Treatment For Other Causes Of Hair Loss
If a disease, medicine, or stress is the cause of hair loss, then treating the disease, changing medicines, or managing stress may stop the hair loss. And your hair is likely to grow back. For example, if an underactive thyroid is causing the problem, taking thyroid medicine may help. And most hair lost during chemotherapy will grow back after the treatment ends.
If alopecia areata is the cause of hair loss, medicines such as corticosteroids can be used to treat it. But because hair often grows back within a year, you may decide not to have treatment. Understanding the come-and-go nature of hair loss with this condition can help you make the best treatment decision. Children and teens may need counseling to help them adjust to the hair loss.
Hair Loss From Thyroid Problems
Either an underactive thyroid, a medical condition called hypothyroidism, or an overactive thyroid, or hyperthyroidism, can result in hair loss because each condition causes a hormonal imbalance. Hormones help to regulate nearly every function in the body, including hair growth. Getting the right treatment to control either of these thyroid conditions will get hormones under control, stop hair loss, and allow your hair to starting grow back.
What Are The Myths About Hair Loss
Myths about hair loss are widespread. Nothing in the following list is true:
- Youre losing hair because you shampoo it too much, or because youve colored it or gotten a perm.
- Dandruff causes permanent hair loss in women.
- Stress causes permanent hair loss in women.
- If you shave your head, your hair will grow back twice as thick.
- If you stand on your head youll increase circulation, stimulating hair growth.
- If you brush your hair 100 strokes a day that will make your hair healthier.
- Hats and wigs cause hair loss in women.
- Hair loss only affects intellectual women.
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Myth #: Hair Loss Happens Because Of Just One Thing
Everyone wants to believe hair loss is the result of one thing and one thing only. That secret where if ONLY they knew it, they could cure it forever and never worry about it again.
It has to be DHT production! No no, its because youre not using these vitamins and minerals from the alternative food store! Its just your hormones and its perfectly normal!
As weve written multiple times before, there is a wide range of conditions and circumstances that can lead to an increased risk of hair loss:
- Your genetics
- Your overall state of health
- Toxins in the environment and the plastics-heavy products you use
Even then, there are some causes which move the needle more than others when it comes to hair regrowth.
In our recently penned article about The New York Times and hair loss, we distilled them down to just four:
With this in mind, you should be able to better formulate a game plan that tackles the root causes of hair loss.
What Causes Excessive Hair Loss
A number of things can cause excessive hair loss. For example, about 3 or 4 months after an illness or a major surgery, you may suddenly lose a large amount of hair. This hair loss is related to the stress of the illness and is temporary.
Hormonal problems may cause hair loss. If your thyroid gland is overactive or underactive, your hair may fall out. This hair loss usually can be helped by treating your thyroid disease. Hair loss may occur if male or female hormones, known as androgens and estrogens, are out of balance. Correcting the hormone imbalance may stop your hair loss.
Many women notice hair loss about 3 months after theyve had a baby. This loss is also related to hormones. During pregnancy, high levels of certain hormones cause the body to keep hair that would normally fall out. When the hormones return to pre-pregnancy levels, that hair falls out and the normal cycle of growth and loss starts again.
Some medicines can cause hair loss. This type of hair loss improves when you stop taking the medicine. Medicines that can cause hair loss include blood thinners medicines used for gout, high blood pressure, or heart problems vitamin A birth control pills and antidepressants.
Certain infections can cause hair loss. Fungal infections of the scalp can cause hair loss in adults and children. The infection is treated with antifungal medicines.
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Medication For Hair Loss
Minoxidil, or Rogaine, is a topical medication that is used to treat female pattern hair loss and male-pattern baldness. It was initially developed as a blood pressure medication and was used off-label to treat hair loss until it became FDA-approved for that purpose. Minoxidil can slow the progression of hair loss. Most women who use the medication experience regrowth of hair. The medication needs to be used continuously to maintain results. Other types of treatment work for different kinds of hair loss. Corticosteroids help suppress the immune response that damages hair follicles in people who have alopecia areata. Once the follicles recover, hair can grow back. If nutritional deficiencies underlie hair loss, eating a healthy diet with adequate and protein and nutrients can help you regrow hair. Certain medical problems may trigger hair loss. Adequately treating these conditions may help restore hair growth.
Can Certain Hairstyles Or Treatments Cause Hair Loss
Yes. If you wear pigtails or cornrows or use tight hair rollers, the pull on your hair can cause a type of hair loss called traction alopecia. If the pulling is stopped before scarring of the scalp develops, your hair will grow back normally. However, scarring can cause permanent hair loss. Hot oil hair treatments or chemicals used in permanents may cause inflammation of the hair follicle. This can result in scarring and hair loss.
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How Your Dermatologist Can Help
Most people have as many as 100,000 hairs on their head, shedding 50 to 100 hairs daily. To better understand why hair loss happens, brush up on how hair grows in the first place.
- Hair begins growing from the bottom of the follicle.
- Blood vessels in your scalp allow hair to grow.
- Hair gets pushed up through the skin.
As you get older, some follicles stop growing. However, hair loss can occur from a number of other reasons besides aging, including:
- Changes in hormones
- Vitamin deficiencies, including vitamins B and D
- Iron deficiency
These can impact the growth of hair by limiting the nutrients that help support growth. Thats why , a Northwestern Medicine dermatologist who specializes in hair loss, suggests first looking for underlying issues.
Initial evaluations include some tests to look for underlying triggers, such as thyroid problems or iron deficiency, says Dr. Colavincenzo. These are silent causes of hair loss that will have symptoms like shedding after a shower or styling, and the thinning of hair.
