Hair and Scalp Conditions
Like people, hair comes in various shapes and sizes. And, the condition of our hair varies based on our heritage, genetic make-up and even where and how we live. The glossary will help you to know–what they are, what causes them.
Types of Hair
Hair that drops below its normal moisture content of 10 percent is considered dry hair. Dry hair may be caused by over processing the hair with chemicals derived from coloring, perms, etc. and heat exposure from blow drying and curling irons.
Oily hair is a result of excess oil production on the scalp and may be affected by hormone levels. Do not brush the hair too much which contributes the condition by spreading oil from the scalp to the ends of the hair.
Dull hair is caused by cuticle damage. When damaged, the cuticle layer is raised and tends to break and “Grab” or “Catch on” to other hair shafts, thus leaving the hair “Dull” and lifeless.
Fine hair refers to the diameter of the single hair strand, rather than the amount of hair on the head, you can have an abundance of “Fine hair”, meaning you have “Fine” or “Thin” hair strands, but many strands per square inch, which may appear thicker and fuller. The opposite is “Fine” hair that is sparse, meaning fewer strands per square inch resulting in hair that appears to be thinning.
Curly hair is due to a low amount of moisture and protein in the hair.
A medical term for baldness–excessive or abnormal loss of hairs.
Round patches of hair are lost rapidly, it can be hereditary. Generally, the hair falls out, then the area of hair loss increases, and finally, new hair grows. This is rarely permanent but, it can take months or years for hair to reappear.
A baldness pattern that slowly occurs over time. The cause is believed to be genetic and not related to stress or foods. For men, the hair loss begins at the temples and spreads to the top of the head. Women experience a general thinning of hair.
Resembling alopecia areata, but hair loss affects eyebrows and eyelashes as well as scalp.
Hair loss affects entire body surface, including underarms and pubic hair.
Hair loss which results from tension on the scalp caused by tight braids, winding hair too tightly on curlers, and other hairstyles.
Hair loss typically caused by radiation therapy or chemotherapy. These procedures disrupt the anagen cycle. Hair usually breaks off rather than sheds.
Baldness stems from a skin condition characterized by and increase in a hormone known as D– H –T. D – H – T sends a chemical message to hair follicles instructing them to contract and stop producing hair.
A form of seborrhea, like dandruff, commonly found in infants, cradle cap is an inflammatory scaling disease of the scalp. Scales and/or flakes can appear in the eyebrows, around the nose and behind the ear.
Dandruff, is the surplus shedding of dead skin cells from the scalp. It most often occurs in the winter months and is exacerbated by excessive hair spray or gel use, dry indoor air, and infrequent shampooing. Dandruff is a natural process so it can be controlled but not removed.
Changes in the weather, dry air and medication can affect the moisture of your scalp.
This genetic predisposition to baldness can start with thinning hair between the ages of 25 and 35. New hair growth becomes thinner and finer, especially around the part on the top of the head.
Folliculitis is an infection and inflammation of the hair follicle. It can occur almost anywhere on the skin and is usually caused by the bacteria staphylococcus. Folliculitis first appears as scattered pimples and pustules that dry out and form crusts around the follicles.
Age, changing hormones and heredity can cause some people to lose more hair than others. The average head contains about 100,000 hairs, which are lost at a rate of 70 to 100 hairs per day. On most heads the hairs are replaced but as we grow older hair this process slows down.
Head lice are tiny parasitic insects that are 2 to 3 millimeters long–about the size of a sesame seed, which live by biting and sucking blood from the scalp. Once lice attach their eggs, called nits, to the hair, the eggs hatch in 8 to 10 days, producing more lice.
This skin condition most often appears on the scalp, elbows and knees. It occurs when areas of the skin grow at an increased rate causing the area to form red, scaly patches.
Seborrheic Dermatitis (Severe Dandruff)
This condition is very common and characterized by inflammation of the skin on the nose, scalp, eyelids and behind the ears because those are the areas with the highest concentration of oil glands. Often the skin will be covered in yellow, greasy scales that might cause mild itching. It is thought by some to be caused by yeast growing on the skin and it is believed those who have it are genetically predisposed to the condition.