Hair loss is a big headache. According to the American Hair Loss Association, 40% of the female population experiences hair loss. In comparison, about 67% of men have experienced hair loss by age 35. So, regardless of sex, both men and women have a relatively high chance of experiencing standard hair loss.
With a very good likelihood of losing your hair, it’s important to take a look at which causes of hair loss can be reversed, and which ones will have you seeking other alternatives or accepting your hair loss.
Diet and Medication
What you put in your body affects what grows on your head. The effects of poor nutrition and yo-yo dieting commonly cause hair loss in both men and women. Making healthier diet choices will likely affect the quality of your hair as well as retain more of it on your head.
Medications that may be treating other imbalances or diseases in your body could be causing a disruption with your hair’s growth cycle. Changing or discontinuing medication—with your doctor’s consent of course—could help restore your hair to its normal growth cycle.
Hormone-related conditions like polycystic ovarian syndrome, adrenal fatigue and thyroid disease are quite often the root of hair loss. If your hair loss isn’t genetic, and you’re your diet and medications aren’t the cause of your thinning hair, definitely get your hormone levels checked, especially if you are experiencing other unusual symptoms. If the condition is treated, it’s possible you could experience an intimate restoration of your natural hair.
Hair Processing and Styling
Chemical applications such as bleaching, coloring, perming and straightening can cause moderate to severe damage or loss. If you’re experiencing breakage more so than root loss, it might be time to ease up on the processing.
In addition, cosmetic applications like weaves and extensions cause extreme pulling and tension at the root, which could cause temporary or even permanent hair loss.
Discontinuing practices that are damaging the hair externally will likely allow the hair to restore itself over time, but be prepared to wait while the damage grows out and new hair grows in.
Sometimes a single stressful event, trauma, or long-term stressor can result in a significant shed several months after the fact. In many cases the issue will correct itself in the next growth cycle
If your hair loss is truly genetic, it’s kind of difficult to reverse or change it. It’s like trying to naturally turn your brown eyes blue. Medications like Minoxodil and Propecia can slow down hair loss and temporarily allow more hair to grow, but you’ll be 100% dependent on those medications indefinitely. Your hair loss will return if you stop using them. Many people who experience genetic hair loss either accept the loss, or find cosmetic or surgical solutions to solve their problem.
If you are able to determine the cause of your hair loss and begin the process of correcting it, be patient as you wait for regrowth. Typical hair cycles last several months, so it could be a while before you notice visible regrowth.
Susan Falcone writes for HairDirect.com, an online hair replacement company specializing in custom hair systems.