What Are The Common Causes Of Alopecia
The causes of alopecia range depending on the individual. And it doesnt have to be just one factor, either. Sometimes its a combination of a few of the factors below! Here is a list of the most common causes of hair loss I see among my patients:
1. Major hormonal fluctuations
In women, hair loss is often the result of a large hormonal event or imbalance. This can include pregnancy, giving birth, and entering menopause. The good news is that this is often temporary and not true hair loss typically, the hair loss subsides once your hormones return to normal.
What you can do: Focus on stress relief, proper nutrition, and consider hormonal testing with a functional medicine provider.
2. Your DNA
Unfortunately, hereditary hair loss is the most common cause of hair loss and the one that is the most difficult to treat. This type of hair loss is typically gradual and involves a receding hairline and bald spots in men and a thinning of hair along the crown of the head in women.
What you can do: There are a couple of FDA approved medications that will slow or even reverse hereditary hair loss. Deciding whether or not to take medication involves weighing the pros and cons of slowing hair loss with the potential side effects of the medications.
3. Certain medical conditions
6. Hairstyles and chemicals
What you can do: Look for non-toxic hair care products and salons that try to reduce their use of chemicals and damaging products.
7. Vitamin deficiencies
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Traumatic Hair Styling And Inflammation
So far, we have discussed non-scarring types of hair loss, where the hair follicles are still alive and hair can regrow. This is in contrast to scarring hair loss, where hair follicles are destroyed and hair cannot regrow.
Inflammation is the ultimate cause of scarring hair loss. The scalp might appear red. Common symptoms include itching, burning, and pain. Infections and certain inflammatory skin conditions can cause hair follicle destruction. Traumatic hair styling practices like heat styling, chemical hair treatments, and tight hairstyles can also cause scarring hair loss.
With hair loss caused by inflammation, you want to stop the inflammation in time to prevent irreversible damage. Most often, dermatologists will do this with specific medications, depending on the cause and how bad the hair loss has gotten. Unfortunately, many people delay seeking treatment and end up with permanent scarring. Cortisone injections, along with topical minoxidil, can stimulate some hair growth. If the scarring is extensive, a hair transplant might be an option.
Autoimmune Diseases That Affect Hair
Alopecia areata is often associated with an autoimmune disease, so it’s thought that some forms of hair loss can be caused by one of these medical conditions or is at least somehow related to it. Diabetes and lupus are two autoimmune diseases that can result in hair loss. This type of hair loss may not always be reversible it may sometimes be permanent. But medications and hair restoration surgeries may help compensate for any hair loss.
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Causes Of Hair Loss And Baldness
A variety of factors from illness to poor nutrition to hormonal imbalances to major stress can contribute to hair loss. If you’re experiencing thinning hair or baldness, you need to get to the root of the problem to determine the best treatment.
Hair loss whether baldness or noticeably thinning hair can occur for a number of different reasons. Sometimes hair loss is a side effect of a health problem that needs to be addressed and will remedy itself when the health problem is properly treated. When hair loss is due to a condition involving the hair itself, as in the case of alopecia, the hair loss can be permanent.
What Is Hair Loss
The American Academy of Dermatology notes that 80 million men and women in America have hereditary hair loss .
It can affect just the hair on your scalp or your entire body. Although alopecia is more prevalent in older adults, excessive hair loss can occur in children as well.
Its normal to lose between 50 and 100 hairs a day. With about 100,000 hairs on your head, that small loss isnt noticeable.
New hair normally replaces the lost hair, but this doesnt always happen. Hair loss can develop gradually over years or happen abruptly. Hair loss can be permanent or temporary.
Its impossible to count the amount of hair lost on a given day. You may be losing more hair than is normal if you notice a large amount of hair in the drain after washing your hair or clumps of hair in your brush. You might also notice thinning patches of hair or baldness.
If you notice that youre losing more hair than usual, you should discuss the problem with your doctor. They can determine the underlying cause of your hair loss and suggest appropriate treatment plans.
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Sugary And High Glycemic Foods
Diets high in sugar can increase bodywide inflammation, cause weight gain and acne and increase your risk for heart disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer, depression, skin aging and more. In other words, it’s wise to ditch the sugary cereals and sweet treats.
Foods high in sugar or foods with a high glycemic index can cause blood sugar spikes that may lead to restricted blood flow to the hair follicles and may also contribute to androgenetic alopecia . Foods with lots of sugar or high glycemic indices also increase levels of oxidative stress in the body, which has a direct impact on hair health and aging.
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How Can I Prevent Hair Loss
There are things you can do to prevent further hair loss. Dont wear tight hairstyles like braids, ponytails, or buns that put too much pressure on your hair. Over time, those styles permanently damage your hair follicles.
Certain beauty regimens can worsen or cause hair loss.
If youre currently losing hair, use a gentle baby shampoo to wash your hair. Unless you have extremely oily hair, consider washing your hair only every other day. Always pat the hair dry and avoid rubbing your hair.
Styling products and tools are also common culprits in hair loss. Examples of products or tools that can affect hair loss include:
- blow dryers
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What Are The Most Common Causes Of Hair Loss
You wake up in the morning and slog through your ritual of playing with the alarms snooze. Finally, you realize you have to get up otherwise youll be late for work or school, so off you head to the bathroom. While youre brushing your teeth you look at your hair and notice how it has thinned, some spots on your scalp may even be far more visible than they used to be due to the lack of density in some areas. When you jump in the shower and run your hands through your hair, youre fearful but unsurprised to find far more hairs running through your fingers than is usual, and even more disappear down the drain. This is what it feels like to be experiencing hair loss.