Hair loss is something that millions of Americans deal with regularly. But it’s not something that you have to accept. In order to fight back, you must understand the root cause of the issue.
5 Major Causes Of Hair Loss
Hair shedding is a natural process experienced by every person. Humans have an average of 100,000 hair follicles on their head. And the growth cycle for any one hair takes somewhere between two and eight years. This is followed by a resting stage of approximately five months. Hair grows, it falls out, the follicle rests, and then the growth cycle restarts.
The average person loses somewhere between 50 and 100 hairs per day. In a young, healthy individual with a full scalp of hair, the same amount of hairs begin growing each day. This leads to a balanced exchange between loss and regrowth. But in some individuals, hairs stop growing where they once did. This is known as alopecia, or balding.
If you’re experiencing a receding hairline, thinning, or balding at the crown of your head, it’s important to understand why.
Here’s a breakdown of the most common causes:
1. Hereditary Factors
Family history is the most common cause of hair loss. This condition is referred to as androgenic alopecia, or male or female pattern baldness. This type of balding typically happens at the crown of the head and the hairline.
2. Hormonal Changes
Certain hormonal changes can impact hair loss, particularly in women. Many women experience temporary hair loss after childbirthand/or during menopause. Hair loss can be made worse during these times when coupled with other factors on this list.
In many cases, hair loss will stop, and hair growth will restart after a period of time. For example, most women who experience hair loss after childbirth will begin to regrow hair within a matter of weeks or months.
3. Medical Conditions
Hair loss is often a response to an underlying medical condition. Examples include thyroid disease, alopecia areata (an autoimmune disease that attacks follicles), lupus, lichen planus, heart problems, and certain scalp infections.
In order to treat hair loss that’s caused by a medical condition, you’ll need to treat the underlying cause. Sometimes this is possible, while other times, it’s much more difficult to overcome these issues.
4. Certain Medications
Sometimes it’s a medical condition that causes hair loss. Other times, it’s medication that’s prescribed to treat a medical condition. Certain medications interfere with the hair growth cycle and affect the anagen or telogen phases. The severity depends on the type of drug, the dosage, the length of time it’s used, and your individual sensitivity to the medication.
There are more than a dozen classes of medication that are known to commonly cause hair loss. They include Vitamin A, antibiotics and antifungal meds, antidepressants, anticoagulant drugs, cholesterol control medicines, immunosuppressants, cancer medication, anticonvulsants, high blood pressure tablets, mood stabilizers, weight loss treatment, chemotherapy, NSAIDs, steroids, thyroid medicines, hormone therapy, and birth control pills.
If you’re on one of these drugs and are experiencing hair loss, you should speak with your doctor to learn more about the situation and explore other options.
5. High Stress And Anxiety
High stress and anxiety are often correlated with hair loss. Research shows that stress can induce three distinct types of hair loss;
● Telogen effluvium, which pushes large numbers of hair follicles into a resting phase and causes affected hairs to fall out with washing or brushing.
● Trichotillomania, which creates an urge to pull out hair from your scalp. (This is where the phrase “I want to pull my hair out” comes from.
● Alopecia areata, which is where your body’s immune system actually attacks hair follicles and causes hair loss.
The good news is that stress-induced hair loss usually isn’t permanent. By addressing the stress, you can halt hair loss in its tracks and begin regrowing hair in the affected areas.
Don’t Let Hair Loss Control Your Life
If you aren’t careful, hair loss can consume your thoughts and energy. But by understanding the cause of your hair loss, you can actually flip the script and fight back. If you’re unsure of what’s causing yourhair loss, meet with your doctor to learn more.