Akin to elsewhere around the world, hair loss in Singapore is considered to be a mounting, if not a pressing concern among Singaporeans. Hair is considered to be the most notable aspect of human beings. Not only does it convey one’s personal choices, but it also bespeaks one’s identity. Thus, balding, thinning hair line and hair loss have adverse effects to both men and women, psychologically and emotionally, especially on how they perceive themselves as well as how others regard them, hence most of the time undermining their self-confidence.
So, what causes hair loss? It is but normal for people to shed an average of 50 to 100 hair strands a day. Just like any other developmental processes, hair growth also undergoes four different cycles, which are as follows:
- Anagen, which is the growing phase. This stage persists between two to seven years and determines our hair length.
- Catagen or the Regression phase characterizes the reduction of the hair follicle, as well as its separation from the dermal papilla. This state lasts until approximately ten days.
- Telogen or the Resting phase lasts for about three months, wherein the old hair is inactive, while the new hair or baby hair begins their growing phase.
- Exogen or the Shedding phase is where the resting hair completes its cycle, and hence reaches its final position which is mainly characterized by the loosening and detachment of the follicle, thus resulting to the shedding or falling of hair.
On that account, when then can we say that our hair fall is abnormal? We can tell that our hair is shedding off in an abnormal rate if we are losing more than 100 hair strands a day. The specific causes of hair loss may not be accurately identified; however, they may be attributed to any of the following antecedents: heredity, hormonal imbalance, certain medical conditions, medications and therapy, as well as age and other factors.
- Heredity is the said to be the most common culprit for hair loss, distinctively manifested in the conditions male-pattern baldness and female-pattern baldness, characterized by receding hairline or a spot of hair loss in men, and thinning of hair in women.
- Hormonal imbalance that triggers emotional and physical stress, pregnancy, and childbirth also contributes to temporary hair loss called telogen effluvium. According to Dr. Marc Glashofer, a New York-based dermatologist, hair loss becomes visible three to six months after the occurrence of an extremely stressful event.
- Certain medical conditions such as anemia, hypothyroidism, lupus, etc. also cause temporary hair falling out.
- Medications and therapy such as chemotherapy, oversupply of Vitamin A, as well as Vitamin B and protein deficiency, also are some factors causing hair loss.
- With age, hair volume production also decreases which causes thinning of hair. • Excessive strain on hair brought about by over styling, trichotillomania or the ‘impulse control disorder’ wherein people would uncontrollably pull their hair out and exhaustive hair treatments.
It is thus best to see a doctor if you notice some aberrations in your hair fall volume, which is noticeable upon washing or combing your hair. Abrupt hair loss or abnormal hair fall volume sometimes implies latent medical condition.