Hair loss can be a frustrating experience for men and women. Showing hair thinning or balding can affect your appearance and confidence.
According to a 2022 survey on hair concerns, hair loss was the top concern among Singaporeans, with 44% of the 1,077 respondents citing it, followed by 43% citing dry/damaged hair and 37% citing frizzy hair.
If you’re one of the many who have concerns over hair loss, you can read this article to find out the common causes of this condition and ways you can manage it.
What Is Hair Loss And What Are Its Signs?
Losing up to 100 strands of hair per day is considered normal as the body sheds old hair and grows new hair. Excessive shedding, however, can signal a hair loss condition.
Hair loss is a common problem that can be caused by many different factors, including genetics, hairstyling habits, medication and a poor diet. Its symptoms may include thinning hair on the scalp, patches of baldness or total baldness. Here are some of the common causes of hair loss.
Androgenetic alopecia, a hereditary hair loss condition, is related to your genetic predisposition and a hormone called androgen. Androgen is important for normal male sexual development and regulates sex drive and hair growth in both men and women.
Increased androgen levels will activate the genes that shorten your hair growth phase and shrink your hair follicles, leading to a suppressed cycle of growth and thinner strands of hair.
Androgenetic alopecia is the most common condition causing hair loss in men and women. In men, it shows through a receding hairline and thinning of the crown of the head, whereas in women, androgenetic alopecia usually presents itself as thinning hair all over the scalp.
Treatment options for androgenetic alopecia include topical therapies, oral medication, non-invasive treatments and surgery. If you suspect that you are suffering from this condition, it is best to have it checked by a doctor to get the correct diagnosis and the best treatment for you.
Alopecia areata is one of the most common hair loss conditions. It is characterised by hair falling out in patches and leaving bald spots on the scalp. Over time, bald spots may become wider and more noticeable.
Alopecia areata is classified as an autoimmune disorder, where the body’s immune system attacks the hair follicles. Besides the scalp, you may also lose hair from your eyebrows and eyelashes.
The causes of alopecia areata are complex due to its many underlying factors. These include genetic changes that affect the functioning of your hair and immune system.
Alopecia areata can be treated with medications and therapies that help with hair regrowth and ease the immune system’s effect on your hair follicles. A visit to a scalp specialist may be necessary to help you identify the right solution for you.
Ageing is a natural phenomenon that changes your body over time. It also brings about shifts in your hormones and hair. Your hair follicles may change, affecting the colour and density of your hair. The hair growth cycle shortens, the hair shaft becomes finer, and hair loss occurs. The number of hair follicles on the scalp may also decrease, leading to thinning hair.
To help improve the health of your hair follicles and the quality of your hair as you age, you may include oral supplements in addition to a healthy diet, use gentle hair care products and avoid harsh styling techniques.
Hair loss is common in women after childbirth. Pregnancy increases oestrogen levels, causing your hair to remain in a ‘resting’ phase. In this phase, your hair looks fuller as you do not shed as much as before.
However, oestrogen levels start falling after the baby is born. In the first few months after giving birth, you may notice more shed hair on your pillows and around your home. It can be a distressing experience especially if you are a new mother, but fortunately, it is usually temporary and many women regain their normal hair growth within a year.
Some steps you can take during this period include using gentle shampoos and anti hair loss ampoules. To ensure your hair stays healthy, be sure to also include nutrient-rich foods in your diet.
If your hair loss persists after a year, consider visiting your scalp specialist for a professional assessment.
Over-styling and using damaging tools, chemicals and products can weaken your hair follicles, leading to breakage and hair loss. This is especially true for those with fine or fragile hair, which is prone to damage.
Braids and tight ponytails can also damage your hair by pulling on it and causing the follicles to weaken. To reduce the risk of hair loss, handle your hair gently when styling and use products that do not contain harmful ingredients.
Additionally, you may want to take a break from styles that involve pulling and tightening of the hair and switch to more loose styles. Reducing the strain on your hair strands can help lessen hair loss.
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal condition known to affect women all over the world. If you suffer from PCOS, one of its most telling signs is shedding a lot of hair, thinning hair, or balding. The root cause of this condition is linked to hormonal imbalance.
