What Causes Hair Loss?

Alopecia or hair loss can affect your scalp only or the entire body. There could be heredity, actions of certain medications or underlying medical conditions for alopecia. Men, women and children can be affected with this condition, but it is most common in aging men. Baldness happens when excess hair is lost from your scalp. Some people, especially men, allow baldness to run its own course without any special attention or treatment in preventing it. Some people would prefer to cover their baldness with wigs, hairstyles, makeups, hats or scarves. A growing number is said to choose medication or surgical procedures to treat hair loss. This article will highlight some of the most important causes for hair loss or alopecia.

Dad’s coco by LaBellaVida, on Flickr

Alopecia can affect you in many different ways. Sudden or gradual hair loss on the scalp or entire body can result, depending on the real problem that’s causing it. Gradual thinning of the hair on top of the head, sudden loosening of hair, circular bald spots and full-body hair loss are some of the major symptoms of alopecia.

There could be hormonal, medical conditions and medications responsible for alopecia. A human being is said to have at least 100,000 hairs only on the scalp. Most people shed about 50-100 hairs per day, which is natural and not a disease. Female Pattern baldness & Male Pattern baldness are hormonal conditions that are hereditary. Certain sex hormones would trigger a particular pattern of permanent hair loss, which is most common in men and can start as early as puberty. Hormonal imbalances & changes could also cause temporary hair loss in people; especially in women due to pregnancy, child-birth, onset of menopause or stopping birth control pills.

There are numerous medical conditions which are responsible in causing hair loss. Thyroid problems can be a leading cause for hair loss as the thyroid gland is responsible for regulating hormones in the body. If the gland doesn’t do this job properly, hair loss can be the result. Alopecia areata is a condition where the body’s immune system attacks the hair follicles by mistake. This will cause small roundish patches of hair loss. Skin conditions such as lichen planus and some types of lupus, could be responsible for permanent hair loss, especially where the scars occur. Ringworm is a scalp infection which can invade the hair and skin on the scalp, leading to hair loss. Once the infection is treated the hair will start to grow gradually.

Hair loss also could be caused by drugs used to treat other diseases such as arthritis, cancer, depression, high blood pressure and heart problems. Hair pulling disorder is a condition where people get an irresistible urge to pull their hair from the scalp, eyebrows or skin. Physical or emotional shock also can be responsible in losing hair rapidly. Sudden excessive weight loss, death of a family member or a high fever can cause emotional shocks and help in losing hair rapidly. There are some hairstyles also responsible for hair loss or alopecia.