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The Most Common Causes Of Hair Loss

Monday, May 20, 2013

The list mentioned below are among the most common causes of hair loss in both men and women. Early treatment can reverse the hair loss for some conditions allowing the hair to regrow. As for the other conditions, further hair loss can only be slowed or prevented through various means.

Dihydrotestosterone (DHT)
One of the most common causes of thinning hair is hormonal changes. Our body will undergo changes in our hormones and it will affect both men and women. Women will experience thinning hair at no particular pattern. While men will normally experience thinning hair developing in a particular pattern commonly called Male Pattern Baldness. The hormone that affects the hair cycle is called DHT or Dihydrotestosterone. DHT has not been scientifically proven to directly cause hair loss; however, the presence of DHT allows other factors such as androgen to attach to the Dihydrotestosterone hormones to clog the shaft of the hair follicles and impede the normal growth of hair.

Alopecia Areata
An autoimmune disease that causes the person’s hair to fall out is called Alopecia Areata. The hair follicles, in this case, is attacked by the autoimmune system. The hair loss is characterized by clumps of hair falling out leaving bald patches the size of a coin. This disease may be triggered by the genetic makeup of the person and can be treated by corticosteroids, minoxidil or other topical medications.

Extreme or long-term stress can lead to hair loss. The constriction of blood flow in the scalp caused by stress can cause disruption of the reproduction of healthy cells.

Poor Diet and Nutrition
Although hair loss causes are more often hormonal, nutrition can also play a part in the maintenance of healthy hair. Poor diet and nutrition can result in hair loss. A healthy amount of protein is important in maintaining a healthy hair growth cycle.

Birth Control Pills
Some women who due to genetic predisposition may experience Androgenic Alopecia much earlier in life triggered by taking birth control pills. After two to three months into taking birth control pills, the woman may start to notice baldness associated with Androgenic Alopecia. The hormonal changes caused by the birth control pills is suspected to lead to a disruption in the autoimmune system resulting in irreversible hair loss which may not be restored even after the taking of the birth control pill has been discontinued.

Post Pregnancy
Some women may also experience hair loss during the first six months after child birth. This is normally caused by the hair cycle period where a significant number of hair will simultaneously enter the telogen stage of the hair cycle which is the resting stage. However, when the woman’s body restores its metabolic balance within six months or less then the hair will regrow back to its previous condition. There is no need to take action in this case as this is a passing stage in the woman’s post pregnancy phase.

Thyroid Disease
Thyroid and hair loss usually go hand in hand. Patients who undergo treatments from sickness related to thyroid gland problems have a very high chance of experiencing shedding of hair no matter how young the patient is. This type of hair loss is a phenomenon that is experienced by people who suffer from problems related to excessive secretions of thyroxin. The hair follicles start to weaken which leads to thinning hair that will eventually fall out.

Chemotherapy / Radiation Treatment (Anagen Effluvium)
Anagen Effluvium is the type of hair loss caused by the disruption of cell growth caused by chemotherapy and radiation treatment which almost always leads to hair loss after the first few days of treatment. Patients will lose almost 90% of the hair within weeks, but almost always will regrow back the hair once the treatments stop.

Iron Deficiency
Significant Iron deficiency may also lead to baldness. This is more common in women who after undergoing menstrual cycles may end up being very low in Iron. Lack of Iron may then lead to hair loss.

Scalp Fungal Infection
Scalp fungal infection is caused by a fungus called ringworm that invade the hair shaft. Symptoms are patches of hair loss and may be accompanied by inflammation, scaling and itching. This disease is contagious and is more common in children, more often among boys than girls.

Hair Styling
The use of bleaches, hair dyes, permanent waves, hair straighteners and relaxers may damage the hair and lead to hair loss. Although rare, hair loss may occur from excessive use of hair styling.

Hair Braids / Weaves
To braid the hair or to do hair weaves is not uncommon to both men and women. If done correctly, there is no damage caused to the hair.  If however, the braid or the weave is done too tight  then the resulting strain due to the constant tension on the hair may cause the hair follicles to loosen and thus lead to hair loss.

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