Hair Loss (Alopecia)

Societies play a social and cultural role on hair and hairstyles. Slipping back of the hairline or thinning of the hair has become a very important problem for both men and women. Without understanding why their hair is falling out, patients turn to methods such as mega vitamins, scalp massage, and drugs applied to the hair with electrical stimulation, which are touted as miracle treatments. Hair loss is a common phenomenon, and two out of every three men have a problem with hair loss, albeit at different levels. Different types of hair loss problems can be seen in a very high rate of men and women throughout their lives. It is possible to help many people with hair loss if diagnosed correctly.

Normal Hair Growth

hairs on scalp 90% They constantly grow. The growth phase ends between 2-6 years. 10% The other is in the resting phase. This phase lasts for 2-3 months. At the end of this resting phase, the hair is shed. Shedding between 50-100 hairs per day is considered normal. With the shedding of the hair, a new hair production starts from the same hair follicle and a new hair growth phase begins. Hair growth rate on the scalp is about 2-2.5 cm/month. With age, the rate of hair growth also slows down. Again, short hair grows longer than long hair. While the number of hairs on the scalp is 120,000 in natural blondes, it is 105,000 in auburn and 90,000 in red hair. Despite the high number, blondes may have less hair impression due to the thinness of the hairs compared to red and brown hair.

Causes of Excessive Hair Loss

Excessive hair loss can have many different causes. People who notice excessive hair loss or thinning hair should consult a dermatologist. It is important to determine the cause and whether it will respond to medical treatment. Dermatologists skin and skin appendages (like hair, nails) They are doctors who specialize in diseases. The patient’s hair problem will be evaluated by asking questions about diet, medications, family history of hair loss, previous diseases and hair care. Dermatologists may ask women questions about the menstrual cycle, pregnancy, or menopause. After the thinning of the scalp, it may be necessary to examine a few hairs under a microscope or to take small biopsies from the scalp for further examination.

  • Childbirth: During pregnancy, women lose much less hair than normal. However, after childbirth, many hairs go into the resting phase and suddenly multiple hair loss is seen. This shedding usually occurs in the 2-3rd months of birth. This situation will completely reverse within 1-6 months. (unless there is another reason).
  • High fever, serious illness, severe flu: About 3-4 weeks after such a disease, a large number of hairs suddenly fall out. However, this shedding usually returns to normal without any intervention.
  • Thyroid (Goiter) Diseases: Both overwork and underactivity of the thyroid gland can cause hair loss. Diagnosis of thyroid diseases is possible with laboratory tests. Hair loss due to thyroid disease can return with appropriate treatment.
  • Insufficient protein intake in food: In case of insufficient intake of protein for financial reasons or for weight loss, the body first sends the hairs from the growth phase to the resting phase in order to maintain the amount of protein. Excessive hair loss usually occurs after 2-3 months. When the bristles are pulled, they are easily handled with their roots. This type of hair loss returns to normal after adequate protein intake and continuation.
  • Medicines: It can cause hair loss in a very small percentage of individuals using certain drugs. For example: Gout, arthritis, high blood pressure, blood thinning, depression, some drugs used in the treatment and VITAMIN-A and its derivatives if taken in high doses.
  • Cancer Treatment: Some drugs used in cancer treatment cause hair cells to stop dividing. Hair becomes thin and brittle. This occurs 2-3 weeks after treatment. sick hair 90%’ loses more. Hair or hairs start to grow back after the treatment is stopped.
  • Birth Control Pills: People who have thinning hair while using birth control pills have a hereditary predisposition to thinning hair. If the hairs are thinning, the woman may need to contact her gynecologist and discuss the replacement of the birth control pill. 3-4 months after the birth control pill is discontinued, women will notice hair loss. This picture is similar to postpartum hair loss and resolves within 1-6 months.
  • Low Serum Iron: Iron deficiency can cause hair loss. Some people get insufficient iron in the diet, while others have insufficient iron absorption. Iron deficiency may develop after heavy bleeding menstrual periods. Low iron level can be detected with laboratory tests and iron deficiency can be replaced with iron tablets.
  • Major Surgical Interventions / Chronic Diseases: Excessive hair loss can be seen 1-3 months after the operation in people who have undergone major surgery. Shedding hair returns spontaneously over time. Hair regrowth is usually not seen in people with chronic disease.
  • Alopecia Areata: This type of hair loss is seen on the scalp as round, flat-surfaced, hairless areas of a coin or larger size. The disease is not specific to the scalp. Hair loss can be seen in any part of the body. The cause of the disease is unknown. Except for the loss of hair, the person’s health is generally excellent. In some cases, the bristles may grow on their own. Dermatologists can treat most of these cases.
  • Hereditary Thinning of Hair or Baldness: Familial hair loss is the most common type of hair thinning. The predisposition can be transmitted by the mother or the father. In women, this type of hair thinning problem does not develop complete baldness. Generally, hair thinning begins after adolescence. This type of hair loss is called Androgeneticalopecia. Many different treatment agents may be helpful in some cases. In the androgenic alopecia seen in men, thinning of hair can be stopped thanks to many new agents today. In this situation, which unfortunately does not have a definitive treatment alternative, in some cases, it is possible to obtain more cosmetically acceptable results with hair transplantation (hair transplantation).
  • Fungal Infections of Hair: Fungal infections, which are a contagious picture, are mostly seen in childhood. They are seen as broken-haired, reddened, often swollen and purulent wounds that start as a small crusting wound on the scalp and spread in a short time. The disease is usually treatable with oral anti-fungal therapy.
  • Inappropriate Hair Care or Use of Inappropriate Hair Cosmetics: Many men and women apply many chemicals to their hair. The most commonly used agents are hair dyes, bleaches, hair straighteners or permanent wave makers.

    If these products are used correctly, there is usually no serious damage to the hair. However, in case of frequent use of these chemicals, thinning of the hairs and resentment may occur. Hair can easily break if the chemical agent is kept for a long time, if more than one procedure is performed in the same day, or if bleach is applied to a bleached hair again after a short time.

    When such a situation develops, the most appropriate approach is to interrupt the application of chemical substances until the hair grows. Frequent shampooing and combing of hair can also increase brittleness. Hair breaks more easily when wet. Therefore, hard drying of wet hair, and rough brushing or combing actions cause the hair to break more easily.

    Hair breakage can be reduced by using combs or brushes with widely spaced ends. Pulling the hair into a bun can also cause breakage or shedding as a result of stretching the hair.

    The vast majority of hair loss is due to the normal hair cycle. Losing 50-100 hairs per day is considered normal. If hair loss is observed above this number, consult your dermatologist immediately.

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