The question of what causes hair loss depends entirely on the individual, their family history, medical conditions and their lifestyle.
The important thing to remember, is that the vast majority of hair loss is perfectly natural. What causes hair loss for most people is simple genetics, where hair loss runs in the family, making the loss of ones hair almost an inevitability.
Besides male pattern baldness, there are many other causes of hair loss including various forms of alopecia. Whilst many medical conditions are potential catalysts for triggering hair loss, there are some conditions that can deal greater blows than others and may even lead to permanent loss of hair.
Diseases, infections and your hair
The basic requirements for your hair to grow at its peak are a good supply of oxygen and blood, the right nutritional combinations and a healthy environment. Whilst a large percentage of hair loss is related to genetics, hormones and sudden triggers, there are many high profile medical conditions that can pose a serious threat to your hair.
As we progress in life, we are bound to catch up with a certain illness or disease that we may or may not be able to avoid. These diseases might be passed down genetically like diabetes and heart conditions, hormonal issues like hyperthyroidism or maybe catching a fungal infection from a camping trip. There are tens of thousands of diseases out there and we cannot avoid them all.
One of the common hair loss causes are often related to an infection of the scalp, or perhaps a skin disease that can spread to the scalp causing itchiness and inflammation. Or it can be a chronic disease like diabetes that can cause many complications. Sometimes, it might be an autoimmune condition that you are genetically predisposed too.
No matter what the hair loss causes are, your hair follicles are prone to all of them. Let’s take a look at some of the most common causes of hair loss.
There are various forms of alopecia, all of which cause hair loss in different ways. For example, alopecia areata is an autoimmune disorder where your own immune system cells cause inflammation to the hair follicles leading to sudden hair loss and it’s one of the most severe hair loss causes. There are many variants of the condition and some can lead to massive hair loss and severe psychological stress.
Another form is traction alopecia, a hair loss condition that is directly caused by external pressure exerted on the hair. Most people face with some level of traction related hair loss without even noticing it. If the condition is allowed to continue, it can lead to further complications as well as permanent hair loss.
Triangular alopecia is a very rare form of hair loss, so rare in fact that we haven’t included it on our alopecia treatment page. Triangular Alopecia is the receding of hair line from the side the temple, and is not part of the normal balding process. We will cover triangular alopecia in more detail in a future post.
Hair loss caused by anemia
Anemia is a medical condition that represents the lack blood count and it is related to iron deficiency. It’s one of the more common hair loss causes that can cause chronic hair problems, although many people do not realise that this condition can affect the scalp.
Hair loss caused by medical intervention
In response to many medical conditions, the body is often bombarded with chemicals and drugs designed to cure the ailment, however in some cases this intervention can have a profound effect on the hair. The most severe hair loss is caused by chemotherapy. Most people that go through chemotherapy face a wide range of medical symptoms as well as psychology problems. You might feel lonely or depressed when going through it and losing your hair can make it worse for many people.
Diabetes and hair loss
The link between diabetes and hair loss had been discovered way back in the 1800s and it’s also one of the most prevailing hair loss causes. If you have diabetes you’re immune system is often impaired, which can affect your hair growth cycle.
Folliculitis is a common fungal infection, affecting the hair follicles. It results in small pimple like inflammation growing on top of your hair follicles. This disease can be caused by poor hygiene or if you have particularly sensitive skin.
Hypothyroidism – thyroid hair loss
If your hair is falling for no apparent reason, it could be caused by a condition known as hypothyroidism. Thyroid related hair loss is a common hair loss disease. It is related to your thyroid glands and easily distinguished from your normal hair loss. See our thyroid hair loss post for more information.
Trichorrhexis Nodosa is a defect in the hair shaft, characterised by thickening or weak points (nodes) that can cause hair to break off easily. This condition can contribute to the appearance of hair loss, lack of growth, and hair that looks malnourished and damaged.
Trichotillomania is an impulse control disorder, where the hair is pulled due to a compulsive or nervous habit. Suprisingly common, trichotillomamia could be caused by a habit or addiction and is seldom reported.
If you would benefit from free and impartial hair loss advice, perhaps to discover what causes hair loss in your particular case, please feel free to contact us, or speak with our clients in our forum.