WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT CAUSES OF HAIR LOSS?

by | Jun 10, 2023 | Health/Wellness

Losing your hair isn’t ideal whether you are a man or a woman. Your hair can give your face its shape, and you can even style it to represent your personality. For generations now, people have worried about hair loss Unfortunately, it seems that not many people know how or why it happens.

Related: Three health issues men need to be aware of as they get older

Some people go completely bald, while some only lose a lot of hair on top of their heads. There are even people who will lose the ability to grow hair anywhere on their body. Losing your hair can harm your self-esteem, but perhaps learning more about some of the causes of hair loss will help you avoid the problem entirely.

Hair loss: Alopecia

When you discuss those who lose hair on every part of their body, it is usually because they have an illness called alopecia areata. Alopecia is an autoimmune disease that can wipe out the hair on top of your head and everywhere else.

Alopecia is an autoimmune disease and that means it is a hereditary illness. The hair loss you experience is a by-product of your immune system attacking your hair follicles by mistake. While your hair may grow back naturally with this illness, it is likely that your hair will fall out again once your immune system gets triggered. You can easily treat alopecia at home with corticosteroid supplements.

Hereditary

The passing of genes down from your parents will ensure that you are likely to receive a lot of the beneficial traits that will help you survive as a human. Unfortunately, you are also likely to inherit some of their flaws. Since the hair on your head is not vital to your survival in modern times in any way, both men and women can inherit the baldness gene from one of their parents.

Hereditary hair loss is one of the leading causes of hair loss and it behaves differently across the genders. For men, this condition is called male pattern baldness which describes a process where the hair follicles slowly die. In women, these follicles slowly shrink away which leads to thinning of the hair. Fortunately, you can restimulate these follicles with the right solution. Finasteride comes in a tablet or foam for best hair loss results. The sooner you start this hair loss treatment the better as there is no other way to regrow your hair from hereditary hair loss.

Hair Loss 2

Age

Aging happens to us all, and you will notice that a lot of your bodily functions slow down as you get older. A lot of people notice the slowing of things like their metabolism or immune system; however, not many people realise that their hair growth has also slowed.

When most people go bald from old age, they tend to confuse it with hereditary baldness. Although, time does play a role in your hair loss. As your hair growth slows, the less hair you have to play with atop your head. As a result, you will appear balder the older you get. You may notice that your hair is shrinking from the front first before it disappears elsewhere. This is called a widow’s peak, and anyone that starts you develop this hair feature can expect to lose more hair as they age. You can also start to go thin in the direct centre and develop a bald spot.

You may not go completely bald, but you will notice some thinning going on. Fortunately, regrowth is possible with some of the solutions mentioned before, but only if you catch yourself balding early enough.

Stress

Just as your immune system will remove your hair when you have alopecia, it can also do the same if you find yourself in a stressful situation. It is very rare, and you will have to experience feeling stressed over a long period for it to cause your hair to fall out. But it is worth remembering this if you are someone who experiences stress often enough.

Whenever you are stressed, your body releases certain chemicals to prepare for the situation. As a result, your immune system activates to remove the chemicals when they are no longer needed. Unfortunately, being too stressed for long enough can confuse your immune system and cause it to think that normal parts of your body need to be removed as they are a danger.

This is why your cuts and scrapes take longer to heal when you are stressed and also why your immune system attacks your hair proteins, causing you to lose your hair. Fortunately, this is a temporary problem, and your hair will grow back once you have calmed down. Make sure you practice deep breathing exercises, and you won’t have to worry about losing your hair to stress.

Hair Loss 3

Photo by Elizeu Dias on Unsplash

Hair loss: Tight hairstyles

An unfortunately common hairstyle in the nineties was pulling all their hair back into a tight ponytail. This type of hairstyle, no matter how awful, can also be a great time-saver for people trying to leave the house in a rush.

Not only is this hairstyle a fashion no-no, but it can also be a common cause of hair loss in women as routinely pulling your hair back tightly in this way is going to eventually cause your hair to fall out. Plucking a few hairs out this way may not seem like a big deal at first, but this type of hairstyle can destroy the follicles over time.

Cancer treatment

Of course, cancer comes with many nasty side effects. Hair loss ends up being one of the better ones. However, people with cancer do not lose their hair because of the illness but the treatment.

Cancer starts with a mutation of one of the cells in your body and the disease spreads by infecting the surrounding healthy cells. As such, a common cure for this illness is attempting to remove all of the infected cells to prevent them from spreading. This involves blasting the cells with a high dose of radiation in a process called chemotherapy.

While chemotherapy is a successful way of killing cancer, it does have the unfortunate side effect of wiping out your hair follicles. Fortunately, this side effect is only temporary, and your hair will return in full once the radiation treatment stops.

Scalp psoriasis

Psoriasis is another autoimmune disease that affects the skin. However, instead of attacking the hair itself this form of illness causes your immune system to attack your skin cells.

You will know if you have psoriasis when you experience a flare-up on the skin. This presents itself in a red blotchy rash or flaking patch of skin. Unfortunately, if a flare-up like this appears on your scalp, it could cause your hair to fall out. There are many possible treatments for psoriasis so there is a chance that you could treat it before you start losing your hair. However, any hair that is lost in this way will comfortably grow back once psoriasis has cleared in the affected area.

Wrap up

Hair loss is not something that anyone wants to have to worry about. Unfortunately, you cannot control if or when this will happen to you. All you can do is pay attention to hair regrowth techniques and avoid any behaviours that may speed up the process.

Top photo by Vinicius “amnx” Amano on Unsplash

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