverse hair loss in men and woman. There are also ways to try and cover up the effects of baldness. There are many medications that a doctor can prescribe to help slow your hair from thinning out, help to grow new hair, or to thicken existing hair to help cover the bald spots easier.

shampoo for thinning hairSome medications are simply rubbed into the scalp and hair, like shampoo for thinning hair. Others are pills that you take with a glass of water. Shampoo for thinning hair and pills to help with the condition have varying effects and you may need to seek out a more drastic measure.

Surgical treatment is available to transplant healthy growing hair from one part of the body or scalp to another. The process can take from four to eight hours and you can do it more than once to maximize results. Immunosuppressants have also been applied to the scalp to show temporary results but adverse side effects make this therapy not worth it in most cases. Treating the scalp may be another option if that is the cause for the baldness in question.

If your baldness is stress related, stress reduction is the best option to prevent or reverse the condition. Treatment for stress can come from therapy, medication, or, possibly in the future, astressin-B, which has shown positive results in mice to regrow hair lost through the release of Corticotropin, a hormone related to stress

Covering Up the Damage Done

The comb over has been a popular way to try and hide male pattern baldness throughout the years. You restyle your remaining hair to cover a balding area where possible. As hair loss increases, this method gets less effective. Wearing a hat or a hairpiece is another popular method to cover up what time has done to the hair. There are even sprays that you put in your hair to add more volume to your own hair. Whatever option works best for you, use it to your advantage.

There are many different causes and treatments to baldness from stress to genes and from shampoo for thinning hair to surgery involving hair transplants. Contact a doctor if baldness is starting to become a problem for you and see what options may be available for.

If you are looking for more general information check out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hair_loss.

A more out of the box solution for serious cases of hair loss can be found here.

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Phases of Human Hair Growth

By now, it will be very obvious to us that human hair grows quite abundantly at almost all parts of our body. There are some parts of our body however, that represents an absence of hair growth, particularly the palms of our hands, the soles of our feet, the eye lids and the lips. Like that of our skin, hair is keratinized, made mostly of flat cells with overlayed keratin (keratin is a protein), which posses qualities similar to that of rope fabrics which give ample strength for the hair shaft. The human cycle of hair growth has three (3) phases that involve the growth of hair until it eventually falls of from our heads. These are the anagen phase, the catagen phase and the telogen phase. These three phases relatively determine the capacity and the length of your hair growth.

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These phases all happen simultaneously at the same time. This is also the case regarding the other types of hair growing on our body, besides the hair on our scalp of course. There is also the vellus hair and the androgenic hair which serves both different purposes and functions in regards to giving our bodies the needed warmth and the ample protection from the elements. The three detailed stages of the development of human hair growth on our body which are the anagen, catagen and telogen phase all occur at the same time on each strand of hair in our human body. When one full cycle of each stage is complete, The cycle starts up again as soon as a new strand of hair begins to form and emerge from the follicles itself.

The average human hair grows to an estimated length of about 1.25 centimeters or about 0.5 inches in about a months time or if you would like to convert that to a yearly rate of 1.5 centimeters or about exactly 6 inches a year.

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The Anagen Phase

This phase represents the first time that the follicle will be growing a new strand of hair, though not yet visible on the scalp surface, it is already on it’s first stage of growth prior to emerging from the scalp. The growth cycle starts in the papilla of the inner follicle which can take to as much in between 2 to 6 years before even starting to come out from the scalp. Genetics place a crucial decisive roll on the progress of hair growth. It would be very interesting to know that the longer that the hair develops in the anagen phase, the faster it will grow. The development of the hair inside the follicle resembles like that of a ball of twine or string that when it has grown just enough, it will be eventually be making it’s way out of the follicles through the scalp which will give you an itchy sensation that will make you scratch your head. This simple stimuli of scratching your hair, will eventually pull out the newly developed hair strand from your scalp, completing the anagen stage of hair growth. The total number of anagen hair growths on a person is 85% of all hair on a persons head.

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The Catagen Phase

The catagen phase is also considered as the transitional phase of hair growth which the follicles are given the chance to rejuvenate or revitalize themselves. It is through the body’s natural enzymatic and hormonal functions that trigger this phase. It is during this stage of hair development that the follicles actually begin to shrink due to hormonal triggering mechanisms that make the papilla to detach itself, going into a sort of resting period, which results in the steady dwindling supply of the blood supply and the nutrients that nourishes the follicles. This resting stage of the papilla, reduces the size of the follicles by as much as 1/6th of it’s original size due to the lack of the much needed nutrients by the hair follicle. Though it is true that the papilla has regressed into a resting phase, the length of the fibers still remain the same.

