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Causes of Hair Loss

Hair loss disorder has become a common problem among many people and it can have a severe impact on the confidence and well-being of an individual regardless of age and gender. Different factors contribute to certain types of hair loss, including stress, illness or heredity. We have comprised a list of common causes below. However, please remember that only a qualified professional can provide an accurate diagnosis as well as recommend effective treatment.

ANDROGENETIC ALOPECIA

This is known to hereditary. This is because hair loss results from genetic factor. In fact, if family members started to experience hair loss at a given age, then you have a high chance of having it. This is a noticeable issue known as female or male pattern baldness that occurs commonly.

ALOPECIA AREATA

Alopecia Areata is somtimes referred to as "spot balding" and is a serious autoimmune disease that causes hair loss to both men and women. This hair loss comes as a sudden and may create patches of baldness. Though it mostly affects head hair and beards, severe cases can cause balding in hair anywhere on the body.

Alopecia Universalis

Alopecia Universalis is where complete hair loss is experienced from the human body.  This is the same as alopecia areata but in a much more advanced form. People with universalis will typically have no eyelashes, eyebrows, facial hair or body hair at all. Alopecia universalis is an auto immune disease where by the body attacks its own hair follicles. Genetics also plays a role in this type of alopecia but it has to come from both parents to be inherited.

Alopecia Totalis

Alopecia totalis is where complete hair loss is experience from the scalp which is due to auto immune disease. When the immune system isn’t working due to organs and cells not being able to fight infections, disease and toxins from the body this can cause alopecia totalis. Anaemia which is caused by low blood count is one of the causes for totalis. The absorption of iron is very important for the human body to function yet some humans cannot absorb all the iron needed. Haemolytic anaemia which a serious blood disorder can cause hair loss such as alopecia totalis. Stress also contributes to this type of alopecia.

TRACTION ALOPECIA

This type of hair loss is mostly seen in women. You will notice that there is a falling out of hair in them that is characterised by hair thinning. In most cases, it is caused by tight ponytails, cornrows, continuous braids, hair extension, and sleep in rollers. Another cause may be sleeping in head scarfs causing hair loss for a period of time.

TOLEGEN EFFLUVIUM

At times, this condition is called diffuse hair loss. It's characterised by increased hair shedding and thinning and there are many causes associated with this type of hair loss. Reasons includes chemotherapy, pregnancy, severe illness, extremely high fevers as well as stress.  Fortunately, this type of hair loss is not permanent and hair will grow back over time.

TRICHOTILLOMANIA

This is the compulsive control disorder type of hair loss; it's self-inflicted disorder where you feel the need to pull your hair out to feel a sense of self-harming relief, usually from a stress or anxiety-related disorder. Young adults and teenagers can suffer from Trichotillomania. Men have high chances of suffering than women. As it's caused by a psychological issue,  cognitive behavioural treatment is the only effective treatment to the root of the problem.

Testosterone

Dihydrotestosterone, also known as DHT, is a common indirect cause of hair loss in men. The scalp turns testosterone into DHT which the hair follicles are sensitive to; as opposed to there being too much testosterone. This type of hair loss is more typically on the top and front of the head. Interestingly, DHT helps to promote the growth of beard and chest hair, it is yet unknown why it causes opposite effects in a different part of the body.

Other common causes for hair loss include:

MEDICATION RELATED HAIR LOSS: Some prescription medication can cause hair loss as a side effect. This is most notable in thyroid medication which involves hormones.

DIET RELATED HAIR LOSS: Did you know poor diet can cause hair loss? If your body is not receiving proper diet such vitamins and nutrients, it will divert resources to other more important parts of the body. 

MENOPAUSE: Most women experiencing menopause are prone to hair loss. Moreover, after menopause, they will experience thinning of hair. 

IRON DEFICIENCY: The deficiency is most common in young women. More so if they have a habit of taking diets with very low calorie. 

CHILDBIRTH AND PREGNANCY: After pregnancy, some women might lose their hair as the body recovers from the impact of childbirth. However, this is only temporary. After a short time of 6 to 12 months, hair often grows back.

GENETICS: This comes from family members. This is very common especially when members of your family suffer from hair loss. 

AGEING: Hair loss issue increase with age. You will notice that men who are 35 years of age are likely to suffer from this disorder. As they grow older, hair follicles naturally shrink and die, leading to hair thinning and hair loss.

Normal Hair Loss

It is worth noting that the average human sheds around 100-150 hairs per day; this may sound a lot, but is in reality a tiny fraction compared to the amount of hairs on your head. Each hair has a natural lifespan and you may notice hair falling out during styling, including washing your hair and brushing.