Hair loss can affect every part of life: from self-image and confidence to romantic and professional relationships. Hair is an extremely important part of who we are, what we think about ourselves, and how others see us. Hair can even provide clues about overall health.
It may surprise you to learn that hair loss is really quite common, affecting more than 40 million men and 25 million women in the United States. Whether you’re a man or a woman, most hair loss is caused by genetics. Ninety-five percent of hair loss, regardless of gender, is a result of heredity.
For men, hair loss starts early – by age 30, about 25 percent of men will experience thinning hair or male pattern baldness. Half of men in their 50s will have hair loss and by the time they reach their 80s, nearly 75 percent are bald or have hair loss.
The statistics are a little better for women: about one in four will experience hair loss in her lifetime. But for women, hair loss can be especially devastating because society emphasizes female attractiveness and hair is an important part of the equation.
What causes hair loss?
Normal hair loss is nothing to be alarmed about. If you find a few hairs in the shower drain every morning, or a few in your brush or comb, there’s no need to worry. Hair has a normal growth-rest-shedding cycle and more than likely, what you’re experiencing is nothing more than this.
However, if you’ve noticed more hair in the brush or the drain than usual, it may be time to think about how you are caring for your hair. Aggressive shampooing, brushing and styling can break the hair strand. Pulling and tugging on hair can pull it out at the root. Chemical treatments such as perms and relaxers can thin the hair shaft, making it more likely to break and reducing overall volume. Styling – blow drying, hot irons, teasing, pony tails – can all contribute to hair loss.
If you’re being gentle with your hair and still experiencing more hair loss than normal, it may be time to consider whether there are health factors at play. Hair loss can be a symptom of numerous health conditions, including:
• Hormonal imbalances, particularly in women, but occasionally in men
• Ringworm, a fungal infection most commonly seen in children
• Lack of protein in the diet
• Too much vitamin A
• Too little vitamin B
• Overactive immune system
• Polycystic ovary disease
• Anabolic steroid use/abuse
• Trichotillomania, a compulsive disorder
• Alopecia areata, a condition that causes hair to fall out in patches
• Eating disorders such as bulimia
Other health-related causes of hair loss include recent childbirth, major surgery, emotional stress, dramatic weight loss, high fevers/severe infections and influenza. Hair loss associated with these events usually doesn’t appear until several months after the triggering event.
Certain medications, including ¬¬blood thinners and drugs prescribed to treat arthritis, depression, gout, heart problems and high blood pressure can cause hair to thin. Commonly used over-the-counter NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications such as aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen sodium) have also been linked to hair loss.
Of course, chemotherapy and radiation therapy, used to treat cancer, are well-known causes of dramatic hair loss. Fortunately, this hair loss is temporary and hair begins to regrow as soon as the course of treatment is complete.
Options for dealing with hair loss
Once you’ve determined that your hair loss is not a symptom of a health problem, it’s time to explore your options for hair replacement. There are three major choices:
Medications, such as over-the-counter minoxidil (for men and women) and oral finasteride (for men only by prescription), have been shown to help in the regrowth of hair or to slow hair loss. Both of these are long-term treatments, not cures. Hair regrowth will end if you stop using or taking the medications. Cortisone medications have been shown to accelerate regrowth in some types of hair loss. For women, topical or oral estrogen, along with other female-specific hormones, may be prescribed.
Hair transplantation is a surgical procedure in which hair from other parts of the scalp are transplanted to the balding/thinning areas, usually over the course of several procedures. While hair transplantation is permanent, it can be expensive, and, like all surgical procedures, there are risks associated with the procedure.
Human hair replacement is an affordable option that offers a completely natural look, results without the need for surgery or ongoing medications, and an immediate new look. Fortunately, this cutting-edge option is available in Lexington: Hair By Kimberly. Hair By Kimberly provides both human hair wigs and custom human hairpieces. Additional services include:
• Synthetic hair pieces and wigs
• Partial and full bonding services
• Cut and styling of hair pieces and the client’s own hair
• Care for human hair and synthetic wigs
• Compassionate care for people dealing with
cancer-related hair loss
With more than 25 years of experience as a stylist and more than 15 years specializing in hair replacement for men, women, and children, Kimberly is a medical hair loss specialist who understands the unique and very personal difficulties clients face. She is certified by the American Cancer Society’s Look Good Feel Better program.
Hair by Kimberly offers a spa-like setting where clients can try on various styles and looks before purchasing in a comfort and privacy. Kimberly offers compassionate support to all clients, regardless of the cause of hair loss.
To learn more about hair replacement call the salon at (859) 363-5467 or visit Hair by Kimberly online at www.HairReplacementKY.com. Hair by Kimberly’s Custom Wig Boutique is located at 2000 Family Circle, Suite D, Lexington, Ky.