The Telogen Phase

The telogen phase is the dormant phase of the human hair growth cycle and is also considered as the final stages of hair growth. What is actually fascinating about this stage is realizing that your hair once it has entered this phase of the cycle, has actually been dead for the past 1 to 4 months! This stage may result in almost 10 to 15 percent of the total hairs on your head are actually already in this stage for the past 4 months. Since this stage of hair development is on it’s final stages, the hormones in the body are once again triggered to restart the anagen phase in order to instruct the papilla to produce new hair strands. The newly produced hair strands that are developing inside the papilla will now start to push out and eject the old hair strands on your scalp, eventually dislodging it to give way to newly grown hair strands, therefore completing the three cycles oh human hair growth. This results in the shedding of hair in a daily basis.

To think that everyday of our lives as we groom ourselves when we brush or comb our hair, we shed off so much hair on our scalp thinking that there must be something wrong with our follicular hair growth. As it came out to be a natural occurrence within the cycle of our development of hair growth. It can be considered that our daily reason for shedding hair means that there are already new sets of hair that are now replacing the old hair strands that have already fallen off our scalp.

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The Truth About Head Lice

Head lice or head louse, whatever people tend to call them in different parts of the world, they are still, itchy, annoying scoundrels that feed off from your scalp! Ever since the time man has stalked the Earth, these little buggers had been dinning and defecating on our heads for too long a time! Is it not enough that these parasites had their fill on our heads, that they also have to “relieve” themselves, causing a somewhat pungent and rancid odor that causes apparent itchiness. Since these parasites feed off from our scalp, they do not cause any symptomatic form of illness except the apparent itchiness that causes discomfort when they move about on top of your scalp and the embarrassing thought if someone found out that you had them! Head lice are the direct evolutionary cousins of the common animal flea, which had evolved to it’s present state when man started to walk the Earth.

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The head lice evolved to adapt to survive on certain plant juices when the host that they were feeding upon died, requiring them to seek out other sources of sustenance. Upon years of evolution and the emergence of man, head lice soon found a new host to feed on. There is another variant of the head lice that resides on the lower extremities of the body and it has evolved to enable it to survive in areas with thicker hair growth, more particularly the pubic area. Pubic lice are as annoying as head lice themselves, in which they also cause itchiness that causes great discomfort. Fondly called “the crabs”, pubic lice have evolved to cling on to the more flatter fair strands of the pubic area, they are called “crabs” because of their distinct resemblance to the crustaceans with the same name. Though they come from the same specie, pubic lice can not propagate on the head because they can not grasp the finner, thinner hairs of the scalp, so much it is the other way around with head lice.

Mother treating daughter's hair against lice

How Does One Get Head Lice?

Head lice get around quite often by direct physical contact, usually a predominant case in children while playing or having direct contact in school. Usually, a dormant parasitic hitch hiker that it is, the head lice can wait itself out on couches, bed sheets or just anywhere an infected person might have scratched or combed their hair, displacing the head lice until such time that it gets picked up by a new host. Head lice are not limited to little children only, but are in fact a problem for some adults as well. Just think of a scenario where children infected with head lice visit their relatives, where every body shakes hands, giving each other warm and tender embrasures…and head lice.

Infestation usually begins with one head lice finding it’s way on top of you head. From there, it will begin to lay it’s eggs on the hair stems, securing it with it’s own adhesive, one that has a very strong bonding ability, that even the most thorough use of shampoo or soap will never dislodge it. You may even manage to remove some of the parasites, but they can cling to the hair stems that it may even necessitate you to use ultra fine toothed combs that can remove most of the parasites but not their eggs. Severe head lice infestation can reach to a point that you can actually catch one crawling across your scalp with your bare fingers! And the ironic part is that when you manage to catch one and squeeze it, you will be able to see some small amounts of undigested blood the the head lice has digested from you!

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Combing over a sheet of white paper will reveal the head lice as you plow away your hair, dislodging them and eventually making them fall on the paper sheet. Although you should be very mindful of how you should comb your hair in regards to removing these pesky parasites. The average size of a head lice ranges from 1/32 to 1/16 of an inch and can sometimes even grow to 1/8 of an inch. The usual lifespan of head lice average to 20 days, but when you consider that you have at least 5 to 10 of them running around your head, going about their business and sucking out the juices from your scalp, that would probably be 20 annoying days of your life.

Imagine if you could, that a female head lice can actually lay an average of 5 to 6 eggs…in a day! They are called “nits”, simply because of the sound that they make when you squeeze them on your finger nails. Theses nits take 6 days to hatch, which can exponentially increase the infestation of head lice on your head.

In the case of children, there is an average of 10 head lice that can grow to an even greater number as the week progresses, in which case, little girls are much more prone to such infestation because of their obvious long hair. In the olden days, the only remedy for such head lice infestation was the total removal of hair! It was okay for young boys to sport such hairstyle, but for girls? Head lice survive because oh the heat of the body, particularly the heat from the scalp area that is warm because of the flow of the blood on the head. Also, there is the humidity condition that is perfect for head lice propagation as these parasites need a humid and warm environment to live on. Head lice do not spread diseases, unlike the common dog tick that excretes a neurotoxic compound in it’s saliva to maintain continued blood flow, not letting blood to coagulate. Dog tick infestation has been proven fatal to both humans and animals.

