Causes of Hair Loss

The causes of hair loss vary from one sex to another. Besides, the causes of losing hair are different from children and adults.

Who are affected by the causes of Hair Loss?

The probability of men suffering from hair loss increase with age. Approximately 40 percent of all American men have visible hair loss by the age of 35. By the age of 60 that percentage grows to 65 percent.

Women, on the other hand, by the age of 40 had a 40 percent more visible hair loss. So women, make up a significant part of the population affected by hair loss and thinning hair. 

In the case of children, they are prone to lose their hair early because of a disease, or a fungal infection, or even an emotional disorder.

Young men are not immune also, because 25 percent of the people, who start to see the first signs of hair loss, are the men with less than 21 years old, according to the American Hair Loss Association.

We will examine what are the causes of hair loss, affecting not only men and women, but also children. Because everyone is exposed to the causes of hair loss.

Then, we will consider other conditions and diseases that also contribute to hair loss or thinning hair in all groups. If you want to see the main factors behind hair loss, then read the article: Causes Behind Hair Loss.

We'll talk about the causes of hair loss in the three groups mentioned above. Let's start with the first group, males.

Causes of Male Hair Loss

The most common among the causes of hair loss in men, is a hereditary issue called male pattern baldness. 

As stated in U.S. National Library of Medicine, the condition has other names, as androgenic alopecia, male pattern alopecia, and pattern baldness.

In some men occurs gradually, as they are getting older. The signs of male pattern baldness are bald spots and a receding hairline.

Another reason why most men lose their hair, is an imbalance of an androgen male hormone called testosterone. 

The imbalance occurs when the testosterone converts into DHT, or 5a-dihydrotestosterone. In men, DHT causes the hair follicles to shrink, regress, and die, resulting in premature balding.

Hair Loss in Women Causes

The causes of hair loss in women vary, being the most common a hereditary condition called female pattern baldness, or androgenetic alopecia. While in some men's hair loss occurs gradually, as they are getting older, in women becomes visible as thinning hair.

Androgenetic alopecia is also one of the causes of hair loss triggered by the ovary or tumors of the pituitary gland, because it is caused by the secretion of the androgen hormone, and that causes hair loss in women.

The problem is, another hormone, testosterone, is not exclusive to males, nor is it the result of testosterone becoming DHT. Unfortunately for women, even a small part of this process causes them to suffer hair loss.

If women change the contraception form, from pill to another method, it activates an induced shedding hair stage, because the body reacts to the changes which affect hormones.  

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome or PCOS are another condition that causes hair to fall in women. Symptoms include irregular or not having menstrual periods at all, infertility, acne, pain in the pelvic zone, patchy, and discolored skin, and excessive facial or body hair.

Traction alopecia is the hair loss associated with tight hairstyles, like hair rollers, ponytails, braids, and other hairstyles that cause tension to the hair.

Children Hair Loss

I know it's difficult to visualize children hair loss as a normal thing, because it's not. In fact, only the 3 percent of the children population have hair loss, bald spots, or some kind of thinning hair. 

Children's hair loss is frustrating not only to the children but for their parents as well. The good news is that, in the little ones most causes of hair loss are temporary, and the hair usually grows back by itself. At least, it's refreshing to know that.

If one of your precious child is losing hair, you want to know the causes for sure. Let's check out the list, in alphabetical order, of causes of children's hair loss:

            ·      Alopecia Areata

            ·      Alopecia Totalis

            ·      Alopecia Universalis

            ·      Anagen Effluvium

            ·      Anemia or Iron Deficiency

            ·      Androgenetic Alopecia

            ·      Aplasia Cutis Congenita

            ·      Chemically Induced Hair Loss

            ·      Chemotherapy

            ·      Congenital Hyper or Hypothyroidism

            ·      Congenital Triangular Alopecia

            ·      Diabetes Mellitus

            ·      Ectodermal Dysplasia Syndrome

            ·      Hair Shaft Defects

            ·      Lichen Planopilaris

            ·      Loose Anagen Hair Syndrome

            ·      Nevus Sebaceous of Jadassohn

            ·      Nutritional Deficiency

            ·      Pituitary Insufficiency

            ·      Radiation Therapy

            ·      Severe Injury or Severe Physical Stress

            ·      Severe Emotional Stress

            ·      Staph Aureus Bacterial Infection

            ·      Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

            ·      Telogen Effluvium

            ·      Tinea Capitis or Ringworm

            ·      Thyroid Disorders

            ·      Traction Alopecia

            ·      Traumatic Alopecia

            ·      Trichotillomania

            ·      Vitamin A Toxicity or Hypervitaminosis A

            ·      Vitamin D Toxicity or Hypercalcemia

As you can see there are many causes of hair loss in children. Pretty daunting, to say the least. Fortunately, much of these causes are temporary. Although not the congenital ones. Let's hope none of these affect your kids.

