Anti aging guide

Common Reasons of Hair Loss when Aging

 

 

The commonest causes of hair loss during the aging period.

Normal hair grows continually for about three years and then has a rest period of about three months. Bad diet, unhealthy lifestyle and the effects of normal aging can throw this cycle out of control. With age, hair has a tendency to become thinner and shorter.

On average, there are 200,000 hair follicles on the human scalp. Some balding men may not believe this, but it’s true. A proportion of these follicles may be active while others may be in the rest cycle.

Normally we lose up to 150 hairs a day, but this doesn’t make any overall difference because new hair grows to replace them. If the loss is faster than the growth, then hair loss will become obvious. Certain people may notice a change in the rate of hair loss through the seasons and this is natural, although the loss may be very light.

There is a hair-raising number of caues of hair loss, but the commonest are just two: chronic telogen effluvium and genetic/hormonal reasons.

Chronic Telogen Effluvium

This usually manifests as an accelerated loss of hair from all over the scalp rather than from any specific area. Certain nutritional deficiencies may make this type of hair loss heavier. I’m going to mention only two, iron deficiency and lysine deficiency.

Sometimes iron deficiency in the body may not be severe enough to cause anaemia but may cause hair loss. This deficiency may be picked up by a blood test which measures ferritin, an indicator of the iron stores in the body. Taking iron supplements, though, is not advised unless recommended by a doctor. This is because iron stimulates the excess production of free radicals, causing more damage to the body. It is best to eat foods which are high in iron or take iron supplements for short periods only.

Another nutritional factor which has been implicated in hair loss is the amino acid lysine. People who avoid meat in their diet may be prone to this deficiency. In experiments, women who took extra lysine supplements experienced an increase in hair growth.

Genetic Hair Loss

This is impressively called ‘androgen-dependent alopecia’ and is related to a genetic mechanism which, after a certain age, causes an imbalance of the male hormones (androgens). This results in hair loss and thinning of the hair. This imbalance doesn’t only affect men. Up to one in three women who experience hair loss are thought to be affected by this condition. Specialist treatment with hormones may improve hair growth in some patients.

Other Causes of Hair Loss

A few other causes of hair loss are:

  1. Hypothyroidism (low thyroid hormone, affecting up to 2 per cent of women).
  2. Alopecia areata, which is hair loss in patches. The causes are not known and there is no effective cure, but hair may regrow on its own.
  3. The menopause may affect hair growth, perhaps due to an age-related imbalance of the female hormones.
  4. Infections and other illnesses may cause hair loss which does not become evident until several weeks after the illness. In this instance, hair will regrow normally.
Posted by Carol Hudgens - March 11, 2012 at 5:35 pm