Causes of Hair Loss

by April Reinhardt
(last updated September 5, 2008)

There are many causes for hair loss, with the most common being disease, medication, inherited factors, stress, aging, injury, and poor hair care:

  • Hair loss can occur if you develop Lupus, syphilis, or cancer. Autoimmune disease causes hair loss when the immune system assaults hair follicles. In severe cases, bald patches or complete hair loss occurs, although some people experience thinning hair only. Hair usually grows back after going through a round of treatment for the disease.
  • Medications and medication side effects can cause hair loss. Procedures such as radiation chemotherapy and medicines such as blood thinners cause temporary loss of hair, and hair will regrow when treatment ends.
  • Genetics play a significant role in hair loss in that you inherit the hair loss tendency from your parents. Also, genes affect your hair follicle production. Androgens are a class of hormones that cause hair follicle shrinkage, and the genes you inherited may trigger sensitivity to those hormones. When hair follicles shrink, they produce thinner hair and, eventually, no hair at all. In men as well as women, this phenomenon is called common baldness.
  • Periods of physical and mental stress can cause temporary hair loss. Physical stressors that can cause hair loss are events such as surgery or rapid weight loss. Mental stressors such as dealing with family death, divorce, or change in jobs may cause temporary hair loss.
  • When we age, our hair follicles slow hair growth due to hormonal changes, and hair often becomes brittle and breaks more easily.
  • Head injuries can damage hair follicles, retarding hair growth. Scarring, burns, parasites, ringworm of the scalp, and compulsive hair pulling can all cause hair loss.
  • The way you care for your hair can affect your hair growth and retention. If you pull your hair into a tight ponytail often, or wear tight braids, you may have hair loss around the hair line surrounding the face and forehead. Using harsh chemicals, hot hair appliances, and cheap hair care products can also cause hair damage and loss.

Since some hair loss can be an early indicator of an underlying disease, it is wise to speak with your doctor about noticeable hair loss. Thyroid disease, Lupus, poor nutrition, diabetes, and iron deficiency can all cause hair loss.

The two major factors of hair health are genetics and overall health. Hair follicles are the housing and incubator of hair. The follicle and hair root are fed by a vein, and blood carries nutrients through that vein to the hair follicle. Any time you practice poor nutrition habits, sustain injuries, or take medications or treatments that inhibit proper nutrition, you have a risk of hair loss.

Author Bio

April Reinhardt

An admin­istrator for a mutual fund man­age­ment firm, April deals with the writ­ten word daily. She loves to write and plans to author a memoir in the near future. April attend­ed More­head State Uni­ver­sity to pursue a BA degree in Ele­men­tary Edu­ca­tion. ...

MORE FROM APRIL

Treating Heat Exhaustion

Although not as severe as heat stroke, heat exhaustion does require emergency first-aid to prevent the victim from ...

Discover More

Cleaning Canvas Awnings

Canvas awnings provide protection and shade and will last years if you take the time to clean them. Never use a pressure ...

Discover More

Quick Garage Cleaning

The key to quick garage cleaning is, once you've thoroughly cleaned it, try to keep it that way for four weeks at a time. ...

Discover More
More Health Tips

Treating Dandruff

Affecting people worldwide, with no distinction to social class or region, dandruff can be damaging to self esteem and cause ...

Discover More

Treating Male-Pattern Baldness

Success treatment of male-pattern baldness greatly depends upon early intervention. Begin treatment with an FDA approved ...

Discover More

Treating Male Hair Loss

If you are predisposed to hair loss, you do not have to simply accept your fate. There are many options available to treat ...

Discover More
Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 8Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 7 - 0?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)