What are the causes of hair loss? Can Prilosec cause hair loss? Is the cause of female hair loss different than the cause of hair loss in men? Can Phentermine cause hair loss? Which drugs cause hair loss? These and other questions are quite often bandied around not only online on discussion forums but also in discussion with physicians, friends, and family members. The sad reality dictates that hair loss causes are many and varied. What causes hair loss in one person may not necessarily lead to the loss of tresses in the next.
Hair Loss Causes
When it comes to hair loss, women cause some of it themselves. If you have ever seen a platinum blonde who does not hail from Scandinavia, whose hair is teased impossibly high, and whose tresses almost look like they are shellacked in place, then you have probably also seen a collection of hair loss causes on her head. Causes of hair loss in women are often identified as over-styling, bleaching the hair, back-combing it, or overusing a curling iron or hair dryer. Of course, other possible causes for hair loss in women are the drugs that cause hair loss.
Ranking chief among hair loss causes are medications such as diet aids, anti depressants, acne medicines and also cancer drugs as used during the course of chemotherapy. While these drugs are a cause of hair loss, very often the patient will have to weigh the side effects against the benefits, and thus these hair loss causes may need to be accepted as medically necessary so as to cure a much more severe problem.
Other hair loss causes are autoimmune ailments, such as alopecia areata or lupus. When experiencing a hair loss cause such as this, it is imperative that you do not try to cover up the symptoms but quickly bring them to the attention of a physician. This will help in diagnosing the illness and also adequately pinpointing the hair loss causes so that you will be able to move and explore different methods to either halt hair loss or reverse it altogether.
Additional causes of sudden hair loss are inadequate nutrition, especially if meat is missing from your diet, the supplementation of steroids in athletes diets, and of course one of the chief causes of loss of hair in women – giving birth. After a baby is born, the hormones that caused the hair to thicken and grow will suddenly drop off sharply and you will notice a thinning of the hair. The good is that this condition is only temporary and will reverse itself within a few months without the need for treatment.
Hair Loss With Natural Hair Growth Cycle
The loss of hair can be natural, though you might not realize it. In fact, throughout our lives we are growing and losing hair all the time in cycles that we may not even notice. Right now, about 10% of the hair on your head is in what is called a resting phase that will last two to three months. After this time the hair will fall out and be replaced by new growth. Each person has a different rate of hair loss with each cycle, so the hair loss of one cannot easily be compared to the hair loss of another.
Each hair on your head will grow about one centimeter per month during this growth period that will last two to six years. This means that only 90% of the hair on your head is growing at any one time. Hair loss becomes an issue for most people when the growth rate isn’t as constant as the resting or falling out rate of the hair on your head, which makes the scalp more noticeable and you may even look as though you are balding.
Common Cause of Hair Fall: Genetics
Of course, the most common reason for hair loss is genetic. Most men and even a good portion of women experience hair thinning or balding as they age. Men are more prone to this and will likely see patterned hair loss not unlike that of their father or even their grandfathers as it is an inherited trait. Some men start balding early and will see a continuation of the baldness throughout their lives, while others simply experience thinning throughout life.
Some men can deal with their hair loss as a right of passage while others are very self-conscious about their new look. It’s an individual experience, and there are some things that can be done about it. But first, you should eliminate all the other possible reasons for your hair loss.
Illness or Surgery
A very common cause of excessive hair loss is a serious illness or even major surgery. The stress of the illness or recovery from the surgery may cause extensive hair loss. While this is almost always temporary, it can be disheartening. But, as your body recovers and you eliminate the stress of healing you’ll notice that your hair will grow back and it will soon be a distant memory.
Hair Loss Due To Hormonal Imbalance
Hormonal problems are a common culprit of excessive hair loss. Many people unknowingly have an overactive or under active thyroid glad and this causes your hair to fall out. Sometimes the hair loss will be gradual, other times the hair will fall out very quickly. Treating the thyroid condition can treat this type of hair loss; meaning that once you get the thyroid condition under control you’ll see the growth of your hair return to normal. Hair loss may also occur when there is an imbalance of the male or female hormones known as androgens and estrogens. Correcting the balance can be quite simple for you and your doctor, and once the imbalanced hormones are corrected your hair growth will return to normal.
