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Stress, Diet & Hormones: Why Do We Experience Hairfall?

On an average, people shed about 50-100 strands of hair each day.

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Fit
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Did you know that shedding about 100 strands of hair each day is absolutely normal? In case you are losing your sleep over this, it neither affects your hair growth or your hair health.

But why does it happen in the first place? FIT reached out to experts to understand why our hair falls.

Stress, Diet & Hormones: Why Do We Experience Hairfall?

  1. 1. Three Phases of Hair Growth

    Dr Soni Gupta, Senior Consultant, Dermatology, Aesthetic Physician, & Hair Transplant, Max Multi Speciality Hospital, Panchsheel Park, says that our hair grows in three phases:

    • Anagen or the growth phase

    • Catagen or the transition/falling phase

    • Telogen or the resting phase

    A very minuscule percentage of our hair is constantly in the catagen phase where it falls, and is replaced by the renewing hair sprouting out of our hair follicles.

    But, there are certain other reasons that might cause your hair to fall out excessively.

    Expand
  2. 2. Stress, Diet, & Hormones

    While hair fall and loss can happen to anyone, it’s a more common occurrence in those who have nutritional deficiencies.

    Dr DM Mahajan, Dermatologist, Apollo Hospitals Indraprastha, New Delhi explains that while your endocrine and thyroid hormones are responsible for your hair growth, some vitamins and micronutrients also have a role to play in this.

    Hormones like prolactin, follicle stimulating hormone, luteinizing hormone, corticosteroids, folic acid, and vitamin D, B12, iron, calcium, etc, are all responsible for your hair growth.

    Not just that, any sort of stress to your body can also lead to hair fall. Stress related to an exam or interview, a long-term illness, fever that’s lasted 10-15 days, sudden weight loss, a major/minor surgery, or any mental or physical pressure can trigger your body to release chemicals that can lead to hair fall, shares Dr Gupta.

    “Hair is the only organ in the body that grows at the rate of 2 cm per month. Anything which multiplies so quickly is also the first thing to destabilise under any form of stress.”
    Dr DM Mahajan

    And once the hair fall has started, it can go on for about 3-4 months, causing considerable hair thinning.

    Expand
  3. 3. More Than Lifestyle Factors At Play

    Apart from these lifestyle causes, there are various other reasons people can face hair loss as well. Autoimmune diseases top this list. 

    Alopecia areata is one such condition when the "immune system attacks hair follicles," according to the National Institute of Health. Usually affecting the face and the head, the person's hair start looking like they are eaten by a moth, says Dr Mahajan.

    While alopecia is an autoimmune condition, Dr Mahajan shares that telogen effluvium can also trigger it in cases of extreme stress.

    However, hormonal imbalance can also cause long term hair fall, especially in people suffering from Polycystic Ovarian Disease or women who have more male hormones, says Dr Gupta.

    Other instances that can cause hair loss might include:

    • Cancer treatments such as chemotherapy

    • Hormonal imbalance

    • Scalp infections

    • Sexually transmitted infections

    Expand
  4. 4. What You Can Do

    But, in most cases, hair loss is reversible. Here’s what doctors suggest you can do to minimise your hair loss:

    • Maintain a healthy, balanced, and nutritious diet.

    • Don’t fall for crash diets.

    • Try to avoid stress in your everyday life. 

    • Try and get your vitamin and micronutrient levels checked once every year.

    • Use peptide serums on your hair once in a while. 

    • Try and shift the gear towards a healthy lifestyle. 

    (At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

    Expand

Three Phases of Hair Growth

Dr Soni Gupta, Senior Consultant, Dermatology, Aesthetic Physician, & Hair Transplant, Max Multi Speciality Hospital, Panchsheel Park, says that our hair grows in three phases:

  • Anagen or the growth phase

  • Catagen or the transition/falling phase

  • Telogen or the resting phase

A very minuscule percentage of our hair is constantly in the catagen phase where it falls, and is replaced by the renewing hair sprouting out of our hair follicles.

But, there are certain other reasons that might cause your hair to fall out excessively.

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Stress, Diet, & Hormones

While hair fall and loss can happen to anyone, it’s a more common occurrence in those who have nutritional deficiencies.

Dr DM Mahajan, Dermatologist, Apollo Hospitals Indraprastha, New Delhi explains that while your endocrine and thyroid hormones are responsible for your hair growth, some vitamins and micronutrients also have a role to play in this.

Hormones like prolactin, follicle stimulating hormone, luteinizing hormone, corticosteroids, folic acid, and vitamin D, B12, iron, calcium, etc, are all responsible for your hair growth.

Not just that, any sort of stress to your body can also lead to hair fall. Stress related to an exam or interview, a long-term illness, fever that’s lasted 10-15 days, sudden weight loss, a major/minor surgery, or any mental or physical pressure can trigger your body to release chemicals that can lead to hair fall, shares Dr Gupta.

“Hair is the only organ in the body that grows at the rate of 2 cm per month. Anything which multiplies so quickly is also the first thing to destabilise under any form of stress.”
Dr DM Mahajan

And once the hair fall has started, it can go on for about 3-4 months, causing considerable hair thinning.

0

More Than Lifestyle Factors At Play

Apart from these lifestyle causes, there are various other reasons people can face hair loss as well. Autoimmune diseases top this list. 

Alopecia areata is one such condition when the "immune system attacks hair follicles," according to the National Institute of Health. Usually affecting the face and the head, the person's hair start looking like they are eaten by a moth, says Dr Mahajan.

While alopecia is an autoimmune condition, Dr Mahajan shares that telogen effluvium can also trigger it in cases of extreme stress.

However, hormonal imbalance can also cause long term hair fall, especially in people suffering from Polycystic Ovarian Disease or women who have more male hormones, says Dr Gupta.

Other instances that can cause hair loss might include:

  • Cancer treatments such as chemotherapy

  • Hormonal imbalance

  • Scalp infections

  • Sexually transmitted infections

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What You Can Do

But, in most cases, hair loss is reversible. Here’s what doctors suggest you can do to minimise your hair loss:

  • Maintain a healthy, balanced, and nutritious diet.

  • Don’t fall for crash diets.

  • Try to avoid stress in your everyday life. 

  • Try and get your vitamin and micronutrient levels checked once every year.

  • Use peptide serums on your hair once in a while. 

  • Try and shift the gear towards a healthy lifestyle. 

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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