Hair Growth Cycle
People normally lose 50 to 100 hairs per day as part of the normal hair growth cycle. There are three phases of the hair growth cycle: the anagen or growth phase, which lasts from 4 to 6 years, the “regression” period (catagen phase), which lasts about three weeks, and the resting (telogen) phase, lasting for another three months. Approximately 85% of your hair is in the growing stage. The catagen phase is a transitional stage from growing to resting. In the telogen stage, the hair falls out, and a new hair begins to grow from the same follicle, entering a new growth cycle.
What is Normal Hair Loss?
There are 100,000 to 150,000 hair follicles on the scalp. Losing up to 100 hairs a day doesn’t cause a noticeable reduction in hair thickness. Unfortunately, many people suffer from more excessive hair loss that can affect both men and women.
Experts recommend starting with a protective treatment in the early stages of hair loss, to give yourself the best chance to prevent the condition from progressing. The progression of hair loss can be stopped or at least slowed down if the condition has been treated early enough.
What Causes Hair Loss?
Hair loss can have many causes, but it is usually related to one or more of the following factors:
Hereditary Hair Loss
The typical male pattern baldness known as androgenetic alopecia is the most common cause of hair loss that affects both men and women. This condition is caused by increased levels of an androgen hormone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Male hormone testosterone converts into DHT inside the hair follicle by the aid of the enzyme called 5-a reductase. The high presence of DHT in the scalp can shorten the hair growth cycle and cause the follicles to shrink, making it impossible for them to produce new hair.
Scalp conditions and inflammatory disorders can contribute to hair loss. The inflammation makes hair follicles lose their ability to generate new hair. These conditions include folliculitis, seborrheic dermatitis, and fungal infections such as ringworm.
Excess Sebum Production
The accumulation of sebum in the scalp pores may cause a high level of 5-alpha-reductase and clog hair follicles. Removing sebum buildup from the scalp is one of the important things you can do to reduce shedding.
Poor Circulation in the Scalp
Diminished circulation in the scalp can deprive hair follicles of blood and nutrients and may, therefore contribute to their degeneration. By increasing circulation to your scalp, you can increase the supply of nutrients to the hair follicles which can benefit hair growth.
Hair follicles are sensitive to sudden changes in the body or environment. Sometimes the signs of hair loss may take weeks or months after the episode of stress to become noticeable. The increase in shedding caused by stress is temporary and the hair will grow back.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, a protein-rich diet is essential for healthy hair. Your hair needs proteins to grow properly. Iron-deficiency can cause hair loss because there aren’t enough red blood cells needed to carry oxygen to the scalp. Deficiency of B vitamins, essential fatty acids, and zinc can also result in hair loss.
Other Common Causes of Hair Loss
Other causes of hair loss and hair thinning include hormonal imbalance, medical conditions, certain medications, excessive styling, and frequent use of hair coloring chemicals.
What are Active Ingredients in a Hair Loss Shampoo?
1) Caffeine – Applied topically caffeine energizes the scalp and stimulates the hair follicles, causing new hair strands to grow more rapidly. A recent study revealed that the hair follicles retain caffeine traces for 24 hours after washing hair with a caffeine-containing shampoo. The study found that the caffeine treatments were able to slow the progression of hair loss when started early, but were not fully effective if a person had total baldness.
2) Ketoconazole is a powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal ingredient in hair shampoos that controls microflora of the scalp, nourishes hair follicles, and therefore provides a suitable environment for hair growth.
3) Saw palmetto is a fruit extract used in hair loss products to prevent the effects of dihydrotestosterone, which is responsible for both male and female-patterned alopecia.
Suggested Brand: Laritelle Organic Unscented Hypoallergenic Shampoo is formulated with pure therapeutic grade certified organic hydrosols of Saw Palmetto, Rosemary, Horsetail, Nettle, Burdock, Basil, and Aloe Vera to help increase blood circulation, stimulate hair follicles, and enhance hair growth.
4) Biotin is a member of the B complex group of vitamins and is a common ingredient in hair loss shampoos and conditioners. Biotin strengthens the follicle and increases hair elasticity which helps hair to achieve maximum growth rate.
5) Red Clover is a natural anti-inflammatory agent that can prevent scalp irritations and help prevent DHT build up. It improves the hair’s strength, helps slow down hair loss, and adds volume and luster to hair.
6) Aloe Vera contains enzymes that open the hair follicles and stimulate hair growth. It has anti-inflammatory properties and treats various scalp conditions. Its alkalizing qualities help optimize the pH level in the scalp. A normal hair pH level is important if you want to control hair loss.
7) Rosemary helps boost circulation to the scalp, treats dandruff, strengthens the roots of our hair, reverses hair loss, and accelerates hair growth.
8) Green tea extract prevents hair from falling and soothes scalp irritations through its stress inhibitory and anti-inflammatory properties.
9) Tea tree oil has antiseptic, and anti-fungal properties and superior penetrating abilities. It controls sebum production and helps remove sebum build-up and other blockages in your scalp’s pores that can prevent hair from growing out.
10) Lemongrass oil can strengthen hair follicles and has soothing and anti-bacterial properties.
How Do Shampoos Help Prevent Hair Loss?
Hair growing shampoo contains active ingredients that usually work in synergy to improve the scalp’s condition and to create a healthy environment for hair to grow. These are the ways how hair shampoos can improve the ability of your hair to grow:
1. DHT blockers: Hair shampoo that is intended to encourage hair growth is formulated with special ingredients that help remove DHT from the scalp and stimulate inactive hair follicles that are still alive to generate new hair. DHT Blockers can penetrate into the hair follicles during hair washing to stop DHT production and prevent DHT build up in the follicle.
Suggested Brand: Sulfate-Free Anti Hair Loss Shampoo by Pure Body Naturals contains 14 DHT blockers and a number of natural ingredients that stimulate hair growth. These natural hair thickening ingredients include Biotin, Argan Oil, B Vitamin Complex, Saw Palmetto, Nettles Extract, He Shou Wu, Niacin, and Black Seed Oil. This anti-hair loss formula nourishes hair from the follicle and provides essential nutrients needed to boost hair growth and improve thickness.
2. Energizing shampoos: Shampoos can stimulate the growth of hair by increasing blood flow to the surface of the scalp. A rich blood supply helps provide the hair follicles with oxygen and nutrients necessary for healthy hair growth. Invigorating hair shampoos are specially formulated with botanicals and essential oils, like peppermint oil and tea tree oil, to promote local blood circulation and help you keep the scalp and hair healthy.
Suggested Brand: Anti-Hair Loss Shampoo For Men and Women by Honeydew is formulated with Rosemary Essential Oil, Green Tea, and Sandalwood to help improve scalp circulation and revitalize hair.
3. PH balancers: Hair shampoos can help you maintain the proper pH balance of the scalp and hair, which ensures healthy hair growth. A gentle, PH balanced shampoo will keep your hair and scalp healthy, maintain optimal pH balance, and decrease hair shedding. Hair growth shampoos should be free of harsh chemicals that can irritate the scalp and upset your natural scalp pH balance.
4. Scalp cleansing shampoos: If you suffer from hair loss as a result of the over-production of sebum, there are hair shampoos based on tea tree oil formulated to regulate sebum production and remove follicle-clogging residues from the scalp, enabling hair strands to grow.
If you are losing hair because of a scalp condition that causes inflammation of the hair follicle, there are herbal ingredients in hair shampoos that can help rid the scalp of fungi and bacteria, and stimulate healthy hair growth.