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Hair Fall: Why It Happens, What To Do, And What To Use

Yup, even Covid-19 or the wrong hair brush can cause you to lose hair

Do you notice your sink getting clogged by too much hair? Or do you noticed balled-up clumps scattered all around the house? If you don’t have a cat, then you might be experiencing hair loss or tremendous hair fall.


Hair thinning and baldness are usually old men problems. But everyone is susceptible to this whether we’re aware of it or not. In fact, DHI Philippines found that 50% of women will experience hair loss in their lifetime.


Understanding hair growth

To understand the reasons behind hair fall and to accurately address it, it’s important to know how hair actually grows.


Each hair strand undergoes three phases in its lifetime: the growth phase (anagen), the transition phase (catagen), and the resting phase (telogen). Our hairs are at different phases at different moments, but most of the time, a healthy head of hair should grow like this: 90% in growth phase, 1-2% in transition, and the rest in resting phase.


This means that the majority of hair in our heads are in the growth phase, which averages a growth of 1 cm per month. A small percentage of our hair, around 1-2%, will be in a transition phase, where it will not receive blood supply, so growth stops. The rest are then in a resting phase where these hairs are considered dead and fully keratinized. Up to 100 hair strands are shed on a normal day, and can increase depending on many factors. When too much hair go into resting phase, that’s what we characterize as hair loss.


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Causes of hair fall

1. Hormonal imbalance

Hormones regulate a lot of functions in our body, including hair growth.  This is why huge hormonal shifts in our lives such as thyroid problems, pregnancy, and even menopause can cause shifts in our hair growth. For pregnant women or post-partum moms who are experiencing hair fall, take note that this is normal even up to 3 months after delivery. As the rest of the body recovers, so will your hair.


2. Vitamin deficiencies

The hair is a good indication that a person has a good and healthy body. This is why poor nutrition and crash diets will often lead to hair fall, because the body is not receiving the vitamins and nutrients it needs to keep it fully functioning.


Those with vitamin B12 or D deficiency will also notice hair loss as a result, as this deficiency affects the health of red blood cells, which carry oxygen to your tissues. Excessive vitamin A levels and iron deficiency or anemia may also lead to hair loss.


3. Severe infections and illnesses

Infections and illnesses don’t just affect the body’s regular functions; they can also affect your hair’s growth patterns. When you catch something really bad such as bacterial infections, high fever, fungal infections, or even Covid-19, your body will readjust the way it functions to keep you alive. This means during the time you’re sick and when you’re recovering, the body may need to divert all of its functions and nutrients to prioritize life-sustaining functions.


Dr. Aurora Pop-Vicas, an infectious disease specialist at UW health, told NPR that those who got infected with Covid-19 may notice hair loss even months after recovery. “If your body experiences a potent stressor, the body shifts its energy to focus and prioritize life-sustaining function. Hair growth is not necessarily a survival function. So then maybe 50% of your hair would shift to the resting phase.”


4. Trauma on the hair

Physical and chemical trauma on the hair can also upset the balance of your scalp. Beauty habits like perming, bleaching, and rebonding may damage not just the hair strand, but the roots and the scalp as well.


If you also like putting your hair in tight ponytails, cornrows, or weaves for long periods of time, you may develop traction alopecia. This is a type of hair loss that’s caused by repeatedly pulling on your hair. If you start to notice little bumps on your scalp, itching, and soreness, you might have to ease up on these hairstyles because eventually, the hair follicles can become so damaged and scarred that they can’t produce new hair.


Even brushing too vigorously, overbrushing, or using the wrong comb may be cause hair breakage and hair fall. Ideally, Style Craze recommends to only brush your hair twice a day. So if you’re brushing too much or using the wrong brush to detangle your hair, you may be exacerbating your hair fall situation.


5. Stress

It has been written time and again that too much stress from work or life in general can severely affect a person’s health. This is also true for our hair health, since immense emotional or psychological stress can wreak havoc in our hair’s growth cycle.


Telogen effluvium is a temporary form of hair loss caused by significant stress that may pressure too many hair follicles into a resting phase. Since this is temporary, addressing the root cause of the hair loss will bring back a healthy growth cycle.  


6. Auto-immune disorders or complications in the body

Androgenic alopecia is one of the most common types of alopecia and affects roughly 50% of men aged 50 and above, and 25% of women aged 50 and above. This condition shortens the growth phase of the hair, which results follicles to grow shorter and result in visible baldness.


Alopecia areata, on the other hand, is an autoimmune condition where the body mistakenly attacks the hair follicles, preventing a healthy growth phase. This is a more severe form of hair loss and usually affects small, circular patches in the head.


Currently, the medical community has yet to find the exact cause of alopecia areata. While it has no definitive cure, there are many injections and treatments that help patients with this condition.

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What to do and what to use

Understand the problem

Examine yourself to understand what may be causing your hair loss. Is it additional stress from work or life? Is it your pregnancy? Is it deficiency in any nutrients? While hair loss should resolve itself if caused by minor factors, if hair shedding persists for a month, it’s best to go to your doctor to see if there are any underlying health factors that need to be addressed.


Style responsibly

Be more cautious about chemical treatments or repeatedly using hairstyles that pull on the hair. While that snatched ponytail or tight braids look cool, make sure your hair gets enough rest in between.


You can also look at products that take care of the hair. The Kérastase Genesis Anti Hair-Fall Fortifying Serum, for example, is a popular cult product that improves hair resistance to minimize hair fall.


You can also look at a full haircare routine like the Davines Energizing Goodbye Hairfall Set, which is formulated to strengthen your scalp, stimulate hair growth, and prevent hair loss.


For those with weak and brittle hair that's prone to breakage, a budget but hardworking conditioner like the Cream Silk Ultimate Reborn Hair Fall Defense conditioner will help strengthen your hair from roots to tips. It promises to deliver up to 98% less hair fall from the first wash, based on lab tests versus non-conditioning shampoo.


Eat better and supplement

Since malnutrition and vitamin deficiency can cause hair loss, eating a well-balanced diet and addressing deficiencies in your body will help resolve hair loss.


You can also start supplementing to make sure you’re getting the right vitamins. Check out the Sunvite Vitamin D3 supplement from Urban Essentials or the Natrol B vitamin supplment from Healthy Options. 

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Multivamins are amazing not just for the body, but for the hair as well! For all-around hair and scalp health, check out the Eu Natural Vibrance Healthy Hair Vitamins from BeauteFinds by BeauteDerm, which is a vegetarian and gluten-free multivitamin supplement to make your hair full, radiant, strong, and healthy.

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Use the right brush or comb

Generally, it’s best not to detangle your hair right after a shower, because the hair is too porous at this time and you may find it hard to comb through without losing a few strands.


Wet Brush specializes in creating the right brush to help you detangle without causing too much force on the hair. For easier brushing, check out the Wetbrush Original Detangler, made with ultra-soft bristles that glides through tangles with ease and lets you brush with less force so you can detangle with less damage and hair fall.


Check out hair loss treatments

For those suffering with more chronic disorders like alopecia areata, it’s best to seek the health of professionals. DHI Philippines by Clinique de Paris is one of the leading clinics in the country that deliver world-class treatments on hair care and restoration.


For more information about their services, check them out on Instagram at @dhiphilippines or visit their website at dhi-philippines.com.