More than 50% of the population experience hair loss in one form or another before they turn 50. According to the American Hair Loss Association, $3.5 billion is spent every year on treating hair loss in the United States alone. In spite of being such a widely experienced phenomena, not everybody understands the reasons or causes behind hair loss and, as a result of this, end up spending money on treatments that do not show any results. In order to effectively treat hair loss, it is necessary to understand its causes along with the side effects of its treatments.
Well, there are many causes attributed to hair loss, following are some of the common causes of hair loss that are backed by scientific evidence:
Hormones: Male hormones called androgens that are produced in our bodies plays an important role in hair loss. While they are necessary, their abnormal levels results in hair loss. Androgens are found in both men and women. Specific to women, hysterectomy, menopause, childbirth, pregnancy and birth control pills are some of the many reasons that result in hormonal imbalance.
Autoimmune Disease: Autoimmune diseases are one of the common causes of a form of hair loss called alopecia areata. Alopecia areata is mainly seen in young adults and children, and results in hair loss in patches. In rare cases, this can even lead to alopecia totalis, a form of complete baldness. This is not a permanent condition and hair grows back in 90% of the cases.
Illness, Surgeries and Stress: Illnesses and stress also cause temporary hair loss. Many of the specific conditions that trigger hair loss include lupus, iron deficiency, syphilis, thyroid disorders and severe infection.
Medication and Drugs: Many drugs such as chemotherapy drugs, beta-adrenergic blockers, and blood thinners are some examples of drugs that can cause hair loss. Chemotherapy drugs in its attempt to attack fast growing cells also attack and kill hair follicles, which then contributes to hair loss. Other medications such as those that treat gout and high blood pressure are also known to cause hair shedding. Excess vitamin A is also known to cause hair loss.
Nutritional Deficiencies: Eating disorders or heavy dieting directly affect hair growth. Anorexia and bulimia are among some of the eating disorders that result in hair loss as they stun the hair follicles and hair ceases to grow. Insufficient intake of essential nutrients such as minerals, vitamins and protein also lead to hair loss.
Harsh Hairstyles and Treatments: Finally, this is one of the most common causes of hair loss that is in our control but we completely ignore it. Harsh hairstyles that use barrettes, rollers or rubber bands or ones that require pulling of hair in specific styles cause inflames and scars hair follicles. Also, extensive use of chemical products such as permanent wave solutions, straighteners, bleaches and dyes result in hair damage and subsequently hair loss.
Even though there are many cures for hair loss, success is not 100% guaranteed. Also, many cures focus on prevention of further hair loss rather than growth of lost hair. Hence, it is best to understand the above common causes and prevent hair loss.