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What causes hair loss?

What causes hair loss?

Experiencing hair disorders can be very distressing. Our hair is our crowning glory, a crucial part of our identity, and hair falling out can affect our confidence and even our mental health.

Anyone can experience hair disorders, but it’s more common in men, and age is also a factor.

Hair loss can occur gradually or very suddenly and can affect your scalp, eyebrows, beard, and even your whole body. Some types of hair disorders are temporary – for example, as a result of stress, chemotherapy, childbirth, and menopause. Some types of hair falling out can, of course, be permanent.

There are a variety of treatments available to prevent further hair disorders and, in some cases, restore hair growth. Treatments for permanent hair loss include hair transplants and tattooing.

You may have tried a variety of different remedies and supplements for your hair loss and be feeling a sense of despair because nothing has helped so far.

If you are experiencing hair loss, the sooner you can get to the root cause and receive the right treatment, the better.

Here are some of the potential reasons for your hair falling out.

1. Hair Loss-Genetic predisposition

If there are hereditary hair disorders in your family, you may be predisposed to losing your hair prematurely. Male or female pattern baldness tends to run in the family, so it is worth finding out if this is something other family members have experienced, now or in the past.

2. Hair Disorders-Health causes

If you have had an illness, have undergone an operation, are experiencing thyroid deficiency or have been prescribed certain drugs, you can experience hair disorder. Autoimmune conditions can cause hair loss, such as alopecia areata, discoid lupus erythematosus, or lichen planopilaris.

3. Hair falling out -Medication

Drugs and treatments that can cause hair falling out to include antiepileptics, antivirals, anticoagulants, antipsychotics, antidepressants, antimalarials, antithyroid drugs, beta-blockers, and retinoids. Excessive Vitamin A and some types of birth control can also cause hair loss.

4. Hair Loss-Lifestyle causes

Following a rigorous diet can be linked to hair loss, as can crash dieting. Excessive sun exposure can also be a factor. And as both active and passive smoking can worsen male or female pattern baldness, these are to be avoided.

5. Tight hairstyles

Hairstyles that pull tightly on the hair can cause hair loss. If you tend to wear your hair in tight haircuts – braiding, cornrows, hair extensions, tight ponytails, and dreads – it’s essential to give your hair a break from these styles and give your hair a chance to recover.

The sooner you find out what’s causing your hair falling out and take steps to stop it, the better your results.

You can find more information on the American Academy of Dermatology website: https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/hair-loss/insider/shedding.

I can offer a diagnosis of complex cases and personalized treatment based on your particular needs. I can provide you with advice via online video consultation and still offer face-to-face consultations for urgent cases. To arrange a meeting with me, Dr. Anastasia Therianou, an expert in dermatological care for hair loss and mole problems, call 0203 464 4884.

How can I stop hair falling out?

Hair falling out can be extremely distressing if you are losing a large amount of hair, or if it looks like you are. 

It is of course normal to shed up to 100 hairs per day. As there are 100,000 hair follicles or more on your scalp, this hair loss does not make a big difference to the appearance of your hair, unless you have long hair, in which case it might look like you are losing more. 

But if you are losing more than 100 hairs a day this is more likely to be noticeable and there may be an underlying issue causing your hair falling out.  

Excessive daily hair shedding (telogen effluvium) is not caused by genetic predisposition – male or female pattern baldness that tends to run in the family – but occurs as a result of a number of possible factors, including nutritional deficiency, a medical condition or stress. Let’s look at those causes and how to mitigate them.

#1 Diet

Following a very strict diet can be linked to hair loss, as can crash dieting. The best advice is to follow a balanced diet, with meat, fish, fresh vegetables and fruit – the Mediterranean diet, for example.

#3 Menstruation

Women who have a heavy period can experience chronic anaemia, which can in turn cause hair loss. A visit to your GP and a blood test will help you find out if you need to increase your iron intake.

#4 Motherhood

A new mother will notice excessive hair shedding about two months after giving birth. This is quite normal and is only a temporary problem, lasting at most a few months.

#5 Stress

People who are constantly under a great deal of stress can experience long-term hair shedding, so it’s important to find ways to mitigate the stress, such as meditation, yoga and mindfulness. A short-term stressful experience, such as losing your job, can lead to temporary hair falling out. 

#6 Sunbathing

If you are experiencing hair loss it’s important to avoid exposing your scalp to the sun as this can cause your hair loss to increase.

#7 Birth control

Some forms of birth control can affect normal hair growth, causing or exacerbating hair falling out. If you are using Norethindrone, Marvelon, Progestin implants/injections or Ortho Evra skin patches, discuss alternatives with your GP.

#8 Tight hair styles

Wearing your hair tightly pulled back can eventually lead to hair loss. Harsh hair care products can also be a factor. Avoid tight hairstyles – tight ponytails, braiding, corn rows, hair extensions and dreads – especially if you are noticing patches of hair fall.

#9 Supplements

If you take multivitamins it’s important to be careful. Taking excessive amounts of some vitamins, such as vitamin A, can cause increased hair loss. So you may need to adjust your dosage.

#10 Medication

Some drugs can cause hair loss. If you take antiepileptics, antivirals, anticoangulants, antipsychotics, antidepressants, antimalarials, antithyroid drugs, beta-blockers or retinoids, discuss alternatives with your practician.

#11 Smoking

Both active and passive smoking can cause this problem. Smoking has been proven to increase the androgen levels at the follicular level, worsening androgenetic alopecia – male or female pattern baldness. So give up smoking and stay away from smokers.

For more information on the causes of hair loss: aad.org

If you have ruled out these factors and you are still experiencing excessive hair falling out, you need to see an expert.

To arrange a consultation book an appointment with me, Dr Anastasia Therianou, expert in dermatological care for hair loss and mole problems!

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