Even though your strands are made of dead cells, your hair is actually alive! Underneath those locks lie your hair follicles, the thriving part of your mane. Just like every living being, your hair also has a lifespan. It emerges, matures, and eventually dies. What are the factors that impede your hair from developing? Here are 11 reasons why your hair stops growing.
1. Anxiety and Stress
A stressed person experiences physical changes in his or her body. An increase in stress levels can cause adverse effects on hair growth. Being stressed can also clog your pores and sever your scalp's natural oil production. If this happens, then your hair becomes dry and frizzy.
Stress can also mess up your hair's life cycle, forcing some of your hair follicles to jump into the telogen phase and fall out your hair. Anxiety is an after-effect of stress, which can also disrupt your sleep cycle and your hair's growth phases. Hence, anxiety and stress are two interrelated hair loss factors.
2. Inadequate sleep
Having enough sleep creates a positive impact on your hair's life cycle. Short sleeping time causes your stress levels to increase, which leads to hair loss. A sleep-deprived person tends to become highly stressed, which forces our body to shut down hair production. This sudden stop can lead to telogen effluvium hair loss. Stress can give a shock to the system. As a result, extreme premature hair shedding occurs. Your stem cells become active workers in every sleep cycle. These cells stimulate epithelial cell growth, which controls hair formation. Your body's melatonin also follows your body's circadian cycle and keeps hormone levels in check. Overall, adequate sleep does not only keep your stem cells in good working condition. It also increases the melatonin levels in your body and decreases stress-related hormones, which are all necessary for beautiful hair restoration.
3. Lack of keratin
Your body needs proteins to function properly. Even your hair needs ample protein nourishment. Don't worry, for keratin is your mane's significant other. This protein comprises about 90% of your hair. It creates a barrier that protects your hair from losing its moisture. If your hair becomes starved of keratin, your strands begin to become dull and brittle. A lack of keratin makes your tresses delicate and less resistant to friction. For a sufficient supply of keratin, high-protein foods can help your body to produce this hair nutrient. Chicken, fish, red meat, eggs, milk, and plant-based products like quinoa, lentils, nuts, and beans must be included in your hair care diet.
As your age increases, the number of your hair strands decreases. Just like you, your hair also has a life span. Most of your bodily functions also slow down as you grow older. Take note that your hair growth rate is not exempted. When you age, strands become thinner and lighter. Your hair fibers begin losing its density, flexibility, and elasticity leading to hair breakage. Hair pigmentation also decreases, causing your hair to turn grey. Aging can also trigger female-pattern baldness. Your hair starts thinning and falling out, making your scalp more visible.
5. Ravaged hair
Overexposure to various heat, pollution, and chemicals can permanently damage your hair, from extreme dryness to hair loss. Heat can cause split ends, dryness, and strand breakage. It dehydrates your hair cuticles, thereby hindering healthy hair strands from thriving. Meanwhile, exposure to pollutants creates more opportunities for bacteria and other contaminants to invade your scalp.
Women are fearless creatures. Mothers are so incredible that they can sacrifice so much to bear their children, even at the expense of losing hair. This hair loss is an entirely reasonable postpartum event. After giving birth, estrogen levels start to drop, halting your hair from growing. This hormonal imbalance triggers women to undergo telogen effluvium. This hair loss phenomenon occurs when your hair's active growth phase rapidly shifts to the telogen or resting phase. This change in the hair cycle causes your follicles to be inactive and lose strands. Though postpartum hair loss is only temporary, experiencing this short-term baldness can stop hair growth within a specified period.
7. Mismatched hair products
Sometimes, your shampoo or conditioner might contain ingredients that are not suitable for your hair concerns. There might be chemicals that can also be harmful to your sensitive scalp and hair.
Your hair products must contain safe cleansing agents to wash away the dirt, oil, and bacteria on your scalp. Cleansing your pate is a big step away from dandruff and scalp infections. If your hair feels dry, use moisturizing hair products. If your scalp experiences excess sebum production, then minimize your hair conditioning agents. Use the appropriate products to address your hair growth problems.
