All hair grows in a cycle of anagen, catagen and telogen. Anagen is the active stage of growth, Catagen is the transition stage of growth and Telogen is the resting stage where the hair is weak and rested before it is pushed out by the next cycle, part of this cycle is to 'shed' and 'grow' new hair, which is completely normal.
Everyone loses hair, on average around 100 to 150 hairs a day, from washing, blow drying, straightening and brushing our hair daily. However, excessive hair loss can be distressing and hard to come to terms with, causing anxiety and self-esteem worries.
Listed below are some of the common reasons for excessive hair loss or thinning.
Family history - In most cases, hair loss is inherited. It can be passed down from one or both parents. This is termed male or female pattern hair loss, men usually get bald spots around the forehead or at the top of their heads, whereas woman can experience thinning all over the scalp.
Drug treatments - for example chemotherapy (cancer treatment)
Stress- physical or emotional stress can push hair follicles into a resting phase, so they don’t produce new hair strands. Overtime hair can fall out more easily.
Some diseases - for example thyroid deficiencies, injury or illness.
Damage to your hair - for example using heat appliances or constant tight ponytails, hair dyes/bleach can all cause breakage and damage to the hair follicles.
The ageing process - Hair growth slows down as we age. Hair also gets thinner and can become more porous and break more easily. Hair is also exposed every day to outdoor elements such as UV rays, pollution and climate change, which can all have a detrimental effect on our hair if we do not protect it against these factors.
Poor diet - especially not getting enough protein or iron.
There are other types of hair loss:
If your hair is 'thinning', it happens gradually over time.
If your hair is 'shedding', it can fall out in clumps, leaving areas of baldness called 'focal' hair loss. If you are losing hair all over the scalp, it is termed 'general' hair loss.
A loss of self-esteem, stress and anxiety can result from any type of hair loss and it is important to understand what may or may not help to improve the health, strength and thickness of the hair.