Causes of Hair Loss

Even though it is normal to shed a certain amount of hair – losing significant amounts of hair is unusual and may cause distress, prompting you to seek the opinion of an expert. There are several causes of hair loss. Your doctor will explore all these causes before settling on diagnosis and recommending treatment. However, the following are most common causes for hair loss:

  • Hereditary baldness is by far the most frequent condition of hair loss. It is not a disease per se, but a natural presentation contributed to by a combination of hormonal factors, genetic predisposition, and aging.
  • Dihydrotestosterone (DHT). More than 30 years ago it was realized that the male hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT) is involved in hair loss. Studies have found out that men who are unable to produce DHT in their scalp do not experience hair loss.
  • Stress. Most people with prolonged stressful states tend to suffer from hair loss. Stress pushes your hair follicles prematurely into the resting phase. As a result, you don’t produce new hair strands, yet your hair continues to shed. Over time, continuous combing, washing, and touching your hair potentiates your hair loss.
  • Dieting. Of all the nutrients in your diet, proteins are among the most important for your hair growth. They are useful in structuring your hair follicles. It is not uncommon to see hair loss in people who eat “crash” or “fad”, sometimes even ketogenic diets.
  • Vitamin deficiency. Hair loss is one of the possible symptoms of Vitamin B 3 (Niacin) deficiency. Niacin deficiency can make your hair fall out in patches. Another vitamin that is linked to hair loss is vitamin B7 (biotin). Biotin is an essential component of proteins useful in the hair growth cycle.
  • Medications. Hair loss can sometimes occur as a side effect for certain medications. Cholesterol-lowering medications, anticoagulants, medications for blood pressure and for psoriasis are among the commonest cause of hair loss.