Hair loss is a problem that affects men and women all over the world. In fact, most people will have some type of hair loss at one point or another in their lives. So what causes hair loss and what can be done about it? This article explores some of the common factors for hair loss, and aims to give you information so you can identify what may be causing your hair loss.
The reasons for hair loss are many and varied. Some of the common factors include:
o Taking medications
o Stressful hairstyling
o Hormonal changes
o Medical conditions
One of the most common of these factors is stress. Stress can come from work, from a crash diet or going back to work too soon after a recent illness. Whatever the source, the treatment is to get rid of the stress. Hair regrowth normally takes at least three months to restart.
Taking new medicines such as high blood pressure meds, birth control pills, antidepressants and blood thinners may also be a cause of thinning hair. Typically you won’t notice any symptoms until after three months of being on your meds. Once you do notice, then the best thing to do is talk to your doctor to see whether there are any alternative medications you can take.
Heredity affects mostly men and is the underlying cause of Androgenetic Alopecia. Some women have been known to get it too. If you want to know whether you are likely to experience hair loss through this route, then look at your family’s history. If there are family members who have gone bald, then you can talk to them about when they first started to experience hair loss, how fast it was and even the pattern of loss.
Stressful hairstyling is another reason for hair thinning in both men and women. Examples of this are brushing too frequently, forceful tugging, using irons, straighteners and curling as well as chemicals associated with perms and dying. All of these things can damage the hair shafts and roots.
Hormonal changes are something mostly affecting women. It is a fact that two thirds of women will have some type of hair loss in their lives and fifty percent of women get female-pattern baldness. So, if you are a woman reading this, then you are not alone. Thinning usually appears around the ages of 25 to 30 or 40 to 50. It usually starts with the hair shaft becoming thinner and translucent. Then the hair will start to fall out of a rate that is higher than one hundred strands a day (fifty to one hundred is normal hair loss).
A common cause of hair loss for women is what happens to hair after the hormonal changes associated with menopause. Testosterone levels rise during menopause. Another hormone targeting hair during menopause is progesterone. Progesterone levels drop because of lack of ovulation in the female’s body. It compensates by producing extra androstenedione, which hampers hair growth. Hair will usually go back to its original thickness after menopause, though. Many women have also found that childbirth caused their thinning hair. Another common hormone is DHT, which stands for Dihydrotestosterone. This is a chemical that is five times more potent than testosterone and blocks the pathway of certain nutrients from getting into the hair growth cycle causing the hair to fall out.
Medical conditions may be the cause of your hair loss. Those with low thyroid function are more likely to suffer. One possible solution is taking hormone replacement therapy, but of course this is best discussed with your doctor. Another common cause is Alopecia Areata. This is graded as an autoimmune disease. It does not appear to have any particular underlying cause to attribute to hair loss and most people that develop it are in good health. Consequently, Alopecia Areata is the most puzzling and doctors believe that genetics do play a part. Like with mononucleosis and other illnesses, perhaps all this disease needs is a trigger like a viral infection. This condition likely will occur on and off a number of times, which is very frustrating for the sufferers because there is seemingly nothing that can be done to combat it.
Other more obvious medical conditions include Anorexia and bulimia, diabetes and chemotherapy treatments. The key with these causes is to ensure a well balanced diet rich in proteins and irons and to avoid any faddish crash dieting which leaves out major food groups.
Finding what has caused your hair loss will greatly increase your chances of finding the right treatments to help re-grow your hair.