Healthy Living

What Causes Hair Loss?

What Causes Hair Loss?

Key Takeaways

  • Hair loss can be caused by a multitude of different causes.

Normally one loses up to 100 strands of hair per day, which is completely normal. Many people lose their hair as they grow older, which is not meant to be alarming. In most cases, losing a few strands here and there may not make a noticeable difference in the scalp.

There are different types of hair loss:

  • Thinning of hair with age
  • Male pattern baldness 
  • Sudden loss of hair often in patches in children and young adults
  • Temporary thinning of hair due to differences in the growth pattern or cycle

Normally, most of the hair loss is not caused by a disease or poor diet. Genetic factors, family history, and aging seem to influence hair growth. Hair thinning is also normal in people in their 30s and 40s when there is noticeable thinning in patches. Some other causes of hair loss include hormonal changes, certain medications, and illnesses.

For men and women with a particular genetic makeup, sex hormones trigger male and female pattern baldness. This hair loss is more common in males than in females and may start as early as their teenage. Changes or imbalances in hormones may also result in temporary hair loss.

A number of health issues also may cause hair loss:

  • Issues in thyroid glands affect the hormone levels and results in hair loss.
  • When the immune system starts affecting the hair follicles, as in alopecia areata, hair loss is the result.
  • Ringworm infections in the scalp are a common cause for hair loss.
  • Many skin disorders may also lead to loss of hair in both males and females.

Certain medications are also causes of hair loss. This includes the medications for cancer, arthritis, depression, heart issues, and high blood pressure.

Hair loss can result from:

  • Physical or mental trauma – Both these conditions may result in temporary loss or thinning or hair. This can be sudden weight loss, persistent high fever or even a death or loss of a loved one.
  • Certain hairstyles – Styles with too much pulling of hair may result in the loss of hair. 

The most common risk factors for thinning of hair include:

  • Family history
  • Hair treatment
  • Poor nutrition