WE typically lose between 50 to 100 hairs a day, but we don’t tend to notice as those strands are usually replaced with new hair.
Hair loss, on the other hand, is a completely different kettle of fish, and can be very distressing.
This is when new hair doesn’t replace the hair falling out, which can lead to noticeably thinner locks, bald patches and clumps of hair falling out in one go.
TV doctor Amir Khan, said there are many reasons for hair loss, some of which are very treatable.
Is your dad bald? Or did your mum’s hair get drastically thinner after her 35th birthday?
Sadly, your family history is your biggest determinant for whether you’re going to lose your hair as you get older, Dr Amir explains.
The typical pattern of baldness begins at the hairline in the front of the head.
The hairline gradually moves backwards (recedes) and forms an ‘M’ shape.
A circular area on the back of the head often thins and expands in size over time.
2. Hormonal changes
Changes in hormone levels in both men and women can lead to temporary and permanent hair loss.
“This is especially the case for those going through menopause,” the expert said.
This type of hair loss is known as androgenetic alopecia and can often resemble male-patterned baldness, which begins at the crown of the head.
Menopause, with its drastic decline in oestrogen and progesterone, inadvertently gives more ‘playground’ to androgens.
Oestrogen and progesterone are predominantly female hormones, while androgens are male.
Excess androgens are associated with hair loss.
See your doctor, if you’re concerned, who might recommend hormonal therapy and implement the above strategies, which may also help.
For people with alopecia, the immune system attacks the hair follicles and causes hair loss – this can occur anywhere on the body.
According to the charity Alopecia UK, around 400,000 people in the UK either have the condition or have had it in the past.
The cause is unknown, but iron deficiency and stress could trigger the condition, although many experts dispute this.
In some cases, alopecia areata can turn into alopecia totalis, when hair loss can spread across the entire head, or alopecia universalis when it affects the entire body.
There is currently no cure for the condition, however, there are a several of treatments available, but none are guaranteed to work.
Usually, in patchy alopecia areata, hair will regrow over a few months or years, but regrowth is not guaranteed.
However, once the condition has developed to alopecia totalis or universalis, the chances of full regrowth become smaller.
But never stop taking a prescribed medicine without speaking to a clinician first.
5. Nutrional deficiencies
Not getting enough of the right nutrients could be to blame for sudden hair loss.
Diets that are too low in protein and iron, the NHS says.
It might be a good idea to see a doctor to ask for a blood test to check and see if they have a nutritional deficiency and then look at increasing certain vitamin levels with the help of a supplement.
What are the treatment options?
Most hair loss does not need treatment and is either:
- temporary and it’ll grow back
- a normal part of getting older
Hair loss caused by a medical condition usually stops or grows back once you recover.
There are things you can try if your hair loss is causing you distress. But most treatments are unavailable on the NHS, so you’ll have to pay for them.
No treatment is 100 per cent effective.
Finasteride and minoxidil are the main treatments for male pattern baldness.
Some wigs are available on the NHS, but you may have to pay unless you qualify for financial help.
Other hair loss treatment options include steroid injections or cream, immunotherapy, light treatment, tattooing, hair transplant and scalp reduction surgery