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Does the cause of Hair thinning really matter?

This question seems surprising for some but there are some individuals who do have this query. So, why would you first consult a doctor when you are suffering from hairloss? It is but obvious to know what type of hairloss are you suffering from and what could be the probable cause. Before choosing to spend your hard earned money and time on preventing hairloss or restoring your hair, it is imperative that you first have a diagnosis for the cause of hair loss.

Hair, our crowning glory, not only represents beauty, power and strength but much more.

Triggering factors for Hair Thinning:

Positive Family History (Hereditary): Even one relative on either side of the parent is sufficient to give you a positive genetic history. Hair loss caused due to hereditary factor is known as AGA or Androgenetic Alopecia.

Thyroid Diseases: An underactive thyroid (Hypothyroid) or overactive thyroid (Hyperthyroid) causes general hairloss on the scalp making hair thin and sparse. Many patients also do not realize that their hair loss may be triggered by a thyroid disorder. They keep trying to manage their hair loss with different oils, shampoos, parlor therapies or even medications, but with no results. However when they visit a trichologist for their hair problems, based on their history and clinical signs, they are advised investigations, which confirm the suspicion of thyroid problem being the culprit.

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS): Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a disorder in which a woman’s hormones are out of balance. High levels of male hormones in females cause thick facial hair (Hirsuitism) and patterned hair loss on head.

Stress: Stress triggered hairloss is generally short-term or temporary. Once the stress factor is reduced, there is often re-growth, although the process can take up to six months or more, provided no stressor exists. Chronic stress can cause substantial damage to your hair sometimes leading to permanent baldness.

Conventional Medicines: Acne medications containing vitamin A (retinoids), Antibiotics and antifungal drugs, Antidepressants, Birth control pills, Anticlotting drugs, Cholesterol-lowering drugs, Drugs that suppress the immune system, Drugs that treat breast cancer, Epilepsy drug(anticonvulsants), High blood pressure medications (anti-hypertensive), such as beta-blockers, ACE inhibitors, and diuretics; Hormone replacement therapy, Mood stabilizers, Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), Parkinson’s disease drugs, Steroids, Thyroid medications, Weight loss drugs are known to cause hair thinning.

Crash Dieting: In order to lose weight fast people cut down on the calories they intake. This puts a lot of stress on the body and depletes the necessary vitamins in the body. This in turn takes a toll on hair and there could be massive hair shedding with severe nutritional deficiencies.

Why does the cause of hair thinning matter?

Hair regrowth largely depends on the hair problem you are diagnosed with and how much it has progressed. For example: male Patterned Baldness in its early stages responds well to treatment. In advance stages it may not be possible to bring back your lost hair but the progress of hair loss can be slowed down. On the other hand, hair loss is 100% reversible in cases of patchy hair loss (alopecia areata), or after a bout of fever (typhoid, malaria), or anaemia. Hair loss is not reversible in scarring hair loss. It’s best to consult a trichologist for a personalized review for each individual case.

Most cases of hair loss require long term treatment (often for years). Hair growth cycle is of 3-7years. It is important not to lose patience during treatment because impatience and resulting stress will slow down the process of recovery.

Consider it a lifestyle illness, much like high blood pressure or diabetes where you keep taking pills for all your life to keep them under control. This holds good for progressive hair loss. You have to keep taking medicines for a long time, but then it’s worth your time and effort.

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