The quickest way you’ll notice that you are aging is on top of your scalp. While hair loss is usually more common in males over 50 years old, it can happen much sooner, and not only to males. There are many causes of hair loss, so it’s not always easy to pinpoint. However, knowing the cause of your hair loss is the key to treating it.
18 Surprising Causes of Hair Loss and Baldness
Emotional stress, although less likely than physical, can also cause hair loss. Traumatic and high emotional stress events are common causes. Although, it is more typical that emotional stress will only expose an existing problem rather than create hair loss.
What you can do: While it’s not proven that reducing stress will reduce hair loss, it’s something that can only benefit you. So take appropriate steps in reducing your anxiety and stress.
2. Male-Pattern Baldness
Two out of three men will experience hair before they hit age 60, more often than not it will be due to male pattern baldness which is caused by genes and male sex hormones. It typically follows a common pattern as seen in the illustration below.
What you can do: Topical creams like minoxidil (Rogaine) and medications such as finasteride (Propecia) may help halt hair loss and lead to hair growth.
This is an example of the physical stress that can cause you to experience hair loss. However, it’s more common to experience hair loss after a baby has been delivered rather than during your pregnancy.
What you can do: If you experience hair loss after pregnancy, don’t worry, your hair will grow back within a couple of months.
Androgenic or androgenetic alopecia is essentially female-pattern hair loss. If women in your family typically start losing their hair at a certain age, you may be prone to experience the same as well. While women typically don’t have a receding hairline, their hairline may widen and show thinning hair.
What you can do: Some women may have some success with minoxidil (Rogaine) to maintain or grow hair.
5. Lack of Vitamin B
Low levels of the Vitamin B can also be a cause of hair loss.
What you can do: This is another easily treatable cause of hair loss. Dietary changes which will help include more Vitamin B can help solve the problem. Vitamin B is common in starchy veggies, meat, fish, and fruits. A balanced diet is a key to overall good health and healthy hair. Check out other healthy sources of Vitamin B.
6. Female hormones
Pregnancy can cause a storm of hormones which can trigger hair loss, so in the same way, switching or going off birth-control pills can have the same effect.
What you can do: If new birth control triggers hair loss, talk to your doctor about different birth control types. The halt of oral contraceptives can also cause hair loss, however, this is usually temporary.
About 10% of women (aged 20 through 49) will suffer from anemia, most commonly due to iron deficiency. A blood test can determine if you have this kind of anemia.
What you can do: Luckily, this type of hair loss is very treatable. Iron supplements should be able to easily help restore your hair’s health. Aside from hair loss, anemia symptoms include dizziness, pale skin, cold hands, feet, and fatigue.
The tiny gland in your neck that makes hormones critical to your metabolism and growth and development is called the thyroid gland. When it’s underactive, it doesn’t pump enough hormones, and can potentially contribute to hair loss. A doctor can perform tests to see if you have an underactive thyroid gland.
What you can do: There are thyroid medications that can help with your problem. Restoring thyroid levels to normal should also solve your hair problem.
9. Autoimmune-related issues
An overactive immune system can sound like a good thing since it’s constantly on alert, but it is not. It can attack your own body thinking something is dangerous when it is not. It can perceive your hair as being foreign and target it.
What you can do: Steroid injections are common for treatment of alopecia areata, which usually shows as hair loss in round patches on your head. Other drugs, such as Rogaine, can also be used. However, this condition is not always predictable, and you can experience hair growth and hair loss cycles. Here are 14 foods that can help make your immune system healthy.
Battling cancer doesn’t just affect cancer cells. Many of the drugs used to fight cancer can cause hair loss. This is because they target quickly dividing cancer cells, however, hair cells also divide rapidly.
What you can do: Once chemo is over, the hair will grow back. However, it is not unusual to come back in a different texture or hair color.
11. Medicines: Blood thinners, antidepressants, and more
Certain medicines can contribute to hair loss. Most common are blood-thinners and blood-pressure regulating drugs. Other drugs that can cause hair loss include methotrexate, lithium, or NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) such as ibuprofen, and some antidepressants.
What you can do: Speak to your doctor if you are noticing hair loss when taking these types of drugs. Perhaps a lower dose or a different medicine can help avoid it.
12. Overstyling hair
Tight braids, cornrows, different hair weaves put physical stress on your hair and affect the root of your hair. Additionally, any treatments involving harsh chemicals or high heat can also damage your roots. You have to be incredibly careful with these as damaged roots may cause hair not to grow back.
What you can do: Avoid hairstyles and treatments that can damage roots. Use conditioner after each shampoo and let your hair air dry. Don’t use heat-based products more than one time a week. Decrease the amount of chemicals you put on your body.
This is also called the impulse control disorder which causes people to compulsively pull out their own hair. This is most in women and usually starts before age 17.
What you can do: Behavior modification therapy can help.
Hair loss can occur in women as they hit 50s and 60s and experts are not yet able to identify why.
What you can do: It’s not recommended to try and treat this condition. With that being said, there are different beauty tricks to cover up thinning hair spots.
15. Anabolic Steroids
Typically these steroids are used by athletes who want to gain muscle, aside from the many dangers, it can also cause you to lose your hair.
What you can do: Going off the drug can help improve your hair.
16. Lack of Protein
If your body doesn’t receive enough protein, your body may prioritize protein use in different areas of your body and cause your hair growth to shut down. This can happen several months after a depletion of protein.
17. Vitamin A Excess
Just as not enough vitamins can be bad, too much isn’t the answer either. Overdoing in the Vitamin A sector can also cause hair loss.
What you can do: Halting excessive Vitamin A intake can restore normal hair growth.
18. Body Stress
If you have a traumatic event, physical stress can disrupt the natural hair cycle and push more of your hair into the shedding phase.
What you can do: The great news is that once your body recovers, so should your hair.