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22 Causes of Hair Loss For Men and Women

causes of hair loss 

Your hair falling out? As for the fall, there are many reasons for hair loss.

The cause of your hair loss can determine if your hair:

  • Falls gradually or suddenly
  • It decreases period after period
  • It can grow on its own
  • Requires treatment to regrow

It needs immediate care to prevent permanent hair loss. With an accurate diagnosis, many people with hair loss can see hair grow back.

If you need regrowth treatment, the earlier you start, the more likely you are to see regrowth.

It is important that you understand the following:

  • Not all types of hair loss can be cured, but a dermatologist may be able to prevent further hair loss.
  • It may take months before you see treatment results.
  • There is no one-size-fits-all treatment, even two people with the same type of hair loss.
  • Sometimes, hair loss is stubborn and requires trying different treatments before finding the right one.

Self-care also plays an essential role in preventing and treating hair loss. Here are the reasons from board-certified dermatologists of the American Academy of Dermatology [s]. and Healthline [s].


Causes of hair loss

While many causes of hair loss can be treated successfully, the key to effective treatment is knowing the cause of hair loss.

Treatment is often ineffective without an accurate diagnosis.

You will learn how dermatologists diagnose and treat hair loss in: Hair Loss: Diagnosis and Treatment.  


1. Hereditary hair loss

Both men and women suffer from this type of hair loss, and it is the most common cause of hair loss worldwide. In men, it is called male-pattern hair loss.

Women experience female pattern hair loss. Regardless of whether it affects a man or a woman, the medical term is androgenetic alopecia.

No matter what term you use, it means that you inherited the genes that cause your hair follicles to shrink (what every hair grows out of) and eventually stop hair growth.

Contraction can begin as early as adolescence, but it usually begins later in life.

In women, the first noticeable sign of hereditary hair loss is a general thinning or widening of the part.

When a man suffers from hereditary hair loss, the first sign is often a receding hairline or a bald spot on the top of his head.

Is regrowth possible? Yes, treatment can help stop or slow hair loss. It may also help regrow hair. The earlier treatment begins, the better the treatment. Without treatment, you will continue to lose hair.

SeeAcne Scars: 4 Symptoms, Causes, 18 Treatments and 4 Ways of Prevent

2. Age

With age, most people notice some hair loss due to slowed hair growth. At some point, the hair follicles stop growing hair, which leads to the thinning of the scalp hair.

Hair also begins to lose its colour. A woman's hairline begins to recede naturally.

Is regrowth possible? Treatment caught early helps some people regrow their hair.

3. Alopecia areata

Alopecia areata is a disease that develops when the body's immune system attacks the hair follicles (which holds the hair in place), causing hair loss.

You can lose hair anywhere on your body, including your scalp and inside your nose and ears. Some people lose their eyelashes or eyebrows.

Is regrowth possible? Yes really. If your hair fails to grow on its own, treatment may help stimulate regrowth.

4. Cancer

If you've had chemotherapy or received radiation therapy to your head or neck, you may lose all (or most) of your hair within a few weeks of starting treatment.

Is regrowth possible? Hair usually begins to grow within months of the end of chemotherapy or radiotherapy to the head or neck.

Dermatologists can offer medication to help hair grow more quickly.

Can it be prevented? Wearing a cooling cap before, during, and after each chemotherapy session may help prevent hair loss.

5. Childbirth, illness or other stresses 

A few months after giving birth, recovering from an illness or having surgery, you may notice a lot of hair in your brush or on your pillow. This can also happen after a difficult time in your life, such as a divorce or the death of a loved one.

Is regrowth possible? If the stress stops, your body will adapt and the excessive shedding will stop.

When hair loss stops, most people see their hair regain its natural fullness within 6 to 9 months.


6. Hair care products

If you color, curl or straighten your hair, it can damage your hair. Over time, this damage can lead to hair loss.

Is regrowth possible? You can change the way you care for your hair, preventing hair loss.

Once a hair follicle is damaged, hair cannot grow from that follicle. Having many damaged hair follicles leads to permanent bald spots.


7. Hairstyle tool

If you wear your hair pulled back a lot, the constant pulling can lead to permanent hair loss and pull the scalp.

The medical name for this condition is traction alopecia.

Is regrowth possible? No, you can prevent hair loss by making some changes.


8. Hormonal imbalance

A common cause of this defect is polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). It leads to cysts on a woman's ovaries, along with other signs and symptoms that can include hair loss.

Stopping some types of birth control pills can cause a temporary hormonal imbalance.

Women with a hormonal disorder can develop thinning (or hair loss) on the scalp.

Is regrowth possible? Treatment may help.


