Common hair problems and their solutions

Hair loss / Balding

Everyone sheds about 50-100 hairs each day as part of the normal hair growth cycle.shedding hair is different from hair loss.If you find a few stray hairs on your hairbrush,dont panic because it is not necessarily a cause for alarm. If you see bald patches or lots of thinning, you may be experiencing hair loss.Alopecia is the general medical term for hair loss.It can affect virtually anyone both men and women of all ages.Hair loss affects the social and psychological well being of a person.

Types of hair loss(Alopecia)

Hair loss in men male pattern baldness is the most common type of hair loss affecting men.It follows a pattern of receding hair line which is followed by thinning of the hair on the crown.Male pattern baldness is hereditary. Androgenic alopecia is a genetic condition that can affect both men and women. Men with this condition, called male pattern baldness, can begin suffering hair loss as early as their teens or early 20s. It's characterized by a receding hairline and gradual disappearance of hair from the crown and frontal scalp.
Hair loss in women Women with this condition, called female pattern baldness, don't experience noticeable thinning until their 40s or later. Women experience a general thinning over the entire scalp, with the most extensive hair loss at the crown.
Alopecia areata often starts suddenly and causes patchy hair loss in children and young adults. This condition may result in complete baldness (alopecia totalis). But in about 90% of people with the condition, the hair returns within a few years. Alopecia universalis causes all body hair to fall out, including the eyebrows, eyelashes, and pubic hair. Trichotillomania, seen most frequently in children, is a psychological disorder in which a person pulls out one's own hair. Telogen effluvium is temporary hair thinning over the scalp that occurs because of changes in the growth cycle of hair. A large number of hairs enter the resting phase at the same time, causing hair shedding and subsequent thinning.

Causes of Hair Loss?

Several factors may influence hair loss: Hormones, such as abnormal levels of androgens (male hormones normally produced by both men and women) Genes, from both male and female parents, may influence a person's predisposition to male or female pattern baldness also known as Androgenetic Alopecia. In men,Androgenetic Alopecia is the leading cause of hair loss which is characterised by a receding hair line. In women, hair loss is related to genetic,hormones and age. Other causes of hair loss include; Traction Alopecia It is found in people with hair styles that pulls on the hair with force like tight braids,pony tails.Tight braiding using rollers or hot curlers, and running hair picks through tight curls can also damage and break hair. However, these procedures don't cause baldness.In addition,hair styling tools like brushes,hot combs when used vigorously can damage hair cuticle and cause hair to thin there by reducing its volume. In most instances hair grows back normally if the source of the problem is removed.Trumas such as severe stress, illness and childbirth can cause temporary hair loss.Drugs, including chemotherapy drugs used in cancer treatment, Drugs used to control blood pressure, and birth control pills, can cause temporary hair loss. Burns,injuries, and X-rays can cause temporary hair loss. In such cases, normal hair growth usually returns once the injury heals. Autoimmune disease may cause alopecia areata.In most people with alopecia areata, the hair grows back, although it may temporarily be very fine and possibly a lighter color before normal coloration and thickness return.Cosmetic procedures, such as shampooing too often, perms, bleaching, and dyeing hair can contribute to overall hair thinning by making hair weak and brittle.Still, severe damage to the hair or scalp sometimes causes permanent bald patches. Medical conditions. Thyroid disease, lupus, diabetes, iron deficiency, eating disorders, and anaemia can cause hair loss, but when the underlying condition is treated the hair will return. Diet. A low-protein diet or severely calorie-restricted diet can also cause temporary hair loss.Ringworm caused by a fungal infection can also cause hair loss.What causes hair loss for one person may differ entirely from what causes another person's, so it is best to not rule anything out before seeking a medical opinion.

