Posted by Revere Health

What Causes Hair Loss?

June 16, 2017 Dermatology

In most cases, the average person sheds about 50 to 100 hairs per day. This is normal, and the hair is replaced by new hair that’s continuously growing in. When this cycle is disrupted, though, or when the hair follicle is destroyed and replaced with scar tissue, this represents a condition called hair loss.

Hair loss can affect the scalp or other areas of the body. Anyone can get hair loss, and in most cases, there are simple treatments to help reduce it. Here are the most common causes of hair loss and some tips to prevent it.

Hair Loss Causes

Although specific causes of hair loss are not known, they’re generally related to one of four broad factors:

 

  • Family history: The most common cause of hair loss is a hereditary condition, known as male-pattern or female-pattern baldness, depending on gender. This condition occurs gradually and usually in a predictable pattern—bald spots and receding hairline in men, and thinning hair in women. Heredity also affects the age at which hair loss begins, and the extent of baldness. Pattern baldness is most common in men and can occur as early as puberty.
  • Hormonal changes: Hormonal changes and imbalances, including factors like pregnancy, childbirth or menopause in women, can cause temporary hair loss.
  • Medical conditions: Scalp infections, skin disorders, hair-pulling disorder (also called trichotillomania) and a condition called alopecia areata (patchy hair loss) can lead to hair loss.
  • Medications: Drugs used for cancer, arthritis, depression, heart issues, high blood pressure and birth control can cause hair loss. In addition, too much vitamin A can can cause hair loss.

 

Hair loss might also be caused by radiation therapy on the head, certain hairstyles and treatments, or a trigger event—a physical or emotional shock that can lead to a temporary thinning of hair for some people. Risk factors for hair loss generally include age, family history, nutrition, stress and medical conditions like diabetes or lupus.

Hair Loss Prevention

There are a few basic steps you can take to help avoid the onset of hair loss:

 

  • Eat a nutritionally balanced diet
  • Avoid tight hairstyles like braids, buns or ponytails
  • Avoid twisting, rubbing or pulling the hair
  • Be gentle with hair while washing and brushing
  • Avoid harsh treatments like hot rollers, curling irons, hot oil treatments and permanents

 

If you’re experiencing hair loss at a greater rate than normal, your doctor will advise you on treatments and prevention methods to fit your symptoms.

 

As Utah County’s leading dermatology practice, Revere Health Dermatology provides the best in skin care for our patients.

 

Sources:

“Hair loss.” The Mayo Clinic. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hair-loss/basics/definition/con-20027666

“Hair Loss Health Center.” WebMD. http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/hair-loss/

Telehealth is not appropriate for every medical concern, so it’s important to ask your provider whether a virtual visit is suitable for your needs.

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This information is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. You should always consult your doctor before making decisions about your health.