Hair loss is a sad and unaesthetic concern, which more and more women and men are subject to. The reasons for hair loss vary very much – they can be caused by hormonal changes, using particular drugs or incorrect hair treatment. Women sometimes lose hair due to pregnancy or menopause. Reasons may also lay in the medication that we’re taking, infections, systemic diseases (for example lupus erythematosus) or head skin diseases (tinea capitis).
Experts list the following reasons as the main ones for hair loss:
- Inappropriate hair stylization – pony tails and buns strain the head skin and cause hair follicles to disappear,
- Backcombing, using elastic hair bands and hairpins – the reasons for hair loss are connected with mechanical hair damage, which may be a result of backcombing, hard combing or tying the hair too tight,
- Hair care products and cosmetics – dying the hair too often and using permanent waves (perms) weaken the hair structure, which causes them to fall out. It’s worth knowing what type of hair you have and using the proper shampoo each day.
- High temperature – using hair dryers, curling irons, and flat irons causes further hair loss,
- Intoxication – hair can also fall out if you’re intoxicated with thallium, arsenic, quicksilver – when these toxins get into your body, it only takes 2 weeks to lose your hair, while growing it back takes 6-8 weeks,
- Smoking – cigarette smoke is one of the worst toxins, as it affects the hair internally and externally, damaging it, dulling it and – in result – making it fall out,
- Stress – there are known cases of complete hair loss caused by stress (for example after a death of a close relative). Stress-related hair loss is also hormone-based, as the adrenals increase the production of adrogens and cause malfunctioning of hair bulbs in genetically predisposed individuals. The number of hairs lost depends on the type of stress. Mediocre, daily stress has a long-term negative impact on the hair condition, while short but impactful stress causes noticeable hair loss during 4 months after the event has occured.
- Chemotherapy – not all types of chemotherapy cause hair loss and different people may see different impacts of it, which also depends on how the body is pron to toxins. If hair grows after chemotheraphy, it usually is weak, thin and lacking in fullness,
- Infectious diseases – the disease that is well-known for hair loss is syphilis, however its treatment speeds up hair growth,
- Systemic diseases – hair loss may be a result of systemic diseases such as: lupus erythematosus, hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism,
- Medicines – drug induced hair loss is often a result of using cytostatic, immunosuppressive, thyroid, antithrombotic and cardiac medications, and contraceptives,
- Scalp diseases – tinea capitis causes hair loss, which manifests itself in bald, circular areas. Sometimes fungus permeates into the system through open wounds and place themselves in hair bulbs where inflammations develop, which blocks the growth of hair. If the hair bulbs are damaged, future hair growth is impossible,
- Mental diseases – trichotillomania,
- Menopause and the time after giving birth – in these cases, hair loss is due to sudden hormonal changes, which weakens the hair and causes it to fall out.
Women and hair loss
Hair loss in the case of women may be caused by various reasons. Androgenic balding, which is tied to incorrect hormonal metabolism, appears more rarely than it does in the case of men. It usually occurs after menopause. Androgenic hair loss usually starts around the frontal lobes and at the top of the head. This type of hair loss may also be a result of genetic factors or contraceptives. Androgenic balding is sometimes called hereditary, as it is tied to our genetics. It is the most common reason for hair loss.
Another kind of hair loss amongst women is caused by the loss of iron, neurosis and hormonal disorders. Hair loss in the case of women is also often noticed after giving birth – usually 11 to 16 weeks after it.
- Endocrinological problems are sometimes the cause of hair loss – in particular relating to glands which produce the main hormones, like thyroid (hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism), hypophysis, which lowers its work speed (Simmonds’ disease) or increases it, producing too much prolactine (the hormone which causes lactation).
- Excess of androgens (a male hormone, made in ovaries and adrenals) which is often caused by the polycystic ovary syndrome, menopause or giving birth. Furthermore the loss of female hormones causes the head skin to deteriorate, which results in hair loss, due to the excess of male hormones.
- Balding in the case of women may also be a result of genetic hair bulb sensitivity overreaction to androgens, even if their level is not risen. This is called hyperandrogenism.
Men and hair loss
Every single reason of hair loss should be diagnosed, as only then can this – embarrasing for many – disorder can be properly treated. The same applies to men. Men usually lose hair during and after their 40’s. From this group, as much as 50% of white males are subject to hair loss. One of the reasons for men hair loss is weakening of the hair follicles, which also lovers the pigmentation of hair.
The hair loss problem in regards to men is usually tied to alopecia areata, which are large hairless areas on the top of the head. Treatment of such a problem is done under doctors’ supervision.
Another common reason for men’s hair loss is androgenic balding. This causes hair loss in the corners of the forehead and on the top of the head, while there is excess hair in other parts of the body, like: nose, ears, back. It is important to note that men’s hair loss is tied to their genetics.
Every day about 100 hairs fall out from our heads. This is completely normal. However, if the hair loss persists or increases, it should be diagnosed, as it could be a start of a disease or large-scale balding.