Hair loss can be a distressing experience, affecting both men and women. This is more than just a cosmetic concern because it can have deep-seated emotional consequences. Hair loss can cause stress, dissatisfaction with appearance, shattered self-esteem, and a diminished sense of well-being on both genders.
Therefore, understanding common hair loss causes, including environmental factors, nutrient deficiencies, medications, and other factors, is essential in developing effective prevention and management strategies.
Explore 10 Common Hair Loss Causes in Men and Women
1. Emotional or Physical Stress
When you’re stressed, your body produces cortisol, a hormone that can disrupt the normal hair growth cycle. This could be one of the most common hair loss causes nowadays as more than 1 out of 4 people (26%) reported they anticipated experiencing more stress at the start of 2023.
Emotional stressors such as major life changes, trauma, or even chronic stress from work or personal life can all have an impact on your hair health. It also has the same effect when you deal with physical stressors such as surgery, illness, or rapid weight loss. However, there are ways reduce their impact on your hair. You can start managing stress through relaxation techniques, exercise, and self-care.
2. Nutrient Deficiencies
Your hair requires a variety of nutrients to stay healthy, including vitamins, minerals, and proteins. That’s why nutrient deficiency can be considered another common hair loss trigger. Specifically, deficiencies in essential nutrients such as biotin, zinc, iron, and vitamin D can weaken hair strands, leading to increased hair loss.
3. Extreme Hair Care
Overuse of heat-styling tools such as flat irons, curling irons, or hair dryers, as well as harsh chemical treatments like coloring or perming, can cause your hair to become brittle and prone to breakage. Damage can also be caused by aggressive brushing, backcombing, or tight hairstyles that pull on the hair shaft. Instead, stick to a gentle hair care routine and only use heat-styling tools and chemicals in moderation.
If your parents or close relatives have a history of hair loss, you may be predisposed to it as well. Androgenetic alopecia, also known as pattern hair loss, is a type of hair loss that is inherited. Understanding your family history and taking preventive measures, such as using hair loss treatments or medications, can help you manage the impact of hereditary hair loss.
5. Thyroid Problems
Thyroid imbalances, such as hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) or hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid), can disrupt normal hair follicle function, resulting in common hair loss. Thyroid hormones are important for hair growth, and any imbalance can disrupt the hair growth cycle. However, hair loss caused by thyroid problems can be managed with proper diagnosis and treatment if you seek professional help immediately.
6. Hormonal Changes
Hormonal changes caused by pregnancy, childbirth, menopause, or other hormonal imbalances can disrupt the hair growth cycle and result in temporary hair loss. For example, many women experience postpartum hair loss as a result of hormonal changes after giving birth. This case is usually temporary and resolves on its own. On the other hand, managing hormonal changes through proper healthcare and lifestyle changes can aid in the maintenance of healthy hair.
7. Skin & Scalp Conditions
Skin and scalp conditions such as dandruff, seborrheic dermatitis, or scalp infections may disrupt the natural balance of the scalp, causing itching, inflammation, and hair loss. Having proper scalp care like regular cleansing, exfoliation, and treatment of scalp conditions, can help in maintaining a healthy scalp and preventing common hair loss cases associated with these conditions.
Our hair naturally changes as we get older. Hair growth slows, and hair quality can decline, becoming thinner, weaker, or less pigmented. Furthermore, hormonal changes associated with aging, such as a decrease in estrogen during menopause, can contribute to common hair loss. Proper hair care, a healthy lifestyle, and the use of hair care products designed for aging hair can all help you maintain healthy hair as you get older.
9. Environmental Factors
Pollution, UV rays, harsh weather conditions, and hard water can all cause damage to the hair shafts and scalp, resulting in common hair loss. Protecting your hair from environmental stressors, such as wearing a hat or scarf, using UV-protected hair care products, and thoroughly rinsing your hair after swimming in chlorinated water, can help prevent hair damage and loss.
10. Medications & Medical Treatments
While medical treatments and medications are intended to treat a variety of health issues, they can occasionally cause hair loss as a side effect. Chemotherapy drugs, for example, can cause common hair loss by disrupting the growth cycle of hair follicles. Similarly, certain medications used to treat chronic conditions such as high blood pressure, depression, or arthritis can have this impact. However, different approaches can be used to reduce the impact of medication-induced hair loss. These may include adjusting the medication dosage or switching to a different medication with fewer hair loss side effects, as directed by a healthcare professional.