With PCOS, a woman experiences an increase in androgen, causing problems such as menstrual irregularities, infertility and hair loss. These hormones interfere with the growth cycle of your hair follicles and trigger hair loss.
Luckily, there are treatments available to help you manage PCOS-related hair loss. These include medications regulating hormones, topical treatments to stimulating hair regrowth, and lifestyle changes, such as eating a healthy diet. PCOS-related hair loss is treatable, and a visit to a hair growth specialist may find you the best possible hair loss treatment in Singapore.
Patients on certain medications are more susceptible to hair loss as a side effect. This is because some drugs in medication can interfere with the normal cycle of hair growth.
These include beta-blockers that are prescribed for high blood pressure, vitamin A that is taken for acne, and drugs that treat cancer.
Drug-induced hair loss are of two types:
1. Telogen Effluvium
Telogen effluvium occurs within two to four months of starting a medication and is the most common form of drug-induced hair loss. In this condition, patients lose 30 to 70% more hair than normal as the hair follicles go into a ‘resting’ phase and fall out earlier than normal.
2. Anagen Effluvium
Hair loss with anagen effluvium can be seen as early as a few days to weeks after taking a medication. It is commonly seen in patients who are on chemotherapy drugs for cancer which causes severe hair loss not just on the scalp but also on other parts of their body.
If you are prescribed a medication known to cause hair loss, the doctor may adjust the dosage or switch to a different medication. But if you notice hair loss after taking the medication, you should let your doctor know.
Depending on your medical condition, he or she may be able to recommend another medication or take steps to reduce the likelihood of hair loss. In most cases, once a medication is stopped, the hair grows on its own.
A scalp infection is one of the most typical reasons for hair loss. Numerous things, including an autoimmune disorder, an infection, or a fungus, can contribute to this.
The body’s immune system overreacts and destroys the hair follicles when the scalp becomes contaminated, leading to hair loss. How much hair is lost will depend on the type of infection and its severity. Some examples of scalp infections are:
Folliculitis is recognised by the inflammation of hair follicles. This results in hair loss and severe inflammation may damage the hair follicles, leaving behind small bald patches.
2. Seborrheic Dermatitis
Seborrheic dermatitis is a skin condition on your scalp or any part of your body. This condition is characterised by scaly and inflamed skin that can be itchy and painful when touched. The areas of inflammation affect the hair follicles, causing hair loss.
Hair loss from a scalp infection may be transient in some situations or permanent in others. If you notice signs of infection, such as redness, itchiness, or flaking of the scalp, it may be time to consult a hair and scalp clinic in Singapore for proper treatment of your scalp.
Thyroid disorder is an imbalance of hormones produced by the thyroid gland. It can affect and cause hair loss in both men and women, often characterised by a diffuse or patchy pattern. A thyroid disorder can result in hair loss in specific areas, with certain parts of the scalp and body having less hair than others.
If you are losing hair, it is crucial to see a doctor because it could indicate a more serious underlying condition. Once your thyroid condition has been diagnosed, your doctor will work with you to create a treatment plan. This can entail adjusting your diet, exercise routine, medication, or even getting a hair transplant.
It is not uncommon for nutritional deficiencies to cause hair loss. Lack of the proper nutrients, vitamins, and minerals can cause several hair loss problems, ranging from thinning to complete baldness.
Iron, zinc, and vitamin B12 are typical nutritional deficiencies associated with hair loss. A low-protein diet also is a contributor. Make sure you have a balanced diet and, if necessary, supplement with a multivitamin to prevent hair loss brought on by nutritional deficiencies.
Professional Hair And Scalp Treatment For Hair Loss
Managing hair loss requires lifestyle changes that can be hard to implement on your own. A professional can help you come up with a treatment plan that fits your daily schedule.
TrichoLab is a hair and scalp clinic in Singapore specialising in hair and scalp treatment. Our hair loss treatment in Singapore can help reduce hair loss and promote hair growth, while our scalp treatments work to restore the health of your scalp.
Procedures done by TrichoLab hair growth specialists aim to reestablish the natural harmony between your hair and scalp, preventing or minimising hair loss it. Contact us today for a consultation.