Hair loss isn’t just an indicator of bad hair products
It's also a result of health and lifestyle changes
Apr 12, 2017
Hair loss—or excessive shedding of hair—is probably one of the most common (and unnerving) scalp conditions today. Human hair grows approximately one-fourth of an inch per month; 50 to 100 strands fall out of the scalp per day. Thanks to the handful of strands on our pillowcases and shower drains, we are reminded of this rueful reality every day.
Then again, hair exists for reasons way beyond the scope of vanity. It is, for the most part, also a lifeline: a health indicator that issues a fair warning when something is simply not right with the body. Below are three surprising causes of hair loss that may be side effects of other health issues.
When you suddenly strip your body of the nutrients it needs to function normally, it switches to survival mode: to sustain itself, it redirects its remaining proteins to more important tasks (such as preserving your organs), instead of repairing hair tissues. Your hair is generally made of protein, so you can imagine how the lack—or absence—of it can affect your lustrous locks. Protein deficiency may lead to telogen effluvium, in which hair roots are prematurely forced into resting phase before shedding entirely.
Tip: Maintain a healthy diet with high-quality protein such as eggs, meat, seafood, and soy. On its own, a medium-sized egg comes complete with 20 amino acids that your body requires.
General anesthesia and certain medical procedures can actually cause hair loss three months after being administered. While anesthesia may only temporarily relax the muscles or cause loss of consciousness, its effects on the hair follicles are longer lasting. Surgeries send the body into an extreme state of shock, so hair fiber activity stops completely and goes into a resting state.
Tip: Your hair will repair itself only when the body finds its balance, so take time to heal and replace lost nutrients after surgery.
Your hair is never more prone to breakage than when it’s in the confines of your own bathroom. Just like it does to the skin, hot water dehydrates the strands and instantly makes them brittle by washing away protective oils and forcing pores to compensate with oil production. This, in addition to combing wet hair and aggressive towel-drying, is a perfect formula for hair fall.
Tip: Use lukewarm water when washing your hair and avoid too much friction by patting (instead of rubbing) it when towel-drying.