Telogen Effluvium

Hair CycleHair Cycle

Another one of the causes of hair loss is the telogen effluvium. This is an alteration of the normal hair cycle, in which the hair continues to grow for two years, then stops, and in two more months it enters the final shedding phase and is visible as thinning hair or excessive hair loss.

The name itself "effluvium" means the same as an outflow or leakage. Dermatologists say this is the second most common way to lose hair. The first one is androgenetic alopecia.

Telogen effluvium is a natural process of the body. But there are two variations of the condition. The first one is telogen effluvium, which is caused by at least 20 reasons. You can check out that in here.

Besides, there's the other side of the coin, known as chronic telogen effluvium.

Hair Loss due to Medication

There are several drugs that cause hair to fall out. In fact more than you can imagine! That's why drugs are one of the causes of hair loss. Maybe you were not aware of all the risks involved, when the doctor prescribed that medication for the first time.

The scalp hair growth has four phases. If you want to know what are these, go and read the article: Telogen Effluvium.

The more we take the drug, the more hair we will lose. Therefore, we will see medications for different conditions, in which hair loss is among their side effects.

To see a list of some of them, go to the article: Hair Loss due to Medication.

As I said before, the causes behind hair loss are many, as well as the list of previous conditions. Now, imagine that I mention all the drugs, that produce hair loss, among their side effects.

Genetic Hair Loss

If hair loss is roaming around in your family, there's a good chance that you suffer from one of the more common causes of hair loss. A genetic condition called male pattern baldness. Other name for the condition is hereditary-pattern baldness. So the name says it all.

In women is called, female pattern baldness. The signs are bald spots and a receding hairline. While in women it becomes visible as thinning hair.

Some people believe male pattern baldness, and female pattern baldness, are not really causes of hair loss. They think these are natural conditions, as we age.

But think about it for a moment, if these conditions are natural, why do we worry so much about it? If it's natural we would just accept them, and that's it, but we don't.

Hereditary-pattern baldness is a condition that starts at 20's or 30's and affects the 40 percent of the male population, but almost anyone can experience some degree of hair loss as we age.

Is caused by hormonal disorders, age, and hereditary reasons. The common believe is that this kind of pattern baldness comes from the genes of the mother's side, but investigators say that this condition is caused by the genes of both parents.

Hormones and Hair Loss

Hormones and hair loss are strongly related, especially in women. Changes like pregnancy, childbirth, menopause, perimenopause, polycystic ovary syndrome, or PCOS, and an imbalance of the thyroid gland are one of the causes of hair loss.

Another hormonal imbalance is testosterone converting to DHT or 5a-dihydrotestosterone. Testosterone is an androgen male hormone.

In men DHT causes hair follicles to shrink, regress, and die, resulting in premature balding.

Testosterone is not exclusive to men, because women also have certain levels of that hormone in their bodies. Therefore, they also experience the conversion of testosterone into DHT. Unfortunately for women, even a small part of this process causes them to suffer hair loss.

Diseases that cause Hair Loss

The diseases are among the main causes of hair loss. There are external and internal diseases that have a direct or indirect effect on our appearance. Some of them are the responsible for the hair to fall.

Of course, not every disease is exclusive to women, nor to men. So it's time to go to a list of diseases that cause hair loss, or I mean the list. Which ones are these?

            ·    Acute Stress Disorder

            ·    Alopecia Areata

            ·    Allergies

            ·    Anemia

            ·    Dandruff

            ·    Diabetes

            ·    Headaches

            ·    Hypo and Hyperthyroidism

            ·    Lupus, especially Discoid Lupus

            ·    Polycystic Ovary Syndrome or PCOS

            ·    Psoriasis

            ·    Scalp Diseases

            ·    Trichotillomania or Hair Pulling Disorder

If you examine the list carefully, you will notice that there are some diseases related to the scalp. There are others that are autoimmune. While others are related to emotional issues

Anyway, this is by no means a complete list of the diseases that cause hair loss. They are the most famous ones or most infamous, as you do wish to call it. Periodically I will update it to form a more complete list. But, you can click this link, if you want a more detailed explanation.

