Ask anyone about their hair, and they will say it’s part of their identity. Hair can make or break one’s appearance. That is why we often freak out when looking at the drain after a shower, or after blowing the hair dry, and see how much of hair falls out. But that is normal and happens to everyone. People lose 50 to 100 hairs a day, but new hair that continually grows back, replace the lost hair. Losing 100 hairs per day won’t make a difference on your head, but if the hair stops growing again, you’ll start noticing thinning patches of hair on your head.
Again, this might happen to everyone and for various reasons. From vitamin deficiency to an underlying health problem – hair loss appears in both women and men, and your doctor or dermatologist can best determine the cause. Note that it can appear suddenly, or gradually, and the hair loss can be temporary or permanent. Sudden hair loss is usually a sign of a medical condition, that, of course, needs medical care. Depending on the cause, there are ways to treat hair loss in both men and women. Follow us for the most common and not quite common causes of hair loss.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, hereditary male or female baldness is the most common cause of hair loss. The female-pattern hair loss is called androgenic or androgenetic alopecia, and you can inherit the gene from your mother or father’s side, but you’re more than likely to have it if both your parents had the condition. Women affected by this condition experience thinning at the hairlines behind the bangs, but there are also cases when the hair loss spreads through the scalp. It develops slowly but might start as soon as you hit your 20s, unfortunately. This condition at men is caused by a combination of genes and men sex hormones. Often, the hair recedes at the temples, leaving men with an M-shaped hairline. The majority of men who start experiencing hair loss by the age of 60 are most likely affected by this condition.
People might experience hair loss after a drastic change in their life such as pregnancy, major surgery, extreme weight loss, or stress. This triggers the condition known as telogen effluvium, which can also be a side effect of several medicaments – antidepressants, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and beta-blockers. You might notice a large amount of hair falling while shampooing, brushing, or styling. During telogen effluvium, hair shifts faster to the resting phase from the growing phase, and then quickly changes to shedding or telogen phase. Women notice the hair loss six weeks to three months after the ‘drastic change.’ There is no way of testing whether your experience with hair loss is because of this condition, but the doctor might ask you about recent events and changes in your life.
If you have problems with thyroid glands, chances are you will experience hair loss. This gland is located in your neck and produces hormones that are vital to metabolism, growth, and development. When the gland is unable to produce enough hormones, it usually leads to hair loss. You may experience other symptoms like fatigue, weight gain, constipation, and depression. Thyroid problems are more common among women, especially women over 50. With specific blood tests, you can make sure whether you have a thyroid problem. With thyroid hormone medicaments, you can return the hormone levels to normal, which will help you with the hair loss and other symptoms.
This condition appears when the gland produces too much hormone, again, leading to hair loss. In addition to hair loss, people with this condition also experience weight loss, heart palpitations, irritability, diarrhea, nervousness, muscle weakness, and a startled appearance of the eyes. Hyperthyroidism is less common than hypothyroidism, and it only affects 1 percent of the US population.
An unhealthy scalp can be the cause of many skin conditions like seborrheic dermatitis a.k.a. dandruff, psoriasis, and fungal infections (ringworm), that can easily lead to hair loss.
Seborrheic dermatitis – causes the skin to shed, which leads to greasy, yellowish scales in your hair. This happens as a result of hormonal changes or excess oil. You can treat it with a medical anti-dandruff shampoo, or a prescription antifungal cleanser.
Psoriasis – an autoimmune disease that causes thick white scales to appear on the skin. Don’t try to pull them off because they will bleed. You can treat them with steroid creams, coal tar, salicylic acid, anti-inflammatory drugs, and biologics that control your immune system.
Ringworm – this fungal infection causes red patches on the scalp that can spread out. You contract fungus when touching an infected person or animal.
You might also want to read: Frizzy Hair Guide: All Your Frizzy Hair Questions Answered
Hairstyles like tight braids, ponytails, buns, cornrows, hair waves, chemical relaxers to straighten the hair, hot-oil treatment, or any other kind of chemical, can cause hair loss over the years. Note that these might affect the root, causing the hair not to grow again, meaning the hair loss will be permanent. Therefore, the American Academy of Dermatology, recommends using conditioner after shampoo, letting your hair air dry, and using heat-driven products only once a week.
Disclaimer: The contents of this article: text, graphics, images, and other materials contained are strictly for informational purposes only. The Content is NOT intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical diagnosis, advice, or treatment. Please ALWAYS seek the advice of a qualified health provider with all the questions that you have related to, or about, a medical condition.