Every time I shower, rest my head on the pillow or comb my hair, I wonder why is my hair falling out. Is it normal?
Yes, it is.
And we call it hair shedding.
What is Hair Shedding?
To understand why and how the hair falls, you must first understand the difference between hair shedding and hair loss, and how your body reacts differently to each of them.
Hair shedding Vs. Hair loss
Our scalp hair grows in cycles that consist of two main phases:
- The growth phase (Anagen): This lasts between three and five years depending on your age and genetics.
- The shedding phase (Telogen): This lasts between three to six months.
So most of the time, the hair you shed will be just an end to a chapter in your hair-growth story. If everything is normal, your hair will grow back at the same intensity and speed as the fallen one.
Now, what about hair loss?
Hair loss happens when the replacing hairs are either fewer or less thick than the fallen ones. It may go under the radar for a few hair cycles, but the person will eventually notice the difference when the bald patches across the scalp get bigger.
Is Hair shedding normal?
In a nutshell, yes.
Hair shedding is normal, and sometimes it doesn’t require professional help. Hair loss, however, requires an early diagnosis from a specialist who can stabilize the balding patterns and stimulate hair growth by medical or surgical intervention.
Why am I shedding so much?
Hair shedding has so many reasons. Luckily, they are all curable if diagnosed early. Here are some of the types of hair loss based on how commonly they occur:
Hair Shedding Reason #1: Stress
Problems at work, a bad breakup or a global pandemic that never seems to end! Any of these stress triggers can be the reason your hair is shedding excessively, and the sad part? You may have no clue.
Stress, according to the American Journal of Dermatology, is the primary reason behind unexplained hair loss in women. Not just that.., severe stress can also hurt your skin and cause acne, psoriasis and eczema.
Hair Shedding Reason #2: Hair falling out during or after pregnancy
Postpartum hair shedding is a common situation among women, especially those who are giving birth for the first time. Studies show that accidents, surgeries and pregnancy usually have their toll on a woman’s hair and cause it to shed in the matter of two or three months after the actual incident.
During this period, the body takes a rest from hair growth (the Telogen phase) and focuses its resources on healing the injured/stressed organs.
Sounds a little bit horrifying, but the good news is that another hair-growth cycle will begin six to nine months later.
Hair Shedding Reason #3: Zinc deficiency
Zinc is a strong antioxidant that strengthens the hair follicles and stimulates the sebaceous glands to secrete an oil-like substance called sebum that lubricates the scalp and makes your hair look shiny and alive.
Even though zinc deficiency isn’t the main cause behind alopecia areata, but some studies have found a strong link between the severity of alopecia and zinc deficiency.
Studies also found that most of the diets circled around one or two types of food can cause excessive hair shedding. This is because your body doesn’t generate zinc on its own and can only get it from high-protein foods such as chicken, red meat and fish. So a single-item diet may not be the go-to option when suffering from hair problems.
Hair Shedding Reason #4: Iron deficiency
To understand the link between hair shedding and iron deficiency we must first understand why oxygen is so important to your hair.
In one study, a research team from the Massachusetts General Hospital increased the hair volume of male mice by 70 percent by expanding the blood vessels in their scalps. The team also found that such expansion depended mostly on the amount of oxygen reaching those blood vessels.
I.e., more oxygen = bigger vessels = thicker hair follicles
Now guess which nutrient is responsible for regulating the oxygen supply that reaches the scalp cells? Yes, it’s iron, and its deficiency, according to some studies, can cause both hair shedding and female pattern baldness.
Hair Shedding Reason #5: Menopause & hormonal imbalances
Estrogen is one of the few hormones that activate hair growth. During pregnancy, the ovaries produce more than enough estrogens to speed up the hair growth cycle.
This rule, however, is inverted after the menopause and the rates of both estrogen and progesterone (female sex hormones) decrease while the rates of androgens (male sex hormones) spike subsequently and cause two problems:
- Hair thinning: Happens when the androgens reduce the follicle diameter and empty the scalp from its hair.
- Slow hair growth: By not having enough estrogen/progesterone, the hair growth cycle will slow down and the process of replacing the fallen hairs becomes much harder.
Hair Shedding Reason #6: Thyroid Problems
The main function of the thyroid gland is to regulate the energy you get from food by secreting two primary hormones into your blood: Triiodothyronine (T3), and Tetraiodothyronine (T4). Any sparse or excessive production of these hormones can cause a number of hair problems that range from hair thinning to intense hair loss depending on the severity of the case.
Hair Shedding Reason #7: Inflammatory bowel disease
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a condition that occurs in either the colon or the gastrointestinal tract. Studies are yet to show whether it’s the disease or the treatment that causes hair shedding but what we are sure of is that hair shedding is usually a byproduct of IBD.
Hair Shedding Reason #8: Traumas, accidents and fevers
Unexpected losses, misuse of hair products or severe fevers with illness are some of the most common reason s for hair to fall out. The common theme in such situations is that the hair starts to fall three or four months after the MAIN incident which leaves a lot of room for wrong speculations.
