What are the primary causes of hair loss?

General Hair Loss

There is more than one cause of hair loss but for those who lose their hair it can be devastating. Hair loss can start at any age, it is not a condition that affects just the older generations as some think. Finding the cause of hair loss is important and when noticed the advice of an expert should be sought.

The most common hair loss in women is female pattern baldness, also known as androgenetic alopecia. This will cause hair to thin on the top and sides of the scalp and although it can happen at any age it is more prominent in women after the menopause. Research has shown this may be due to changes in hormones known as androgens which are a male hormone known to cause hair loss in men. It is a genetic condition which is passed on through male and female in the family.

This same condition in a man is known as male pattern baldness, although the pattern is not the same. Whereas women do not normally go bald, the hair just thins, men start with a receding hair line which develops into a horseshoe shape hair loss on the crown. Hair is kept around the side and back of the head. The male sex hormone testosterone is converted to dihydrotestosterone, which can make the hair follicles shrink as the scalp becomes sensitive to the hormones. Eventually the follicles can no longer hold the hair as they are too small and eventually become inactive.

The head is where most notice hair loss occurring, but it can actually happen all over the body. Skin diseases can cause the hair follicles to be destroyed and the area will no longer produce hair. If body hair starts to disappear for no apparent reason expert advice should be sought to find the underlying cause. Scarring and burning of the skin will have the same effect as the hair follicles are destroyed. Complete loss of all body hair is commonly referred to as alopecia universalis.

Diet plays an important part in the condition of the body and mind and this includes the hair. For the circulation and nervous system to function properly a good diet is essential. When the body’s system is working well all parts receive the vitamins and nutrients they need to do their required job. Hair follicles need nutrients to keep healthy or the hair will start to thin.

Chemotherapy, a medical process used to treat some forms of cancer, is known to cause hair loss in both men and women no matter what age. Fortunately, once the treatment has finished the hair will grow back but will take time. Other medications are known to have an effect on hair loss as they effect the immune system and the body is not functioning as well as it should be.

Telogen effluvium is a hair loss condition that is caused by trauma or shock to the body. After childbirth some women notice hair thinning on the head. Once the body’s hormones are back to normal the hair will thicken and grow again. Serious accidents and surgery are another cause of hair loss due to the trauma the body is exposed to. Any upset to the body’s natural performance can affect bodily hair. It is one of the first indications that there is something wrong. The hair thins, becomes dull, dry and breaks easily because nutrients are not reaching the outer extremities.

Stress and anxiety is part of everyday life for many. Life today is a lot faster than it used to be, there is great competition in working life, balancing work with home life and even keeping up to date with the latest styles and trends. This can bring about sleepless nights, tiredness the next day and so on. Without sleep the body cannot recuperate and begins to have an effect on the body and hair. The thinning of hair can cause embarrassment for some which in turn causes stress and it can seem like a vicious circle.

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