Causes of Alopecia or Thinning Hair
There are numerous factors contributing to hair loss. Knowing the source is half the battle when it comes to making informed decisions about proper treatment. Some conditions may only cause temporary hair loss, while others result in chronic and progressive problems that can last a lifetime without treatment.
Age and Genetics: These are the two most common sources of hair loss. Hair loss can be part of the aging process. Genes play a significant role in determining whether or not hair loss will be present. Those with relatives who have experienced hair loss have greater odds of losing their hair as well.
Disease and Medical Conditions: There are many diseases that can cause hair loss. Hair loss can often be an early sign of an undiagnosed condition such as lupus or diabetes. Illness, surgeries, stress, eating disorders, poor nutrition and infections are also factors.
Hormonal Imbalances: Endocrine disorders including diabetes, thyroid conditions, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) as well as anomalies in androgen or estrogen levels can cause hair loss. Pregnancy and menopause can also contribute to hair loss due to hormonal changes. While hair actually tends to get thicker during pregnancy, hair loss in women can occur in the postpartum period (Telogen Effluvium). This usually recovers after 6-12 months.
Prescription Medication: Several medications, including some for blood pressure, heart conditions, birth control, and depression have been shown to be hair loss causes. Cancer treatments like radiation therapy and chemotherapy can cause hair loss as well.
Hair Disorders and Hair Styling: Some hair disorders and diseases such as Alopecia Areata and Trichotillomania can cause hair loss in otherwise healthy people. Additionally, some hairstyles and hair products can contribute to hair loss.
Alopecia Prevention & Treatments
In some cases, but not all, hair loss can be prevented or paused. Improving overall (physical and mental) health and maintaining a healthy scalp is a good place to start. If there is knowledge of hair loss in the family or early signs of hair loss are present, it is worthwhile to seek help. A Hair Loss Expert can analyze the condition of your hair under a microscope and formulate an appropriate hair loss treatment plan. Hair loss prevention may include at-home hair therapy monitored by a professional.
If your hair loss is a result of medical treatments, consult with your doctor to determine if there is an alternate treatment that does not include hair loss as a side effect. Hair loss caused by styling habits, stress and diet can often be reversed by altering habits and opting for healthier choices.
Due to the prevalence of hair loss, many treatment options are available. However, because so many varieties of hair loss exist, not all options are suitable for everyone. The most successful and safest solutions for hair loss include non-surgical hair replacement, hair transplant surgery, laser therapy and proven at-home hair therapy systems.