What Are The Causes Of Hair Loss
Hair loss is more common in men than women. It can affect just the scalp or can occur across the entire body. There are a variety of causes, from your genes to medications you may be taking.
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Here are the possible causes behind your hair loss.
Are there different patterns of hair loss?
Some hair loss is temporary and stops when conditions change. Other hair loss is permanent. It can happen in different patterns.
- Gradual thinning on the top of the head— The most common form of gradual hair loss, this affects both men and women. Men usually begin to recede from the forehead, especially at the temples. Women usually retain their hairline, but the part of their hair widens.
- Circular bald spots— This kind of coin-sized bald spot usually shows up on the scalp, but it can occur in the beard or the eyebrows.
- Sudden hair loss— Physical or emotional shock or stress can lead to overall thinning of the hair. Hair may come out in handfuls when washing your hair or when brushing it.
- Full-body hair loss— Some medical treatments, such as chemotherapy for cancer, can create hair loss across the body. When the treatment ends, the hair will usually grow back.
- Patches of scaling that spread across the scalp— This is a sign of ringworm.
What causes hair loss?
The average human has around five million hair follicles on his or her body, with men having a few hundred thousand more, women a few hundred thousand less. A person typically sheds about 100 hairs every day. This is replaced by hair follicles in the growth phase. This give and take results in an even amount of hair unless the cycle is disrupted or if hair follicles are destroyed and replaced with scar tissue.
Hair loss is usually due to one or more of these causes:
- Genetics— The most common cause for hair loss is male-pattern baldness or female-pattern baldness, a hereditary condition. This occurs gradually in most cases, with predictable receding and the development of bald spots.
- Hormonal changes and medical conditions— Hormonal changes due to pregnancy, childbirth, menopause, and thyroid imbalances can cause permanent or temporary hair loss. Medical conditions include alopecia areata, which causes patchy hair loss, and scalp infections such as ringworm.
- Medications and supplements— When patients are put on medications to treat conditions such as cancer, depression, heart issues, arthritis, and high blood pressure, these medications often have a side effect of hair loss.
- Radiation therapy to the head— Radiation to the head will usually make the hair fall out, and it can permanently alter the way the hair grows when it comes back.
- Stress— A severe shock or emotionally stressful time of life can cause the hair to thin. This usually stops when the stressors are removed, and the hair usually grows back.
- Certain hair treatments and styles— Excessive styling and hairstyles that pull the hair tight (cornrows and pigtails) can cause a type of hair loss known as traction alopecia. Hot oil treatments and permanents can cause inflammation of the follicles that can permanently scar them, precluding them from growing hair in the future.