Top five causes of hair loss
1 Genes – male pattern baldness runs through families: if your father, uncle, grandfather or brother is bald, chances are you may end up losing your hair, too, if you are male. It is easily the most significant factor. You only have to see the strong family baldness gene when you look at the royal family – Prince Philip (grandfather), Prince Charles (father) and Prince William (son) have all lost their hair.
2 Stress – Severe physical stress (like surgery) or severe psychological stress (like a death in the family) can have strange effects on the body. Severe stress typically sends the body into a state of shock, flooding it with various hormones and metabolites.
This may lead to telogen effluvium, a shedding of the hair. While the effects of acute stress on hair are well-understood, what isn’t as clear is how chronic or long-term stress affects hair loss. There is a good chance that your hair will grow back when the stress is relieved.
3 Poor diet – Whether it’s because of a crash diet, general malnutrition or some genetic or biological defect, deficiencies in certain nutrients can cause hair loss. Probably the most common deficiency thought to contribute to hair loss is iron. Being severely low in iron can lead to iron-deficiency anaemia, a condition that causes the body not to have enough red blood cells.
Red blood cells are important because they carry oxygen to nearly every cell in the body, helping those cells maintain normal function. Deficiencies in other nutrients — such as vitamin B (specifically B12) and protein — are thought to contribute to hair loss as well.
4 Drugs – There are dozens of drugs that might cause hair to fall out. These include anti-thyroid medications, hormonal therapies (like birth control), anti-convulsants (for epilepsy), anti-coagulants, beta-blockers and many others.
These medications tend to cause telogen effluvium, a rapid shedding of the hair which arises when a large number of hairs suddenly shift from a growth phase (known as anagen) to a resting phase (known as telogen) and then fall out when new hairs begin to grow.
5 Chemotherapy Cancer cells typically divide and grow faster than the body’s healthy cells. This is what allows chemotherapy to be so effective in stopping cancer, by targeting cells that grow rapidly. Unfortunately, there are other cells in the body that grow rapidly as well — like those in hair follicles! While there are cancer myths out there, experiencing near-total hair loss after chemotherapy isn't one of them.
The loss could be gradual or dramatic, depending on the type of drug, but the end result is usually the same. Thankfully, the hair usually grows back!
Crown Clinic has a world-wide reputation for its effective treatment of hair loss through our hair transplant surgeon Asim Shahmalak. The only long-term cure to permanent hair loss is a hair transplant – either an FUE (follicular unit extraction) or a FUT (follicular unit transplantation) procedure.