A trigger event. Many people experience a general thinning of hair several months after a physical or emotional shock. This type of hair loss is temporary. Examples of trigger events include sudden or excessive weight loss, a high fever, surgery, or a death in the family.
Close to 50 percent of women will experience some degree of hair loss or thinning before age 50, which often worsens with menopause, according to the North American Menopause Society. “Your hormones have been supporting your hair growth,” explains Bergfeld. “When estrogen dips, the hair begins to change.”
Scarring hair loss can be caused by a variety of medical or dermatologic conditions such as Discoid Lupus, Lichen Planus, and infections. It can also be caused by thermal burns or local radiation therapy. Face-lift surgery may result in permanent localized hair loss that can be particularly bothersome if it occurs at the frontal hairline or around the temples. Fortunately, localized hair loss from injury or from medical problems are often amenable to hair transplantation.
Any kind of physical traumasurgery, a car accident, or a severe illness, even the flucan 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.
Dermatologists treating hair loss look at the level of ferritin in your blood, because they can deduce what your body is doing with all the iron they told you to add to your diet during your initial consultation. If you’d been eating plenty of bok choy— which is super iron rich—they would likely see a spike in your ferritin levels.
Hair loss is a broad term for the specific, clinical names for different types of hair loss. While some women may experience hair loss at sporadic times, others will routinely struggle with the condition until they found a solution fit for them. Some of the most common types of hair loss include:
Exton, M. S., Krüger, T. H., Bursch, N., Haake, P., Knapp, W., Schedlowski, M., & Hartmann, U. (2001, November). Endocrine response to masturbation-induced orgasm in healthy men following a 3-week sexual abstinence. World Journal of Urology, 19(5), 377–382. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11760788
This procedure involves moving hair to thinning scalp areas from donor sites. The trouble is, female pattern baldness causes thin hair all over, so good donor sites may be limited. The exceptions are women with male pattern baldness or hair loss caused by scarring.
Brushing hair too vigorously or wearing tight braids or ponytails can pull hair out in patches, a condition called traction alopecia. “The hair will grow back when the repeated tugging stops,” says Nicole Rogers, a clinical assistant professor of dermatology at Tulane University School of Medicine, in New Orleans.
The symptoms: Hypothyroidism (too little hormone) may cause a host of symptoms, including unexplained weight gain, fatigue, constipation, depression, and difficulty concentrating. Hair, nails, and skin may become more brittle and break more easily. It’s more common in women, especially over the age of 50, says Theodore C. Friedman, MD, MPH, chief of the division of endocrinology, metabolism, and molecular medicine at Charles Drew University in Los Angeles and coauthor of The Everything Guide to Thyroid Disease (Adams Media, 2007). It affects about 5 percent of the US population but is nearly 10 times more frequent in women.
Getting on board with these natural hair loss remedies can help a LOT in preserving the hair you have and making it thicker and lusher in the process. However, despite doing everything “right”, there’s always the chance that our genes may dictate that continued hair growth just isn’t in the cards.
Drug side effects — Hair loss can be a side effect of certain medications, including lithium, beta-blockers, warfarin, heparin, amphetamines and levodopa (Atamet, Larodopa, Sinemet). In addition, many medications used in cancer chemotherapy — such as doxorubicin (Adriamycin) — commonly cause sudden hair loss affecting the entire head.
While there is no known way to prevent FPHL caused by genetics, some medical conditions, and the normal process of aging, you can take steps to prevent hair loss caused by damaging your hair. Avoid the use of harsh treatments, such as frequent perms, harsh chemicals applied to your scalp, and hairstyles that require tight binding of your hair. Sometimes these processes cause damage to the scalp or hair follicles that cannot be repaired.
Patchy hair loss. This type of nonscarring hair loss is called alopecia areata (al-o-PEE-she-uh ar-e-A-tuh). It occurs when the body’s immune system attacks hair follicles — causing sudden hair loss that leaves smooth, roundish bald patches on the skin.
Gradual thinning on top of head. This is the most common type of hair loss, affecting both men and women as they age. In men, hair often begins to recede from the forehead in a line that resembles the letter M. Women typically retain the hairline on the forehead but have a broadening of the part in their hair.
It’s no shocker that these two things are bad for you, but the list of damages they can do seems to be growing—a lot faster than your hair, anyway. A study presented at the 2011 annual meeting of the American Society of Plastic Surgery looked at 66 male identical twins. While the researchers found that genetics were the strongest predictor of a receding hairline, smoking and heavy sun exposure were also major contributors.
If you’re pregnant, breastfeeding or have any ongoing health concerns, make sure to speak with your doctor before using any conventional or natural hair loss remedies. You should also make sure that your treatment option does not interact with any current medications or supplements. In addition, combining natural and conventional treatments (like minoxidil with essential oils) may cause unwanted side effects.
Dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a derivative of the male hormone testosterone, is the enemy of hair follicles on your head. Simply put, under certain conditions DHT wants those follicles dead. This simple action is at the root of many kinds of hair loss, so we’ll address it first.
Some 30 million women in the United States have hereditary hair loss (compared with 50 million men), according to the American Academy of Dermatology, though that figure does not include the millions more who struggle with thinning hair because of pregnancy, menopause, stress and other health conditions. Barely 5 percent of women are said to be good candidates for hair transplant surgery because women lose hair everywhere, meaning that, unlike with men, there is rarely a luxuriant spot on the back of the head from which to harvest hairs unobtrusively.
A medical disorder that causes people to pull out their own hair is called trichotillomania. Often a person feels compelled to pull out hairs on their scalp, eyelashes, eyebrows, or other hairs on the body. Cognitive behavioral and medications can help treat the condition.