What Causes Hair Loss?

Every day, we shed some hair so don’t be too alarmed when you suddenly see a few strands of your hair on your pillow or down the shower drain. Normally, we lose about 50 to a hundred strands of hair in one day and it is estimated that a head of hair is about in the 100,000 figure. So with the normal rate of hair fall in a day, this should not cause thinning of the hair. As we get older, the hair eventually thins out and this is just normal.

So when is hair loss not normal anymore? Let’s learn more about the various causes of hair loss.

Hair Loss Due to Hormonal Factors

A hereditary condition referred to as male pattern baldness or female pattern baldness is the most common culprit of hair loss. There are certain people susceptible to such a condition wherein specific sex hormones create a pattern of permanent hair loss. This genetic condition is mostly common in men and thinning of hair can start as early as adolescent or puberty years. Temporary hair loss can also be caused by hormonal changes as well as imbalances. Many women experience temporary hair loss during pregnancy, childbirth, the start of menopause or when taking of birth control pills is discontinued.

Hair Loss Due to Medical Conditions

A number of medical conditions also cause hair loss.

  • Thyroid Problems – Hormone levels in the body is regulated by the thyroid gland. If it stops functioning as it normally should, hair loss is a possible result.
  • Alopecia Areata – With alopecia areata, what happens is the immune system starts attacking the hair follicles which results in patches of hair loss that are smooth and round-shaped.
  • Scalp Infections – Certain infections in the scalp can cause hair loss. For example, ringworms can start invading the hair as well as your scalp which can lead to hair loss. As soon as the infection is treated, the hair usually grows back.
  • Certain Skin Disorders – Some skin disorders can also cause permanent hair loss. Diseases that lead to scarring such as lichen planus and some forms of lupus can cause scarring and permanent hair loss can happen in the scarred area.

Hair Loss Caused by Certain Medications

Certain drugs or medications used in treating certain diseases can also lead to hair loss. This includes some medications for cancer, arthritis, depression, heart problems and high blood pressure.

Other Causes of Hair Loss

Other causes of hair loss can be due to a shock, either a physical or emotional one. Some people experience thinning of hair a few months after a high fever, a death of a loved one or sudden and excessive weight loss. There are also some people who suffer from hair-pulling disorder. People with this illness cannot resist the urge to pull their hair out. Certain hairstyles that involve pulling the hair too tightly can also cause hair loss.

If you are experiencing hair thinning due to excessive hair loss, visit your doctor.

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