In this blog, we are going to rule out various possible reasons for hair loss. Hair loss is a natural process that occurs due to various reasons that could be medical or hereditary. Both men and women experience hair loss at various stages of life and there are different causes behind it. Moreover, it’s not necessary that hair loss is the problem that we attribute to old age people only. Actually, it is happening to people of all age groups.
Reasons for hair loss
There are multiple reasons for hair loss, be it a healthy diet, stress or any other medical issue, hair loss is a problem of concern for both males and females equally. There are various styling techniques that involve excessive chemical exposure and heat contact, which damages the roots of the hair. Below are various reasons for hair loss.
- Hereditary reasons
- Alopecia Areata
- Cancer treatment
- Hormonal Imbalance
- Hairstyle pull-ups
- Scalp infection
- Thyroid disorders
- Lack of vital nutrients in the body
- Sexually transmitted diseases
The major reason for hair loss is attributed to the inheritance of a person. It is in the genetic makeup of some individuals that they start shedding hair at a certain age, be it young age or old age. There are no prominent medical issues or hormonal imbalances and they face hair loss called androgenic Alopecia at any stage of life, both men and women. This consist of patches of baldness in men and thinning of hairline in the crown area.
It is a common condition of the autoimmune system of the human body in which the body’s own immune system attacks its own hair follicles causing baldness. There are multiple views regarding alopecia areata, as some believe that it is caused due to stress while others think it is alopecia areata that causes stress. Some of the anti-inflammatory drugs are suggested for the Alopecia Areata, like corticosteroids that repress the immune system temporarily.
There are people who are suffering from any type of cancer or bear any chronic tumour in the body that requires chemotherapy to treat cancer. The chemos involve strong radiation and therefore if an individual undergoes chemotherapy, he might lose all or most of his hair . The hair might regrow after three to four months of the completion of chemotherapy.
The most significant cause of hair fall, like for many other health-related issues is stress. Today in this world everyone faces some kind of stress be it emotional, financial or psychological. A temporary hair loss might occur after an individual has experienced a stressful event or shock-like a sudden trauma, a breakup, a divorce or the loss of a loved one. The hair starts growing after several months of shock or stress.
There is another reason for temporary hair fall and that is the prolonged illness or a person suffering from any type of health issue like diabetes, hypertension or PCOs in women. A woman who has recently undergone the delivery process, a breastfeeding mother or a woman who is undergoing menopause, will notice more hair fall in the brush or pillows.
A significant reason for the hair fall is the hormonal imbalance in women which might be PCOs that causes a cyst in the ovary and can lead to reproductive system disorder. This prevents the formation of eggs in childbearing women. It also causes hair to fall frequently. The hair fall might happen due to the sudden withdrawal of contraceptive pills.Similarly, the women who are at the menopause stage will also experience the hair loss by observing gradual thinning of hair.
Hair style pull-ups
There are some specific hair styles in which women tightly pull back their hair and when they follow these styles for long, they might notice a hair loss at the front of the forehead. This is called traction Alopecia. This might lead to breakage of hair strands and damage to hair follicles. Therefore hair pull-ups should not be worn for too long as they result in permanent hair loss in the female crown area at the front. Therefore various hair styles like ponytail french buns should not be worn frequently by women as they cause hair loss.
An integral part of womanhood is becoming a mother and carrying a child. The women who have recently given birth to a child whether it’s a normal delivery or a c-section might experience hair loss. This hair loss is temporary and is due to lower levels of estrogens than are required by the body. The women usually get back their original hair growth within four to five-month of the child birth.
An itchy scalp or inflammation of the scalp can cause hair loss in both women and men. This scalp infection is also one of the important reasons for hair loss and happens due to the growth of bacteria, fungi or yeast growth in the scalp area. In most cases, if treated properly, the scalp can regrow the hair follicles.But if the condition persists, this might result in permanent hair loss.
Like all other hormonal disorders, the thyroid is another hormone that is responsible for hair loss. Whether hypothyroidism or it is hyperthyroidism, the women usually experience a loss of hair. The hair starts shedding in clusters and the hair strands begin to thin out.If the thyroid disorder is ruled out timely and treated by the doctor the hair loss can be prevented.
Lack of vital nutrients in the body
The dietary patterns that we all are following these days are a big concern for hair loss reasons. We skip meals, at times skip essential nutrients from our diets like zinc, biotin, folate, iron and calcium. The lack of essential vitamins results in loss of hair as the follicles of hair are unable to grow properly and cause baldness. Iron deficiency is known to be the major cause of hair loss as the blood cells are unable to carry the oxygen to the body.
Sexually transmitted diseases
It has been observed that sexually transmitted diseases also cause hair loss as they are mostly fungal or bacterial infections. These types of infections like Syphilis can cause fungal patches on the skin, hair scalp and eyebrows. Therefore STIs must be treated in order to avoid any worsen condition of the hair or skin.
Hair loss might also happen due to a reaction of certain medicines like cancer medicines, hormones, radiation therapy, laser treatments, drugs for depression, blood pressure and arthritis. One should notice the hair loss that occurs as a result of these drugs and discuss it with their physician.
Prevention of hair loss
Hair loss is not an acceptable thing when it’s heading towards baldness and therefore preventive measures must be taken to avoid it from getting worse. However, hair loss due to a certain disease, inheritance or hormonal disorder cannot be avoided completely.Here are some handful tips to prevent hair loss such as :
- Avoiding tight pull up ponies and hair styles
- Less bleach of hair and minimum exposure to chemicals and dyes
- Use a soft bristles hair brush
- Message hair regularly with a combination of natural hair oils.
- Be gentle while detangling the hair
- Eat a healthy diet and avoid alcohol and quit smoking.
In the above blog, we have concluded that hair loss is a natural hair fall that can occur due to many reasons be it a medical issue , hormonal imbalance, some chemical reaction of medicines related to chronic diseases and family inheritance also.
The hair loss can either be permanent or it is temporary depending upon the underlying cause. Hair loss becomes a huge concern when there are certain patches of baldness that begin to appear other than the routine hair fall while having a bath or brushing the hair.
The treatment for hair loss should be sought from the experts after identifying the underlying cause and one must be careful in following any home remedy or tips advised by others for regrowth of hair. The diet should be composed of all the vita nutrients like iron, zinc, biotin, folate and calcium. There should be less heat exposure and UV rays exposure as it damages the hair follicle.
Frequently asked questions: Reasons for Hair Loss
How do I stop my hair from falling out?
Following are some basic tips to prevent hair loss:
- Use a soft hair brush made of natural bristles
- Avoid too much styling of hair with heating instruments
- A mild shampoo should be preferred according to the hair quality and type.
- Women should avoid hair styles that pull on the hair.
What is the reason for hair fall in females?
Following are some of the causes of hair loss in females:
- Hormonal disorders
- Breastfeeding mothers
- Sudden weight loss
- Thyroid disorder
- Polycystic Syndrome
Why am I losing my hair all of a sudden?
- Emotional or financial stress
- A sudden trauma
- Sudden weight loss
- Poor diet
- An untreated medical condition that has not been identified
What type of vitamin deficiency causes hair loss?
The various nutrients are essential for the growth of hair follicles but most importantly the researchers believe that vitamin D and the lack of iron can result in frequent hair loss. Moreover, zinc, calcium and biotin also help to strengthen the hair follicles.
- aus R, Olsen EA, et al. “Hair growth disorders.” In: Wolff K, Goldsmith LA, et al. Fitzpatrick’s Dermatology in General Medicine (seventh edition). McGraw Hill Medical, New York, 2008:753-74.