A person loses hair at a normal rate of 25 to 150 hair strands a day. This is part of a regular hair growth cycle process and usually occurs during the telogen or resting phase. There are only about 10-15% of hair follicles engaged in this stage at any one time throughout the entire scalp area. This period will usually last for two to three months that will also concurrently be replaced by new hair growing during the exogen stage. These hair strands will continue to lengthen during the anagen or growth phase that will be exhibited by about 85% of the total hair strands on the scalp. It is one of the longest periods that can total anywhere from two to eight years depending on the genetics, lifestyle and ethnicity of the person.
Hair loss will be experienced when there are more hair strands being in the telogen than the anagen stages. Genetics, stress, medication, illness or different forms of nutritional deficiencies can influence this. Physical evidence of excessive shedding is most noticeable by women when they see clumps of hair left on their hairbrush or the shower drain. This could indicate that they could be losing more hair than is being replaced by their hair growth cycle.
Balding in men is mostly manifested through male pattern baldness. A man can obviously tell if he is losing hair by observing his temporal and frontal central areas just above the forehead. These are the first regions that will be affected by any inordinate amount of alopecia. Women on the other hand, can exhibit hair loss through female pattern baldness. This condition is evidenced by diffused thinning all over the scalp and will rarely lead to total baldness. It will also almost never result in a receding hairline. Being able to identify these forms of alopecia early can help slow down its steady and definite outcome. Though they both lead to hair loss at a pace exceeding that which can replace it, these conditions are more gradual than the other forms of balding.
Hair loss of the excessive kind is usually characterised by the suddenness of its occurrence. This can be caused by a case of telogen effluvium. It is a condition that is a result of traumatic events such as divorce, drastic weight changes, loss of a loved one, major surgery or even childbirth. Large clumps of hair are lost on an almost daily basis due to the rapid shift from the anagen to the telogen hair growth stages. It is unknown what exactly happens that causes this event though high stress levels and abrupt hormonal changes are among those believed to be behind this process.
Medication, illness and nutritional deficiencies can also lead to excessive hair loss. Chemotherapy is perhaps one of the most obvious cases of medically induced balding. This treatment not only attacks the cancer cells but also healthy ones as well, including the hair follicles. Illness such as hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism can make hormonal levels go awry affecting hair growth in turn. Hair needs nourishment in order to grow properly. Deficiencies in vitamin or mineral levels such as biotin or iron can induce sudden baldness because hair lacks the sustenance it needs to grow into long and healthy strands.
It is important to immediately visit a physician should there be any excessive form of hair loss. This is a firm indication of something unsound that is going on in the body. Treating the cause of excessive hair loss might not only help it regrow, it would also alleviate any potential health risks that might pose a more serious concern than a balding scalp.