Hair loss: what can you do about it?
When everything from your brush and pillow to the shower trap is full of hair, you might start to wonder if you have a problem. In fact losing hair is quite natural, and usually it grows back again. But how do you tell what’s normal, and when it’s time to do something about abnormal hair loss?
Many people are disconcerted when their brush is full of hair after combing. But it’s generally not defined as a problem unless you’re losing more than 100 hairs a day. Although it’s impossible to generalise, there is a specific cycle at work: every two to six years a hair falls out and a new one grows in its place. But this process is as individual as the number of hairs on your head.
Differences between men and womenMany people suffer hair loss particularly in old age. This is because hormones play a major role in the process. Men especially are often predisposed to (hereditary) hair loss, which can even start at a young age and end in complete baldness. The reason behind it is that hair follicles are sensitive to male sex hormones called androgens. Women, especially those who already have significant hair patterns (hair on the legs and potentially also on the back and face), can also be affected. However, women's hair tends to thin out around the crown of the head or become thin and brittle in this area.
Emotional or health-related causesThere are other factors that can also lead to abnormal hair loss. They include vitamin and iron deficiency, a poor or imbalanced diet (especially if you’re doing a fasting treatment), malfunctions of the thyroid gland or taking certain types of medication. In the case of health-related causes, hair usually falls out evenly all over the head. The time of year can also play an important role, with many people losing more hair than normal in the spring and autumn. Women may also experience increased hair loss in the first few months after childbirth. However, this usually sorts itself out.
Circular hair lossThe hair actually falls out in circles and the scalp becomes visible. With some illnesses, even the eyebrows and eyelashes can fall out in as the condition progresses. Not infrequently, the immune system is involved here and mistakenly "works against the hair".
Possible treatmentMedicine-based treatment can be tried in the case of hereditary hair loss. However, this should always be prescribed by a family doctor or dermatologist, as it affects the hormone balance. It is also the case with circular hair loss that a specialist (dermatologist) should always be consulted, as this type of hair loss is very difficult to treat. If the hair loss has other causes (e.g. nutrient deficiency, a thyroid disorder or medication), these must be addressed. In case of obvious hair loss, it always makes sense to seek advice from a medical professional.
santé24 – your Swiss telemedicine serviceMedical help around the clock: The doctors and medical specialists at santé24 are there for you 24 hours a day to answer questions relating to prevention, illness, accident and maternity. Advice is free of charge to SWICA customers.
In the event of further health-related questions, SWICA customers can contact the santé24 telemedicine service free of charge on +41 44 404 86 86. A telemedicine practice licence allows santé24 physicians to provide additional medical services in cases that are suited to a telemedicine approach. SWICA customers can also use the BENECURA medical app to carry out a digital SymptomCheck and receive recommendations about what to do next. During a subsequent phone call with santé24, customers can decide for themselves whether to release their information from SymptomCheck to santé24.