5 major causes of hair loss

The skin and hair are those parts of the body that are highly susceptible to damage due to their constant exposure to everything in the environment. Whether it is the harsh climatic conditions or the junk food people eat, everything has an impact on the skin and the hair. Though there are chances of reversing the damage inflicted on the skin, reversing hair loss is a completely different story altogether.

The terms “hair fall” and “hair loss” are often used interchangeably by people. Although both these conditions are extremely distressing, the former can be reversed with medications and the right diet, whereas, treating the latter is a more challenging task. Hair loss can be described as a condition that affects the scalp or the entire body and can be caused by hormonal changes, certain medical conditions or medications, or in many cases, it is hereditary.

Hair loss can manifest itself in different forms, gradual thinning of hair on the top of the head, circular or patchy bald spots, full-body hair loss, sudden loosening of hair, and patches of scaling that spreads over the scalp. The treatment for hair loss largely depends on what exactly causes it. The major causes of hair loss include:

Physical stress
There are instances where physical trauma like surgery, accident, or severe illness can cause temporary hair loss. Hair loss caused by physical stress is known as “telogen effluvium”. Our hair has a programmed life cycle—a growth phase, a rest phase, and a shedding phase—and a stressful event can upset this hair cycle tremendously by pushing more hair into the shedding phase. This type of hair loss becomes more evident three-to-six months after the trauma occurs.

The hair loss experienced during pregnancy is caused by hormonal changes. Usually, women experience hair loss after the baby has been delivered rather than during the pregnancy. Giving birth takes a toll on the mother’s physical and mental health and can be filed away under a traumatic experience. However, this type of hair loss is reversible and the hair grows back in a couple of months.

Lack of protein
Hair is made up of a tough protein called keratin and dietary proteins are what help the hair grow and keep it healthy. However, when the individual doesn’t consume enough protein, the body will start rationing protein by shutting down the hair growth and diverting the protein elsewhere. This phenomenon usually occurs when the individual stops consuming the required amount of protein after two to three months.

Male pattern baldness and female pattern baldness runs in the family. Usually, when a man or a woman reaches a certain age where others in the family started experiencing hair loss, the individual becomes more susceptible to it. Men experience a receding hairline while women have wider bald patches and a prominent thinning of hair.

Anemia is a condition that is characterized by severe iron deficiency. This condition has serious ill-effects on the person’s health and hair loss is one of the prominent ones. However, this type of hair loss can be easily fixed with the help of the right iron supplements and a healthy diet.