8. Radiation Therapy
Some women are patients of medical treatments. Some of these treatment procedures require the use of radiation, for instance, chemotherapy. How can radiation therapy block hair growth? The use of radiation helps in destroying cancerous cells in the body. However, it can also harm your body's healthy cells. In turn, most of your cells start to deteriorate, especially your hair cells. This deterioration causes your hair to lose its power. If you're a patient undergoing radiation therapy, you will experience fatigue. Your energy becomes drained; thus, little to no power is left for your hair cells to stimulate hair growth. Higher doses of radiation also push your follicles to stay in the resting phase permanently. Therefore, as much as possible, evade radiation exposure.
9. Exposure to toxic ingredients
Salon treatments are far more dangerous than what you can imagine, especially if toxic chemicals are loaded into the hair products. These substances will destroy the quality of your strands, and will also stop your follicles from growing. What are some of the most harmful agents your hair must avoid? Formaldehyde, hydrogen peroxide, sulfates, propylene glycol, phthalates, and parabens are the leading toxic ingredients found in hair care products. Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) is your leading perpetrator. According to hair specialists, it is a well-known irritant that destroys cell membranes and breaks down protein; thus, it stops hair growth. Too much exposure to these ingredients can cause chemical burns and damage your scalp permanently. The scar does not allow any strand to grow. This scarring is called cicatricial alopecia, a hair loss condition caused by hair follicles' permanent damage.
10. Nutrient deficiency
Vitamins and minerals are your body's barriers against hair loss. These nutrients nourish your hair follicles and protect your hair and scalp from various infections. Vitamins A, B, C, and D, biotin, and iron are vital for hair growth. Depriving yourself of these essential nutrients can hamper your mane's growth cycle. Biotin is essential in nurturing the reproduction of keratin. It also serves as a stimulant in protein absorption. This vitamin also aids in blocking DHT, a hormone known to stimulate hair loss. Hence, a lack of biotin can trigger alopecia. Pigment discoloration is also another consequence of biotin deficiency, causing premature greying of hair. On the other hand, low iron levels affect blood circulation. Insufficient iron content in your blood depletes hemoglobin content. Without hemoglobin, your blood cannot deliver oxygen, a needed supplement to nurture and stimulate follicle development. Vitamin C and E are rich in antioxidants. These vitamins are also your helping hands against oxidative stress. Thus, they prevent premature hair loss. Vitamin C is also a stimulant for collagen building. It also promotes proper iron absorption and contributes to oxygen distribution. Do not forget to load yourself with proteins. These are your most needed hair growth essentials. Proteins are packed with amino acids, which deregulate various metabolic processes in your body. As a chemical compound in proteins, cysteine is a critical amino acid that keeps your hair's structure intact. Overall, you need protein in your diet to keep your hair from growing.
Yes, your family tree has something to do with your stunted hair growth. There are hair growth disorders that are greatly influenced by your genes. Hereditary-pattern baldness, also called androgenic alopecia, is common for both men and women. A person suffering from hereditary hair loss tends to have smaller hair follicles and experience faster hair shedding. Your genes also affect your body's hormonal production. Abnormal production of testosterone in your body can also trigger thinning hair and hair loss. A particular gene produces 5-alpha reductase, an enzyme responsible for androgen production. At the same time, this enzyme also transforms testosterone into DHT. If you think your scalp's becoming barren, check your family members to see any hair loss heritage.
HOW TO PREVENT YOUR HAIR FROM DYING
Your hair may suddenly or gradually stop growing because of various reasons. Now that you have spotted the possible causes of your hair's dying moments, it's time to do your part. Nourish yourself with healthy and safe supplements. Strive to improve your lifestyle by sleeping on time and managing your stress. Take good care of your hair, just like how you take good care of your life.
Prevent your mane from experiencing hair loss. Learn more about female alopecia. Find out the best hair growth products for hair loss and thinning hair.