Hair loss 101

Hair loss 101

Hair is made up of a protein called keratin. Keratin is produced in hair follicles in the outer layer of skin. People typically lose 50 to 100 hairs a day. This isn’t noticeable because new hair is growing in at the same time. Hair loss occurs when new hair doesn’t replace the hair that has fallen out. It can occur for a number of reasons. 

  1. Genetic
    Androgenic alopecia refers to hereditary hair loss, such as male pattern baldness or female pattern baldness. Male-pattern baldness often involves progressive hair loss above the temples and thinning at the crown of the head, creating an “M” shape. Female-pattern baldness typically results in thinning all over the scalp. Even though more researches are needed to confirm, genetic conditions, environmental factors and increased hormones levels named androgens are culprit to this issue.
  2. Emotional stress, Hormonal Changes and Diet
    Telogen effluvium is a type of sudden hair loss that results from physical or emotional shock. Significant emotional stress pushes large numbers of hair follicles into a resting phase. It also caused by hormonal changes during pregnancy, childbirth or menopause. Acute telogen effluvium is also well-known effect of sudden weight loss or decreased protein intake. Nutritional deficiency impacts both hair structure and hair growth causing hair loss
  3. Cosmetic procedures
    Cosmetic procedures such as frequent perms, bleaching and dyeing hair lead to overall hair thinning. This condition is known as traction alopecia.  Excessive pressure and tension on the hair such as tight braids, hot curlers, ponytails and cornrows also damage and break hair.
  4. Unhealthy lifestyles
    Unhealthy lifestyle factors such as smoking and diet can cause hair loss. Research findings suggest that smoking not only affects the whole body blood circulation but impacts upon blood flow to the hair follicles. When the hair follicles are lacking of oxygen and essential nutrients supply, growth of hair will be affected. Smoking can restrict the blood flow to the follicles which impacts the hair growth and leads to hair loss
  5. Autoimmune conditions
    Alopecia areata is condition that causes one’s hair to fall out in patches. These patches may connect and then become more noticeable. This is an autoimmune condition that causes immune system to attack hair follicles. In some cases, alopecia areata may occur at eyebrows, eyelashes, and face, as well as other parts of your body.  

This article is written by Ms Tan Yi Li (Nutritionist) for Green Image Organic Enterprise Sdn. Bhd. 

Almohanna, H. M., Ahmed, A. A., Tsatalis, J. P., Tosti, A. (2019). The Role of Vitamins and Minerals in Hair
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De, L. C. (2020). Edible Seeds and Nuts in Human Diet for Immunity Development. International Journal of Recent Scientific Research , 38877-38881.

Guo, E. L., Katta, R. (2017). Diet and hair loss: effects of nutrient deficiency and supplement use. Dermatol Pract Concept, 1-10.


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