Thinning hair and hair loss are common in both men and women. Most people shed about 50-100 strands every day. But if it starts to fall out in clumps or if you notice it getting thinner over time, then you are probably facing the problem of hair loss. Here are some reasons why you are having less and finer hair.
The No. 1 reason why both men and women experience excessive hair thinning and hair loss is hereditary. Hereditary-pattern baldness is not really a disease, but a natural condition caused by some combination of genetics, hormone levels and the aging process. Almost all men and women will notice hair loss or hair thinning as they age.
Health problems that can cause hair thinning include thyroid problems (both hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism), PCOS, lupus, certain types of cancer, pituitary gland diseases, heavy metal poisoning, HIV and other chronic medical illnesses. These medical conditions may interrupt hair growth cycle. Besides, chemo and radiation therapy, two of the most widely used therapies, can take a toll on the hair. In their quest to kill cancer cells, both can harm hair follicles and trigger dramatic hair loss. But the damage is almost always short-lived. Once the treatment is finished, hair usually grows back.
Some medications may also worsen hair loss. The common ones include acne medications, antibiotics, antidepressants, antifungal medications, blood thinners, chemotherapy medications, cholesterol-lowering medications, epilepsy medications, high blood pressure medications, immunosuppressant medications, interferons, mood stabilizers, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications, oral contraceptives, Parkinson’s disease medications, steroids, and thyroid medications.
Hormone imbalances and changes can contribute to thinning hair. Some hormone changes are temporary, like with pregnancy or menopause, and hair thinning or loss resulting from these temporary changes should be temporary as well. However, if you have an ongoing imbalance of hormones, you may have a thyroid problem that needs to be corrected.
Weight Loss and Crash Diets
Sudden weight loss is a form of physical trauma that can result in thinning hair. And if you drop 15 pounds or more, you might also shed some hair a few months down the road. Weight loss itself is stressing your body or that not eating right can result in vitamin or mineral deficiencies. Don’t worry too much — it’ll return when you’re back on a healthy diet.
Too much styling and overheating of hair can also contribute to thinning hair. Coloring, straightening and extensions can all cause the hair to become dry and brittle, resulting in strands or entire sections breaking off. Pulling the hair back too tightly can also contribute to thinning. Moreover, wearing cornrows can irritate the scalp and cause hair to fall out. The same goes for using tight rollers.
Too much physical or emotional stress can also cause hair thinning and hair loss. Any kind of physical trauma such as surgery, a car accident, or a severe illness, or even the flu can cause temporary hair loss. The good news is that hair will start growing back as your body recovers. As for emotional stress, it won’t actually precipitate the hair loss. It will exacerbate a problem that’s already there. As with hair loss due to physical stress, this shedding will eventually abate.