May 31, 2023

Common Causes Of Hair Loss Explained


Hair loss is something many people know all too well, but it’s something few know the common causes of. Whether it’s fallen out abruptly or gradually thinned the burning questions on the minds of anyone who’s experienced hair loss are what caused it, will it regrow on its own or require treatment, and if it needs immediate care to prevent further loss? Today we will answer those questions and more as we explain the common causes of hair loss.
Hereditary Hair Loss
Androgenic alopecia is the hereditary age-related type of hair loss experienced by both men and women. It’s better known as male or female pattern baldness. It is caused by inherited genes that cause your hair follicles to be particularly susceptible to the effects of DHT (dihydrotestosterone) which causes hair follicles to shrink and eventually stop growing. The process can begin as early as your teen years but is more common later in life. The early signs in women are an overall thinning of the hair, whereas in men it’s a receding hairline or thinning spot on top of the head. Some treatments and therapies can slow and sometimes even reverse this type of hair loss, and the early treatment begins the better the outcome. So seek treatment early because without it you will continue to lose hair. If the hair loss is more advanced a hair transplant may be considered.
Alopecia Areata
This type of hair loss and autoimmune disorder in which the body’s own immune system attacks the hair follicles causing hair loss. This hair loss can occur anywhere on the body and some people even lose their eyebrows and lashes. It is possible in some cases to regrow the lost hair. Sometimes it regrows on its own and sometimes treatment is needed to stimulate regrowth.
Cancer Treatments
Certain cancer treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation treatments of the neck or head often cause hair loss. Typically a patient undergoing these treatments will lose all or most of their hair within a few weeks of their first treatment. Hair usually begins to regrow on its own within a few months of the completion of treatments, but there are treatments that may help it regrow more quickly. It’s not always possible to prevent this type of hair loss, but wearing a cooling cap before, during, and after each treatment may help.
Telogen Effluvium (Stress Related)
A few weeks to a few months following a stressful event such as childbirth, a serious illness, major surgery, or emotional trauma, a temporary type of hair loss called telogen effluvium can occur. This type of hair loss is self-limiting and the excessive shedding will stop after the stressful event has passed. Hair usually returns to its normal density within 6-9 months with no treatment needed.
Traction Alopecia
Tight hairstyles may look sleek and sharp, but they should be worn cautiously and infrequently. The continuous pulling on your hair is damaging to your hair follicles and can result in permanent hair loss. Constant use of hair extensions has also been associated with traction alopecia. Once this type of hair loss occurs, the hair will not grow back, so prevention is key.
Hormonal Imbalance
One common cause of hair loss in women is a hormonal imbalance. Polycystic ovarian syndrome is the most common cause of this kind of hormonal hair loss. Suddenly stopping some kinds of birth control is another possible cause. Treatments can help manage the hormone imbalance and regrow lost hair.
Thyroid Disease
If your thyroid gland produces too much or too little thyroid hormones it can cause your hair to thin. It may fall out in clumps when you brush or comb it. Treating the underlying thyroid disorder will reverse the hair loss.
Scalp Infection
Certain infections of the scalp, such as ringworm, can cause inflamed scaly areas on your scalp that lead to hair loss. This type of hair loss usually responds well to treatment. Typically when the infection is clear the hair will regrow on its own.
Medication Side Effects
The side effects of some medications include hair loss. If you suspect your medication may be to blame, don’t stop taking the medication until you’ve spoken with your healthcare provider to make sure it is safe to do so. Suddenly stopping some medications can endanger your health. The good news is that the hair usually regrows after the medication is stopped. If you’re concerned that your medication could be causing or contributing to your hair loss, talk to your doctor.
Trichotillomania is a condition in which a person constantly pulls on their own hair in response to stress. They are often completely unaware that they are doing it at the time. Treatment involves behavioral therapy to stop the hair pulling. If it’s caught early before the hair follicles are damaged the hair will regrow once the hair pulling stops, but if the follicles are already damaged the hair loss is permanent.
Many common types of hair loss can be successfully treated. The key to effective treatment is finding the root cause of hair loss and treating it early. If you’ve noticed your hair starting to thin or have been seeing a concerning amount of hair in the shower drain or on your pillow it’s time to contact the caring hair loss professionals here at the Hair Restoration Institute. Schedule a private, no-obligation consultation here at our state-of-the-art hair restoration center. We will evaluate the health of your hair and scalp and the cause and degree of your hair loss and then discuss the best treatment options available to restore your hair. Call 612-588-HAIR (4247) for your discreet and complimentary consultation. You can find us at 8030 Old Cedar Ave S Ste 202 in Bloomington, MN.