5 Major Causes of Hair Fall — By Whiskers
It’s true that men are more likely to lose their hair than women, mostly due to male pattern baldness (more on that later).
But thinning hair and hair loss are also common in women, and no less demoralizing. Reasons might be simple and temporary, like vitamin deficiencies; or more complex, like an underlying health condition.
In many cases, there are ways to treat both male and female hair loss. It all depends on the cause. Here are some common and not-so-common reasons why you might be seeing less hair on your head.
1. Physical Stress
Any kind of physical trauma surgery, a car accident, or a severe illness, even the flu can cause temporary hair loss. This can trigger a type of hair loss called telogen effluvium. Hair has a programmed life cycle: a growth phase, rest phase and shedding phase.
“When you have a really stressful event, it can shock the hair cycle, (pushing) more hair into the shedding phase,” explains Marc Glashofer, MD, a dermatologist in New York City. Hair loss often becomes noticeable three-to-six months after the trauma.
What to do: The good news is that hair will start growing back as your body recovers.
2. Too much Vitamin A
Overdoing vitamin A-containing supplements or medications can trigger hair loss, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. The Daily Value for vitamin A is 5,000 International Units (IU) per day for adults and kids over age 4; supplements can contain 2,500 to 10,000 IU.
What to do: This is a reversible cause of hair loss and once the excess vitamin A is halted, hair should grow normally.
3. Lack of proteins
If you don’t get enough protein in your diet, your body may ration protein by shutting down hair growth, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. This can happen about two to three months after a drop in protein intake, they say.
4. Male Pattern Baldness
Male pattern baldness is the leading cause of hair loss. Over time, the hair follicles begin to change and shrink which leans to the hair thinning. The hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT) can increase and this works to destroy the hair follicles. Over time, the amount of DHT can increase and completely destroy the hair follicles and this causes no hair to grow.
What to do: Male pattern baldness is not a result of stress. However, stress can lead to increased hair loss. Avoid stress triggers to prevent further hair loss. Proven methods of stress reduction include; meditation, time in nature, the right amount of sleep, and listening to music.
5. Tight hairstyles
Having your hair in a tight hairstyle such as braids or even a high ponytail can cause hair loss. This is referred to as traction alopecia; the hair on the scalp can begin to shed because the hair is put under extreme tension from the tight hairstyle.