Hair grows everywhere on the human skin except on the palms of our hands and the soles of our feet, but many hairs are so fine they're virtually invisible. Hair is made up of a protein called keratin that is produced in hair follicles in the outer layer of skin. As follicles produce new hair cells, old cells are being pushed out through the surface of the skin at the rate of about six inches a year. The hair you can see is actually a string of dead keratin cells. The average adult head has about 100,000 to 150,000 hairs and loses up to 100 of them a day; finding a few stray hairs on your hairbrush is not necessarily cause for alarm.
At any one time, about 90% of the hair on a person's scalp is growing. Each follicle has its own life cycle that can be influenced by age, disease, and a wide variety of other factors. This life cycle is divided into three phases:
As people age, their rate of hair growth slows.
Losing your hair can play with your emotions, but finding the right products can help you look your best and restore your confidence.Here’s what to look for:
Shampoos: Don’t be afraid of losing hair every time you wash. Check a salon or cosmetic store for products designed to strengthen the hair shaft. Be wary of volumizing shampoos. They can dry hair out, which leads to breakage, says Sonia Badreshia-Bansal, MD. She's a dermatologist and clinical instructor at the University of California San Francisco School of Medicine. Avoid products with harsh detergents like sodium lauryl sulfate.
Dry shampoo: These products come as a powder that you sprinkle or spritz on the hair, then comb through. They add bulk to the hair shaft, which can make it look fuller. Use them every 3 or 4 days.
Conditioner: A dry hair shaft breaks more easily. Conditioner adds moisture, so use one designed for your hair type every time you wash. Avoid products with sulfates and volumizing conditioners, which can be drying.
We use Nioxin in my house and it works really well, makes hair grow really fast as well!
Causes of thinning hair:
A common family predisposition of thinning hair involves natural, age-related hormonal changes that can trigger hair loss. This is caused by the conversion of testosterone into the toxin Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) and can be inherited from either your mother or your father.
Stress can produce increased levels of testosterone, which converts to DHT and interrupts the hair’s growth cycle. Stress also constricts blood supply through the capillaries, restricting oxygen and nutrient uptake and vitamins to the hair follicle.
Several underlying health issues can cause hair thinning, including a malfunctioning of the hormone-producing thyroid or the natural hormonal changes women experience after pregnancy and during menopause.
Air and water pollutants, chlorine, metals and minerals may be left on the scalp and hair thus contributing to thinning. Pollutants such as pseudo-estrogens and toxins from within our bodies are also a factor.
The hair follicle is incredibly sensitive to changes in the body. Any hormone therapy (including birth control) can contribute to hair thinning, as can steroids, specific chemotherapies, and medication for blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease and acne.