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Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Experiencing hairfall? Detailed post on diagnosing hairfall problem with solutions

I get a lot of messages every week asking about hairfall problems. I myself have suffered through this during different stages of my life. Back when I first started chemical processing. Rebonding and hair colors and highlighting. Then I stopped doing all those and it was all fine for a while and then boom hair started falling again. Turns out it was my thyroid.

Anyway so with the universal solution of oiling your hair and stopping over processing, there are also a number of other things to be done here. I am writing it all down so I can simply forward this link instead of replying everyone individually about things that I know of.

Please notice, this is what I know it’s just my personal research. I am not a doctor or specialist and all that I know came from internet and experiments. So feel free to do further research yourselves.

So if you’re experiencing hairfall, go through this checklist first.

How much hairfall are you experiencing? It is natural to shed 50-100 hairs everyday.  In this way your. It makes way for new hair to grow. This is called the hair growth cycle. For details please check out this link .
Solution:  So anyway when some hair falls out during shampooing or combing your hair, don’t panic, its only natural.

How do you process your hair? Over process doesn’t just mean chemical like heat or coloring etc. If you apply shampoo too aggressively it will weaken the roots. If you brush wet hair, it will stretch the hair and make it more prone to breakage. If you wear same style everyday, specially styles like ponytail, it can also weaken the roots etc.
Solution:  Be gentle to your hair is the first step. Specially if you are experiencing hairfall, go cold turkey on all kind of over-processing. Extra virgin olive oil, virgin coconut oil etc are really good for hairfall problems so make sure you do atleast one overnight hot oil treatment using these oils. You can also incorporate other oils like almond, castor etc. I have a post on hot oiltreatment, feel free to check out. Do a monthly protein or moisture treatment, or both, depending on what your hair needs. Check here on how to determine that.

Are you using wrong products? One of the products you’re using can be causing your hairfall. Whether it’s a shampoo/conditioner/leave-in or whatever, the product itself or one of its ingredient maybe responsible for the problem.
Solution: You can eliminate one of by one to see if it’s the culprit. For example, change the shampoo and see if it helps. If it doesn’t change the conditioner, then the serum, then other product that you’re using and so on. It is time-consuming I know so you can simply switch to products with less chemicals (like baby shampoo) or organic products ( I recommend body shop). If you’re hairfall is caused by any chemical reaction/allergy or simply didn't suit you, it will help.

Do you have hard-water? Hard-water is really common here in Bangladesh and it can cause hair breakage and hairfall. There are some chemical tests to determine if you have hard water supply but if you’re feeling lazy just check inside your shower head there will be mineral residue, a redish colored buildup. For more info, check this link.
Solution: there isn’t really any permanent solution to this problem unless you can change the water supply or maintain the water storage in a way to get rid of hard water. It is easier to change the water as you use. That is, add some white vinegar or apple cider vinegar to the water and use it on your hair. If that’s not possible, atleast after you shampoo and condition using regular water, do a final rinse with water mixed with such vinegar, it will take off most of the leftover mineral residue from your hair.

Do you eat a balanced diet? For example, if you’re in a calorie-restricted diet it will definitely cause hairloss. Even if you’re eating enough calories but not paying attention to details, it may cause a problem. Like, protein deficiency may cause hairloss. Different kind of vitamins and mineral deficiency can also be responsible for it, mainly iron and vitamin D.
Solution: Make a rough estimation of how much protein you’re consuming each day.  Just add all the food you eat into any calorie-control-type websites like fitday and it will give you analyses of individual food value like how much protein/fat/carb etc you eat everyday. Then go to this link to see if it’s enough. If its not, incorporate some more protein into your daily diet.
As for vitamins and minerals, self-medicating multi-vitamins may not work, mostly because sometimes multi-vitamins doesn’t work and sometimes you may need special vitamins which may not be a part of regular multi-vitamin. So see a doctor and do some tests.  More on it on the next step.

Do you have any undiagnosed condition which may be casing your hairfall? Hairfall is one of the underlying symptoms of many medical conditions/ disease.  So if you are taking a lot of care of your hair/eating a balanced diet/changed products/not exposed to hard water and still experiencing abnormal amount of hairfall, its time to visit a doctor.
Solution: Hair is a part of skin and skin/scalp conditions like fungal infection, Psoriasis, seborrheic dermatitis etc can cause hairfall. So you can see a dermatologist to see if it helps.
However, hormonal diseases like hypothyroid, Polycystic ovarian syndrome etc can also cause hairfall problems. So if it’s a not a skin/scalp condition you should consult a hormone specialist or endocrinologist. This kind of doctors can also recommend tests for any kind of vitamin or mineral deficiency so that will help too.
And if it the cause isn’t hormonal as well, you can consult with a  medicine specialist or general practitioner. Because numerous other conditions, from auto-immune disease to lupus is responsible for excessive hairfall. Remember it is better safe than sorry, so do see some doctor and even if diagnosis is negative and you don’t have any disease which is causing the hairfall, atleast you’re safe.
For more info check this link.

Have recently experienced any huge physical change? Hairfall isn’t simply a symptom of a physical condition, it can be an outcome as well. Sometimes when you go through something drastic or huge physical condition, it will shock the hair molecules and cause thinning. In fact it is one of the major causes of hairfall. A lot of events can trigger it, for example a major operation, huge weight-loss, post-pregnancy etc. For more info please check here.
Solution: In most of the cases, once your condition has improved hairloss will decline. So give it time, and if you see no improvement in 6+ months, go see a doctor.

Are you stressed? Its not only physical conditions that cause hairfall, it can be partially-psychological or Psychosomatic as well. Specialists say whether Chronic stress causes hairfall or not is debatable (check here ) but since there is a possibility you should not take any chance and pay attention to the factor.
Solution: Well, try to de-stress. Find whatever problem is causing the stress and try to solve it. Also do things that make you happy, be with friends and family, work-out, meditate, do things that you like see a therapist if you need to just stop being overly stressed. It’s not only for your hair but for your physical and psychological well being.

Nothing works? If none of the above questions were applicable to you, it is probably hereditary. We are what our genetics is and there is nothing can be done about it. Yet (A girl can hope :P) .
Solution: But you can still take good care of your hair, stop with all the styling and processing, eat a balanced diet, ensure your physical and mental health etc it may not stop the hairfall but it will stop it from  being worse.  

So that is about it. One more thing though,  give your hair chance to heal. It will take 1 month to see the difference if your hair fall was due to over process and stuff but if you’re on medications it will take 3+ months to see the improvement. So be patient. 
I have tried to list all the reasons I can find but if I have missed anything, please leave a shout and I will research some more.
Hope this helps.

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1 comment:

  1. Great!
    You just put all the most common reasons in a nutshell!

    Waiting for your hair care routine.