9. Scalp infection 

Scalp infections can sometimes lead to scaly and inflamed areas of your scalp. You may see what look like tiny black dots on your scalp. This is actually a stub of hair.

Some people develop a bald spot.

Is regrowth possible? Yes, treatment can get rid of the infection. Once the infection clears, hair tends to grow back.

SeeCorns and Calluses: Definition, Causes, Differences and Treatment

10. Medicines

A possible side effect of some medications is hair loss. If you think a medication is causing your hair loss, ask the prescribing doctor if hair loss is a possible side effect.

It is essential that you do not stop taking your medication before talking to your doctor.

Suddenly stopping some medications can cause serious health problems.

Is regrowth possible? Yes really.

11. Scalp Psoriasis

Many people with plaque psoriasis develop scalp psoriasis at some point. This can lead to hair loss.

Is regrowth possible? Hair tends to grow back once scalp psoriasis is gone, but this takes time.

By following these dermatologists' advice, you may be able to prevent hair loss.


12. Pull your hair up

Some people pull their hair, often to relieve stress. They may be unaware that they are pulling their hair. The medical term for this is trichotillomania.

Is regrowth possible? If you haven't destroyed your hair follicles, yes. In order for your hair to grow back, you have to stop pulling it.


13. Scarring alopecia

This condition develops when inflammation destroys hair follicles. Once the hair follicle is destroyed, the hair follicle cannot grow. Various conditions can cause this.

The medical name for this group of conditions is cicatricial alopecia.

Is regrowth possible? Once hair follicles are destroyed, they cannot regrow hair. Detecting this condition early can prevent further hair loss.

14. Sexually transmitted infection

If left untreated, a sexually transmitted infection (STI) can lead to hair loss. Syphilis is such a type of sexually transmitted disease.

Left untreated, syphilis can cause patchy hair loss on the scalp, eyebrows, beard, and elsewhere. Other STDs can cause hair loss.

Is regrowth possible? After an STI is treated, hair often begins to grow back.


15. Thyroid disease

If you have a thyroid problem, you may notice hair thinning. Some people notice that their hair comes out in clumps when combed.

Is regrowth possible? Once hair follicles are destroyed, they cannot regrow hair. Detecting this condition early can prevent further hair loss.


16. Too little biotin, iron, protein or zinc

If you don't get enough of one or more of these, you could have noticeable hair loss.

Is regrowth possible? Yes really. When your body gets enough of the lost nutrients, hair can grow back.


17. Friction

People can develop hair loss where shoes, socks, or tight clothing often rub against their skin. The medical term for this is focal alopecia.

Is regrowth possible? Hair tends to grow on its own when the rubbing stops.

18. Poisoning

Slow poisoning can lead to hair loss. Toxins that can cause hair loss include arsenic, thallium, mercury, and lithium.

If you take a large amount of warfarin, which is found in rat poison, it can also lead to hair loss.

Taking large amounts of vitamin A or selenium is also toxic and can cause hair loss.

Is regrowth possible? Yes, hair grows back when you are not exposed to the toxin.

19. Smoking

If you are a smoker, you may have heard about all the negative effects of smoking on your lungs.

But did you know that smoking can cause hair loss in addition to facial wrinkles and premature graying of hair?

Research has found a relationship between smoking and hair loss.

To prevent hair loss, it may be a good idea to quit smoking as soon as possible [s]Is regrowth possible? Yes, hair can grow back upon quitting.


20. Not massaging the scalp

Not only does the massage feel great, but it can also help treat your hair loss. Massaging the scalp stimulates hair follicles.

In one small study, healthy Japanese men who received 4 minutes of scalp massage every day for 24 weeks had thicker hair at the end of the study [s].

Is regrowth possible? Yes, hair can grow back.


21. Not doing a balanced diet

A balanced diet can keep your hair in tip-top shape. Make sure to include a variety of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, unsaturated fats and lean proteins in your diet, and reduce your intake of sweets.

Certain vitamins and minerals in food are associated with healthy hair.

Try adding these types of foods:

  • Iron-rich foods, including beef, beans, green leafy vegetables, iron-fortified cereals, and eggs.
  • Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, mackerel, tuna, flaxseeds, egg yolks, hemp seeds, and walnuts
  • Protein-rich foods, such as eggs, lean meats, and seafood

Is regrowth possible? Yes, hair can grow back.


22. Stress

Stress can take a toll on your body, including your hair. Hair loss may be the result of a stressful lifestyle.

Stress reduction strategies include:

  • Regular exercise
  • Listen to music
  • Practicing yoga meditation

Is regrowth possible? Yes, hair can grow back. Getting enough sleep is also essential.

See17 Habits That Damage Your Hair and How to Fix It

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