This situation, also known as Hair Follicle Miniaturization, is usually accompanied by notable shrinkage in the follicles` diameter which causes the hair to either grow weak or not grow at all.
Hair Shedding reason #9: Traction Alopecia
That high Ariana Grande pony may look cool, but it could being placing terrible stress on your hair follicles. Avoid styles that place traction on follicles. This can lead to a condition called traction alopecaia. Hair care is more than just buying a good shampoo and conditioner. Tugging at your hair from the roots can really harm your hair follicles. Theradome user, model and biomedical engineer, Megan Pormer experienced this right after she appeared at the American Influencer Awards. Hear Megan’s story here:
Hair Shedding Reason #10: Chemotherapy and medications
There are two types of drug-induced hair loss:
A severe hair loss that occurs during the hair growth phase (the Anagen phase), and it’s usually caused by chemotherapy.
- Telogen effluvium
Happens during the resting phase of hair growth (the Telogen phase) in which the scalp sheds between 25 to 75 extra hairs a day in addition to the 50-100 hairs it normally sheds.
This type of hair shedding usually takes place 15 to 30 days upon taking specific drugs such as antibiotics, antidepressants, acne drugs, cholesterol and high blood pressure drugs, steroids and birth control pills.
So, now that you know why your hair could be falling out, let’s jump to the more important question…
There are two major questions may be concerning you right now:
Can I stop hair shedding?
- Can I grow back the hair I lost?
Yes and yes. However, you must understand that this won’t happen immediately and that you’ll have to do some lifestyle changes in order to see some real progress:
Use Theradome hair helmet consistently
Theradome prevents hair loss, stops hair loss, and promotes new hair growth. For men and women wanting to prevent hair loss, it helps to strengthen existing hairs. For people who are wanting to stop their current hair loss, it can produce results in as soon as 4-6 weeks from the start of treatment. First, it will miniaturize hair loss by slowing it down. Second, it will reverse miniaturization by thickening existing hair. Lastly, it renews and promotes new hair growth. The timing of results may be different as individual results may vary. Achieving effective results requires time and patience, but is very rewarding! The best part about the Theradome is that there are zero side effects.
If you want to have healthy hair then you must eat in accordance. Any diet/lifestyle you follow should include the following nutrients to keep your hair dense and strong as often as possible:
In addition to its hair-growth benefits, zinc also improves your digestion, immune system and the development of your central nervous system.
Some of the foods rich in zinc are shellfish, lentils, beans, red meat, hemp and pumpkin seeds, eggs and nuts.
Iron has so many benefits; it improves your energy and mood, prevents anemia, and makes your skin glow. It’s also crucial that pregnant women get sufficient amounts of iron (usually double the regular amounts) to increase the oxygen supply reaching their fetuses.
Examples for foods rich in iron are spinach (of course), liver, peas, lentils, quinoa, tofu, broccoli and shellfish.
Take the right supplements
There are so many supplements in the market, but these are the ones your hair really needs.
Vitamin D is a natural immunity booster that increases the absorption of calcium in the blood and thus strengthens your bones. It can also improve your memory and prevent cardiovascular damage.
Another study found that vitamin D replacement therapy helped a group of patients with nonscarring alopecia get their hair back in the matter of a few weeks or months depending on the severity of their cases.
Vitamin A, similar to zinc, moisturizes your scalp through the process of sebum production. Studies show that vitamin A deficiency can contribute to both anemia and hair shedding and may also cause alopecia.
You can find vitamin A as a stand-alone supplement or in multivitamins. You can also find it in dairy, fish, liver, carrots and broccoli.
We already mentioned both zinc and iron and the foods rich in them. But you can always take zinc as a supplement to make sure you have enough of it.
Biotin (the hair vitamin)
Scientists call biotin the hair vitamin or Vitamin H (the H stands for hair and skin in the German language), so imagine how dangerous it will be for your hair to suffer from biotin deficiency. Biotin stimulates the production of Keratin which is the number one protein your hair needs for growth.
Your body usually gets sufficient amounts of biotin from common foods like meat, eggs and nuts. However, in some cases, especially during pregnancy and breastfeeding, you will need to increase your biotin intake to avoid hair shedding. This should always be under the supervision of your doctor.
Exercise, meditate and meet some friends
Do whatever makes you happy and stress-free. Hit the weights, go for a run, meditate, do yoga or just hang out with your buddies.
Your mental wellbeing is as important to your hair as the food you eat or the new shampoo you just bought. You must invest in your mental strength even if it means sparring an extra 15 minutes each morning for yoga. According to recent studies, even a five-minute session of daily meditation can permanently rewire your brain to increase happiness, boost your immunity and lower your cortisol/stress levels. So, why would someone deny their body that amazing gift of peacefulness…and good hair?
So who is a good candidate for Theradome?
A good candidate for Laser Phototherapy is someone who is suffering from hair loss, a receding hairline, or looking to strengthen their current hair. The Theradome is designed to prevent and effectively treat the earlier stages of hair loss, I-1 to II-2 for women and IIA to V for men. Additionally, it’ s ideal for anyone leading a busy life who doesn’t have time to visit a clinic twice or a week or would like to save money on clinical strength hair loss treatments.