The Scary Shower Scene
As one grows older, it gets harder to look at the hair in the shower drain every morning. Seeing those strands of hair causes that lurking concern over baldness to raise its ugly head. In most cases, there is no cause for concern. It is totally normal for adults to lose from 30 to 50 strands of hair every day. It is when the loss exceeds this norm that there is cause to examine the reason for the loss.
Few people realize that the visible hair that we invest so much time caring for is actually dead protein. The hair follicles created hair fibers from keratin, the same substance in our nails and the epidermis of our skin.
As these fibrous cells grow out of the follicle, they are about 12% to 16% moisture, and the fibers are held together by hydrogen bonds. This chemistry is one source of excess loss of hair.
One of the primary causes of hair shedding above normal levels is the use of heat on the hair. As it consists of dead cells, the hair has no way to heal itself or repair the damage from heat. That damage comes in two forms.
First, evaporation removes the moisture that makes hair manageable. Secondly, the hydrogen bonds break down and leave the hair frayed and stringy. This damage comes from overheating from:
- Curling irons
- Bonnet type dryers
It is okay to use some heat to shape and style the hair. Again, the heat allows those hydrogen bonds to be shaped and curled or straightened. It is the heat that is too high or left on the hair for too long that does the damage.
Other Causes of Hair Shedding
A healthy scalp and the hair follicles it contains are essential to maintaining hair that is healthy and lustrous. A person is born with all the hair follicles they will ever have, with approximately 120,000 to 150,000 in the average scalp. For no known reason, blonds generally have 10% to 15% more hair follicles and strands than any other hair color.
There are three primary factors that affect the health of the hair follicles and their production of healthy keratin fibers. The first is diet. The amino acids and proteins essential to keratin come from the blood supply to the scalp. An inadequate supply of either will affect the hair and cause more rapid loss. Stress and metabolic changes are the other factors that will cause temporary hair loss and excess shedding. If you have ongoing problems with shedding, it is time to see the doctor. A thyroid imbalance may be part of your problem.
Temporary hair loss is usually avoided by avoiding excess heat on the hair and keeping a balanced diet. In some cases, it takes time with your doctor to avoid those scary shower scenes. However, if you end up loosing your hair, we at evergreen beauty school can help you get a classy wig that will make you feel young again.