Dry, Flaky Scalp

White flakes sprinkled throughout your hair or migrating to your clothing can be embarrassing. There are many reasons behind the problem; Dandruff is the most typical reason for a flaky scalp. Changes in weather can cause your scalp to become dry. A dry climate, in general, can lead to a dry, flaky scalp. Washing hair frequently, vigorously, or lathering up twice each time you wash your hair can also cause a scalp to flake. Some medications,can cause surface dryness. Shampoos with strong detergent bases can dry out the scalp, as can fragrant plant extracts like peppermint or menthol. A mild, fragrance-free shampoo can help a lot! The cause determines your course of action. If the products you're using are causing problems, then stop using them! If you wash your hair every day, try to go to every other day or even every two days. If you simply must wash your hair frequently, don't lather more than once, and try to massage the scalp as little as possible. If the air conditioning or heat in your home is a problem, put a humidifier in your bedroom, which can help the skin all over your body as well as your scalp. If the problem is dandruff, then you absolutely should consider an anti-dandruff shampoo.Some dermatologists recommend rotating anti-dandruff shampoos with different active ingredients. That's because each active ingredient attacks a different pathway in the formation of dandruff, which explains why you may not see good results if you use only one anti-dandruff shampoo.If using the anti-dandruff shampoos alleviates the problem, you pretty much have dandruff. If you try the anti-dandruff shampoos and still are struggling with a dry scalp and flakes, then dandruff isn't the culprit. In that case, try massaging a small amount of moisturizer or gentle, fragrance-free conditioner into your scalp the night before you wash your hair. That can make a huge difference. If you have a chronic skin condition that causes dry, flaky scalp (such as psoriasis or seborrheic dermatitis), it's worth visiting a dermatologist to see if there are any medical solutions that might work for you.

Itchy Scalp

A constantly itchy scalp can be a symptom of dandruff, but if the itching isn't accompanied by flaking or scales, then the most likely cause is an allergic or irritant reaction to one or more of the ingredients in the hair-care products you're using. The easiest solution? Switch products to see if the itching stops. In most cases, it will! By far the most common cause of scalp itching is fragrance, followed by fragrant plant extracts (including so-called “essential” oils) and then preservatives. Other ingredients that can cause itching include film-forming agents (such as PVP), coloring agents, and drying ingredients such as denatured alcohol and sodium lauryl sulfate (note that sodium laureth sulfate is fine). A top tip for itchy scalp is to use a gentle, fragrance-free shampoo.

Static Electricity

Static electricity can be fun but not so much when it affects your hair. A standard hairstylist trick for dealing with static electricity is to spray a small amount of hair spray on your hairbrush when you are done styling and brush it through from top to bottom. This can prevent static electricity for most of the day. Another option is to rub a dryer sheet (those you throw in the dryer to prevent your clothes from clinging) lightly over your hair. That seems strange, we know, but it really works, and chances are you have dryer sheets at home already. Of course, static electricity can also be beautifully controlled with a tiny amount of styling cream, styling wax, pomade, or a silicone serum. It's truly difficult to find a bad styling product, so take your pick based on the type that appeals to you (keeping in mind that those with fine or thin hair should apply such products extra-sparingly, and preferably to the ends of the hair only). There's no need to go to a salon for these products, either; the options at the drugstore are excellent.

Breakouts Along the Hairline

Perhaps the most frustrating day-to-day hair problem is breakouts along the hairline. If you've been having this problem, you need to be sure the breakouts aren't being caused by the shampoo or conditioner you're using. Switch to a shampoo with no conditioning agents (such as protein, silicone, quaternium, or polyquaternium) or thickening agents (such as cetyl alcohol or stearyl alcohol), and use only the smallest amount of conditioner on the ends of your hair, not on your scalp. If you do this for a few days and the breakouts seem to start clearing up, you'll know you were using products that were too emollient for your scalp. Meanwhile, you can clear breakouts with a leave-on spot treatment that contains salicylic acid. Perhaps an even bigger culprit than shampoos and conditioners is the styling products you use, especially hairsprays, gels, and waxes or pomades. Be sure your hairstyle isn't such that these styling products have prolonged contact with your skin. Styling products that are continually in contact with your skin are a sure way to encourage breakouts, as the film-forming ingredients are great pore cloggers! It may be a good idea to shampoo before going to bed so you aren't sleeping with styling product–coated hair pressing into your forehead and temple area. In the morning, you can wet your hair in the shower, apply conditioner, and skip the shampoo. As you've seen, many of the most common hair problems do have a solution, or at least a way to make them not as bad. First and foremost, check the products you're using and make sure they aren't the cause. Sometimes the simplest and most straightforward solution is the best! And, if you have a more chronic issue (like medically diagnosed skin conditions), consult a dermatologist, who might be able to point you in the right direction and eliminate at least some of your tress stress.

