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The Ugly Truth About Hair Loss

The Ugly Truth About Hair Loss
Dr. Constance Odom, MD Picture of Dr. Constance Odom, MD

Medically reviewed by

Written by our editorial team.

Last Edited 5 min read

Losing your hair can be devastating, although it might take several years before you realize just how far the problem has gotten. Most of the time, people notice a few hairs here and there in the base of their tub, or they notice a few extra strands in their brush or comb. It can take a while before someone actually goes bald or notices their hair isn’t as thick as it used to be. No matter how you arrive at the knowledge you are losing your hair, the feelings of horror, embarrassment, anxiety, fear, or sadness are the same among those who have been down the road before you. However, even though hair loss brings a lot of negative feelings and has some painfully ugly truths, the good news is that there is help available.

The Problem

The most obvious concern that is present with thinning hair or balding is that the hair is gone. Whether it fell out in clumps or a single strand was whisked away at a time, the complaint is that there is an empty space where once used to be thick locks. This situation happens to just about everyone during their lifetime, but there are certain factors that cause your hair to fall out faster than typically expected. Also, there is no distinguishing of loss hair by type or even healthy vs damaged hair.  Commonly only noticed in men since it occurs more frequently, losing hair can happen regardless of gender and age.

Hair Shedding vs Hair Loss

In the world of hair care, there are two terms that shouldn’t be used interchangeably, though they often are. Hair shedding and hair loss are two totally different things. If you were able to choose which of the two conditions you prefer, you would undoubtedly pick hair shedding. This is a completely normal occurrence throughout life, losing anywhere from between 50-100 hairs per day. Hairs have a life cycle, and falling out is simply a part of the process. There may be times where your hair might fall out more excessively than had the previous month, you may experience increased shedding which can often be resolved by the body in six to nine months.

Although you will see strands of hair in your brush or tub with hair loss, there is generally an underlying factor that goes beyond the natural life cycle of the hair. The underlying cause has prevented the hair growth and is blocking it from growing anymore until the influencing cause is addressed. Whereas hair shedding is simply a natural process, the actual loss of hair is influenced by an external or even internal factor that is stunting or prohibiting hair growth.

The Causes of Concern

Natural shedding is influenced by some of the internal factors associated with bodily health, such as extended periods of stress, losing weight, recovering from a major illness, and in women, having a baby. These are all temporary situations that alter the root health of the hair follicles and their response to hormones. Usually, the condition clears up after the stressful event has passed.

With a severe problem of hair loss, the overall problem is the ability to grow new hair. The reasons this may occur vary, but are commonly associated with hereditary conditions, drugs or medical treatments, an immune system reaction, the harsh chemical in hair care products, and over-styling or a hairstyle that puts a lot of stress on the hair.

What You Can Do

The first step you should take is admitting that it is okay to seek help and treatment. Dealing with something like shedding or loss can wreak havoc on your self-confidence and self-esteem because losing hair can significantly alter your looks. Men tend to go bald and have a receding hairline that takes the shape of an M, while women notice their part grows wider and their hair starts to thin. In addition to seeking professional help, alter the products you are using on your hair and develop a quality hair care routine. When you suffer from a negative self-image, you might become depressed and reclusive. You might avoid being social and hanging out with friends, afraid they might see a bald spot or notice the change in your hair.


Give your hair a styling break as often as you can, and give yourself a scalp massage in the shower. Improving your overall health can help all the areas of your body, but fortifying your diet with the nutrients that help strengthen the hair follicles can have a more lasting effect in the fight against hair loss.



This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information contained herein is not a substitute for and should never be relied upon for professional medical advice. Always talk to your physician about the risks and benefits of any treatment. Nu Image Medical may not offer the medications or services mentioned in this article.