What is hair loss (alopecia)?
When you brush or wash your hair, you probably have noticed that you lose hair. Shedding is normal. In fact, most people lose 50 to 100 strands a day. This is usually not a problem because new hair is always growing. Hair thinning or balding happens when the loss of hair is greater than the new growth.
What causes hair loss?
Genetics plays a big role in hair loss. According to webmd.com, 95% of baldness or hair loss (androgenetic alopecia) in men and woman is hereditary and the remaining 5% is due to many reasons (see below). Alopecia is the slow and steady thinning or balding, common as men and women age. Men will notice bald patches and a receding hairline, while woman usually just have thinning of the hair and a widening of their hair part.
When hair loss is sudden or not in conjunction with aging, it can be for a range of reasons:
- Infections: Fungal infections such as ringworm on the scalp.
- Hormones: Females might experience hair loss due to pregnancy, menopause or puberty.
- Medications: Some medications cause hair loss.
- Hair products: Excessive hair styling can damage the hair and make it thinner.
- Medical Conditions: Thyroid disease, anemia, low vitamin levels, and other medical factors can cause hair to thin or fall out.
- Major Surgery: A few months after general anesthesia, you might notice some hair loss. It should regrow after time.
- High levels of stress: Stress can cause hair follicles to go into a resting phase after a stressful or traumatic event and then fall out a few months later.
Disclaimer: The statements made on this page have not been evaluated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). They are not intended to diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. If a condition persists, please contact your physician or healthcare provider. The information provided is not a substitute for a face-to-face consultation with a healthcare provider, and should not be construed as medical advice.