Split Ends

HOW TO REMOVE AND PREVENT SPLIT ENDS There is no true way to remove split ends, aside from cutting your hair. But you can take care of your hair and prevent their return. METHOD 1-REMOVAL Identify whether you have split ends. The scientific name for them is Trichoptilosis, a longitudinal splitting of the hair fiber, and there are several types: The generic end split, Splits occurring multiple times up the same strand of hair, A split occurring in the middle of the hair strand that will appear as a hole if the strand is bunched up. Always use hair shears if you are cutting your own hair, even if you are only cutting a strand. Regular paper scissors can fray your ends and cause more splits down the road. Single strand knots (not really split ends) which occur most often in dry, curly hair. Get your hair cut regularly, meaning every six to eight weeks. All hair gets damaged after a while. Get a trim of at least 1/4 to 1 inch (0.6 to 2.5 cm), and you should have solved the problem. It will remove split ends and keep your hair healthy and growing strong. Note that you really only need to trim when you have splits on the ends of the hair, so your schedule may vary with your hair type, how you treat your hair, and your style goals. Cut them yourself between haircuts using a pair of hair shears. Cut about 1/4" above the split of a single strand; there may even be a small ball above the split. If you don't cut above the damage, the split will reappear. Don't rely on products that claim to "heal" split ends. They can seal the split end to help it look healthier, but they aren't reversing the damage. These products can however help prevent future damage to otherwise healthy hair. METHOD 2-PREVENTION Here are some of the ways hair is damaged everyday and how to prevent damage from these factors and in turn split ends. CHEMICALS Most kinds of chemicals are going to damage your hair to some extent. Chemicals from getting a perm, having your hair highlighted, colored, etc., or even chlorine in bath or pool water all count. Try to steer clear of chemicals. Natural hair is beautiful. If you absolutely must color your hair, search for the gentlest coloring agent you can find. If you are going to be using chemicals on your hair, be sure to condition your hair more often. Protect your hair before swimming in a pool, ocean, or lake. This could include: using a leave-in conditioner, oiling your hair, or using a swim cap. Rinsing your hair thoroughly before swimming will also help it absorb less chemicals. Be sure to rinse and shampoo your hair as soon as possible after swimming. Find out if the water you use to wash your hair is harmful. There can be damaging chemicals in the water you wash your hair with - mainly chlorine. There are filters that will reduce the amount of chlorine in your water. High concentrations of calcium carbonate can make your water "hard". A water softening system will be most beneficial to your hair if you live in a hard water area. BRUSHING AND COMBING Many people don't realize just how fragile the ends of our hairs are. Being too rough with a brush or comb, or brushing or combing too often can damage your hair. Stop teasing or back combing your hair. This is the most damaging type of brushing. It pulls up the scales of your hair and when you comb/brush that section again the scales break off. Find a hair friendly comb and/or brush. If you have thicker hair you may need to use a pick or wide-toothed comb. Combs in general are more gentle than your common brush. Your brush or comb should aid you in untangling your hair, not pulling it out. Never over brush. 100 brushstrokes is not necessary, and may lead to more splits than anything else. Comb the hair gently. Start at the bottom and work you way up. It's also quite helpful if you comb the top side, the bottom then top to get rid or and prevent a unnecessary tangles . When you encounter a tangle, don't rip the comb/brush through it, stop and untangle with your fingers and then proceed. You have to be extremely gentle while untangling wet hair. Curly hair types may require combing the hair when it is still wet. Use hair friendly accessories. They can also be made of clear plastic. These little bands are ideal to tie off the ends of braids. The big blue scrunchie is the most hair friendly. These are easy to make, but you can buy them at any place that sells hair care products. THE SUN Protect your hair from the sun. Ultraviolet rays can be as damaging to your hair as your skin. Wear a hat. If your hair is super long and/or thick, be sure to get a hat that you will be able to fit all your hair into (preferably in a bun). Look for conditioners that contain sunscreen or mix sunscreen and conditioner together and leave that in your hair. WASHING AND DRYING Incorrect washing and washing with shampoos that are too harsh or contain certain ingredients can be damaging to your hair. Rubbing your hair with a towel to dry it can cause nasty damage to your hair. Using a hairdryer on your hair too often will also cause damage. Buy a good shampoo and conditioner and experiment with what works best with your hair. This may include not washing it everyday--possibly conditioning it will suffice. Wash your hair properly. It is best to only wash the scalp hair and leave the length to hang down your back...the length should not be piled on top of your head. When you rinse the shampoo out of your hair, the shampoo will run down the length, that is as much washing as the ends of your hair need. Conditioner should then be applied to the length to soak for a while before rinsing out. Hot water strips away moisture so rinse your hair with the coolest water you can stand. Deep condition regularly. If your conditioner regimen isn't working, try a "deep condition" once or twice a month. This involves putting a leave-in conditioner or oil on your hair and leaving it in for a while. Oils like jojoba and coconut oil are fantastic for this. Dry hair gently. Vigorously rubbing your hair dry with a towel is not a good idea. Dripping wet hair should be gently squeezed with a towel to get rid of the excess water. Once the excess water is removed, it is best to let your hair air dry naturally. Tone down the drying. If you are using a dryer or hot tongs regularly, your hair will start to show some damage--the hot air removes moisture from your hair. Using too hot a setting or holding the dryer too close to your hair will also cause damage.