Hair Loss from Chemotherapy

It is almost certain that you have hair loss from chemotherapy, if you underwent that treatment.  One of the most distressful and unpleasant side effects of chemo and radiation treatments is seeing before your eyes the hair falling. Besides, for many people, sudden hair loss is a sure sign of cancer.

Of course, no one would like to go through that experience. If you want nobody to know you have cancer, you may feel frightened just by thinking that other people notice you are losing your hair.

You may be wondering why hair loss happens when you are undergoing chemotherapy. Simply put, because chemotherapy medications are extremely potent drugs aiming to rapidly destroy the growth of cancer cells.

The problem is that they also attack good cells, including cells that make hair grow.

Chemo or radiotherapy treatments, as well as chemotherapy drugs can damage the cells that cause hair to grow.

This can lead to a certain type of hair loss known as alopecia. It causes you to lose hair not only on the head, but also eyebrows, eyelashes and other parts of your body. If you do not lose your hair completely, it could happen that males your hair thinner.

After starting the chemotherapy, the hair begins to fall around two to four weeks.

Thankfully, usually most of the time, hair loss is temporary. The re-growth of your hair begins three to six months after your last chemotherapy, although the texture and shade of your hair may vary.

Smoking and Hair Loss 

Different studies that have been carried out, connect smoking and hair loss, though in an indirect way. There are still many people who smoke, and a great chunk of these don't pay much attention to their negative consequences.

What are the three main factors where there's a link between smoking and hair loss. To see the reasons click here, or go the article: Smoking and Hair Loss.

Hair Loss from Stress

According to Mayo Clinic you can have hair loss from stress. The loss of hair that comes from stress can occur, either due to a very stressful physical, or emotional event such as a divorce, the death of a loved one, injury, illness, surgery, or even serious financial problems.

That hair loss can be seen between 6 weeks to 3 months, since the incident occurred.

There are three types of hair loss due to stress. The first is the telogen effluvium. It occurs when stress forces a large number of hair follicles to enter a resting phase. In a few months, the follicles that remain in that phase, suddenly begin to fall, just by shampooing and combing your hair.

The second is alopecia areata, which occurs when anxiety levels are high. Then the white blood cells attack the hair follicles.

Third and not least is Trichotillomania. This is an irresistible desire to pluck out the hair from the scalp, eyebrows and other parts of the body.

But hair loss can be left behind, just by keeping stress under control. If stress is controlled, the hair will re-grow. If you want to know more about hair loss from stress, and to see 10 ideas to counteract it, you can click here.

Fungal Infection on Scalp      

Ringworm Scalp InfectionRingworm Scalp Infection

Fungal infection of the scalp is the same as ringworm of the scalp. It's also named tinea capitis. Although this is a fungal infection affecting the scalp, it can strike other body regions, like the groin, also called jock itch, and the beard, feet, as in athletes foot, and another skin areas.

In children is a common condition, but is also seen in adults.  There are two different kinds of fungi involved here, microsporum canis and trichophyton.

The disease is contagious, and is transmitted if you have a direct contact with the infected person. The fungi's spores lasts for a long time.

What are the symptoms. There are 10 of them, namely:

            ·    At first, affects a small portion of the scalp, but little by little spreads out over the entire area

            ·    Broken hairs on the bald patch, seen as small black dots

            ·    Enlarged and tender neck lymph nodes

            ·    Hair Loss

            ·    Low fever

            ·    Scalp inflammation and redness

            ·    Scalp itching

            ·    Scaly and round bald patches with a very well defined border

            ·    Small boils or pustules on the scalp

            ·    Sometimes it looks like psoriasis

Can Hairstyle Cause Hair Loss?

Certain hairstyles, especially the ones to pull on the hair tight,  are responsible for people losing their hair. What are the things that put you on risk of getting hair loss?

Examine carefully this list, and see if there is at least one of these points you should consider, in order to discover the cause of your hair loss:

            ·    alcohol based gels

            ·    cornrows

            ·    curling irons

            ·    dreadlocks

            ·    excessive hairdryer or blower

            ·    hair bands, hair clips o head ties

            ·    hot oil treatments

            ·    permanents

            ·    sprays that clog the hair follicles

            ·    strengtheners

            ·    tight pigtails or ponytails

            ·    weaves or hair extensions

This is it. The causes of hair loss, from men, women, even children. From medications to genetics, from diseases to hormones. I guess you probably didn't think there would so many.

Modesty aside, it is one of the most complete information of the causes of hair loss on the net. See it for yourself! And as I said before, I'll be updating the causes and explaining them in more detail.