Hair loss, also known as alopecia, can be temporary or permanent, and might affect the entire body or just the scalp.
According to Mayo Clinic, hair loss can be hereditary, or it might be the result of hormonal changes, medical conditions, or aging. It is more common in men, but anyone can lose hair on their head.
It is important to talk with a doctor to determine the cause of your hair loss before exploring treatment and hair restoration options. This way, you will know that the right issue is being addressed.
Below are six possible causes of alopecia, as outlined by MayoClinic.org:
- Family history (heredity) The most common cause of hair loss is androgenic alopecia, a hereditary condition that happens with aging. This condition is responsible for male-pattern baldness and female-pattern baldness. The course of hair loss is usually predictable: the slow appearance of a receding hairline and bald spots in men, and thinning hair along the crown of the scalp in women.
- Hormonal changes and medical conditions A variety of medical conditions can cause permanent or temporary hair loss. Among these are hormonal changes due to pregnancy, childbirth, menopause, and thyroid problems. Medical causes include alopecia areata, which causes patchy hair loss and is related to the immune system; scalp infections such as ringworm, and a hair-pulling disorder called trichotillomania.
- Medications and supplements Hair loss can be a side effect of certain drugs, such as those used for cancer, arthritis, depression, heart problems, gout and high blood pressure.
- Radiation therapy to the head After a person loses their hair due to radiation therapy, their hair might not grow back to how it was pre-treatment.
- A very stressful event Some experience a general thinning of hair several months after a physical or emotional shock. Fortunately, this is usually temporary.
- Hairstyles and treatments Certain hairstyles that pull your hair tight, such as pigtails or cornrows, can cause a type of hair loss called traction alopecia. In addition, treatments such as hot-oil hair treatments and perms can cause hair to fall out. This type of hair loss might be permanent if scarring occurs on the scalp.
For more information on hair loss, including symptoms, risk factors, and treatment, visit www.MayoClinic.org.