Ring Worm

Ringworm is a contagious infection also called tinea corporis that occurs on the surface of the skin. It is caused by various types of fungus, similar to those that cause athlete's foot. The name comes from the characteristic ring that appears on the infected person's skin. The condition has nothing to do with actual worms. School-age children are commonly affected. symptoms Ring-shaped rash, Itching, Burning, Scaling, Discomfort.Other symptoms and signs of ringworm include patches of hair loss, or scaling on the scalp, itching, and blister-like lesions. Causes Skin-to-skin contact with an infected person or pet. Indirect contact with an object touched by an infected person or pet. In rare cases, ringworm can be spread through soil. prevention Do not share clothing, towels, or other personal items. Minimize close contact with infected people or animals. Keep skin dry and clean. Treatment Ringworm can be successfully treated with antifungal medications used either topically or orally.

Head Lice

Lice are tiny insects that live on humans and feed on blood. When a large number of lice live and multiply on a person, it is called an infestation.Three different kinds of lice live on humans: Head lice are usually found in hair, most often on the back of the neck and behind the ears. Head lice are common in preschool and elementary school-age children. Adults can get them too, especially adults who live with children. Pubic lice also called crabs, are usually found in the pubic area. But they may also be found on facial hair, on eyelashes, on eyebrows, in the armpits, on chest hair, and, rarely, on the scalp. Body lice live and lay eggs in the seams of clothing. The lice are on the body only when they feed. Lice spread easily from one person to another through close contact or through shared clothing or personal items (such as hats or hairbrushes). A louse cannot jump or fly. The most common symptom of lice is itching. There are different symptoms, depending on which type of lice you have. Head lice may not cause any symptoms at first. Itching on the scalp may start weeks or even months after lice have started to spread. Scratching can make the skin raw. The raw skin may ooze clear fluid or crust over, and it may get infected. Pubic lice cause severe itching. Their bites may cause small marks that look like bruises on the torso, thighs, or upper arms. If pubic lice get on the eyelashes, the edges of the eyelids may be crusted. You may see lice and their eggs at the base of the eyelashes. Body lice cause very bad itching, especially at night. Itchy sores appear in the armpits and on the waist, torso, and other areas where the seams of clothes press against the skin. The lice and eggs may be found in the seams of the person's clothing but are typically not seen on the skin. Frequent scratching can cause a skin infection. In the most severe cases of head lice, hair may fall out, and the skin may get darker in the areas infested with lice.Head lice are easily spread among children because kids commonly share hats, combs, and other items. If you or your child has head lice, you can help prevent others from getting it if you avoid head-to-head (hair-to-hair) contact during activities inside the home and outside the home. Also, don't share clothing, bedding, hair brushes and accessories, pillows, stuffed animals, or towels. Frequently examining the scalps of your school-age children may help you discover and treat lice before they spread to the rest of your family. Avoiding prolonged close contact with a person who has lice will also reduce your risk. Pubic lice are spread primarily among people who have many sex partners. Reducing the number of sex partners you have may help reduce your risk of getting pubic lice. Body lice may be prevented by bathing regularly and changing clothes daily. Body lice live on clothing, not on the body. Washing clothing in hot water [130 °F (54.44 °C) or higher] will usually kill adult lice and prevent eggs from hatching. Body lice that are on the skin usually go away on their own with daily bathing and wearing clothes that are not contaminated. Medicines to kill body lice are usually not needed. To help control the spread of lice, you can also clean combs, brushes, clothing, and other personal items to kill lice and their eggs. What to think about Who should be treated? Household members and anyone who has been in close contact with a lice-infested person should be checked for signs of lice. If they have itching and skin sores that are commonly seen with lice infestations or if lice or eggs are found on their bodies, treatment is recommended. Anyone who has shared a bed with a person who has lice should be treated, whether they have symptoms or not. If you still see live lice on a household member 7 to 10 days after he or she had the first treatment, it's best for that person to have a second treatment. Sometimes the first treatment doesn't work. People who have pubic lice are encouraged to tell their sex partners so that they can also be treated. It is also a good idea to see a doctor to be tested for other sexually transmitted infections. Treatment is not likely to work if: You don't use the medicine as directed. You stay in contact with other people who have lice but who did not get treated. Lice become resistant to the medicines and don't die. This occurs in some locations more than others. Talk to your doctor if you think a lice medicine isn't working as expected.

