The burning question on many people’s minds in regard to hair loss is what causes it. There are many factors that can contribute to hair loss and sometimes it can be difficult to determine exactly what is causing your own hair loss without the help of a professional. Some common causes of hair loss include genetics, hormonal changes, stress, nutritional deficiencies, and certain medications. To help you better understand these hair loss causes let’s take a brief look at each one and the mechanisms behind them.
Genetic Hair Loss
Androgenic alopecia commonly known as male or female pattern baldness is among the top baldness causes. This type of hair loss is genetic, meaning that it runs in families. With this type of hair loss, your genes affect your scalp’s sensitivity to a hormone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT shortens the growth phase of your hair follicles and also causes them to become smaller. This results in fewer and finer hairs.
Hormonal Hair Loss
Hormonal hair loss is caused by hormonal imbalances or sudden hormonal changes in the body. For women, these imbalances could be caused by pregnancy, childbirth, menopause, and polycystic ovarian syndrome. Thyroid disorders can trigger hair loss in both men and women. Problems with estrogen or testosterone could also be to blame, as well as insulin resistance or high cortisol levels.
Stress-Induced Hair Loss
Telogen effluvium is the medical term for stress-related hair loss. High levels of stress cause cortisol and other stress hormone levels to rise. These hormones hinder the production of stem cells in the hair follicles that are necessary for hair growth and leave those follicles stuck in the resting phase. This type of hair loss occurs in response to extremely stressful events such as a sudden severe illness, the loss of a loved one, or the loss of a job. It’s temporary and your hair will start to regrow within a few weeks once the stressful event has passed.
Nutritional Deficiencies And Hair Loss
If your hair follicles are not receiving the nutrients they need your hair will not grow and in some cases, the follicles will shut down completely in an effort to conserve nutrients for other vital body processes. Some nutrients that have been associated with hair loss include riboflavin, biotin, folate, and vitamin B12. Once the nutritional deficiency is corrected, your hair should start growing again.
Medication-Related Hair Loss
Some medications like chemotherapy drugs are well known for causing hair loss, but there are other prescription and over-the-counter medications that can contribute to your thinning hair. Some of those medications include beta-blockers, blood thinners, antidepressants, cholesterol-lowering drugs, some nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), thyroid hormone replacement, hormone replacement therapy, and steroids. Ask your doctor if you’re taking medication and notice your hair is thinning.
Autoimmune Related Hair Loss
Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disease that causes the immune system to attack hair follicles causing hair loss. This is probably the most commonly known autoimmune-related cause, but there are other autoimmune conditions that cause hair to fall out as well. They include lupus, Hashimoto's disease, psoriasis, and Crohn's disease.
Hair Loss Due To Aging
The main culprit behind hair loss due to aging is changes in hormonal levels. Some studies have indicated that it also may be due to age-related damage to the stem cells within the hair follicles. They found that over time these cells develop “errors” that accumulate until eventually the cells can no longer rejuvenate causing the follicles to shrink and then shut down altogether.
Environmental Factors Causing Hair Loss
Environmental factors can contribute to hair loss. Things like pollution, cigarette smoke, herbicides, radiation, and too much sun exposure are examples of things in the environment that can damage cells in your scalp and hair follicles leading to hair loss.
Hairstyles And Hair Loss
Styling your hair the exact same way day after day can cause you to lose your hair. If you’re wearing a style that pulls your hair tight all the time you’re putting your mane at risk. Buns, ponytails, tight updos, tight pigtails, and cornrows can lead to traction alopecia. The constant traction on your follicles damages them over time, and since the hair follicles are damaged, your hair may never regrow. So be careful wearing tight hairstyles.
OTC And Prescription Medications For Hair Loss
The results of over-the-counter hair loss products that you might find on drugstore shelves are mixed. Some find them helpful while others see little to no results. Be wary of products you don’t purchase from a hair loss expert or medical professional. Some prescription medications offer excellent results for some and professional quality minoxidil products such as our HRI Advanced 5% Topical Minoxidil helps 76% of users achieve moderate hair regrowth, 40% moderate to good regrowth, and 8% dense regrowth.
Hair Loss Prevention
There are ways that you can help to prevent or minimize hair loss. It all starts with maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle. Reduce your stress as much as possible. Speak with your doctor about the medications you are taking and their potential to affect hair loss. Use gentle, high-quality hair products, and avoid wearing tight hairstyles and excessive heat styling. And at the very first sign of hair loss, schedule a consultation with the caring hair loss experts here at the Hair Restoration Institute to help prevent further loss.
The hair loss professionals here at the Hair Restoration Institute are here to help you understand, prevent, and even reverse your hair loss. To do so we offer you a discreet and complimentary consultation where we will evaluate the health of your hair and scalp as well as the degree of hair loss and discuss the best options to restore your hair and bring back the look you want. You can find us at 1201 West Lancaster Avenue in Fort Worth, Texas, or call 817-854-HAIR (4247) to schedule your consultation today.