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Hair Loss - Causes and Treatments

Did you know that the hair on your head is actually composed of dead cells? Special cells deep in the scalp called follicles manufacture a protein called keratin. As new cells are produced, the old cells are pushed through the skin - and this is your hair. This happens at the rate of about six inches per year.

Sometimes, when people reach a certain age, undergo chemotherapy, or for other reasons, they start to lose their hair. The general name for this condition is called "alopecia."

Causes of hair loss

Some of the reasons for hair loss are:

  • Hormones
  • Drugs.
  • Genes.
  • Illness, childbirth, stress.
  • Burns, x-rays, injuries.
  • Diet.
  • Autoimmune disease.
  • Medical conditions.
  • Cosmetic procedures.

Treatments for hair loss

In most cases, lost hair will grow back when the underlying cause such as a low-protein diet, is resolved. Sometimes, however, nature needs a little help to put things right. Here are some of the current options used to help people regain their lost hair:

  • Caffeine shampoo Originally produced in Germany, some preliminary evidence suggests caffeine shampoo may interfere with hormone-induced hair loss.
  • Rogaine Reactivates your hair growth cycle to stimulate hair growth.
  • Propecia Blocks the formation of male hormones responsible for hair loss.
  • Transplant – Plugs of skin containing healthy hair are transplanted to areas of baldness.
  • Skin grafts A doctor makes an incision in the bald scalp and rotates hair-bearing scalp over the bald area.
  • Scalp reduction A form of cosmetic surgery. Hair loss can have a devastating impact on self esteem, especially when it affects women or children. This is why scientists have been working hard to develop treatments to help people look and feel better about themselves.