Swedish researchers have established that women tend to lose more hair in the late autumn/early winter months than other times in the year. The reason for this is thought to be a protective trigger by the body to protect the scalp against the summer sun. Once summer is over, the hair comes out of its resting state, falls out, and then starts to grow again.
At any one time, about 90% of hair is growing. The remainder is in a resting state which lasts from several days to several months before it falls out. Once the hair has fallen out, it starts on its growth cycle again. If hair noticeably drops and thins out at a faster than normal rate, it’s time to whip out your health checklist or visit a doctor.
About 100 hairs drop every day. This is normal. But hair is also a very sensitive barometer and can indicate bodily upsets and warn of illness well before any other symptoms appear. These hairs don’t just drop off from the scalp. If they have to drop off at all, they will do so from all over the body as well. But because people do not notice hair loss from other parts of the body as much, noticeable head hair loss is the usual cause for concern.
MEDICATION such as retinoid roaccutane for acne treatment, beta-blockers for high blood pressure or anti-coagulants to thin the blood, anti-depressants or cough medicines containing iodine can cause some unexpected hair loss. Another medically related cause for hair loss is iron deficiency, predominantly in premenopausal women, overactive or underactive thyroid problems, diabetes and hormone replacement therapy. Skin conditions like adult cradle caps can cause hair loss but this usually presents itself on the head. Crash dieting, being overweight, stress, post pregnancy, menopause, surgery, mineral deficiencies can all contribute to it as well as having a genetic predisposition towards hair loss.
Hairs on different parts of the body have different growth cycles. Head hair for instance usually grows for between 2 to 6 years, enters into a resting phase for several months and then falls off. It grows at a rate of approximately 1 cm per month and the growth cycle on different parts of the body determines how long the hair reaches. Eyebrow hair for instance only remain for about 10 weeks before falling off.
So once armed with an understanding of how hair grows, you can be better equipped to manage hair loss (both wanted and unwanted) issues.