Everyone loses hair on a daily basis. In fact, it’s part of the hair growth cycle, and it occurs during the final phase, called the “resting” stage. And once a hair sheds from a follicle, the process starts all over again, and a new hair forms to replace it.
At any given time, approximately 10% of the hairs on your head are in the resting stage, which is a period that lasts 2-3 months. The other 90% are in different stages of the growth phase, which last anywhere from 2-6 years.
On average, people shed 50-100 hairs a day. Hair loss becomes a problem when you lose more hair than normal, it doesn’t grow back, or both. This, then, leads to thinning hair or balding issues, which can affect both men and women.
While genes are the most common cause of hair loss, heredity isn’t the only thing to blame. Instead, numerous factors can put your hair at risk, such as lifestyle issues, taking certain medications, and medical conditions.
At Warrenton Dermatology & Skin Therapy Center in Warrenton, Virginia, Juan-Carlos Caballero, MD, and our team specialize in diagnosing and treating hair loss.
Here are a few lesser-known causes of hair loss that have nothing to do with aging or genetics.
Did you know your hormones can cause your hair to fall out? In fact, some women experience excessive hair loss after childbirth from decreased estrogen levels.
Other factors that can cause hormone-related hair loss include:
- Birth control pills
- Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
- Thyroid imbalance
Men with low testosterone can also experience hair loss on their heads, faces, and body.
You have approximately 100,000 hair follicles on your scalp. To grow, they each need a healthy supply of blood, oxygen, and nutrients.
Since hair growth isn’t as important as other bodily functions, your system can put this cycle on hold when it experiences stress from nutritional deficiencies.
Dietary causes of hair loss include:
- Restrictive dieting
- Rapid weight loss
- Not consuming enough protein
- Severe anemia (low iron)
When you have hair loss from nutritional deficiencies, it’s common for hair shedding to continue for several months even if you begin eating a healthy diet again.
Similarly, you can also experience hair loss if your system is under stress from illness or surgery.
Hair loss can also occur for medical reasons. One condition that impacts approximately 6.5 million Americans is alopecia areata. This autoimmune condition causes your system to attack hair follicles anywhere on your body, including your scalp, eyelashes, and eyebrows.
Other common medical conditions that can lead to hair loss include:
- Seborrheic dermatitis
There’s also a hair-pulling disorder known as trichotillomania that can lead to hair loss.
Medications and medical treatments
Numerous medications and supplements can also cause hair loss, ranging from blood thinners and acne treatments to antidepressants and cholesterol-lowering drugs. It’s also common to experience hair loss from treatments for health conditions, such as cancer.
If you notice increased shedding after starting a new medication or medical treatment, talk to your doctor to see if they could be the cause.
These are just a few lesser-known causes of hair loss, and many respond to treatment. If you’ve been losing hair, don’t ignore it. Our full-service dermatology practice can diagnose the cause of your condition and create a personalized treatment strategy to help.
If you have hair loss, schedule a consultation with Warrenton Dermatology & Skin Therapy Center by calling 540-212-7081 or booking an appointment online today.