Hair diseases and hair loss are interrelated. One cannot be thought about without the other.
Common hair loss causes
No single factor can be marked out as the universal cause of hair diseases. There are several causes varying from person to person.
The two types of hair loss diseases
The hair loss causes can be broadly divided into the following two groups -
The temporary effect and the one involving a prolonged action, usually triggered by genetics.
a.) The temporary effect - Usually such cases can be cured by medications and treatments.
b.) Prolonged hair loss diseases - Such cases may require long term treatment. Sometimes the drug treatment might appear to be ineffective. In such circumstances surgery like hair transplantation may be the way.
The causes of temporary hair loss include the ones like child birth, using birth control pills, etc.
Another key factor can be hormonal imbalance. It can have a severe impact by causing pattern baldness. The latter comes in the list of major hair diseases.
Relation between hair diseases and hair loss
It is sometimes found that a particular hair loss cause is more commonly related to a particular hair disease. In this context one can refer to the acquired hair shaft defects. These defects are usually triggered by the excessive use of hair treatments and styling products.
The common causes of hair loss diseases include the following
o Hormonal imbalance
o Faulty hair styling
o Inadequate diet
In men - Hormonal imbalance is a major cause of hair loss diseases among men. The male hormone testosterone plays a key role in actuating hair loss. The enzyme 5 alpha reductase in the hair follicles turns testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT). The latter is the most potent androgen promoting male pattern baldness, the common hair loss disease.
In women - Imbalance in thyroid hormone is a key cause of sudden hair loss among women. The thyroid gland's being n the state of overactive and under active might cause hair fall. Thyroid hormones largely influence cellular metabolism of scalp proteins, carbohydrates, lipids and minerals. And the hair matrix cells are highly affected by the thyroid hormones' excess or deficiency.
Hormonal imbalance also causes hair loss during pregnancy. Pregnancy witnesses a high level of estrogen hormones. This causes hair follicles percentage in anagen growth phase. But post-child birth there is a rapid fall in the estrogen level. Consequently a large number of hair follicles shift to a catagen phase. And gradually hair falls.
Women may also experience hair loss during post-pregnancy period. It is generally temporary in nature. But if it continues for months, then it may indicate hormonal imbalance in the body. And hormonal imbalance for an extended period requires proper treatment.
Some of the serous ailments like high fever, severe infection, or flu may lead hair follicles to a resting phase. This condition called telogen effluvium results increased hair fall. But it is a temporary condition soon to be followed by normalcy.
Some cancer treatments also prevent the hair fiber growth. The hair becomes thin and breaks off. And gradually hair loss occurs. The condition starts within one to three weeks after the beginning of the chemotherapy treatment. The treatment may witness the patients losing up to 90 percent of their scalp hair.
Faulty hair styling
It means using certain hair styling techniques resulting in hair loss diseases like traction alopecia. In this condition the hair fibers are pulled out from the hair follicle by a hairstyle that pulls on the roots of the hair fibers. One example of such faulty hair styling is braiding or cornrowing. Cosmetic treatments like bleaching, coloring or hair straightening like chemical relaxing can also create problems if proper procedure is not followed.
Taking up crash diets for rapid weight loss may lead to hair loss. Such diets are low in protein, vitamins and minerals, thus causing malnutrition.
Abnormal eating habits lacking important nutrients can also result into hair loss.