Causes of Hair Loss

Hair loss, called Alopecia in medical terms, can be temporary or in some cases, permanent. Baldness can be embarrassing for some people who consider their hair to be a part of their identity. It can be like losing your sense of self. The condition can arise in both men and women, but it appears more commonly in men.

Causes of Hair Loss

While hereditary factors top the list of causes of hair loss, stress, certain medications, and health conditions also can contribute to losing hair. Hair loss may appear as the gradual thinning of hair, circular bald spots, hair loss all over the body (this is often due to chemotherapy), and patches of scaling over the scalp.

And while the loss of hair is a part of the natural aging process for some people, sudden and significant hair loss may indicate that you have an underlying medical condition. It’s important to know the causes to help you understand what may be triggering your hair loss. It’s the first step to understanding how to reverse it.

Here are Common Causes of Hair Loss:

Family History: This is the most common cause of hair loss and is gradual and progressive. Medically termed androgenic alopecia, the condition sets in patterns and occurs due to aging. This type of baldness affects both men and women. While you can observe gradual balding across the top and receding hairline in men, with women, the hair can thin all over the scalp. While there is no cure for Androgenic Alopecia, hair transplantation is an option to replace the thinning hair, and Propecia/Finasteride are prescription medications which will reduce dihydrotestosterone (DHT) levels and slow down the thinning process.

Medical Conditions: In women, hair loss is primarily due to hormonal changes during pregnancy, childbirth, and menopause. A thyroid imbalance can also contribute to the loss of hair. Scalp infections and some medications used to treat cancer, heart problems, depression, arthritis, high blood pressure, and gout too can cause hair loss. Further, hair might not grow back if you have undergone some type of radiation therapy. Diabetes, Lupus, and sudden weight loss also lead to hair loss. In these cases, it is a good idea to have lab work ordered to see if there are any imbalances that may be contributing to hair loss.

Stress: Stress is yet another major factor that causes hair loss. Stress, which can be either physical or emotional, has become a part of many of our daily lives and is the reason a large number of people are experiencing thinning hair. Hair loss observed many months after severe emotional or physical stress is termed Telogen Effluvium.

Hair Treatments: Hairstyles that pull your hair tight can cause you to lose hair. This type of hair loss is called Traction Alopecia and is most common in females in the hairline and around the temples down toward the ears. This condition comes from keeping hair in a braid or tight hairstyle too long to where it gets permanently damaged. Using perms and hot-oil hair treatments should also be avoided to limit the damage done to the hair.

Poor Nutrition: Nutritional deficiencies can also cause hair to fall. Diets that are low on Iron and Protein can cause the hair to shed excessively. A simple blood test can detect if you have any nutritional deficiencies.

Ringworm: This is a fungal infection that causes hair loss. Scaly patches of skin, brittle hair, red itchy patches on the scalp, oozing blisters, and circular patches are all symptoms that indicate you have a ringworm infection. Antifungal medicine is often prescribed to treat this condition.

Reduce stress, make lifestyle changes, eat a balanced diet, and limit the use of hairstyling chemicals to avoid losing hair.

Contact Our Office

Shedding some amount of hair every day is normal. However, if you are experiencing abnormal hair fall, it’s important that you speak to an experienced hair loss specialist about what you can do to rejuvenate your hair growth. Gregg Kreyling, Director of Patient Education, is available to help guide you through the hair restoration options available to you. Contact us to schedule your consultation today.
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