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Proper Hair Care and Treatment

Treat Your Thinning Hair

Did you know that we shed about 90% of our hair every six years? Scalp hair grows about one-half inch a month. As people age, hair growth slows down.

There may be instances when there is excessive hair loss or dramatic thinning Ė causing us concern. You may feel it necessary to consult your dermatologist, a physician who specializes in treating diseases of the hair and skin.

You might expect your dermatologist to evaluate your hair problem by asking questions about your diet and medications taken in the last six months, family history of hair loss, recent illness, and hair care habits. Itís important to find the cause and whether or not the problem will respond to medical treatment.

Causes and Treatments of Hair Loss

If you have unusual hair loss and donít know whatís causing it, itís a good idea to see your doctor.

The most common causes of hair loss according to dermatologist experts are:

Poor nutrition - Poor eating habit can contribute to hair loss. This is why people with eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia lose their hair: The body isnít getting enough protein, vitamins, and minerals to sustain hair growth.

Disruption of the hair growth cycle

Some major events can alter the hairís growth cycle temporarily. For example, delivering a baby, having surgery, or getting anesthesia can temporarily stop the hair growth cycle.

Improper Hair Care

Many men and women use chemical treatments on their hair, including dyes, tints, bleaches, strengtheners, and permanent waves. Hair can become weak and break if any of these chemicals are used too often. Hair can also break if the solution is left on too long, if two procedures are done on the same day, or if bleach is applied to previously bleached hair. If hair becomes brittle from chemical treatments, itís best to stop until the hair has grown out.

Hairstyles that pull on the hair, like ponytails and braids should be alternated with looser hairstyles. The constant pull causes some hair loss, especially along the sides of the scalp.

Shampooing, combing and brushing too often can also damage hair, causing it to break. Using a cream rinse or conditioner after shampooing will make it more manageable and easier to comb. When hair is wet, it is more fragile, so vigorous rubbing with a towel should be avoided. Donít follow the old rule of 100 brush strokes a day. Instead, use wide toothed combs and brushes with smooth tips.

Things You Should Know About Hereditary Thinning or Balding

Hereditary balding or thinning is the most common cause of hair loss. There is no cure although medical treatments have recently become available. One treatment involves applying a lotion to the scalp twice a day. Another treatment for men is a daily pill containing finasteride, a drug that blocks the formation of the active male hormone in the hair follicle.

When confronted with thinning hair or baldness, some consider hair transplantation which is a permanent form of hair replacement. The procedure involves moving some hair from donor sites to bald or thinning portions. Because the procedure involves surgery as well as money, they should not be undertaken lightly.

Hair wigs, hair accessories (like a cap or hair wraps) or appropriate hair styles may disguise hair loss. This is generally the least expensive approach to hair loss.
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