Stressing out over all the hairs falling off of that head? Find out the root causes and reasons of your hair loss with this handy article! Below, we’ve listed eleven possible reasons you’re experiencing hair loss.
1. Hormonal Imbalance
Excess androgen in the body can cause hair loss in both men and women. Among men, excess androgen binds to hair follicles, hindering the growth of new hair and shortening the lifespan of the hair. Among women, excess androgen weakens existing hair follicles, causing them to break or fall earlier. This can also be exacerbated by bodily changes caused by estrogen during menopause or birth control use.
2. Thyroid Issues
And speaking of hormone imbalances, other problems with your thyroid can also cause hair loss. Both hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) and hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid) can cause hair loss because they alter the hormones in your body. Other conditions that affect the thyroid like Hashimoto’s disease can also contribute to hair loss because they attack the organ that controls your hormones.
3. Pregnancy and Childbirth
Still on the topic of hormonal imbalances, being pregnant is probably the one thing a woman’s body experiences that really takes her hormones on a wild ride! That’s because estrogen levels skyrocket when pregnant—this leads to stronger hair and less hair loss. Then, once the baby is out, estrogen levels drop significantly, leading to tufts of hair falling out all at once!
This condition is called postpartum hair loss and is around 45% common among newborn mothers.
Some common medications for other medical conditions can cause hair loss. This is called drug-induced hair loss and can be attributed to blood thinners, oral contraceptives, anti-depression drugs, anti-inflammatory drugs, beta and calcium channel blockers, and plenty of others. Of course, chemotherapy drugs can also cause hair loss as it attacks both cancer cells and healthy cells.
Hair loss can be treated once these medications are stopped, but please do not stop taking any of them for any reasons without consulting your doctor first. Having thinning hair is a lot better than risking your life.
Alopecia areata is a medical condition in which the immune system mistakenly attacks healthy hair follicles, causing existing hair to fall off and prohibiting the growth of new hair. This condition can either only happen on your scalp or the other hairs of your body as well. It can cause both temporary or permanent baldness and can range from patches of hair loss or complete hair loss.
There are numerous treatments for alopecia areata. Ask your doctor about them.
6. Autoimmune Disease
Earlier, we mentioned alopecia areata and Hashimoto’s disease which are both autoimmune disorders that cause hair loss. Now, autoimmune diseases are incredibly tricky because they are incurable. Because of this, hair loss caused by autoimmune diseases might not be reversible and can only be fixed with medications or hair growth surgery.
Autoimmune diseases make it easy to introduce other dangerous conditions to your body. If you feel like your hair loss is caused by autoimmune diseases, schedule a meeting with your doctor quickly before the situation becomes even graver.
7. Physical Stress and Trauma
Anything that disrupts your body’s normal routine shockingly such as physical stress and trauma can affect your body’s hair growth. Basically, your body has other problems it needs to deal with that hair growth has been put on the back burner. That is why people who go through major surgeries, serious illnesses, or serious injuries often lose their hair too.
Illnesses can also lead to hair loss. Bacterial, viral, and fungal infections can all cause thinning hair, though this is temporary and will disappear once the health problem has been addressed.
8. Mental Stress and Trauma
Hair loss can also be triggered by attacks on your mind. Like physical stress, mental stress can force your body to focus all its attention on other pressing matters rather than growing hair. Whether it’s dealing with a failed marriage, falling out with your best friend, drowning in credit card debts, or coming to terms with the death of a loved one, hair loss due to mental stress is very common and normal.
You should expect hair loss to happen within three to six months. It can be remedied by medical treatments.
Trichotillomania is a disorder that makes you want to pull your hair out. It is a very common condition that usually comes along with anxiety and is typical among teenagers and young adults who suffer from anxiety. According to people who suffer from it, they feel relief and even pleasure after their hair is pulled out.
Obviously, this obsessive hair-pulling isn’t good. Thankfully, it can be managed or treated with behavioral therapy and habit reversal training. Additionally, antidepressants can also help to manage trichotillomania
10. Nutrient Deficiency
Some vitamins and minerals promote hair growth, so if you have deficiencies in these said vitamins and minerals, that can cause your hair to not be as strong as it should be. For example, a lack of protein, iron, and zinc can lead to hair loss, while vitamins E and C promote hair growth by strengthening the follicles and nourishing the scalp.
Thus, we must eat a well-balanced meal that has all the vitamins and minerals we need sourced from fruits, vegetables, whole grains, plant-based and animal-based protein, and healthy fats.
11. Hair Products and Styling
Lastly, playing too much with your hair can have serious consequences! Washing your hair too frequently gets rid of the hair’s natural oils, making it weaker. Hair drying and straightening or curling also makes your hair prone to breakage, as well as putting your hair into stressful hairstyles like tight ponytails or dreadlocks.
And it’s not just things that you do to your hair that cause hair loss. The stuff you apply also affects it. Bleach, for example, is known to be very damaging to your hair, and so are perms and relaxers.