Hair loss is *totally* normal, we swear. However, more recently, a larger proportion of the young population is experiencing shedding—for which several reasons can be held responsible.
Let us pull out some stats for you: on average we lose around 80 strands a day, and reportedly 4 in 10 men and women endure some type of hair loss, with vulnerabilities ranging from a hormonal imbalance to autoimmune conditions and exposure to prolonged stress. Taking into account the exhaustive list of triggers, it becomes exceedingly difficult to pinpoint the primary cause of hair loss, and the consequent remedies to correct the problem.
To help break down all the possibilities, experts from GK Hair elucidate on the common causes of premature hair loss.
Stress and Hair Don't Go Well Together
We are all well-aware that our mind and body are intrinsically linked. Hence, it comes as no surprise that stress is a leading cause for hair thinning. When our stress-regulating hormone, cortisol, is excessive in the body, it will mostly likely trigger a change in the 4 stages of your hair cycle, resulting in hair fall. Especially owing to the current times that we live in, isolated and lonely due to a lack of human contact (and, of course, the 'WFH' pressure), we are having to undergo an inexplicable amount of anxiety. This, in turn, is taking a *major* toll on our hair health.
Blame It On Your Genes
The hereditary-pattern baldness is another common cause of premature hair loss. While it isn't a disease, it is a natural condition caused by a specific combination of genetics, hormone levels, and the ageing process.
Hmm...It Could Be Hormonal
Your hormones have a big role to play when it comes to your hair. For instance, when you hit puberty, a genetic form of hair loss may get triggered. So, if you're losing substantial chunks of hair in your teens, now you know why. An imbalance in the level of DHT or dihydrotestosterone—a hormone derived from testosterone that shrinks your hair follicles and can interrupt hair growth cycles—can be a reason for early hair fall.
A deficiency in vitamin D, iron, zinc, or protein, can trigger premature hair loss in millennials. Those men and women who experience sudden weight loss, consume an unhealthy diet, have a low protein intake or niacin deficiency, may be susceptible to this condition.
'Alopecia areata' is an autoimmune disorder where the body attacks its own hair follicles. The primary treatments for this type of a condition include topical steroid creams and oral medication. While hair growth may resume post treatment, there is no guarantee that hair loss won't return. Other autoimmune disorders linked to alopecia include 'lupus'—a disease where the body’s immune system attacks itself—and dermatomyositis, a skin inflammation condition.
Childbirth, Illness, or Other Stressors
A few months after giving birth, recovering from an illness, or having undergone an operation, you may notice increased hair fall (have a look at your hair brush or pillow!). In fact, hair loss is one of the leading after-effects being reported by those who are recovering from Covid-19. Trauma-triggered hair fall can take place during or after a stressful event in your life, such as the death of a loved one.