Sudden Hair Loss? Possible Causes

General Hair Loss

If you are suffering from sudden hair loss, quite possibly without any warning, there are a number of conditions, permanent and temporary, which may be causing this spontaneous loss of hair.

Losing ones hair is usually a natural process, largely dictated by your genes and to a lesser extent, your lifestyle. In fact for many people with a family history of baldness, combined with a stressful or unhealthy lifestyle, losing your hair can be almost an inevitability. Sudden hair loss on the other hand, usually occurs for another reason. Here we examine the main reasons why your hair may fall out quite suddenly.

Your body goes through cycles of hair replacement on your scalp. There is a resting period of 2-3 months, then the hair falls out and a new hair grows in its place. It’s normal to have hair loss daily but excessive sudden hair loss should be investigated, as there is most likely an underlying cause.

Sudden hair loss caused by alopecia

The most common cause of sudden hair loss is one of many forms of alopecia. Alopecia is defined as a hair loss disease that affects men, women and children. The onset of hair loss is often sudden, random and frequently recurrent. While the disease itself is not damaging to the person’s health, coping with alopecia can prove challenging. Androgenetic Alopecia, also known as male pattern baldness, is responsible for naturally occuring hair loss as a person ages. There are however, other strains of alopecia that manifest themselves in a far more aggressive manner.

For example, Alopecia Areata causes baldness in soft, round patches on the scalp or elsewhere on the body. Alopecia Areata sufferers may go onto remission briefly, permanently, or never recover. Unfortunately like other forms of alopecia, the condition is wholly unpredictable. In addition, Alopecia Totalis, currently believed to be an autoimmune disorder, can result in the entire loss of head hair, and can occur quite suddenly. Alopecia Universalis furthermore, usually results in an entire loss of all body hair, including the scalp, eyebrows and eyelashes. Regrowth of hair is always a possibility, even for those with 100% hair loss suffered over many years, however it is not possible to predict when regrowth will occur. See our alopecia treatment page for more information.

Another cause of sudden hair loss is wearing your hair in too tight of buns, braids, or ponytails. Referred to traction alopecia, this causes the roots to become weakened and scarred, permanently damaging the hair system. It may also cause your hair to grow in a direction contrary to its normal growth structure.

Thyroid disease

Less common than alopecia, but still prevalent in many people, is thyroid hair loss. Thyroid disease, overactive or under-active, often accounts for sudden hair loss, which is readily treatable. A pregnant woman may experience hair loss because of the loss of hormones after delivery. As soon as her hormone levels rise over time, her hair will stop falling out. The condition is also common in men, caused by hormone imbalances.

Medical intervention

Medications such as blood thinners and birth control pills can cause sudden hair loss. Hair may even fall out after a long illness however this effect is usually temporary. Possibly the most well documented cause of sudden hair loss in patients, is as a result of cancer treatments such as chemotherapy.

Lifestyle factors

A poor diet or lack of exercise, combined with high levels of stress or lack of sleep, can cause the body to age prematurely. All manner of symptoms may arise from such a lifestyle, including poor skin and nail condition, and also hair loss in some cases. It is however, rather uncommon for lifestyle choices to cause rapid hair loss, although it is not unheard of.

What can you do to avoid sudden hair loss?

It’s important to see a doctor for any sudden loss of hair. The underlying reasons, caught in due time, can be controlled by medication or lifestyle changes. Beware of hair loss products that claim to replace hair immediately or seem to be wonder drugs. A professional medical doctor should be consulted on any medication in order to avoid complications if you are taking any other drugs. There are also certain vitamins for hair loss which may provide some benefits.

In many cases, avoiding the problem simply isn’t an option. If you are suffering from a condition such as alopecia, or are bound to certain medications, you may not have much choice. The MHT® Micro Hair Technique however, can offer for many people, the ideal solution. Developed to simulate the appearance of real hair, the MHT® technique is fast gaining global acclaim as the most innovative hair loss solution available.

If you would like further information, or require impartial hair loss advice, please contact us. Alternatively, our forum community is extremely supportive and may be able to provide you with additional information regarding their own experiences. You can find our forum here.


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