If you begin to notice a significant change in your hair, your health may be at risk.
According to the Mayo Clinic, a person sheds approximately 50 to 100 hairs on average per day. With more than 100,000 hairs in the scalp, this daily loss is not enough to cause alarm. However, for nearly 35 million men and 21 million women in the U.S. suffering from temporary or permanent hair loss (according to the American Hair Loss Association), there is not only cause for alarm, there is cause for a great deal of heartache and embarrassment.
Some of the most common causes for hair loss in men and women ages 50 and older include:
Alopecia is an autoimmune disease, causing the body’s immune system to attack the body, and in this case, the hair follicles. Alopecia also includes male pattern baldness, the leading cause of hair loss in men.
According to the Mayo Clinic, hormonal changes and imbalances can cause temporary hair loss. Hormonal changes often occur in women during pregnancy, childbirth and menopause. Men may also experience a change in hormone levels referred to as andropause, which can affect the quality of the hair and skin.
Chemotherapy, one of the most common treatments for cancer, is intended to destroy rapidly growing cancer cells in the body. Unfortunately, it also kills rapidly growing cells in the roots of the hair.
An abnormal thyroid can cause a crisis in the body and the hair cells can shut down to redirect energy elsewhere.
Nutrition deficiencies can cause increased hair shedding by weakening hair shafts, which in turn cause hair breakage or slow down the regrowth process.
Physical and emotional stress
Hair loss induced by stress usually occurs after severe trauma such as an illness, or death of a loved one. According to the American Hair Loss Council, the body stops hair growth during highly stressful periods to focus on repairing other elements of the body.
If you begin to notice a significant change in your hair, it is always wise to consult a physician or speak with a hair restoration specialist to determine your options. The best solution can depend on the cause and the extent of hair loss—in other words, one size or one solution does not fit all.
Three of the most effective and popular hair restoration solutions to consider include:
Surgical hair transplantation
Modern breakthroughs have made transplants virtually undetectable. Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) procedures transplant single follicles of one to three hairs from the donor area (usually the back or side of the head) to the balding area. It is an effective option for most men and some women. Due to the nature of how men and women lose hair differently, it is not always an ideal solution for women.
Non-surgical solutions provide men and women with a head of real hair. The most recent advancements for this solution come from Hollywood, where celebrities need to look their best at all times. Virtual Reality (for men) and Virtuesse (for women) utilize the Hollywood method for achieving a full, beautiful head of natural hair.
Three-step laser hair therapy
Laser hair therapy works well for individuals experiencing light to moderate hair loss. Cool, laser light is clinically proven to stop hair loss and in some cases re-grow hair. A three-step laser program incorporates light scalp massage to stimulate follicles, and a regimen of hair re-growth products and vitamins from the Mediceuticals line. Research shows that the three steps work together to produce optimal results.
Hair loss does not need to permanently affect your appearance, nor does it need to give away your age. To find the best solution, your first step should be calling a professional for a scalp and hair analysis. Most importantly, remember that there are hair restoration treatment options available for all stages of hair loss.