The Most Common Causes of Hair Loss
Hair loss may occur due to various factors that can be seen in almost everyone. Seasonal changes, stress, iron deficiency, and hormonal disorders are some of the most common causes of hair loss. However, long-term hair loss can be caused by serious diseases. Here is everything you need to know about the causes of hair loss in women, men, and children, as well as what you can do in order to prevent it.
What is Hair Loss?A healthy scalp has an average of 100 thousand hairs, and it is considered normal for adults to shed 100-150 hair strands per day, depending on their washing and combing habits. Hair loss may occur due to hormonal and nutritional factors, exposure to chemical substances, genetic predisposition, systemic diseases, hair growth disorders, drugs, psychological stress, and scalp diseases. In a healthy person, hair loss can last up to 2 months. If the hair loss period, repeated three times a year, exceeds two months, it may be a harbinger of some serious diseases and may require special help. Hair loss usually starts 3-4 months after the triggering factor and can return to normal 6-12 months after the causes of hair loss are effectively treated. The life span of each hair is roughly divided into three. The growth phase is the longest. In this phase, the hair grows 1 cm per month on average. After completing this phase, the hair then enters a resting phase that lasts for several weeks. After this phase, which lasts for 2-3 weeks on average, it will enter the hair loss phase. The hair that enters the shedding phase loses its connection with the hair follicle and falls within 2-4 months. This period can be shortened by combing, brushing, and washing the hair, but it cannot be extended. At the end of this period, even with zero intervention, the hair will still fall off by itself. New hair is produced from the hair follicle to replace the shed ones. This cycle continues for a lifetime. At any given stage, 85-90% of the hair is in the growth phase, 1-2% is in the resting phase, and 10-15% is in the shedding phase. The rationale for accepting shedding of up to “100” hair strays a day on days without washing is based on the physiology of the hair described above. Knowing these stages is also important in terms of understanding why the treatment takes longer in hair loss and the main causes of hair loss.
What Causes Hair Loss?So what are the causes of hair loss that are considered long-term, and what can you do to stop it? Every existing hair strand has a life cycle. Each strand of hair lives for 4-6 years, then rests and then falls out. Losing hair in this way is an extremely natural process, and it is considered normal to lose 50-100 strands of hair a day. If more than this number is shed and the amount of shed hair increases while taking a bath, this is considered extreme hair loss and should be taken seriously. Hair loss can have many different causes. The important thing is to determine this cause in order to receive the appropriate treatment. Here are some of the main causes of hair loss in teenage males, adolescent females, adults, and individuals of various ages.
GeneticsThe reasons for hair loss in men and women are different. Causes of hair loss in men are generally associated with male-type hormone sensitivity that is genetic and is seen in more than 50% of the population. This type of hair loss is chronic. As the age progresses, baldness develops and may eventually require a hair transplant. Supplementary treatments, mesotherapy, and PRP treatment, which are started at an early age, slow down the rate of shedding. It prolongs the time going to baldness. This type of shedding is also seen in women. Especially people who have a family member with baldness problems are at risk of hair loss. Today, male pattern hair loss, which starts at the age of 16-18, is more common in teenage girls as well. This situation is more common than in previous years: excessive stress, unbalanced diet, long-term starvation, and numerous hormonal problems. Success rates can be increased in women with the addition of hormonal treatments as well as in men.
Skin ProblemsSkin and internal diseases can also be considered as major causes of hair loss. Most skin-related shedding occurs when diseases involving the skin affect the scalp. If diseases such as psoriasis, eczema, acne, lichen disease, excessively oily skin, and fungal diseases affect the skin, hair loss may be inevitable. Treatment is possible only with the diagnosis and elimination of the underlying skin disease.
Bad Eating HabitsHair loss due to nutritional reasons is another common factor. After all, hair is a living organ, and it also needs to be nourished and supplied with blood. Not complying with a regular and balanced diet, long-term starvation, uniform nutrition, and consuming foods with high carbohydrate content can eventually affect the hair. Its treatment is extremely practical, and this type of hair loss can be prevented by switching to a healthier diet.
