What Causes Hair Loss? Here are Causes, Types, Prevention & Treatment
Hair loss may affect not only your scalp but also your entire body. It may be the result of hormonal changes, medical conditions, heredity, or medications. Anyone can experience this hormonal disorder. It happens both in men as well as women, but it is more common in men. Baldness refers to excessive hair fall from your scalp. The most common reason is hereditary hair loss. Before following any hair loss treatment, make sure that to consult your doctor about your hair loss and treatment options.
It is recommended by the American Academy of Dermatology (ADD) that around 80 million men and women in America have hereditary hair loss which is known as “Alopecia”. This alopecia is more common in older adults. It is normal to lose 50-100 hair per day. New hair normally replaces lost hair. But it doesn’t happen always. Hair loss happens unexpectedly. And it can develop gradually over years. Some hair loss can be permanent or temporary.
After washing your hair or clumps in your brush, you get a large amount of hair loss. You might have noticed, thinning patches of hair or baldness. Without ignoring it, you should discuss this problem with your doctors. They can tell you about your cause of hair loss and suggest the best treatment plans. Both physical, as well as emotional stresses also have been associated with hair loss. Sometimes, there may be some possibilities that stress includes hormonal changes that are responsible for hair loss.
1. Causes of Hair Loss
Some hair losses are normal. As people are getting older, their hair may naturally start to lose volume and strength. Sometimes, follicles stop producing hair, and hair shafts become finer. Then gradually the hair starts to lose its color. If a person notices hair thinning or the development of bald patches, they may have experience hair loss. In most cases, hereditary baldness is the most common cause. In some cases, hair loss may occur with a simple halt in the cycle of hair growth. Some major illnesses, surgeries, or traumatic events can trigger hair loss.
Hormonal changes can cause temporary hair loss that includes;
- Discontinuing the use of birth control pills
Some medical conditions that can cause hair loss to involve;
- Scalp infections like ringworm
- Thyroid disease
- Alopecia areata (it is an autoimmune disease that attacks hair follicles)
Hair loss happens when the cycle of hair growth as well as shedding is disrupted or when the hair follicle is destroyed and replaced with scar tissue. Some of the factors associated with hair loss are explained below;
2. Hormonal changes and medical conditions
Several conditions can cause permanent or temporary hair loss. And the conditions include hormonal changes due to pregnancy, menopause, thyroid problem, childbirth, etc. It also includes alopecia which may cause patchy hair loss, scalp infections, and a hair-pulling disorder called trichotillomania.
The most common reason for hair loss is nothing but a hereditary condition called male-pattern baldness or female-pattern baldness. It gradually happens with aging and in predictable patterns.
A very stressful event
After physical or emotional stress, many people experience a general thinning of hair. This type of hair loss is temporary.
Read also: Know Effect Of Stress On Hair
Vitamin D deficiency
Vitamin D stimulates the hair follicles resulting in hair growth. Persons, who do not get enough amount of Vitamin D, they may experience hair loss.
To create new hair as well as maintain healthy hair follicles, the body requires nutrients. Protein is an essential component of hair. Micronutrients play a vital role in maintaining the growth of hair follicles which also include vitamins and minerals. And the deficiency of both vitamins and minerals can cause hair loss. Maintaining a healthy diet can help in promoting continued hair growth.
4. Medication and supplements
Some hair loss may be a side effect of certain drugs that are used for treating cancer, depression, gout, high blood pressure, heart problems, arthritis, etc.
5. Some hairstyles & treatments
Excessive hairstyles that pull your hair tight like cornrows or pigtails can cause hair loss called traction alopecia. Hot oil hair treatments may cause inflammation of hair follicles that leads to hair loss. This type of hair loss could be permanent.
6. Symptoms of Hair Loss
Hair loss occurs in many ways, depending on what’s causing it. It can come gradually and affect just your scalp or your whole body. Some of the hair losses are temporary and others are permanent. Some symptoms of hair loss include the following;
Circular & Patchy bald spots
Some people suffer coin-sized or smooth bald spots. This type of hair loss only affects the scalp. But sometimes it also occurs in beards or eyebrows. In some of the cases, your skin may become itchy or painful before the hair falls out.
Full-body hair loss
In some conditions or medical treatments, like chemotherapy for cancer may result in loss of hair all over your body. Gradually the hair grows back.
Gradually thinning on top of the head
There is one of the most common types of hair loss that affects both men as well as women. In men, hair begins to retreat from the forehead in a line. While women can retain the hairline on the forehead but have a broadening of the part in their hair.
Sudden loosening of hair
A physical, as well as emotional stress, may also cause hair loss. At the time of washing or combing your hair, even after gentle tugging, you can get a handful of hair. This type of hair loss sometimes causes overall hair thinning but not bald patches.
Patches of scaling that come in contact with the scalp
This type of hair loss refers to the infection of ringworm. It may be occurred by redness, broken hair, swelling, oozing, etc.
7. Prevention of hair loss
Most of the hair loss (both male as well as female baldness) is caused by genetics. The followings are the tips for the prevention of hair loss.
- You have to avoid rubbing or pulling your hair, compulsive twisting of hair, tight hairstyles like ponytails, buns, braids, etc.
- Maintain a healthy diet on a regular basis by eating healthy food like eggs, mushrooms, fatty fish, walnuts, Brazil nuts, and some fortified foods like cereals, juices, milk, etc.
- As smoking is also a reason for hair loss in men, stop smoking.
- Avoid taking several types of medicines, drugs, birth control pills, etc.
- Try essential oil such as; Peppermint oil, Tulsi oil, Rosemary oil, etc.
- Avoid harsh treatment such as; straightening, curling irons, hot oil treatments, hot rollers, and permanents on your hair.
- Treat your hair gently at the time of washing or brushing. To prevent hair loss, use a wide-toothed comb.
- Always protect your hair from sunlight or some other ultraviolet light.
- If you are treated with chemotherapy for some reason, then ask your doctor for a cooling cap. This cap can help to reduce the risk of losing hair.
- Avoid using blow dryers, coloring products, bleaching agents, heated comb, relaxers, perms, etc.