You wake up in the morning and slog through your ritual of playing with the alarm’s snooze. Finally, you realize you have to get up otherwise you’ll be late for work or school, so off you head to the bathroom. While you’re brushing your teeth you look at your hair and notice how it has thinned, some spots on your scalp may even be far more visible than they used to be due to the lack of density in some areas. When you jump in the shower and run your hands through your hair, you’re fearful but unsurprised to find far more hairs running through your fingers than is usual, and even more disappear down the drain. This is what it feels like to be experiencing hair loss.
How Does Hair Grow?
Without delving too deep into the biology behind hair growth, the process can be simplified in a useful way by looking at the three cycles of hair growth.
It is widely supported that hair grows at about half an inch a month—which gives you about 6 inches of growth in a year. This anagen phase lasts anywhere from 3-5 years, it has been studied that many people of Asian descent have longer anagen phases on average (up to 7 years), thus potentially being able to grow hair longer than most other peoples.
The catagen phase is what hairs enter into after anagen, think of it as a transitionary period of about 10 days at most.
This is the one most people don’t like. The telogen phase is a resting phase where your hairs have stopped growing and are ready to fall out. The interesting part is that after your hair falls out, that particular follicle remains inactive for 3 months until the process starts all over again. Because each hair follicle is independent it means that at any given point in time a certain percentage of your hairs are in the growth phase and telogen phase. On average, in a healthy head of hair, about 90% of your hairs will be growing while 10% are in the process of falling out. Because of this, hair loss becomes unusual or worth investigating if you are losing more than 100 or so hairs a day.
Many are shocked to consider losing even 100 hairs a day, but it’s quite common, even normal! If the average person 100,000 hair follicles, losing even 100 a day is inconsequential to appearance unless they are specifically falling out in one location.
The Causes of Hair Loss
While there are many potential causes of hair loss, there are a few causes that make up the vast majority of hair loss cases that cause people concern. For the men out there, male pattern baldness is pretty widely understood, so we will exclude that on the grounds that when men start losing hair in their 20’s they almost always suspect MPB and start evaluating their family tree!
Losing Hair Due to Stress
This one is almost comically accurate. The phrase “pulling my hair out” is always thrown around when someone is experiencing a high amount of stress, but it’s far truer than commonly understood. Stress causes hair loss for reasons outside of maniacally pulling your hair out, it has a lot to do with how stress impacts our hormonal levels. Interestingly, the body has very little distinction between physical and mental stress. They both elevate cortisol levels and cause a cascading effect on your hormonal balance.
When something extremely stressful or traumatic to the mind or body occurs, it can “shock” a large percentage of your hair follicles into the telogen phase—this is called Telogen Effluvium. Because it takes about 2-3 months for the hair to start falling out when this happens, many people do not make the connection between the stressful event and the hair loss.
Thyroid Issues Can Cause Hair Loss
If your thyroid hormones are out of balance and you are in a hypothyroid state or hyperthyroid state, it can also cause hair loss. The hair follicles are highly sensitive to thyroid hormone, especially when your body is not getting enough of it (hypothyroidism). Consider that levothyroxine (the generic medication used to treat hypothyroidism) is the 2nd most commonly prescribed medication in the United States.
This goes to show you that it is highly likely that many cases of hair loss can be attributed to thyroid problems minor and severe.
Too Much Styling Weakens Your Hair
This one hits close to home for us, in the quest for immaculate hair every day, we may subject our hair to constant brushing, twisting, and heat treatments such as flat-ironing and blowdrying can subject your hair to a lot of wear and tear. Eventually, if you don’t take care of it, your hair will become more brittle and will break.
Best Salon in Boca Raton
At The Salon Project, our stylists are well aware of many different causes of hair loss. Having had the experience of seeing the many different causes first hand in our clients as well as having these common issues ourselves at some point in time, we are experts at cutting, styling, and dressing hair up to look its best while you investigate and remedy the cause of the hair loss.
As we established, hair only grows at a rate of half an inch per month. It can be a painfully long time to regrow hair that has thinned out, leaving you feeling unconfident and stressed out about your hair loss—which will make the regrowing process even longer!
One of the best ways to counter this problem in the meantime is to try out our Bellami hair extensions! These extensions are made up of real human hair and are blended perfectly onto your head.
Book an appointment or come in for a free consultation at our Boca Raton location inside of the gorgeous Saks Fifth Avenue at Town Center Mall!