What can cause hair loss?
This is the main cause of hair loss, and especially affects males (although it does affect 30% of females). Hair follicles are genetically coded at birth, and unfortunately, baldness genes can be passed down from both sides of the family. Genetic baldness is also known as androgenic alopecia or male/female pattern baldness, and is caused by the hormone DHT.
Local and systemic conditions
Hair loss has been associated with a wide variety of medical conditions, such as anemia, nutritional abnormalities, heart disease, high blood pressure, enlarged prostate (in men), diabetes, obesity, some autoimmune diseases, and hypothyroidism.
A variety of medications have been linked to hair loss, including some anti-inflammatories, anti-hypertensives, medications used to treat high blood pressure, arthritis, depression, heart problems, and cancer. Some hormone replacement therapies have also been associated with hair loss.
For women, hair loss can occur when the scalp is damaged by hair weaves and other styles that tightly pull on the hair follicle units.
Trichotillomania is an emotional condition in which an individual compulsively and excessively pulls out their own hair.
Stress and physical changes
Emotional or physical stress can trigger hair thinning. This can include things such as surgery, a death in the family, high fever, significant weight loss, and pregnancy.
Diet and alcohol
Certain diets — especially those that involve very little nutrition — or alcoholism may result in hair loss.
In women, a main area that can be affected during menopause and pregnancy is the scalp, where the change in estrogen to testosterone can trigger female pattern thinning. This can also sometimes happen when a woman stops taking a certain type of birth control.
Some medical conditions that can cause hair loss include ringworm, fungal infection, folliculitis, psoriasis, and seborrheic dermatitis.