How do I prevent hair loss

Hair loss: causes and what remedies really help against it

If there were an effective remedy for hair loss, a dream of many would be fulfilled. Because the loss of hair on the head can be traumatic. It is the unmistakable hint: Now you are visibly getting older. But there are also other causes. Here you can find out what this can be and how you can stop hair loss.

About every second 50-year-old man suffers from hair loss. By the age of 80, only a fifth of men have full hair. Age-related hair loss is significantly less common in women. Out of ten 70-year-olds, around three to four people lose hair that no longer grows back.

Causes of Hair Loss

Everyone loses between 80 and 100 hairs a day - that's perfectly normal. On the other hand, one generally speaks of hair loss if you lose significantly more than 100 hairs every day. The suffering from hair loss is usually great. The causes can be different. Damaged hair roots and hair follicles are mostly to blame. This can be due to hormonal fluctuations, stress or malnutrition. In most cases, however, the hair loss is genetic, explains Dr. Uwe Schwichtenberg, dermatologist and state chairman of the professional association of German dermatologists in Bremen. In the case of hereditary hair loss, so-called DHT hormones ensure that the hair follicles develop hypersensitivity and thus the hair falls out faster and easier.

There are four common forms from hair loss:

  • plant-related
  • diffuse
  • circular
  • scarring

The most common is Congenital hair loss. About 20 percent of men are affected. "This happens much less often in women and occurs much later. They also lose a lot less hair. Men start earlier and do it more fully," says the dermatologist. In men, hair loss usually shows up first with a receding hairline or a "helipad". The crown of the head thins in women. Both are genetically programmed, explains Dr. Schwichtenberg.

With women, on the other hand, the so-called occurs relatively often diffuse hair loss before: "You throw out more hair, but at the same time more hair grows back." At first it was very worrying, the doctor describes the experiences of his patients: "You look in the sink and there are hundreds of hairs. The thought immediately comes to mind: Oh God - if this goes on for three weeks, I won't have a single hair left on the head".

(Source: Getty Images)

The dermatologist can, however, take the fear away from those affected. Because the hair grows back exactly as it fell out. The catch, however, is that long hair falls out, but when it grows back it is of course short at first. The result is often a short haircut. The causes for diffuse hair loss are very diverse. Mostly it is a question of thyroid disorders and in young women the cause is sometimes iron deficiency as a result of menstruation.

The so-called scarring hair loss is very rare, but permanent. The scalp is scarred and hair can no longer grow back. Rare skin diseases are the cause.

Circular hair loss

Behind this is an autoimmune disease that leads to hair loss. The medical term for this form of hair loss is "alopecia areata". One or more coin-sized clear areas form on the head. But other hairy parts of the body such as the beard can also be affected. The causes of the disease are largely unclear. "It's an autoimmune phenomenon. The body's own defense cells have learned nonsense here and think it's a great idea to mute hair roots, but not to destroy them," says Schwichtenberg. The hair can therefore grow back at any time. "As soon as somebody tells the immune cells that it is nonsense what they are doing and that they should please stop doing it," adds the expert. And that can sometimes take years.

For more information, see our article:Circular hair loss - strange disease, hardly any answers.

In addition to these causes, hair growth in women can also change during pregnancy. As a result of hormonal changes, many women lose less hair during pregnancy. If the breastfeeding period then begins, the young mothers lose the extra hair again.

Home remedies for hair loss

Are There Effective Home Remedies For Hair Loss? No. That is the concise and unequivocal answer from Dr. Schwichtenberg. All the remedies that are supposedly effective, from aloe vera to beer or coconut oil to essential oils are useless. This will not stop the hair from falling out. It is no better for drugs from drugstores or pharmacies, explains the doctor: "People pour an infinite number of substances into themselves, for example silica, zinc or biotin. The list is endless, but there is no scientific basis for their effectiveness." .

Combination preparations with the main ingredient Medicinal yeastthat are available in the pharmacy, however, are worth a try. With regard to the effectiveness of these preparations, there are "a few delicate studies that show a certain effect," says Schwichtenberg. In the case of stress or diet-related hair loss, however, a healthy diet, food supplements with nutrients such as vitamins and zinc, home remedies, scalp massages and special tinctures with caffeine, which stimulate blood flow to the hair roots, can counteract hair loss. In the case of hereditary or pathological hair loss, however, these remedies are not effective.

Hair loss: around every second 50-year-old man is affected. (Source: imago images)

Which remedy helps with hair loss?

There are two active ingredients that have been shown to oppose hormonal hair loss help:Finasteride and Minoxidil.The Austrian network "medizin-transparent.at "at Danube University Krems summarizes the study situation on its website.

The active ingredient minoxidil

According to this, the regular use of a minoxidil solution with two to three percent of the active ingredient on the scalp can lead to cosmetically significant improvements in around three out of ten affected men. Treatment with minoxidil is also effective in women with hormonally caused hair loss. The agent stimulates the blood flow to the hair follicles and supports the activity of the hair roots. This can stimulate hair growth.

Side effects of such drugs can include skin irritation, itching, and skin inflammation. In addition, it could lead to unwanted hair growth in places other than the scalp. Minoxidil was originally a medicine for high blood pressure. However, it turned out to have one side effect - it fuels hair growth.

The active ingredient finasteride

According to "medizin-transparent.at ", the effects of finasteride have also been scientifically proven. After six to twelve months, around four out of ten men show an improvement in hair growth. The drug is taken orally and can therefore interfere with the hormonal balance. Frequent side effects of preparations with finasteride are therefore impairment of sexual life and erectile dysfunction, in each case in one in 100 men.

In rare cases, breast growth, pain in the testicles and depression can also occur as a result. On the other hand, the remedy should not help against hair loss in women, say the researchers. And for both active ingredients, minoxidil and finasteride, the following applies: If the treatment is discontinued, the hair will also fall out again. "The effectiveness of other means is hardly or not guaranteed," is the conclusion of the experts.

Tips for hair loss

"You can actually do what you want with your hair, it has no effect on hair loss," explains Schwichtenberg. Because this is a problem of the scalp. Advertising claims such as "doping for the hair", for example for shampoos containing caffeine, are empty promises. Hair loss cannot be influenced with such agents for external use. Daily hair washing, regardless of the shampoo or tincture used, as well as coloring, tinting and blow-drying as well as combing - none of this has any effect on hair loss.

Important NOTE: The information is in no way a substitute for professional advice or treatment by trained and recognized doctors. The contents of t-online cannot and must not be used to independently make diagnoses or start treatments.