Infections of the Scalp

The most common types of scalp infections are typically fungal, bacterial, or virus induced. In some cases, they can be the result of an infestation of parasites. Scalp infections are common and typically do not pose any major health risks. They are considered the primary cause of hair loss not related to pattern baldness. Many treatments are available to help treat these infections.Infectious folliculitis is a common type of scalp infection. It is more likely to occur to a scalp that has already been abraded either by wounding or excessive scratching. This leaves the scalp open and more susceptible to viruses and fungus. In infection folliculitis, the area directly surrounding the hair follicle can become reddened and puss-filled. If left untreated, it can cause large boils that can spread to other parts of the body.Tinea capitis, more commonly referred to as ringworm is caused by a fungus and might spread to other parts of the body if left untreated. It starts as a tiny red bump that looks much like a pimple, and then gradually spreads out into the formation of a ring. People who suffer from this type of infection will often have severe scaling of the scalp, along with irritation and hair breakage. Ringworm is sometimes contagious, so it should be treated promptly.Treatments for scalp infections vary, and many are available without prescription. Anti-bacterial and anti-fungal shampoos and creams are available at most drug stores. In addition, there are some home remedies that sometimes cure scalp infections. One home remedy that has been around for centuries is apple cider vinegar. Used as a daily rinse, it is believed to cure most types of scalp infections.In cases where the infection does not respond to over-the-counter medications or home remedies, a physician should probably be consulted. Doctors can perform a variety of tests to determine exactly what type of infection is present. Once that has been determined, the proper course of treatment can be determined. In some cases, antibiotics are needed to completely clear up the infection.

Trichology is the scientific study of hair and scalp.Trichologists diagnose and provide a treatment plan for the problems and disorders of hair and scalp that may be causing hair thinning,itchy scalp,alopecia and many other diseases of the scalp.A hair transplant is a surgical procedure that restores self-confidence and improves appearance in people who are balding.

If you are experiencing balding or a receding hairline,you might require the services of the above specialists.

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Trichology is the study of diseases and disorders of the hair and scalp. A Trichologist is a hair specialist who will diagnose and provide a treatment plan for the problems and disorders of hair and scalp. Such problems may include;sudden excessive hair loss from all over the scalp, a bald patch which has suddenly appeared, or itching and excessive scaling of the scalp among others. The trichologist will carefully examine the scalp thoroughly to assess the problem and its cause. A microscopic examination of the hair might be required to aid in the diagnosis of the problem. The trichologist will then decide what treatment is necessary and whether the problem should be dealt with by another specialist. Treatment by the trichologist might consist of the application of a particular cream or lotion to the scalp or the use of nutritional therapy and so on
Laser hair removal is the process of removing unwanted hair by means of exposure to pulses of laser light that destroy the hair follicle.If you're not happy with shaving, tweezing, or waxing to remove unwanted hair, laser hair removal may be your option.
Hair transplantation is a surgical technique that moves individual hair follicles from a part of the body called the donor site to a bald or balding part of the body known as the recipient site. It is commonly used to treat baldness.Let the doctor advice you about the procedure and what to expect,the costs,the risks and how much improvement you’re likely to get from the surgery. He can help you decide if it's a good option for you.

Eating Your Way to Healthier hair

Iron is key to hair growth. Its mainly found in dark leafy green vegetables, spinach, nuts, seeds, lamb, beef, oysters, legumes and beans Vitamin C on the other hand boosts collagen production, which keeps hair strong.Citrus fruits, blueberries, strawberries, peppers, and leafy greens are all rich sources of vitamin C. This vitamin is also critical in generating circulation to the scalp to feed the hair follicles

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