Hair Loss: What are the Main Causes?
Finding out what is the cause of your hair loss is one of the primary steps towards choosing the right treatment for you. Bellow you can find a list of some of the most common reasons for hair loss in men or women.
Male Pattern Baldness is one of the most common reasons why hair loss in men happens (~95% of all cases). It is thought to be caused by too sensitive hair follicles. When men have too high levels of dihydrotestosterone (DHT) these hormones starts to shrink follicles and as a result hair becomes thinner. According to statistics, at some point in their life 2 out of 3 men face this condition. By the age 35 about 40% of men experience some hair loss and by the age of 60 this percentage increases to 65%. For some men who have Male Pattern Baldness it might take up to 25 years to go bald while for others it can happen in as little as five years. This condition is mostly associated with sex hormones and genes. One of the first symptoms is when hair on the top of the head starts to get thinner. Later on bald patches are formulated, which moves backwards and creates a shape similar to “M”. As the thinning continues this shape transforms to a shape more similar to “U”.
Quite a lot of women also face this condition, which is commonly referred to as Female pattern Baldness or Androgenetic alopecia. For women it is more likely to happen after menopause. According to statistics, 13% of women experience FPB before menopause and this percentage even increase to 75% after age of 65.
Pregnancy is quite a common cause for hair loss in many women, due to hormonal changes and physical stress. This type of hair loss more commonly happens when the baby is already born (not while being pregnant). Although it is usually only a temporary issue, since in most cases lost hair grows back within just a few months. Also changing your birth control pills or stopping using them might cause hair loss too. If this happens it might be a good idea to switch to your old pills or consult with your doctor about other alternatives.
Although it doesn’t happen often, but sometimes a reason for hair loss can be too high dosage of Vitamin A. This usually happens when individuals use supplements that contains this vitamin and exceeds maximum recommended dosage per day. Most sources suggest a daily value of Vitamin A to be 5,000 IU and dosages higher than 10,000 IU should be closely monitored by a doctor.
Physical traumas (physical stress) can be another cause for hair loss in some individuals. Even though these traumas (illnesses, accidents, surgeries, sudden weight loss) can be not related to hair at all, these events can cause your hair cycle to change. When hair cycle changes your hair might go to shedding phase instead of growing or resting phases. However this condition is only temporary and once your body goes back to normal, hair will stop falling and will start to grow again as usual. Although emotional stress is less common cause for hair loss then physical stress for some individuals it might be a reason too. Usually it is also a temporary issue and with implementing some steps on reducing stress your hair will grow back.
Anemia or iron deficiency might be another cause for hair loss in women. Anemia is usually caused by iron deficiency. It happens most often for women who have strong periods or don’t eat enough foods that are rich in iron. When this happens blood doesn’t have enough red blood cells that would carry oxygen throughout the body. This issue can be quite easily fixed by eating more iron rich foods or with a supplement.
Immune system imbalances (Alopecia areata) is a cause of hair loss in some individuals too. When people have hyperactive immune system it might confuse hair follicles with an “enemy” and attack them by mistake. This condition happens in both men and women and is usually caused by other illnesses or stress. Fortunately this cause doesn’t affect follicles in the long-run; therefore hair can be regrown within a few months.
Lack of protein in your diet might be another reason for hair loss. When your body doesn’t get enough protein from food it can react by stopping hair growth. So it is important to include foods in your diet such as chicken, eggs, beans (tofu, soy milk), pork and nuts. Even though it is quite rare to have deficiency of Vitamin B, it can also be a cause too. In case you have this deficiency eating foods rich in Vitamin B or taking supplements can easily help to cope with this problem. Some foods that are high in Vitamin B are salmon, tuna, milk and yogurt.