Vitamin & Mineral DeficiencyLack of vitamins and minerals required for hair is also considered one of the most natural causes of hair loss. While it is known that lack of vitamin D causes hair loss, vitamins such as B12, folic acid, biotin, zinc, and iron are also significant for healthy hair growth. In addition, not many know that even when there is no iron deficiency, taking iron supplementation can reduce hair loss. In these cases, the supplement of the deficiency must be corrected by consulting a specialist.
Hormonal ChangesHormonal problems, menstrual delays or irregularities, increased hair growth, excessive acne, and accelerated weight gain can also cause hair loss. A dermatologist should be consulted to determine the source of these problems, with a blood test performed on the 2nd or 3rd day of menstruation. Hormonal treatments are effective in such spills.
Internal Diseases & MedicationSome internal diseases, thyroid gland diseases or drugs used for these diseases, rheumatic diseases, hormones, slimming pills, adrenal gland diseases, insulin resistance, diabetes, birth control pills, and sometimes discontinuation of these control pills are other causes of hair loss. This situation must be thoroughly investigated with examinations and tests by specialist doctors. If a sudden hair loss has started, surgeries in the last three months, febrile illnesses, drug toxicities, blood loss, severe trauma may be among the reasons to be considered.
Birth & ChemotherapyPostpartum shedding can start 2-3 months after birth. After birth, the causes of hair loss are quite simple: The hair that should have been shed during pregnancy but had not been shed is simply falling out. Another cause of hair loss is chemotherapy. With the use of more modern drugs in recent years, this side effect is becoming less common, and this condition tends to recover spontaneously when the treatment is completed.
Cosmetic FactorsIncreasing cosmetic habits are the other factors that can cause mechanical, chemical, and physical hair loss. In other words, tying the hair too tight, using internal bonnets, excessive blow-drying, and continuously dying hair can cause severe hair loss by damaging the hair from the outside. In this case, the only treatment is to prevent the hair from being exposed to these applications. Applying the necessary reinforcement and care on the hair ensures that the desired appearance is achieved again.
Stress & DepressionExcessive stress is another significant cause of hair loss. Depression, anxiety, psychoses, and various drugs used for treatment can affect the hair and cause it to fall out. Hair is a living organ that can be affected by numerous factors in a short span of time. Misdirection and misleading information on this matter can cause patients to postpone the diagnosis and, therefore, may delay the much-needed treatment options. In addition, masks and mixtures that are applied unconsciously with the thought of preventing hair loss and regrowth of hair may cause irreversible damage by causing hair more harm than good.
What Causes Hair Loss in Children?Although hair loss is usually seen in advanced ages, it can also be seen in children due to stress and some diseases. Here are some of the causes of hair loss in children: Hair loss in children is usually caused by ‘Alopecia Areata,’ which is popularly known as ‘hair breaker’. This disorder, which can be seen in both girls and boys, can continue throughout adolescence. This type of hair loss manifests itself as circular shedding of 1-2 cm in diameter. If the treatment is delayed, all the hair on the child’s head, even the eyelashes and eyebrows, may fall out. Hereditary hair loss can also be seen in children with a family history of hair loss. Gathering the hair tightly, braiding it continuously, or combing it too harshly can also cause the hair to weaken and fall out in girls. In addition to this, trichotillomania, known as the “hair plucking” disease, can also cause hair loss in children. A child with hair pulling disease can pull out their hair and eyebrows deliberately. Hair plucking, which is a psychological disorder, can be treated with the help of specialists. As in adults, various vitamin deficiencies, hormonal irregularities, and some diseases can cause hair loss in children.
What Can I Do to Prevent Hair Loss?It is necessary to make some adjustments in routine habits in order to prevent hair loss and ensure that the hair grows healthy and looks lively. To minimize hair loss, you ought to:
- Stay away from unconscious diets.
- Pay attention to your sleeping habits.
- Stay away from stress.
- Remove smoking and the use of alcohol from your life.
- Include antioxidants in your regular diet.
- Stay away from fast food and processed foods.
- Not use medication recommended for hair loss without consulting a physician first.