Pregnancy Hair Loss
Another common time that one might experience hair loss is three to four months after they have given birth to a baby. This is a hormonal response that affects the hair as well as the rest of the body. The high levels of certain hormones during the pregnancy cause the hair to continue growing or resting when it would have normally fallen out.
After the birth of the baby the hormones will return to normal and the hair will resume its normal cycle, meaning it will need to make up for lost time as so much of the hair that would have normally fallen out is still sticking around! This type of hair loss is usually not all that noticeable when you simply look at the scalp, though the new mother may feel like she is losing all of her hair!
Hair Loss and Medications
Some medications cause hair loss, so if you experience excessive hair loss when you begin taking a medication you might want to check with your doctor or pharmacist about how long the medication may affect you in such a manner. Fungal infections of the scalp are also a common cause of hair loss in people of all ages, but especially in children.
Hair loss is also a common symptom of many underlying diseases like lupus or even diabetes. If you are experiencing unexplained hair loss it’s a good idea to get in touch with your doctor to try to find the cause so that you can not only treat the disease in the appropriate manner, but also see the return of a full head of hair.
If you commonly keep your hair in tight rollers, pigtails, or cornrows you might experience related hair loss. This type of hair loss is called traction alopecia and can be stopped if you stop treating your hair and your scalp in such a manner. If the scalp has already become scarred from the pulling of the hair so tight, permanent hair loss is not out of the question. Many people also experience hair loss because hot oils or chemicals in hair dye and perms over process their hair.
This type of hair loss can usually be undone when the hair has the chance to grow back without all of the over processing that has been taking place in recent weeks or months. This type of hair loss is generally associated with a swelling of the hair follicle, and once the swelling subsides the hair will start growing once again.
Other Hair Loss Reasons
While the reasons for hair loss are many and varied, the majority of people who experience the thinning or complete loss of hair usually fall into a number of well defined categories and the reason for hair loss that is being experienced can quickly and easily be ascertained. While there appear to be some odd alternate reasons for hair loss in women – just like there are odd reasons for cat hair loss and other hair loss reasons that seem to affect men only – it is these oddities that frequently make for some interesting reading, especially on the front pages of gossip rags. Sadly, because so much gossip graces the pages of these magazines, a lot of the other hair loss reasons cited are little more than folklore and conjecture, yet they manage to worry people about their heads.
For example, it is true that among other hair loss reasons are ringworm and fungal infections. As a matter of fact, this reason for sudden hair loss is oftentimes seen in younger individuals and is also named as the foremost reason for body hair loss. While ringworm infections are fairly easy to recognize, fungal infections are sometimes a bit harder to see and it may take a visit to the doctor or dermatologist to get a positive or negative finding on this issue.
While the lore that shampooing your hair daily is among other hair loss reasons has long since been refuted, it does crop up periodically. Do not fall for this old wife’s tale! Unless you use a commercial grade cleaner instead of shampoo that is formulated for use on one’s head, you have nothing to worry about! Among the bona fide other hair loss reasons, however, is the ingestion of elevated amounts of vitamin A for a prolonged period of time. While this does not happen when you just take your regular multivitamins, there are those who will take extra capsules each day – under the guise of “the more the better” – and they are the ones who may need to look to this vitamin as one of the reasons of hair loss that they may experience.
Other hair loss reasons include crash diets – which is one of the prime reasons for woman experienced loss of hair – and also the use of some birth control pills. While the chemotherapy reason for hair loss has been well documented as being the number one reason for extreme rapid hair loss, it is the use of steroids in men that follows closely behind.
Hair Loss Causes and Treatments
Stopping the hair loss is something that has to be considered on a case-by-case basis. If you are suffering from a disease or you are taking a medication that is causing the hair loss, you’ll likely find that treatment is quite simple. If you are suffering from common baldness associated with age or genetics, you might have to consider more drastic measures, though there are some medications that can slow the balding process.