How Do We Control or Eradicate Head Lice Infestations?

As discussed before, head lice are migratory parasites that are transfered through direct contact from person to person. It is preposterous to think that you can control the spread of infestation by limiting an infected persons access to certain parts of the house, as head lice can simply fall off one persons head and just simply crawl up to another. Head lice can easily be transferred through the sharing of combs and head brushes. The use of Permethrin formulated shampoos does the job but it will take several sessions of using this type of shampoo. Besides killing off the head lice themselves, Permethrin also penetrates the head lice eggs, causing it to die eventually after several uses of the shampoo. Believe me, it is a far better method than shearing off your children’s hair and your kids will thank you for that!

But don’t think that that will be the last that your family will ever experience that, as it can be a reoccurring problem for the years to come. It is advised that when a problem like head lice happens again, be sure to have a Permethrin formulated shampoo around the house.

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The Three Essential Ingredients The Best Shampoo For Thinning Hair Should Have

best shampoo for thin hairThinning hair is a condition that plagues both men and women, even though men usually suffer more from it than women. Hair loss can reduce the  well being due to vanity as well as general skin health of the scalp due to greater exposure to the sun.  While it occurs to just about everyone to a greater or lesser degree most people will experience some obvious hair loss as they age.  Fortunately there is a best shampoo for thinning hair to minimize that effect.

 

Both men and women experience hair loss, but it is more a matter of thinning the profusion of active hair follicles in women rather than pattern baldness that typically causes male hair loss.

 

Healthy hair follicles continue to produce hair from infancy through adulthood in a generally thick distribution over the head.  There are hundreds of marketed hair-care products, shampoos, conditioners, gels, sprays, etc., that provide hair cleanliness and improve the appearance over the course of life.   The progression of hair loss, if it occurs, can present a set of circumstances better served by a change of use of hair-care products, particularly in the choice of the best shampoo for thinning hair.

 

One must know the physiology of pair production to understand why hair loss would suggest a change in hair-care products to either minimize hair loss or at least keep the hair and scalp as healthy as possible in spite of hair loss by using the correct products and care.

 

Each hair follicle – there are generally about 110,000 hair follicles on the average head – produces one hair at a time which will grow an average of five inches per year and each hair remains for two to six years before falling out.  The follicle just losing hair will rest for a period of time before reproducing another hair.  This process continues until the follicle is rendered incapable of producing another hair naturally.

 

The most essential part of a hair follicle is the papilla of hair at the root of the follicle.  The papilla is responsible for generating hair growth.  Unfortunately, some people, as they age, lose the efficacy of the papilla.  The resulting hair loss begins as a miniaturization of the hair follicle, resulting in each hair’s thickness reducing, shortening and losing pigment.  Without proper care, this process will accelerate until the follicle fails in the production of new hair.

 

The loss of hair is generally caused by a metabolic change in the body in its production of androgen.  The increase of one androgen, DHT, is instrumental in the loss of the ability of a follicle to produce hair.  The volume of production of DHT is genetic and the more DHT produced, the faster the process of thinning hair will continue.

 

Once the process of hair loss begins, there are means to retard its progress with a change in shampoo in order to apply a select set of ingredients to keep the scalp clean while retarding hair loss.

 

Hair in any condition of fullness requires periodic, thorough cleansing.  Many people consider “periodic” to be a daily exercise, and there is not valid data to suggest that the use of a mild shampoo on a daily basis will accelerate the thinning process.  Quite the contrary, because hair loss begins as a process of naturally losing hair from a follicle, it rests for a period before regeneration, leaving the follicle subject to collection of debris which could limit the follicle’s ability to function as it should.

 

Therefore, a prerequisite of proper hair care, regardless of, but particularly when thinning progresses, is to keep the scalp cleansed properly.  A mild shampoo is the best shampoo for thinning hair to keep the follicles clear of debris.

 

Of secondary importance is that the shampoo does not contain harsh chemicals, particularly a variety of bleaching agents (not necessarily associated with hair dyes), that may actually contribute to follicle miniaturization or weakening of hair.

 

The third essential aspect of the best shampoo for thinning hair is that it helps promote hair growth by stimulation of blood circulation.  The papilla of hair is in direct contact with blood capillaries.  If they can be stimulated to increase circulation by the addition of an appropriate ingredient, hair production is likely to continue.

 

Make sure you meet these three requirements, so that hair thinning can be a more prolonged or limited before reaching baldness.

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Dealing with thinning hair

About the author

I am 53 years old and live in Miami. I have two kids, one boy and one girl with my wife Linda. My son Jon is now 19 years old and in College. My daughter Jennifer is 14 and still in High-School. We also have a dog. When I don’t work in the marketing department of a health company, I like to spend time outdoors with my family and friends. I don’t do as much sport as I should but my family and me go on a skiing vacation at least once a year.