The causes of hair loss for both men and women vary. It’s crucial to understand what’s causing your hair loss so you can make an informed decision about the best treatment for you. Some of these causes only lead to temporary hair loss – while others are more permanent.
- Hereditary Thinning or Baldness (Androgenetic Alopecia): Inherited male-pattern or female- pattern hair loss is the most common cause of hair loss. Male-pattern hair loss can result in a receding hair line and bald patches, mainly on the top of the head. Female-pattern hair loss can result in noticeably thinning hair throughout the scalp; the first sign being a widening part. The hormone dihydrotestosterone or DHT (a derivative of the male hormone testosterone) is associated with this.
- Alopecia Areata and Other Types: Classified as an autoimmune disorder, alopecia areata causes the body’s own immune system to attack healthy hair follicles. This causes patches of hair loss on the scalp and other areas of the body. There are many other different types of alopecia that have different effects on people.
- Trichotillomania: This impulse-control disorder causes people to repeatedly and compulsively pull out their own hair.
Medical Conditions and Disease
- Disease: There are about 30 diseases overall that can lead to hair loss. Thyroid and other ailments that affect your hormones can cause loss of hair. Skin and auto-immune disorders like anemia and types of lupus can result in hair loss as well. By treating the disease, hair loss often can be stopped or reversed.
- Illness: A major surgery, high fever or even the flu can cause hair loss. Your dermatologist may call this telogen effluvium. In most cases complete remission is probable.
- Infections: Scalp infections, such as ringworm, can invade the hair and skin of your scalp, leading to hair loss. Once infections are treated, hair generally grows back.
- Some prescription medicines can cause hair loss. These include:
-High-dose Vitamin A.
-Medicines that treat arthritis, depression, gout, heart problems, and high blood pressure.
-Birth control pills
Stress and Shock
- Experiencing a traumatic event (e.g., death of a loved one or divorce) can cause hair loss.
Anytime your body experiences high stress or shock emotionally or physically hair loss can occur.
Diet and Poor Nutrition
- Poor diet can definitely affect the health of your hair. Eating regiments lacking sufficient protein or iron, too much Vitamin A, drastic weight loss programs, and eating disorders can all affect the growth cycle and the condition of your hair.
- Pregnancy and Child Birth: After giving birth, some women have noticeable hair loss due to falling estrogen levels. This is usually temporary.
- Menopause: Thinning hair is very common during menopause. This loss is often temporary and the hair will re-grow with time. Aging affects hair loss because hormones are involved; if a woman is 40 years or older, she unfortunately should not expect her hair to have the same fullness that it did when she was younger.
- Birth control: Birth control and other hormone-related medicines can lead to thinning hair.
Hair Care – Styling and Treatments
- Chemical Processing: Frequent bleaching, perms and relaxers can cause breakage and other damage to your hair. Improper or excessive use of other hair products (dyes, gels, hairsprays) can also cause damage.
- Heat Damage: Frequent use of high-heat styling tools (blow dryers, curling irons, flat irons,) can dry out the hair shaft, leaving hair brittle and prone to breakage. Limiting use and if possible lowering the heat settings are ways to help avoid damage. Letting your hair air dry before styling is also recommended.
- Traction Alopecia: Wearing your hair in a style that pulls on the hair (tight braids or tight ponytails) can cause hair loss. This is known as traction alopecia. If done repetitively, it can lead to gradual hair loss, specifically, along the hair line.
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