When you notice that you’re losing an unusual amount of hair, your first question is almost certainly, “Why?” While there are dozens of types of hair loss, there are some underlying causes that lead to most of them. From heredity to your health, to how you treat your scalp… these are the top causes of hair loss.
Is All Hair Loss Hereditary?
While the overwhelming majority of hair loss is due to genetic factors, there are many other causes, ranging from health conditions to lifestyle factors.
The Top Five Causes of Hair Loss Are:
- Genetics: Heredity is by far the most common cause of hair loss, impacting more than 50 million men and 30 million women in America. The most frequently encountered form of hereditary hair loss is androgenic alopecia – also called male-pattern baldness or female-pattern baldness. It causes gradual hair loss, usually in an M-shaped pattern in men or as overall hair thinning in women.
- Health conditions: A wide array of health conditions and diseases cause varying degrees and patterns of hair loss. Pregnancy and hormonal changes can cause telogen effluvium (excess hair shedding)… and so can thyroid disease, anemia, and dietary deficiencies. Autoimmune conditions like Lupus, Hashimoto’s disease, Grave’s disease, and scleroderma may result in significant hair loss. Alopecia areata is a condition in which the immune system directly attacks the hair follicles, resulting in bald patches on the scalp. Even the flu and other viruses often cause hair loss. Since 2020, hair loss after COVID has been reported in many individuals – even those who only had mild cases.
- Medications: Drugs, medical treatments, and supplements can be beneficial to our health – and often save our lives. The downside is that some of them have a negative effect on our hair and scalp. Medications for cancer, depression, acne, or other conditions can cause disruptions to the hair’s growth cycle, leading to hair loss and poor regrowth. Radiation treatments are a well-known cause of medical hair loss. Even nutritional supplements can cause excess shedding if taken improperly.
- Stress: In addition to the havoc physical stressors wreak on your hair, psychological stress often results in excess hair loss. Poorly managed stress may cause telogen effluvium, and it may even trigger the onset of conditions like alopecia areata. Stress is also a trigger for a condition called trichotillomania – the urge to pull hairs out of your head or other parts of the body. Individuals who suffer from trichotillomania often create bald patches from pulling hairs from a single area of the head.
- Follicle Injury: Inflammation, burns, and even some types of hairstyles can injure your follicles… causing temporary or permanent hair loss. Inflammatory conditions like folliculitis and scarring alopecia damage the follicles and lead to hair loss. Some tightly pulled hairstyles like ponytails, buns, rows, and locs cause follicle-stressing traction alopecia.
How Do I Know If My Hair Loss is Normal?
Because healthy hair is constantly in a cycle of shedding and regrowth, it’s perfectly natural to lose some hair every day. It’s “normal” to lose between 50 to 100 strands per day… any more than that is considered excessive.
If your hair loss exceeds those numbers – or if you are developing bald patches – you may wish to consult your physician. Your physician or a specialist may be able to determine if there is an underlying health problem causing your hair loss.
How Do I Know What Type of Hair Loss I Have?
Your symptoms and hair loss pattern are clues to the type of hair loss you have. For example, losing hair in an M-shaped pattern is a strong indicator that you are experiencing androgenic alopecia. Round balding patches would suggest alopecia areata. Still, it is best to be evaluated by a qualified professional who can provide an official diagnosis and help you decide on a course of action.
What Age Does Hair Loss Start?
Many men begin to experience noticeable hair loss in their 30s. Although hair loss and thinning may start in their 20s or even as early as their late teens.
Women typically see hair loss beginning in their 40s and increasing throughout middle age. That said, hair loss can occur at any age – particularly those types caused by non-hereditary factors.
Can You Reverse Hereditary Hair Loss?
While some of these types of hair loss can be reversed, androgenic alopecia isn’t one of them. You can, however, slow down or even stop its progressive hair loss. Oral or topical medications (as well as procedures like PRP and stem cell therapy) can put the brakes on hair loss and stimulate growth from productive follicles – giving you a thicker, fuller head of hair.
If you are experiencing permanent hair loss, we offer surgical hair replacement options to restore your hairline. Our expert surgeons combine artistry and technical prowess to create the hairline you desire.
Begin Your Hair Restoration Journey with L.A. FUE Hair New York
Beginning a hair restoration journey is a big step. L.A. FUE Hair New York gives you the knowledge and tools to choose the best hair loss treatment based on the type and underlying cause of your hair loss. We are here to answer your questions, help you set your hair restoration goals, and walk you through the entire process. Contact us today to schedule your complimentary consultation.